Your N of 1 finding does not invalidate my experience.
Did you just read that and think: “What”?
I learned the term “N of 1” during my employment in an organization that engaged in and used research.
An N of 1 is a clinical case trial where one person is the entire study.
In my work environment, it wasn’t used that way. We used it as a way of calling someone’s attention to the fact that their experience and/or personal belief did not automatically translate to everyone. Essentially it was used as a one-liner quasi-insult to say “how nice for you. Now shut up and listen to the point that is being made”.
I had an N of 1 experience recently. During a meeting, another attendee raised an issue and they were immediately drowned out by three (related) people who shared that their experience was different. Every time the first person tried to continue her story and make her point, they would talk over her.
Finally, I tried to intervene. I did this by calling the small group’s attention to the fact that they had made an erroneous assumption that their experience was the same as the other person’s. In fact, they were talking about their corporation’s expenses and taxes while the other person was trying to make a point about the expenses and taxes of a non-incorporated entity.
Even with the clarification, they still didn’t shut up. Apparently, their N of 1 experience was all that mattered.
This is not unusual, but that doesn’t make it right.
This is an example of why we need to listen with the intent to understand. The next time you are tempted to talk over someone, or explain how they are wrong; take a breath and listen. If you still want to argue, instead of citing your N of 1 experience, ask them questions to ensure you understand the point they are making.
And if I ever make a reference to N of 1 when I am talking to you, you will understand that I am telling you that your finding doesn’t transfer to my life. In other words, shut up!