Thanks, I have enjoyed many of your posts. The term "magical thinking" seems to be a moving target for me in relationship with communicating with others. I know where I draw this line, but I think everyone has there own line to draw here. It seems more useful as a concept of self discovery, but in the context of communicating with people with different beliefs it seems harsh. This is coming from a guy who has used this term often and freely in the past! I don't think it works as well in a group like this where people are thoughtfully choosing this line for themselves. What do you think?
--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, new_morning_blank_slate <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > > No, I have not read that one. It looks good. > > I think cognitve biases and logical fallacies are the cornorstones to > "magical thinking". (I appreciate your recent cites and posts on > such.) And magical interpretations -- whether of experiences, > "scriptures" or current events. > > Magical thinking (MT) takes one to the opposite cornor of What Is. MT > may bring some feel-good comfort to the soul, and be the fuel for > dreamers, but ultimately its illusion and delusion. > > In my reading / interpretation (we all make interpretations) of > various hindu-related scriptures, a sharp intellect and the ability > to finely discriminate are cited valuable tools in uncovering what is > real and what is unreal. Discrimination of what is Real and Unreal. > Discrimination between Buddhi and Purusha and all. Knowing the > existence and structure of cognitve biases and logical fallacies, > being able to readily indentify them and avoid them are part of that > sharpening process. > > > --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "curtisdeltablues" > <curtisdeltablues@> wrote: > > > > Excellent post. Are you hip to Gilovitch's book: How We Know What > > isn't So, The fallibility of human reason in everyday life? He studies > > human cognitive error at Cornell. > > > > > http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0029117062/sr=8-1/qid=1149893839/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-4458199-6191348?%5Fencoding=UTF8 > > > > > > --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, new_morning_blank_slate > > <no_reply@> wrote: > > > > > > We all make them. To the extent that we are aware of their existence > > > and structure, we can avoid them in our own internal reasoning, and in > > > communications. > > > > > > Whoever has more than 20 in any post, gets a gallon of woowoo juice. > > > > > > > > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases > > > > > > Cognitive bias is distortion in the way we perceive reality (see also > > > cognitive distortion). > > > > > > Some of these have been verified empirically in the field of > > > psychology, others are considered general categories of bias. > > > > > > This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy > > > certain standards for completeness. > > > > > > > > > > > > Decision making and behavioral biases > > > > > > Many of these biases are studied for how they affect belief formation > > > and business decisions and scientific research > > > > > > * Bandwagon effect - the tendency to do (or believe) things > > > because many other people do (or believe) the same. > > > * Bias blind spot - the tendency not to compensate for one's own > > > cognitive biases. > > > * Choice-supportive bias - the tendency to remember one's choices > > > as better than they actually were. > > > * Confirmation bias - the tendency to search for or interpret > > > information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions. > > > * Congruence bias - the tendency to test hypotheses exclusively > > > through direct testing > > > * Contrast effect - the enhancement or diminishment of a weight or > > > other measurement when compared with recently observed contrasting > > object. > > > * Disconfirmation bias - the tendency for people to extend > > > critical scrutiny to information which contradicts their prior beliefs > > > and accept uncritically information that is congruent with their prior > > > beliefs. > > > * Endowment effect - the tendency for people to value something > > > more as soon as they own it. > > > * Focusing effect - prediction bias occurring when people place > > > too much importance on one aspect of an event; causes error in > > > accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome. > > > * Hyperbolic discounting - the tendency for people to have a > > > stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later > > > payoffs, the closer to the present both payoffs are. > > > * Illusion of control - the tendency for human beings to believe > > > they can control or at least influence outcomes which they clearly > > cannot. > > > * Impact bias - the tendency for people to overestimate the length > > > or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states. > > > * Information bias - the tendency to seek information even when it > > > cannot affect action > > > * Loss aversion - the tendency for people to strongly prefer > > > avoiding losses over acquiring gains (see also sunk cost effects) > > > * Neglect of Probability - the tendency to completely disregard > > > probability when making a decision under uncertainty. > > > * Mere exposure effect - the tendency for people to express undue > > > liking for things merely because they are familiar with them. > > > * Color psychology - the tendency for cultural symbolism of > > > certain colors to affect affective reasoning. > > > * Omission Bias - The tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, > > > or less moral than equally harmful omissions (inactions.) > > > * Outcome Bias - the tendency to judge a decision by its eventual > > > outcome instead of based on the quality of the decision at the time it > > > was made. > > > * Planning fallacy - the tendency to underestimate task-completion > > > times. > > > * Post-purchase rationalization - the tendency to persuade oneself > > > through rational argument that a purchase was good value. > > > * Pseudocertainty effect - the tendency to make risk-averse > > > choices if the expected outcome