What Are Fallacies In Communication?

Logical fallacies are reasonings and cognitive processes that are not entirely logical. While conversing through speech or writing, we hear fallacies in any medium of human communication. Formal and informal are the two sorts. Formal refers to how the information is used. Whereas informal refers to the assumption that the information itself is incorrect.

Faulty or fallacious reasoning is a fundamental barrier to successful communication. A fallacy is any flaw in logic or reasoning or any misunderstanding that results from erroneous reasoning. 

Fallacies can be created purposefully or accidentally. When created on purpose, they are usually hidden by a rhetorical tactic in an attempt to exploit, confuse, or manipulate an interlocutor or listener. When employed inadvertently, however, they can frequently lead to misunderstandings between persons engaging in otherwise frank dialogue. Let’s look at what are fallacies in communication and formal, informal, and verbal fallacy.

What are Logical Fallacies?

A logical fallacy is a style of reasoning that is logically erroneous and it doesn’t base on reliable evidence. Because we find it in communication, logical fallacies, and in all forms of communication, from verbal to written.

What are Fallacies in Communication?

A fallacy of communication is an argument — or piece of evidence used in support of an argument — that looks legitimate and compelling at first but should be dismissed as misleading, flawed, or untrue upon closer scrutiny.

Effective Communication

To ensure that there are no misunderstandings between participants in an exchange, effective communication necessitates the fulfillment of a few simple prerequisites. First and first, speakers must strive to communicate themselves precisely, clearly, and appropriately. They should avoid rhetorical flourishes and speech patterns that may confuse a listener, and they should transmit facts straight. Second, interlocutors should pay close attention to one another. They should seek explanations wherever possible. Finally, interlocutors should not make rash assumptions or leap to conclusions about what the other party plans to say, already knows, or can figure out on their own. One should deliver the point as clearly as possible.

Formal Fallacies

Formal fallacies are structural defects in deductive reasoning that invalidate an argument. There are many different types of formal fallacies. However, the most prevalent ones are often made without people realizing it. It ruins effective communication. A formal fallacy differs from a factual flaw in that it arises from a purely structural error in reasoning about a collection of premises; if the propositions are factually inaccurate, but the conclusion follows logically, an argument is nonetheless technically sound, even if it is factually erroneous.

Informal Fallacies

While formal fallacies occur due to errors in an argument’s logical structure, informal fallacies occur due to problems in the argument’s content. There are many different types of informal fallacies, and any particular argument may commit more than one at the same time, but they consist of three categories. The first is ambiguity fallacies. When the meaning of a premise or conclusion is uncertain, something occurs.

The second type of fallacy is the presumption fallacy. This occurs when a premise or conclusion is presumed to be true before the fact. This frequently results in tautological assertions such as “the rules are the rules.” Finally, there are relevant fallacies. When an extraneous premise is incorporated into an argument to generate a false conclusion, this occurs. This happens frequently in political debates.

Verbal Fallacies

Verbal fallacies are likewise ambiguous fallacies, although they are more common in spoken conversation. In spoken conversation, for example, ambiguity can develop when the emphasis or stress of a statement is uncertain. The phrase “SHE seems cheerful” is not the same as “she SEEMS cheerful.” The message might be muddled if the stress is not obvious. Similarly, verbal fallacies can develop when a remark is taken out of context and the tone and circumstances of the speech are unclear.

Common Logical Fallacies Examples

Common Logical Fallacies Examples

Now that you understand what are the fallacies in communication, consider the many sorts of logical fallacies. There are many logical fallacies, but here are three of the more prevalent ones.


Users of the Strawman fallacy mislead, exaggerate, or outright lie about the opposition’s argument to make their point easier to “prove.”


Will replied to Joe’s statement that more funds should be devoted to school lunch programs by stating he was astonished Joe doesn’t care about student safety and wants to steal money from security budgets.

Ad Hominem

This one isn’t appealing. Ad hominem fallacies are attacks on the character or personal attributes of your opponent in an attempt to discredit them.


Following Frances’ passionate speech about upgrading facilities for the mentally ill, her opponent asks the audience whether they would base their judgment on feedback from someone who has been undergoing psychiatric treatment since infancy.


Though other fallacies are more obvious, this one comes in unintentionally all the time. Anecdotal fallacies are exactly what they seem like: they utilize personal experience, or more often, a single case, to “prove” a thesis in the face of statistics or scientific evidence.


Despite economic analyses indicating that plant workers were barely getting a decent salary as it was, the business CEO highlighted the example of Roger, a veteran worker who managed to support his extended family via prudent expenditure, to justify forthcoming cuts.

While you are not purposefully exploiting logical fallacies in your discussions, it is clear that fallacies are employed unwittingly much too frequently. Anecdotal fallacies are among the most prevalent, as decision-makers seek to locate an example that matches their account of events, but they are far from the only ones.

Fallacies, at their essence, undercut your argument. We can use fallacies to fool some people, they are also quite likely to get you in trouble. It’s simply not worth the risk nowadays, with viewers actively wanting to critique and even feeling enraged by every piece of communication.

The Ending Note

You now have a thorough understanding of what are fallacies in communication and how to avoid them in your daily life. However, a person is equally accountable for utilizing excellent reasoning as she is for having an ordered speech, analyzing the audience, or practicing for effective delivery. 

You cannot hear logical fallacies unless you listen attentively and critically. Keep an ear out for potential applications of fallacies.

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