Laws of large numbers and small numbers

In case my previous note on the law of small numbers confused anyone, I’ll compare it to the law of large numbers.

The law of large numbers is a mathematical theorem; the law of small numbers is an observation about human psychology.

The name “law of large numbers” is a standard term applied to a theorem about the convergence of random variables. (OK, actually two theorems. Like nuclear forces, the laws of large numbers comes in a strong and a weak form.)

The name “law of small numbers” is a pun, and I don’t believe the term is commonly used. Too bad. It’s a convenient label for a common phenomena.

Related post: Law of medium numbers

3 thoughts on “Laws of large numbers and small numbers

  1. John,
    I am not a mathematician. I an just an old guy who wished he had paid more attention in the seventh grade. In any case I follow your tweets and your blog and most of the time I am lost in the fog but sometimes (like today) I follow the thread that you presented and I am delighted to say that I perceived a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you.

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