is positive, but risk-seeking choices > > > to avoid negative outcomes. > > > * Rosy retrospection - the tendency to rate past events more > > > positively than they had actually rated them when the event occurred. > > > * Selective perception - the tendency for expectations to affect > > > perception. > > > * Status quo bias - the tendency for people to like things to stay > > > relatively the same. > > > * Von Restorff effect - the tendency for an item that "stands out > > > like a sore thumb" to be more likely to be remembered than other > items. > > > * Zeigarnik effect - the tendency for people to remember > > > uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed ones. > > > * Zero-risk bias - preference for reducing a small risk to zero > > > over a greater reduction in a larger risk. > > > > > > > > > Biases in probability and belief > > > > > > Many of these biases are often studied for how they affect business > > > and economic decisions and how they affect experimental research. > > > > > > * Affective forecasting > > > Affective forecasting is the forecasting of one's affect (emotional > > > state) in the future. This kind of prediction is affected by various > > > kinds of cognitive biases, i.e. systematic errors of thought. Daniel > > > Gilbert of the department of social psychology at Harvard University > > > and other researchers in the field, such as Timothy Wilson of the > > > University of Virginia and George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon > > > University, have studied those cognitive biases and given them names > > > like "empathy gap" and "impact bias" and the like. > > > > > > Affective forecasting is an important concept in psychology, because > > > psychologists try to study what situations in life are important to > > > humans, and how they change their views with time. > > > > > > > > > * Ambiguity effect - the avoidance of options for which missing > > > information makes the probability seem "unknown" > > > > > > The ambiguity effect is a cognitive bias where decision-making is > > > affected due to a lack of information, or an "ambiguity." > > > > > > For example, picture an urn with 90 balls inside of it. The balls are > > > colored red, black and yellow. 30 of the balls are red, and the other > > > 60 are some combination of black and yellow balls, with all > > > combinations being equally likely. In option X, drawing a red ball > > > would earn you the $100, and in option Y, drawing a black ball would > > > earn you the $100. The difference between the two options is that the > > > number of red balls is certain for option X, but the number of black > > > balls for option Y is uncertain. > > > > > > Which option gives you the best chance at picking out a winning ball? > > > The truth is that the probability of picking a winning ball is > > > identical for both options X and Y. In option X, where the number of > > > red balls is certain, the probability of selecting a winning ball is > > > 1/3 (30 red balls out of 90 total balls). In option Y, despite the > > > fact that the number of black balls is not certain, the probability of > > > selecting a winning ball is also 1/3. This is because the range of > > > possibilities as to the number of black balls is some amount between 0 > > > and 60. This means that the probability of there being more than 30 > > > black balls is the same as there being less than 30 black balls. > > > Because of this, according to what is known as the expected-utility > > > theory, one should be indifferent between the two options. As a > > > result, the chances of winning the $100 are the same for both urns. > > > > > > People are much more likely to want to select a ball under option X, > > > where the probability of selecting a winning ball is, in their minds, > > > more certain. The question as to the number of black balls under > > > scenario Y turns people off to that option. Despite the fact that > > > there could possibly be double the black balls to red balls, people > > > tend to not want to take the opposing risk that there may be less than > > > 30 black balls. The "ambiguity" behind option Y makes people want to > > > select option X, even when they are theoretically equivalent. > > > > > > This bias was discovered by Daniel Ellsberg in 1961. Ellsberg deemed > > > these situations where the "probability is unknown" as "ambiguous," > > > hence the "ambiguity effect." > > > > > > One explanation of the effect is that people follow a heuristic, a > > > rule of thumb, of avoiding options about what information is missing > > > (Frisch & Baron, 1988; Ritov & Baron, 1990). This is usually a good > > > rule because it leads us to look for the information. In many cases, > > > though, the information cannot be obtained. Information is almost > > > always missing, and the effect is often the result of calling some > > > particular missing piece to our attention. > > > > > > * Anchoring - the tendency to rely too heavily, or "anchor," on > > > one trait or piece of information when making decisions > > > > > > * Anthropic bias - the tendency for one's evidence to be biased by > > > observation selection effects > > > * Attentional bias - neglect of relevant data when making > > > judgments of a correlation or association > > > * Availability error - the distortion of one's perceptions of > > > reality, due to the tendency to remember one alternative outcome of a > > > situation much more easily than another > > > * Belief bias - the tendency to base assessments on personal > > > beliefs (see also belief perseverance and Experimenter's regress) > > > * Belief Overkill - the tendency to bring beliefs and values > > > together so that they all point to the same conclusion > > > * Clustering illusion - the tendency to see patterns where > > > actually none exist > > > * Conjunction fallacy - the tendency to assume that specific > > > conditions are more probable than general ones > > > * Gambler's fallacy - the tendency to assume that individual > > > random events are influenced by previous random events "the coin has > > > a memory" > > > * Hindsight bias - sometimes called the "I-knew-it-all-along" > > > effect, the inclination to see past events