Regression To The Mean : Things always get better

Ever had bad fiscal year  & you jump the gun by spending money on hiring a consultant or praying to god.

And next year,  your sales pick up.   You credit it to the consultant or god.

In reality,  whats happening is that  when things go down:  Temperature , Grades,  Revenue etc,  Sooner or later,  it will go back to “normal”  or the “mean”.

Only exception is that, All other factors are constant or Beyond your control.  Keep in mind that,  this “normal”  isn’t always “good thing”.     It’s what it “normally” is.   The normal CAN change OVER time but doesn’t change in short period of time.

For example, the  weather of a city may change over the period of decades, but if it gets really cold for a week in Texas,  you can rest assured that temperature will revert back to it’s normal regardless of if you pray the rain god or watch weather channel 10 times a day.

Another example,   When a doctor admits a depressed patient into a rehab for a month,  after a month, the patient will start feeling better but there is a HIGH chance that the patient will return to his “depressed” state within few weeks because depression is  “normal” for the patient & is also affected by his genetics.

Better solution would be to engage patient for a long term ( 1-2 years ) meditation & exercise classes.  This would change the “mean”  or the  “normal”.



ex.  A student scores 1100 on the SAT on first attempt,  so the parents pay $5k to enroll student into a SAT prep course.   On second attempt,  student scores 1600.

Parents assume:   It was because they enrolled child into the prep.
SAT prep:  Enrolling child into our course boosts SAT score.

Even if child was not enrolled in the prep course,  he would have received score close to 1600 thats the mean/average of scores.     Parents did not think clearly & wasted their money.

Conclusion:   Occasional downshift is normal.   Just understand that cause may be something that is beyond your control.  If so,  the value will always return back to the mean,  or the “normal”.