Generalization refers to making broad claims about a collection of people or objects. For example, doctors must attend years of school before beginning to work; a generalization might state that doctors are good students.
Humans seek patterns, and generalizations naturally arise when people interact with various groups. However, people sometimes make hasty generalizations based on small sample sizes. While generalizations must be used cautiously, they can lead to important insights. Noticing a particular trend in a field can lead to experimental research. This is common in medicine, and many studies are launched when a medical expert notices a particular trend among patients.