as being predictable > > > * Illusory correlation - beliefs that inaccurately suppose a > > > relationship between a certain type of action and an effect > > > * Myside bias - the tendency for people to fail to look for or to > > > ignore evidence against what they already favor > > > * Neglect of prior base rates effect - the tendency to fail to > > > incorporate prior known probabilities which are pertinent to the > > > decision at hand > > > * Observer-expectancy effect - when a researcher expects a given > > > result and therefore unconsciously manipulates an experiment or > > > misinterprets data in order to find it. (see also subject-expectancy > > > effect) > > > * Overconfidence effect - the tendency to overestimate one's own > > > abilities > > > * Polarization effect - increase in strength of belief on both > > > sides of an issue after presentation of neutral or mixed evidence, > > > resulting from biased assimilation of the evidence. > > > * Positive outcome bias (prediction) - a tendency in prediction to > > > overestimate the probability of good things happening to them. (see > > > also wishful thinking and valence effect) > > > * Recency effect - the tendency to weigh recent events more than > > > earlier events (see also peak-end rule) > > > * Primacy effect - the tendency to weigh initial events more than > > > subsequent events > > > * Subadditivity effect - the tendency to judge probability of the > > > whole to be less than the probabilities of the parts. > > > > > > > > > > > > Social biases > > > > > > Most of these biases are labeled as attributional biases. > > > > > > * Barnum effect (or Forer Effect) - the tendency to give high > > > accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly > > > are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general > > > enough to apply to a wide range of people. > > > * Egocentric bias - occurs when people claim more responsibility > > > for themselves for the results of a joint action than an outside > > > observer would. > > > * False consensus effect - the tendency for people to overestimate > > > the degree to which others agree with them. > > > * Fundamental attribution error - the tendency for people to > > > over-emphasize personality-based explanations for behaviors observed > > > in others while under-emphasizing the role and power of situational > > > influences on the same behavior. (see also group attribution error, > > > positivity effect, and negativity effect) > > > * Halo effect - the tendency for a person's positive or negative > > > traits to "spill over" from one area of their personality to another > > > in others' perceptions of them. (see also physical attractiveness > > > stereotype) > > > * Illusion of asymmetic insight - people perceive their knowledge > > > of their peers to surpass their peers' knowledge of them. > > > * Ingroup bias - preferential treatment people give to whom they > > > perceive to be members of their own groups. > > > * Just-world phenomenon - the tendency for people to believe the > > > world is "just" and so therefore people "get what they deserve." > > > * Lake Wobegon effect - the human tendency to report flattering > > > beliefs about oneself and believe that one is above average (see also > > > worse-than-average effect, and overconfidence effect). > > > * Notational bias - a form of cultural bias in which a notation > > > induces the appearance of a nonexistent natural law. > > > * Outgroup homogeneity bias - individuals see members of their own > > > group as being relatively more varied than members of other groups. > > > * Projection bias - the tendency to unconsciously assume that > > > others share the same or similar thoughts, beliefs, values, or > > positions. > > > * Self-serving bias - the tendency to claim more responsibility > > > for successes than failures. It may also manifest itself as a tendency > > > for people to evaluate ambiguous information in a way beneficial to > > > their interests. (see also group-serving bias) > > > * Trait ascription bias - the tendency for people to view > > > themselves as relatively variable in terms of personality, behavior > > > and mood while viewing others as much more predictable. > > > * Self-fulfilling prophecy - the tendency to engage in behaviors > > > that elicit results which will (consciously or subconsciously) confirm > > > our beliefs. > > > > > > ========== > > > > > > Other Cognitive Biases > > > > > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Cognitive_biases > > > (Some duplicates with above) > > > > > > * Adaptive Bias > > > Adaptive Bias is the idea that the human brain has evolved to reason > > > adaptively, rather than truthfully or even rationally, and that > > > Cognitive bias may have evolved as a mechanism to reduce the overall > > > cost of cognitive errors as opposed to merely reducing the number of > > > cognitive errors, when faced with making a decision under conditions > > > of uncertainty. > > > > > > When making decisions under conditions of uncertainty, two kinds of > > > errors need to be taken into account - "false positives", i.e. > > > deciding that a risk or benefit exists when it does not, and "false > > > negatives", i.e. failing to notice a risk or benefit that exists. > > > False positives are also commonly called "Type 1 errors", and false > > > negatives are called "Type 2 errors". > > > > > > Where the cost or impact of a type 1 error is much greater than the > > > cost of a type 2 error (e.g. the water is safe to drink), it can be > > > worthwhile to bias the decision making system towards making fewer > > > type 1 errors, i.e. making it less likely to conclude that a > > > particular situation exists. This by definition would also increase > > > the number of type 2 errors. Conversely, where a false positive is > > > much less costly than a false negative (blood tests, smoke detectors), > > > it makes sense to bias the system towards maximising the probablility > > > that a particular (very costly) situation will be recognised, even if > > > this often leads to the (relatively un-costly) event of noticing > > > something that is not actually there. > > > > > > Martie G. Haselton and David M. Buss (2003) state