"Holy Chips" An Anecdotal Evidence Story



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“Holy Chips" An Anecdotal Evidence Story

An anecdote is a short interesting account or story usually told by one person, and if it appears credible (believable) it can often spread as a rumor. If a rumored anecdotal evidence story becomes popular enough a whole culture might believe it, sometimes even if it has been proven to be inaccurate and false. Anecdotal stories are often cited by many people as evidence for their beliefs. For example you might hear someone say they knew of someone who ate junk food every night for breakfast, lunch and dinner and they never gained weight or got ill. You might then conclude that fast food is not unhealthy. Anecdotal evidence is not scientific evidence, although they sometimes can merit further investigation. Scientists are skeptical and demand multiple lines of evidence and investigation by scientific method. Studies on the health qualities of food involve large populations of people who are carefully monitored over time in ways that can be measured carefully for the effects of the food. One anecdotal story is not proof.
In the movie, Napoleon Dynamite the character Pedro tells Napoleon he became sick from eating food at a picnic but was cured when he ate some “holy chips". Pedro’s story is anecdotal evidence that corn chips can cure you of a stomach ache from eating bad food at a picnic. Have you ever had the experience of hearing anecdotal evidence and trusting it only to find later that it was not true for you or a friend? Please tell me your story!

Write a description below of how you could scientifically test Pedro’s “holy chips" that includes a way to control for the placebo effect. Remember to include a control group and experimental group in your study, a manipulated variable and placebo, and make your experiment a double blind test. Remember for the test to be scientific all variables must be controlled except for the manipulated variable and that tests of substances like drugs for example, require that large groups (both control and experimental) be tested not just one individual for results to be valid.




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