A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. Makes a poor or invalid argument look strong.
There’s a great chart defining 24 logical fallacies and giving cute examples at your logical fallacy is.com.
Fun and educational to read. You can download a ‘vector pdf file’ that can be print in 24×16.5 or 33×23 size.
Just two examples that I particularly enjoyed:
Saying that a compromise, or middle point, between two extremes is the truth.
Much of the time the truth does indeed lie between two extreme points, but this can bias our thinking: sometimes a thing is simply untrue and a compromise of it is also untrue. Half way between truth and a lie, is still a lie.
Holly said that vaccinations caused autism in children, but her scientifically well-read friend Caleb said that this claim had been debunked and proven false. Their friend Alice offered a compromise that vaccinations cause some autism.
Using personal experience or an isolated example instead of a valid argument, especially to dismiss statistics.
It’s often much easier for people to believe someone’s testimony as opposed to understanding variation across a continuum. Quantitative scientific measures are almost always more accurate than individual perceptions and experiences.
Jason said that that was all cool and everything, but his grandfather smoked, like, 30 cigarettes a day and lived until 97 – so don’t believe everything you read about meta analyses of sound studies showing proven causal relationships.
Good example of the anecdotal fallacy is buying a product based on one or two friend’s experience instead of a survey of users’ opinions. I hear that a lot.
The false cause fallacy is incredibly common in our society. that happens when you confuse correlation to causation. I won’t give any of the very foolish arguments I’ve heard over the years that are based on the false cause fallacy.
Check out the full chart. Will improve your logic abilities and skill at identifying then labeling lousy arguments.