REGRESSION TO THE MEAN

 

Thanks to a routine cognitive overload from reading, I decided to look up notjustok.com today after a long stint. There, I found that d’banj released a new single (albeit, unofficial). I jumped into the track with gusto. And I liked it, probably because my expectation failed to set me up for any disappointment. I decided to catch a glimpse of the comments to see if I have some ‘carbon-copies’ around …

This comment jumped at me:
Paraphrased for clarity: [[“…This song is a dead track I think d’banj should visit a good producer … [like] don jazzy to resurrect his career”]]
I found this comment particularly interesting, because of its suitability for explaining a major flaw in our reasoning. (The narrative fallacy and the regression to the mean)

Narrative fallacy: Simply put, we love stories, and to *whatever* has happened we have an intractable proclivity of conjuring reasons. We love casual inferences and perhaps, our favorite sports should be “jumping into conclusion” In this case D’banj’s egress from Don Jazzy’s camp vitiated his career.

Regression to the mean: “in any series with complex phenomena that are dependent on many variables, where chance is involved, extreme outcomes tend to be followed by more moderate ones”. If you have taken a statistics class you have probably heard of this concept, but its applicability might not be intuitive to real life situations (at least, for most of us)

A fictional example: If Mr X, performed more than he is capable of in a sporting event (i.e Enjoyed a high dose of luck). The regression effect tells us that, the next time he is most likely going to do worse (without any external influence). No one can enjoy a high dose of luck forever. It can only wane in the face of time. That is, there will always be a regression to the mean. The mean being Mr X’s Innate Talent.
A causal inference explanation might be “Mr X, became over confident and losses his senses of responsibility” A conclusion, which will be considered apocryphal in the face of the regression effect.

AND VICE VERSA.
If Mr X, performed less than he is capable of in a sporting event (i.e enjoyed a bad dose of luck). The regression effect tells us that the next time he is most likely going to do better… (and so on)

So in my opinion, regression to the mean plays a role in why D’banj has not sang another ‘Oliver twist’ or ‘Why me’, and Tu face, another ‘African queen’.
Like they will say in the milieu “omo na turn by turn”.

PS: If an addicted reductionist happens to read this piece, (s)he could *roughly* posit that, “Omo na turn by turn” = Regression to the mean.

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