that Cognitive Bias > > > can be expected to have developed in humans for cognitive tasks where: > > > > > > * Decision making is complicated by a significant signal-detection > > > problem (i.e. when there is uncertainty) > > > * The solution to the particular kind of decision making problem > > > has had a recurrent effect on survival and fitness throughout > > > evolutionary history > > > * The costs of a "false positive" or "false negative" error > > > dramatically outweighs the cost of the alternative type of error > > > > > > > > > * Affective forecasting > > > Affective forecasting is the forecasting of one's affect (emotional > > > state) in the future. This kind of prediction is affected by various > > > kinds of cognitive biases, i.e. systematic errors of thought. Daniel > > > Gilbert of the department of social psychology at Harvard University > > > and other researchers in the field, such as Timothy Wilson of the > > > University of Virginia and George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon > > > University, have studied those cognitive biases and given them names > > > like "empathy gap" and "impact bias" and the like. > > > > > > Affective forecasting is an important concept in psychology, because > > > psychologists try to study what situations in life are important to > > > humans, and how they change their views with time. > > > > > > * Anchor (NLP) > > > * Anthropic bias > > > * Apophenia > > > * Appeal to pity > > > * Attributional bias > > > * Availability error > > > * Availability heuristic > > > > > > B > > > > > > * Base rate fallacy > > > * Belief Overkill > > > * Bias blind spot > > > > > > C > > > > > > * Choice blindness > > > * Choice-supportive bias > > > * Clustering illusion > > > * Confirmation bias > > > * Conjunction fallacy > > > * Contrast effect > > > * Cultural bias > > > > > > D > > > > > > * Data dredging > > > * Disconfirmation bias > > > > > > E > > > > > > * Egocentric bias > > > * Empathy gap > > > * Endowment effect > > > * Errors in Syllogisms > > > > > > > > > E cont. > > > > > > * Exposure effect > > > > > > F > > > > > > * False consensus effect > > > * Forer effect > > > * Fundamental attribution error > > > > > > G > > > > > > * Gambler's fallacy > > > * Group attribution error > > > * Group-serving bias > > > * Groupthink > > > > > > H > > > > > > * Halo effect > > > * Hindsight bias > > > * Hostile media effect > > > * Hyperbolic discounting > > > > > > I > > > > > > * Illusion of control > > > * Impact bias > > > * Ingroup bias > > > > > > J > > > > > > * Just-world phenomenon > > > > > > K > > > > > > * Kuleshov Effect > > > > > > L > > > > > > * Lake Wobegon effect > > > * Loss aversion > > > > > > M > > > > > > * Memory bias > > > * Mindset > > > * Misinformation effect > > > > > > N > > > > > > * Negativity effect > > > * Neglect of Probability > > > * Notational bias > > > > > > O > > > > > > * Observer-expectancy effect > > > * Omission Bias > > > * Outgroup homogeneity bias > > > * Overconfidence effect > > > > > > P > > > > > > * Pareidolia > > > > > > > > > P cont. > > > > > > * Peak-end rule > > > * Physical attractiveness stereotype > > > * Picture superiority effect > > > * Planning fallacy > > > * Pollyanna principle > > > * Positivity effect > > > * Primacy effect > > > * Publication bias > > > > > > R > > > > > > * Recall bias > > > * Recency effect > > > * Regression fallacy > > > * Response bias > > > * Rosy retrospection > > > > > > S > > > > > > * Selective perception > > > * Self-deception > > > * Self-serving bias > > > * Serial position effect > > > * Spacing effect > > > * Status quo bias > > > * Subject-expectancy effect > > > * Sunk cost > > > * Superstition > > > * Suspension of judgment > > > > > > T > > > > > > * Trait ascription bias > > > > > > V > > > > > > * Valence effect > > > * Von Restorff effect > > > > > > W > > > > > > * Wishful thinking > > > * Worse-than-average effect > > > > > > Z > > > > > > * Zeigarnik effect > > > * Zero-risk bias > > > > > > > > > Memory biases may either enhance or impair the recall of memory, or > > > they may alter the content of what we report remembering. > > > > > > List of memory biases > > > > > > * Choice-supportive bias - states that chosen options are > > > remembered as better than rejected options (Mather, Shafir & Johnson, > > > 2000). > > > * Classroom effect - states that some portion of student > > > performance is explained by the classroom environment and teacher as > > > opposed to purely individual factors. > > > * Context effect - states that cognition and memory are dependent > > > on context, such that out-of-context memories are more difficult to > > > retrieve than in-context memories (i.e, recall time and accuracy for a > > > work-related memory will be lower at home, and vice versa). > > > * Hindsight bias - sometimes called the "I-knew-it-all-along" > > > effect, is the inclination to see past events as being predictable. > > > * Humor effect - states that humorous items are more easily > > > remembered than non-humorous ones, which might be explained by the > > > distinctiveness of humor, the increased cognitive processing time to > > > understand the humor, or the emotional arousal caused by the humor. > > > * Infantile amnesia - states that few memories are retained from > > > before age 2. > > > * Generation effect - states that self-generated information is > > > remembered best. > > > * Lag effect > > > * Levels-of-processing effect - states that different methods of > > > encoding information into memory have different levels of > > > effectiveness (Craik & Lockhart, 1972). > > > * List-length effect > > > * Mere exposure effect - states that familiarity increases liking. > > > * Misinformation effect - states that misinformation affects > > > people's reports of their own memory. > > > * Modality effect - states that memory recall is higher for the > > > last items of a list when the list items were received auditorily > > > versus visually. > > > * Mood congruent memory bias - states that information congruent > > > with one's current mood is remembered best. > > > * Next-in-line effect > > > * Part-list cueing effect - states that being shown some items > > > from