Anecdotes come from personal experience, and while understanding our experiences is great, it doesn’t always strengthen an argument. Sure, it can be convincing and add color to your conversation, but generalizing one person’s experience to a mass typically is not very compelling evidence.
Romcom viewers might remember a particular scene at the beginning of “He’s Just Not That Into You,” in which Gigi, one of the protagonists, used anecdotal evidence to explain why guys who cheat on their girlfriends do not actually care about them.
According to Gigi, her friend Anastasia dated a guy who cheated on her, but then he changed and the couple lived happily ever after. Anastasia was an exception to the rule that men who cheat do not care about their partners, but Gigi’s own experience dating a guy who cheated on her did not yield the same happy ending.
Therefore, Gigi concludes that she and her female friends are the rule, rather than the exceptions, and that they should stop believing these stories about men who cheat and the hope that, despite the infidelity, they will end up in happy relationships.
Gigi’s anecdotes, while convincing, may not apply to all women with unfaithful partners.