Fallacies from Chapter 5 - 5469
jumping to a conclusion
Use relevant but insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion about a particular person, place, thing, etc.
from 1 or 2 clues, conclude that A has the property B
How to Explain
State that the evidence given is insufficient to form the conclusion
She must be a 49ers fan since she's wearing a 49er jacket.
1. Hasty conclusion involves using relevant but insufficient evidence to jump to a conclusion about a particular characteristic of a person, place, or thing. It is a very common fallacy that most of us are guilty of at one time or another.
2. People have a tendency to jump to conclusions because of fear, laziness, wishful thinking, ego, or just plain impatience. Some may want to appear clever if their conclusion turns out to be correct based on just one or two clues. Others who commit this fallacy may be trying to protect their personal point of view.
3. Hasty conclusions are especially common for people who believe that their first impressions are always correct.
4. The fallacy of hasty conclusion is similar to small sample, which is a type of hasty generalization. For the purposes of this class, we will differentiate hasty conclusion as concerning a particular characteristic of something instead of a generalization about something.
5. Hasty Conclusion on the Internet
1. She must be a 49ers fan since she's wearing a 49er jacket.
Analysis: Insufficient evidence to say she must be a 49ers fan. She may be wearing her boyfriend's jacket or may simply like the jacket without having any interest in the 49ers. It may not even be probable that she's a 49ers fan. We need more evidence.
2. My computer sound is not working. It must have been Frank who did something to it. It was working before he touched it.
Analysis: Insufficient evidence to assume Frank caused the computer sound problem. It may be just a coincidence. This is a situation that actually occurred in my experience.
3. He's got to be Italian. His last name is Piazza.
Analysis: Insufficient evidence based on a stereotype of Italian names. He may have been adopted by Italian parents or changed his last name to Piazza.
4. I'm voting for Ford. He looks like a president and I saw one of his political ads that show him to be a leader.
Analysis: Only two pieces of shaky evidence are given to form a conclusion. My brother actually said this to me before the 1976 election.
5. She can't be a good basketball player. She's too short.
Analysis: Even though the evidence is relevant, it is insuffiecient. On occasion, there are short people who are good basketball players.
6. Warren Buffet must be a billionaire since he was the one who advised Governor Schwarzenegger to re-examine Proposition 13.
Analysis: This is an irrelevant reason rather than a hasty conclusion. Remember that a hasty conclusion involves relevant but insufficient evidence.
7. This stone must be valuable. Look at how beautiful it is and how it shines.
Analysis: Insufficient evidence because even some costume jewelry have those characteristics.
8. Alex Smith is never going to be a good quarterback in the NFL. His hands are too small and he can't hold onto the ball.
Analysis: The 2005 NFL season gives some evidence that this may be true, although they say his hands are average size, not small. Only time will tell if Alex is going to be good.
CATE: Computer-Assisted Teaching Environment
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Last updated: 15:23 on 30 January 2013
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