In this article, we’ll see what are fallacies and their examples. An argument is weak if it contains fallacies. By developing your ability to spot arguments in both your own and other people’s writing, you can improve your ability to evaluate arguments. We can the term fallacies in two ways.
First of all, they are frequently used and, at least in casual settings, have the ability to influence readers or listeners. Numerous instances of erroneous reasoning occurs in publications, advertisements, and other sources.
Second, it can occasionally be challenging to determine whether an argument is flawed. An argument could be very weak, somewhat weak, somewhat strong, or very strong. An argument can still have both strong and weak points even if it is in sections or stages.
- 1 Common Fallacies With Examples
- 1.1 The Straw Man Fallacy
- 1.2 The Bandwagon Fallacy
- 1.3 The Appeal to Authority Fallacy
- 1.4 The False Dilemma Fallacy
- 1.5 The Hasty Generalization Fallacy
- 1.6 The Slothful Induction Fallacy
- 1.7 The Correlation/Causation Fallacy
- 1.8 The Anecdotal Evidence Fallacy
- 1.9 The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
- 1.10 The Middle Ground Fallacy
- 1.11 The Personal Incredulity Fallacy
- 1.12 The Ad Hominem Fallacy
- 1.13 The Fallacy Fallacy
- 2 The Ending Note
Common Fallacies With Examples
The Straw Man Fallacy
The fallacy occurs when your opponent misrepresents or oversimplifies your argument in an effort to dispute or refute it. By presenting a version of your actual position that is superficially similar but ultimately unjustified, speakers who use this fallacy give the impression that they can easily defeat you rather than fully address it.
John suggested that we contract with a professional to revamp our website.
Jessica asked, “You’re recommending that we allocate our resources to outside sources instead of growing our underlying design team?” That might end up harming our business, I fear.
The Bandwagon Fallacy
It is not true just because a sizable percentage of people hold that belief. Popularity is often a stand-alone defense of an argument’s validity. But it is insufficient in and of itself. The existence of contradictory evidence or the qualifications of the population validating the argument is not taken into account in such arguments.
Because most people believe that businesses should spend more money on billboards, they are objectively the best form of advertising.
The Appeal to Authority Fallacy
While not always incorrect, putting too much trust in one person’s judgment, particularly when that person is trying to validate something outside of their area of expertise, can quickly turn appeals to authority into a dangerous strategy.
Having a credible authority back up your claim can enhance an already persuasive argument, but it cannot serve as the main thrust of your case. It doesn’t necessarily follow that something is true just because a powerful person thinks it is.
Our CEO Laura says this is the best course of action, so we should stick with it even though our Q3 results were significantly lower than usual.
The False Dilemma Fallacy
By splitting complex issues into two sides that are fundamentally opposite to one another, this common fallacy deceives. False dilemma fallacy asserts that there are only two outcomes that are possible and that they are mutually exclusive when, in reality, most (if not all) problems can be thought of as having a range of potential outcomes and positions.
This fallacy can give false credence to extreme positions while ignoring opportunities for compromise or reframing the issue, which makes it especially harmful.
We have two options: either we accept Michael’s suggestion or we just let the effort fail. Nothing else.
The Hasty Generalization Fallacy
This fallacy occurs when someone bases sweeping conclusions on the suspect or insufficient evidence. In other words, they assume the truth of a claim that has some, but insufficient, supporting evidence while ignoring potential counterarguments.
Two of my team members who took public speaking classes have become more driven individuals. This demonstrates why the entire organization should take public speaking classes in order to increase employee engagement.
The Slothful Induction Fallacy
Slothful induction is the opposite of the aforementioned fallacy of hasty generalization. This fallacy occurs when there is sufficient logical evidence to draw a conclusion, but the person refuses to acknowledge it, attributing the outcome to coincidence or something unrelated.
Even though every project Stacy has managed in the last two years has been significantly behind schedule, I think we can still blame unavoidable circumstances rather than her project management skills for this.
The Correlation/Causation Fallacy
Even though two events may appear to be connected, this does not mean that one of them was solely to blame for the other. Even though it might seem like a simple fallacy to spot, doing so in actual practice can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to find a connection between two pieces of evidence to back up your claim.
In March, fewer people were reading our blog. We also changed the blog’s header color in March. This shows that there were fewer views in March as a result of a change in the blog header’s color.
The Anecdotal Evidence Fallacy
In this fallacy, personal examples are used in place of reasoned arguments. The fact that one instance (possibly an isolated one) cannot provide conclusive evidence for a more general claim frequently ignores arguments that heavily rely on anecdotal evidence.
When we made the entire text on one of our client’s landing pages bright red, the number of conversions went up by a factor of two. Thus, a tried-and-true method to double conversions is to make all text red.
The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
A colorful anecdote about a Texan who shoots his gun at a barn wall before painting a target around the closest cluster of bullet holes inspired the catchy name of this fallacy. He then points at the target that is covered in bullets to demonstrate his shooting prowess.
The Texas sharpshooter fallacy causes speakers to selectively choose data clusters to support their claims. Instead of allowing the full body of evidence to lead them to a logical conclusion, they look for patterns and correlations that support their objectives. Data that challenges their conclusions or suggests the clusters weren’t statistically significant is ignored.
Sandra must be a successful entrepreneur because she sold her first startup to a powerful tech company.
The Middle Ground Fallacy
This fallacy bases its argument on the erroneous notion that a compromise between two diametrically opposed points of view always holds true. In this kind of debate, a middle ground that ignores the possibility that either one or both could be wholly true or false is also inadmissible.
Contrary to Carol’s assertion that redesigning the entire website is the best way to boost conversions, Thomas adamantly opposes making any changes to the company’s website. Redesigning a few of the website’s pages is the best option.
The Personal Incredulity Fallacy
If you have trouble understanding how or why something is true, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it is false. Because of a single instance of ignorance or widespread ignorance, a claim cannot be invalid.
I assume there was another factor at play since I don’t understand how redesigning our website increased conversions.
The Ad Hominem Fallacy
The ad hominem fallacy occurs when someone’s argument is criticized logically rather than personally. They will instead attack the other’s viewpoint by criticizing their appearance, personality, or other unimportant traits. These assaults may also target institutions or groups.
Bob suggested that we check the accuracy of these data sets once more. Since you struggle with math, Jim continued, “I figured you would suggest that.”
The Fallacy Fallacy
When identifying fallacies, it’s critical to keep in mind that just because an argument is based on a fallacy, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the claim it supports is false.
Making a claim that contains a fallacy does not prove that the premises of the argument are false; rather, it merely demonstrates that the premises are not supported. In other words, while they may not be entirely wrong, their argument is terrible.
Yolanda concluded that Suzie’s justification for redesigning the company website must not be a compelling one because he obviously relied heavily on picky statistics to support his claim.
The Ending Note
Learn which fallacies you tend to use frequently, and make sure to check your work for them. We hope that this article on “What are fallacies and examples” was informative for you.