a list makes it harder to retrieve the other items. > > > * Picture superiority effect - states that concepts are much more > > > likely to be remembered experimentally if they are presented as > > > pictures rather than as words. > > > * Positivity effect - states that older adults favor positive over > > > negative information in their memories. > > > * Processing difficulty effect - see Levels-of-processing effect. > > > * Primacy effect - states that the first items on a list show an > > > advantage in memory. > > > * Recency effect - states that the last items on a list show an > > > advantage in memory. > > > * Rosy retrospection - states that the past is remembered as > > > better than it really was. > > > * Serial position effect - states that items at the beginning of a > > > list are the easiest to recall, followed by the items near the end of > > > a list; items in the middle are the least likely to be remembered. > > > * Self-generation effect - states that people are better able to > > > recall memories of statements that they have generated than similar > > > statements generated by others. > > > * Self-relevance effect - states that memories considered > > > self-relevent are better recalled that other, similar information > > > * Spacing effect - states that while you are more likely to > > > remember material if exposed to it many times, you will be much more > > > likely to remember it if the exposures are repeated over a longer span > > > of time. > > > * Suffix effect - states that there is considerable impairment of > > > the Recency effect, if a redundant suffix item is added to a list, > > > which the subject is not required to recall (Morton, Crowder & > > > Prussin, 1972). > > > * Testing effect - states that frequent testing of material that > > > has been committed to memory improves memory recall more than simply > > > study of the material without testing. > > > * Time-of-day effect > > > * Verbatim effect - states that the "gist" of what someone has > > > said is better remembered than the verbatim wording (Poppenk, Walia, > > > Joanisse, Danckert, & Köhler, 2006) > > > * Von Restorff effect - states that an item that "stands out like > > > a sore thumb" is more likely to be remembered than other items (von > > > Restorff, 1933). > > > * Zeigarnik effect - states that people remember uncompleted or > > > interrupted tasks better than completed ones. > > > > > > > > > Recall bias > > > From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia > > > Jump to: navigation, search > > > > > > Taken generally, recall bias is a type of statistical bias which > > > occurs when the way a survey respondent answers a question is affected > > > not just by the correct answer, but also by the respondent's memory. > > >   This can affect the results of the survey. As a hypothetical > > > example, suppose that a survey in 2005 asked respondents whether they > > > believed that O. J. Simpson had killed his wife. Respondents who > > > believed him innocent might be more likely to have forgotten about the > > > case, and therefore to state no opinion, than respondents who thought > > > him guilty. If this is the case, then the survey would find a > > > higher-than-accurate proportion of people who believed that O.J. did > > > kill his wife. > > > > > > Relatedly but distinctly, the term might also be used to describe an > > > instance where a survey respondent intentionally responds incorrectly > > > to a question about their personal history which results in response > > > bias. As a hypothetical example, suppose that a researcher conducts a > > > survey among women of group A, asking whether they have had an > > > abortion, and the same survey among women of group B. > > > > > > If the results are different between the two groups, it might be that > > > women of one group are less likely to have had an abortion, or it > > > might simply be that women of one group who have had abortions are > > > less likely to admit to it. If the latter is the case, then this would > > > skew the survey results; this is a kind of response bias. (It is also > > > possible that both are the case: women of one group are less likely to > > > have had abortions, and women of one group who have had abortions are > > > less likely to admit to it. This would still affect the survey > > > statistics.) > > > > > > ==== > > > > > > > > > Logical Fallacies > > > > > > Aristotelian fallacies > > >  > > > > > > Material fallacies > > > > > > The classification of material fallacies widely adopted by modern > > > logicians and based on that of Aristotle, Organon (Sophistici > > > elenchi), is as follows: > > > > > > * Fallacy of Accident (also called destroying the exception or a > > > dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid) meaning to argue > > > erroneously from a general rule to a particular case, without proper > > > regard to particular conditions that vitiate the application of the > > > general rule; e.g. if manhood suffrage be the law, arguing that a > > > criminal or a lunatic must, therefore, have a vote. > > > > > > * Converse Fallacy of Accident (also called reverse accident, > > > destroying the exception, or a dicto secundum quid ad dictum > > > simpliciter) meaning to argue from a special case to a general rule. > > > > > > * Irrelevant Conclusion (also called Ignoratio Elenchi), wherein, > > > instead of proving the fact in dispute, the arguer seeks to gain his > > > point by diverting attention to some extraneous fact (as in the legal > > > story of "No case. Abuse the plaintiff's attorney"). The fallacies are > > > common in platform oratory, in which the speaker obscures the real > > > issue by appealing to his audience on the grounds of > > > o purely personal considerations (argumentum ad hominem) > > > o popular sentiment (argumentum ad populum, appeal to the > > > majority) > > > o fear (argumentum ad baculum) > > > o conventional propriety (argumentum ad verecundiam) > > > > > > This fallacy has been illustrated by ethical or theological > > > arguments wherein the fear of punishment is subtly substituted for > > > abstract right as the sanction of moral obligation. > > > > > > * Begging the question (also