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

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.