iceberg principle

  

Definition

Observation that in many (if not most) cases only a very small amount (the 'tip') of information is available or visible about a situation or phenomenon, whereas the 'real' information or bulk of data is either unavailable or hidden. The principle gets its name from the fact that only about 1/10th of an iceberg's mass is seen outside while about 9/10th of it is unseen, deep down in water.

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