Anecdotal value
In economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, anecdotal value refers to the primarily social and political value of an anecdote
An anecdote is a short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person. It may be as brief as the setting and provocation of a bon mot. An anecdote is always presented as based on a real incident involving actual persons, whether famous or not, usually in an identifiable place...

 or anecdotal evidence
Anecdotal evidence
The expression anecdotal evidence refers to evidence from anecdotes. Because of the small sample, there is a larger chance that it may be true but unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise unrepresentative of typical cases....

 in promoting understanding of a social, cultural, or economic phenomenon. While anecdotal evidence is typically disparaged as unscientific in the medical and social sciences, in the last several decades the evaluation of anecdotes has received sustained academic scrutiny from economists and scholars such as S. G. Checkland (on David Ricardo), Steven Novella
Steven Novella
Steven P. Novella is an American clinical neurologist, assistant professor and Director of General Neurology at Yale University School of Medicine...

, R. Charleton, Hollis Robbins
Hollis Robbins
-Career:Robbins is a professor of Humanities at the Peabody Institute and Associate Research Scholar at the Center for Africana Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. She serves as an adviser of the Black Periodical Literature Project at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University and is a...

, Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, and others. These academics seek to quantify the value inherent in the deployment of anecdotes. More recently, economists studying choice models have begun assessing anecdotal value in the context of framing
Framing (social sciences)
A frame in social theory consists of a schema of interpretation — that is, a collection of anecdotes and stereotypes—that individuals rely on to understand and respond to events. In simpler terms, people build a series of mental filters through biological and cultural influences. They use these...

; Kahneman and Tversky suggest that choice models may be contingent on stories or anecdotes that frame or influence choice.. As an example, consider Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's apocryphal quote: The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.

The concept of Anecdotal Value is related to Clay Shirky
Clay Shirky
Clay Shirky is an American writer, consultant and teacher on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. He has a joint appointment at New York University as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and Assistant Arts Professor in the New...

's concept of cognitive surplus
Cognitive Surplus
Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age is a 2010 non-fiction book by Clay Shirky. The book is an indirect sequel to Shirky's Here Comes Everybody, which covered the impact of social media.-Summary:...


External links

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