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Testimonials Aren’t Real Evidence

Testimonial evidence exists for pretty much any claim that has ever been devised — alien abductions, demon possessions, miracle medical cures and the like.

One needs to look no further than the dietary supplement industry to see the influence of testimonials.  In fact, testimonials are probably the key marketing tool for the supplement industry.  Medicine, psychology, and the beauty industry, to name a few, often refer to testimonials in an effort to show the efficacy of their products or treatments.  It is not uncommon for people to make decisions based on testimonials that conflict with scientific evidence — giving more weight to the testimonial.

This is a mistake because testimonials are not real evidence.

One Comment to
Testimonials Aren’t Real Evidence

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  1. I’m naive. Immersed in my own little world. It never occurred to me that people take testimonials seriously, though I’ve seen them (the testimonials) all my life. I just haven’t thought about it. You mean a picture of Ronald Reagan on the insider cover of Life holding a carton of Chesterfields would get people to buy cigarettes? I think even in 1948 that would have been a stretch. But, all too obviously, if it didn’t work no seller would buy the ads! It’s real hard for me to wrap my head around that concept. Time for me to move to Mars. Take care.

  2. An ad is not a testimonial.


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