Tag Archives: minimal exceptions

THE TRUTH ABOUT GENERALIZATION*

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Generalization: n. communicating that all of a chosen subset correspond to a set frequently ignoring the samer subset(s) which doesn’t correspond to the set after a more careful analysis

The general feeling of the audience was one of relief and satisfaction. This communicates that almost all of the audience felt relief and satisfaction even though there may have been minor exceptions such as feeling only relief and not satisfaction or feeling neither relief nor satisfaction.

They headed in the general direction of the wooded area. This means that almost all humans or lifeforms headed towards the wooded area even though there may have been some oddballs who headed towards the meadow area.

The number of exceptions to your generalization is a measure of the generalization’s accuracy. If you observe that Sara is a bad driver and make a generalization that all girls are bad drivers then your accuracy is terrible and the statement is actually untrue except for Sara and all the other bad female drivers. Since all generalizations usually have some exceptions they can be said to not be absolutely true or not true 100% of the time. The fewer exceptions there are to your generalization the truer or more accurate it is.

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