Bias & logical fallacies go together like love & marriage1

Why biases and fallacies of logic exist Our brains are trying to makesense of the world Having beliefs, guidelines, andrules are organizing concepts These create certain actions andreactions in our quest to surviveand make the world make senseto us2

Appeal to tradition Things were better back in the“Good Old Days” Ignores what was not so goodback then Might also be called the “RoseColored Glasses Syndrome”3

Barnum effect We cannot accept randomness,so there has to be a plan or adirector for everything We look for causes and reasonswhere they may not exist Sometimes easy, if inaccurate,answers are accepted Conspiracy theories can beanother result4

Backfire effect Challenging someone else’sbeliefs usually does not makethem question those beliefs On the contrary, their beliefs arestrengthened by the challenge This is also known asDefensiveness5

Blind loyalty Our side says it is right, so itmust be right Putting loyalty above truth andconscience “My country, right or wrong”6

Confirmation bias You hate broccoli You read or hear somethingnegative about broccoli You think, “I always knewbroccoli was bad!” Your brain accepts andincorporates anything negativeabout things you already dislike7

Dog-whistle politics Words, slogans, or phrasesintended to arouse and incitesupporters Can reflect biases or stereotypesof others Sometimes the ideologicalappeal is concealed or justhinted8

Free speech fallacy Freedom of speech is sometimesused to justify any speech oridea It is also used to justify “SafePlaces” where no opposingbeliefs are allowed9

Fundamental attribution Blaming other people or theircharacteristics for their failures Assigning causes for conditionseven though we know nothingabout the person or situationexcept what we can seesuperficially10

In-Group bias Favoring someone in our owngroup Viewing someone not in ourgroup as fundamentally different This can cause suspicion andfalse beliefs11

Identity fallacy12

Moral superiority God is on our side, therefore, weare in the right The German Army used theslogan “Gott mit uns” (God iswith us) for many years Including World War II13

Post Hoc correlation Consumption of chicken andcrude oil imports follow a similarpattern Chicken and oil have nothing todo with each other Correlation does not equalcausation14

Reductionism Oversimplifying by relying oncatchphrases and slogans Offering very easy solutions tocomplex problems15

Scare tactics We have to do toavoid Armageddon We are justified in doinganything to prevent bad thingsfrom happening to us16

Self-serving bias The peacock thinks he is thegrandest bird in the land He must be deserving ofeverything Anything that helps oneself isviewed as good “Looking out for Number 1”17

Trust your gut fallacy Going “with your gut” can mean: Ignoring facts Ignoring science Ignoring expert advice Ignoring anything external toyou Ignoring negative consequences18

Wisdom of the crowd If a majority of people agree onsomething, that makes it right The majority of people in a givensituation may not necessarily beright In the extreme, “wisdom of thecrowd” can become mobmentality This mob thought they wereright to do this19

This is just a sampling of biases and logical fallacies. For much more, see:Master List of Logical Fallacies by Owen M. Williamson20

References Implicit bias graphic. United Methodist /. Dwyer, Christopher. “12 Common Biases That Affect How We MakeEveryday Decisions.” Psychology Today. September 7, make-everydaydecisions. Williamson, Owen M. “Master List of Logical Fallacies.” University ofTexas-El Paso. Accessed November 23, 1/fallacies.htm.21

Jeff RandAdult Services LibrarianLa Crosse Public LibraryCreated: 2019 DecemberRevised: 2021 January22