called Petitio Principii or Circulus > > > in Probando--arguing in a circle) consists in demonstrating a > > > conclusion by means of premises that pre-suppose that conclusion. > > > Jeremy Bentham points out that this fallacy may lurk in a single word, > > > especially in an epithet, e.g. if a measure were condemned simply on > > > the ground that it is alleged to be "un-English". > > > > > > * Fallacy of the Consequent, really a species of Irrelevant > > > Conclusion, wherein a conclusion is drawn from premises that do not > > > really support it. > > > > > > * Fallacy of False Cause, or Non Sequitur (L., it does not > > > follow), wherein one thing is incorrectly assumed as the cause of > > > another, as when the ancients attributed a public calamity to a > > > meteorological phenomenon (a special case of this fallacy also goes by > > > the Latin term post hoc ergo propter hoc; the fallacy of believing > > > that temporal succession implies a causal relation). > > > > > > * Fallacy of Many Questions (Plurium Interrogationum), wherein > > > several questions are improperly grouped in the form of one, and a > > > direct categorical answer is demanded, e.g. if a prosecuting counsel > > > asked the prisoner " What time was it when you met this man? " with > > > the intention of eliciting the tacit admission that such a meeting had > > > taken place. Another example is the classic line, "Is it true that you > > > no longer beat your wife?" > > > > > >  > > > > > > Verbal fallacies > > > > > > Verbal fallacies are those in which a false conclusion is obtained by > > > improper or ambiguous use of words. They are generally classified as > > > follows. > > > > > > * Equivocation consists in employing the same word in two or more > > > senses, e.g. in a syllogism, the middle term being used in one sense > > > in the major and another in the minor premise, so that in fact there > > > are four not three terms ("All fair things are honourable; This woman > > > is fair; therefore this woman is honourable," the second "fair" being > > > in reference to complexion). > > > * Amphibology is the result of ambiguity of grammatical structure, > > > e.g. of the position of the adverb "only" in careless writers ("He > > > only said that," in which sentence, as experience shows, the adverb > > > has been intended to qualify any one of the other three words). > > > * Fallacy of Composition is a species of Amphibology that results > > > from the confused use of collective terms. e.g. "The angles of a > > > triangle are less than two right angles" might refer to the angles > > > separately or added together. > > > * Division, the converse of the preceding, which consists in > > > employing the middle term distributively in the minor and collectively > > > in the major premise. > > > * Accent, which occurs only in speaking and consists of > > > emphasizing the wrong word in a sentence. e.g., "He is a fairly good > > > pianist," according to the emphasis on the words, may imply praise of > > > a beginner's progress, or an expert's depreciation of a popular hero, > > > or it may imply that the person in question is a deplorable violinist. > > > * Figure of Speech, the confusion between the metaphorical and > > > ordinary uses of a word or phrase. > > > > > > Logical Fallacies > > > > > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy > > > > > > The standard Aristotelian logical fallacies are: > > > > > > * Fallacy of Four Terms (Quaternio terminorum) > > > * Fallacy of Undistributed Middle > > > * Fallacy of Illicit process of the major or the Illicit minor > term; > > > * Fallacy of Negative Premises. > > > > > >  > > > > > > Other systems of classification > > > > > > Of other classifications of fallacies in general the most famous are > > > those of Francis Bacon and J. S. Mill. Bacon (Novum Organum, Aph. 33, > > > 38 sqq.) divided fallacies into four Idola (Idols, i.e. False > > > Appearances), which summarize the various kinds of mistakes to which > > > the human intellect is prone. With these should be compared the > > > Offendicula of Roger Bacon, contained in the Opus maius, pt. i. J. S. > > > Mill discussed the subject in book v. of his Logic, and Jeremy > > > Bentham's Book of Fallacies (1824) contains valuable remarks. See Rd. > > > Whateley's Logic, bk. v.; A. de Morgan, Formal Logic (1847) ; A. > > > Sidgwick, Fallacies (1883) and other textbooks. > > >  > > > > > > Fallacies in the media and politics > > > > > > Fallacies are used frequently by pundits in the media and politics. > > > When one politician says to another, "You don't have the moral > > > authority to say X", this could be an example of the argumentum ad > > > hominem or personal attack fallacy; that is, attempting to disprove X, > > > not by addressing validity of X but by attacking the person who > > > asserted X. Arguably, the politician is not even attempting to make an > > > argument against X, but is instead offering a moral rebuke against the > > > interlocutor. For instance, if X is the assertion: > > > > > > The military uniform is a symbol of national strength and honor. > > > > > > Then ostensibly, the politician is not trying to prove the contrary > > > assertion. If this is the case, then there is no logically fallacious > > > argument, but merely a personal opinion about moral worth. Thus > > > identifying logical fallacies may be difficult and dependent upon > > context. > > > > > > In the opposite direction is the fallacy of argument from authority. A > > > classic example is the ipse dixit"He himself said it" argumentused > > > throughout the Middle Ages in reference to Aristotle. A modern > > > instance is "celebrity spokespersons" in advertisements: a product is > > > good and you should buy/use/support it because your favorite celebrity > > > endorses it. > > > > > > An appeal to authority is always a logical fallacy, though it can be > > > an appropriate form of rational argument if, for example, it is an > > > appeal to expert testimony. In this case, the expert witness must be > > > recognized as such and all parties must agree that the testimony is > > > appropriate to the circumstances. This form of argument is common in > > > legal situations. > > > > > > By