Ok, quick post about this, as something occurred to me the other day which might be useful to someone.
So, lets say you are designing an experiment to test how trustworthy people are. You get a random sample of people, but only get say 10 people. Unfortunately in that group you get a bunch of thieves and so the experiment indicates that people are horribly untrustworthy. Obviously, given the sample size you can't draw any conclusions about people in general from this.
Unfortunately though, we don't tend to apply this in our daily lives, because we don't frame things as an experiment, but nonetheless our brains constantly make these kinds of assumptions, and learns these kinds of things (and we aren't even aware of it). Realistically we don't have a large enough sample size to make solid generalised
reliable opinions about people. We get unlucky and end up being forced to interact with someone who really isn't good for us, often for many years and if we are really unlucky its a family member.
We learn (subconsciously) that people aren't to be trusted and that they might mock us socially, and so on. And this learning is
correct, its absolutely correct, some people are like this, and its a perfectly rational response, given the experience.
But, it isn't necessarily representative of people in general
, because of the limited sample size. That isn't to say its incorrect, its just that you can't know
its correct for the whole population. It was correct for the people we interacted with, but that is all. But it slips though because we don't look at it in the same way we would look at experiment. Our brains just make these kinds of assumptions without us even noticing. It's how we are built.
So, what's the difference between a SA person and a non SA person? Quite possibly to a large degree the non SA person just lucked out and got the good
small sample of people. They got good parents, they didn't get bullied, they had a good support network, "people are generally nice". A SA person likely got a bunch of people mocking their interactions, possibly lousy parenting etc "people are horrible".
A possible solution then, is to test the hypothesis, making sure the sample size is large enough