Sampling

. A statistical relationship does not mean causality, ie sense of causation.

. Wide fluctuations are more likely to be found in small rather than large samples as they may be due to an accident of sampling. This is called an artefact, ie some observations are produced entirely by the method of research.

. Sampling variation is a concern in research. Using a sufficiently large sample is the only way to reduce the risk.

Routine Focus of the Brain

. Routine focus of the brain tends to suppress ambiguity and spontaneously construct stories that are as coherent as possible. Unless the message is immediately negated, the associations that it will spread as if the message were true. While cognitive thinking is capable of doubt (ie maintaining incompatible possibilities at the same time), sustaining doubt is harder work than sliding into certainty. The brain prefers certainty to doubt, ie as less thinking is involved, it uses less energy.

 

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