definition, arguments with logical fallacies are invalid, but they > > > can often be (re)written in such a way that they fit a valid argument > > > form. The challenge to the interlocutor is, of course, to discover the > > > false premise, i.e. the premise that makes the argument unsound. > > >  > > > > > > General list of fallacies > > > > > > The entries in the following list are neither exhaustive nor mutually > > > exclusive; that is, several distinct entries may refer to the same > > > pattern. As noted in the introduction, these fallacies describe > > > erroneous or at least suspect patterns of argument in general, not > > > necessarily argument based on formal logic. Many of the fallacies > > > listed are traditionally recognized and discussed in works on critical > > > thinking; others are more specialized. > > > > > > * Ad hominem (also called argumentum ad hominem or personal > > > attack) including: > > > o ad hominem abusive (also called argumentum ad personam) > > > o ad hominem circumstantial (also called ad hominem > > > circumstantiae) > > > o ad hominem tu quoque (also called you-too argument) > > > * Amphibology (also called amphiboly) > > > * Appeal to authority (also called argumentum ad verecundiam or > > > argument by authority) > > > * Appeal to emotion including: > > > o Appeal to consequences (also called argumentum ad > > > consequentiam) > > > o Appeal to fear (also called argumentum ad metum or > > > argumentum in terrorem) > > > o Appeal to flattery > > > o Appeal to pity (also called argumentum ad misericordiam) > > > o Appeal to ridicule > > > o Appeal to spite (also called argumentum ad odium) > > > o Two wrongs make a right > > > o Wishful thinking > > > * Appeal to the majority (also called Appeal to belief, Argumentum > > > ad numerum, Appeal to popularity, Appeal to the people, Bandwagon > > > fallacy, Argumentum ad populum, Authority of the many, Consensus > > > gentium, Argument by consensus) > > > * Appeal to motive > > > * Appeal to novelty (also called argumentum ad novitatem) > > > * Appeal to probability > > > * Appeal to tradition (also called argumentum ad antiquitatem or > > > appeal to common practice) > > > * Argument from fallacy (also called argumentum ad logicam) > > > * Argument from ignorance (also called argumentum ad ignorantiam > > > or argument by lack of imagination) > > > * Argument from silence (also called argumentum ex silentio) > > > * Appeal to force (also called argumentum ad baculum) > > > * Appeal to wealth (also called argumentum ad crumenam) > > > * Appeal to poverty (also called argumentum ad lazarum) > > > * Argument from repetition (also called argumentum ad nauseam) > > > * Base rate fallacy > > > * Begging the question (also called petitio principii, circular > > > argument or circular reasoning) > > > * Conjunction fallacy > > > * Continuum fallacy (also called fallacy of the beard) > > > * Correlative based fallacies including: > > > o Fallacy of many questions (also called complex question, > > > fallacy of presupposition, loaded question or plurium interrogationum) > > > o False dilemma (also called false dichotomy or bifurcation) > > > o Denying the correlative > > > o Suppressed correlative > > > * Definist fallacy > > > * Dicto simpliciter, including: > > > o Accident (also called a dicto simpliciter ad dictum > > > secundum quid) > > > o Converse accident (also called a dicto secundum quid ad > > > dictum simpliciter) > > > * Equivocation > > > * Engineering Fallacy > > > * Fallacies of distribution: > > > o Composition > > > o Division > > > o Ecological fallacy > > > * Fallacies of Presumption > > > * False analogy > > > * False premise > > > * False compromise > > > * Faulty generalization including: > > > o Biased sample > > > o Hasty generalization (also called fallacy of insufficient > > > statistics, fallacy of insufficient sample, fallacy of the lonely > > > fact, leaping to a conclusion, hasty induction, secundum quid) > > > o Overwhelming exception > > > o Statistical special pleading > > > * Gambler's fallacy/Inverse gambler's fallacy > > > * Genetic fallacy > > > * Guilt by association > > > * Historian's fallacy > > > * Homunculus fallacy > > > * If-by-whiskey (argues both sides) > > > * Ignoratio elenchi (also called irrelevant conclusion) > > > * Inappropriate interpretations or applications of statistics > > > including: > > > o Biased sample > > > o Correlation implies causation > > > o Gambler's fallacy > > > o Prosecutor's fallacy > > > o Screening test fallacy > > > * Incomplete comparison > > > * Inconsistent comparison > > > * Invalid proof > > > * Judgemental language > > > * Juxtaposition > > > * Lump of labour fallacy (also called the fallacy of labour > > scarcity) > > > * Meaningless statement > > > * Middle ground (also called argumentum ad temperantiam) > > > * Misleading vividness > > > * Naturalistic fallacy > > > * Negative proof > > > * Non sequitur including: > > > o Affirming the consequent > > > o Denying the antecedent > > > * No true Scotsman > > > * Package deal fallacy > > > * Perfect solution fallacy > > > * Poisoning the well > > > * Progressive fallacy ("New is improved") > > > * Proof by assertion > > > * Questionable cause (also called non causa pro causa) including: > > > o Correlation implies causation (also called cum hoc ergo > > > propter hoc) > > > o Fallacy of the single cause > > > o Joint effect > > > o Post hoc (also called post hoc ergo propter hoc) > > > o Regression fallacy > > > o Texas sharpshooter fallacy > > > o Wrong direction > > > * Red herring (also called irrelevant conclusion) > > > * Reification (also called hypostatization) > > > * Relativist fallacy (also called subjectivist fallacy) > > > * Retrospective determinism (it happened so it was bound to) > > > * Shifting the burden of proof > > > * Slippery slope > > > * Special pleading > > > * Straw man > > > * Style over substance fallacy > > > * Sunk cost fallacy > > > * Syllogistic fallacies, including: > > > o Affirming a disjunct > > > o Affirmative conclusion from a negative premise > > > o Existential fallacy > > > o Fallacy of exclusive premises > > > o Fallacy of four terms (also called quaternio terminorum) > > > o