Shawn Achor comments on “the cult of the average” in science.
So one of the very first things we teach people in economics and statistics and business and psychology is how, in a statistically valid way, do we eliminate the weirdos. How do we eliminate the outliers so we can find the line of best fit? Which is fantastic if I’m trying to find out how many Advil the average person should be taking — two. But if I’m interested in potential, if I’m interested in your potential, or for happiness or productivity or energy or creativity, what we’re doing is we’re creating the cult of the average with science. … If we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average.