If you don’t know too much about logical fallacies, and don’t want to sound like a stuck up jerk to your friends, then this blog is for you. Below are 5 fallacies your friends, family and/or strangers will be surprised you even researched. Add them quickly to your arsenal and use them to deflate your attacker’s arguments.
1. Style over Substance Fallacy:
“If it sounds or looks good, it must be right!”
We have all thought to ourselves, “Wow, that person must be smart. Did you see the way that person was dressed?” or “That was a great presentation because the layout was very nice.” What is actually happening in the two statements above is a fallacy. Yes, first one on our list is the Style over Substance fallacy. We tend to believe things to be true because of the words used, or the way things are presented. Next time you see a man in a nice suit telling you about a great business opportunity they have for you, be ready to pull out the ole style over substance fallacy.
2. Gambler’s Fallacy:
“The roulette table has hit red 4 times in a row, next hit has to be black”
The gamblers fallacy, also known as the Monte Carlo fallacy is very easy to remember because, well, it’s in the name! When we create a pattern in our heads, even though the situation has the same chance every time, we are guilty of committing the gambler’s fallacy. The most famous example to explain this fallacy is when trying to guess a coin flip. Remember the gambler’s fallacy the next time you and your friends head to the casino.
3. Bandwagon Fallacy:
“Everyone is eating fast food, so it really can’t be that bad for you”
Many us are guilty of this fallacy. Even though we commit this fallacy, we can still understand what it means. Once we understand how the fallacy works, we can focus on avoiding the use of it. Many of us meet bandwagon fans when we log into our favorite social media sites. This fallacy is relatively easy to point out, as it is much like peer pressure. Next time your family tries to get you to go to the family reunion because the family is going, slap them with the bandwagon fallacy.
4. Poisoning the Well:
“Before I let my opponent speak, I want to let you folks know that he tends to lie about important issues.”
Poisoning the well is a popular fallacy that many people probably won’t know about when you mention it. This fallacy happens when someone presents an opinion or attacks the image of another person before you have had the time to form a proper opinion on that person. When you form judgement on someone before that person makes a claim, speech or argument, you are participating in poisoning the well. If someone is trying to discredit what you or anyone else is saying by presenting unfavorable information, hit em with the “poisoning the well” fallacy.
5. The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy:
“The Texas sharpshooter is a fabled marksman who fires his gun randomly at the side of a barn, then paints a bulls-eye around the spot where the most bullet holes cluster.” – http://www.fallacyfiles.org/texsharp.html
Sometimes we assumed that because we have a cluster of data, we can instantly draw some sort of conclusion on what we have collected. When we have groups of data or numbers we tend to forget or even ignore the other parts of data. For example, if two people in your office get cancer, you could assume it was from something in the office. You would be ignoring the others that work in your office and committing the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. Next time your friends claim to be good at something, let’s say, a sport, remind them of all the times they missed the final shot, or catch. Call them out on the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy.
”We are the Young Life Perception”
Be sure to check out our podcast at www.younglifeperception.com
-Written by Stephen Quinn