Fallacy of the undistributed middle > > > o Illicit major > > > o Illicit minor > > > > > >  > > > > > > General examples > > > > > > Fallacious arguments involve not only formal logic but also causality. > > > Others involve psychological ploys such as use of power relationships > > > between proposer and interlocutor, appeals to patriotism and morality, > > > appeals to ego etc., to establish necessary intermediate (explicit or > > > implicit) premises for an argument. Indeed, fallacies very often lay > > > in unstated assumptions or implied premises in arguments that are not > > > always obvious at first glance. One way to obscure a premise is > > > through enthymeme. > > > > > > We now give a few examples illustrating common errors in reasoning. > > > Note that providing a critique of an argument has no relation to the > > > truth of the conclusion. The conclusion could very well be true, while > > > the argument itself is not valid. See argument from fallacy. > > > > > > In the following, we view an argument as a dialogue between a proposer > > > and an interlocutor. > > >  > > > > > > Example 1: Material Fallacy > > > > > > James argues: > > > > > > 1. Cheese is food. > > > 2. Food is delicious. > > > 3. Therefore, cheese is delicious. > > > > > > This argument claims to prove that cheese is delicious. This > > > particular argument has the form of a categorical syllogism. Any > > > argument must have premises as well as a conclusion. In this case we > > > need to ask what the premises are, that is the set of assumptions the > > > proposer of the argument can expect the interlocutor to grant. The > > > first assumption is almost true by definition: cheese is a foodstuff > > > edible by humans. The second assumption is less clear as to its > > > meaning. Since the assertion has no quantifiers of any kind, it could > > > mean any one of the following: > > > > > > * All food is delicious. > > > * Most food is delicious. > > > * All food is delicious, except for spoiled or moldy food. > > > * Some food is disgusting. > > > > > > In any of the last three interpretations, the above syllogism would > > > then fail to have validated its second premise. James may try to > > > assume that his interlocutor believes that all food is delicious; if > > > the interlocutor grants this then the argument is valid. In this case, > > > the interlocutor is essentially conceding the point to James. However, > > > the interlocutor is more likely to believe that some food is > > > disgusting, such as a sheep's liver white chocolate torte; and in this > > > case James is not much better off than he was before he formulated the > > > argument, since he now has to prove the assertion that cheese is a > > > unique type of universally delicious food, which is a disguised form > > > of the original thesis. From the point of view of the interlocutor, > > > James commits the logical fallacy of begging the question. > > >  > > > > > > Example 2: Verbal Fallacy > > > > > > Barbara argues: > > > > > > 1. Andre is a good tennis player. > > > 2. Therefore, Andre is 'good', that is to say a morally good > person. > > > > > > Here the problem is that the word good has different meanings, which > > > is to say that it is an ambiguous word. In the premise, Barbara says > > > that Andre is good at some particular activity, in this case tennis. > > > In the conclusion, she says that Andre is a morally good person. These > > > are clearly two different senses of the word "good". The premise might > > > be true but the conclusion can still be false: Andre might be the best > > > tennis player in the world but a rotten person morally. However, it is > > > not legitimate to infer he is a bad person on the ground there has > > > been a fallacious argument on the part of Barbara. Nothing concerning > > > Andre's moral qualities is to be inferred from the premise. > > > Appropriately, since it plays on an ambiguity, this sort of fallacy is > > > called the fallacy of equivocation, that is, equating two incompatible > > > terms or claims. > > >  > > > > > > Example 3: Verbal Fallacy > > > > > > Ramesh argues: > > > > > > 1. Nothing is better than eternal happiness. > > > 2. Eating a hamburger is better than nothing. > > > 3. Therefore, eating a hamburger is better than eternal happiness. > > > > > > This argument has the appearance of an inference that applies > > > transitivity of the two-placed relation is better than, which in this > > > critique we grant is a valid property. The argument is an example of > > > syntactic ambiguity. In fact, the first premise semantically does not > > > predicate an attribute of the subject, as would for instance the > > assertion > > > > > > A potato is better than eternal happiness. > > > > > > In fact it is semantically equivalent to the following universal > > > quantification: > > > > > > Everything fails to be better than eternal happiness. > > > > > > So instantiating this fact with eating a hamburger, it logically > > > follows that > > > > > > Eating a hamburger fails to be better than eternal happiness. > > > > > > Note that the premise A hamburger is better than nothing does not > > > provide anything to this argument. This fact really means something > > > such as > > > > > > Eating a hamburger is better than eating nothing at all. > > > > > > Thus this is a fallacy of composition. > > >  > > > > > > Example 4: Logical Fallacy > > > > > > In the strictest sense, a logical fallacy is the incorrect application > > > of a valid logical principle or an application of a nonexistent > > principle: > > > > > > 1. Some drivers are men. > > > 2. Some drivers are women. > > > 3. Therefore, some drivers are both men and women. > > > > > > This is fallacious. Indeed, there is no logical principle that states > > > > > > 1. For some x, P(x). > > > 2. For some x, Q(x). > > > 3. Therefore for some x, P(x) and Q(x). > > > > > > An easy way to show the above inference is invalid is by using Venn > > > diagrams. In logical parlance, the inference is invalid, since under > > > at least one interpretation of the predicates it is not validity > > > preserving. > > > > > > ------------------------ Yahoo! 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