information supporting a belief
Evidence is information one gathers to develop an understanding about something. When looking at Evidence, a character does not necessarily have to know exactly what he is looking for, just that the information pertains to the nature of what he is trying to learn about. As a result, he tends to examine the Evidence only in terms of whether or not it is something that falls into a predetermined category. Therefore, errors can occur when the Evidence (although it pertains to the subject of interest) actually holds much more information in another area. This can lead a character to "not see the forest for the trees" because he is looking at the small picture and ignoring the big one. For example, in a mystery a detective may be looking for Evidence of who committed a murder, when in truth the victim died of natural causes which is clearly indicated if the detective had only thought to look for that.
syn. proof, indicator, supporting information, corroborating facts, grounds for belief, substantiation