World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hasty generalization

Article Id: WHEBN0000227651
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hasty generalization  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Anecdotal evidence, Fallacy of composition, Slothful induction, Converse accident, Accident (fallacy)
Collection: Inductive Fallacies, Informal Fallacies
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Hasty generalization

Hasty generalization is an informal fallacy of faulty generalization by reaching an inductive generalization based on insufficient evidence—essentially making a hasty conclusion without considering all of the variables. In statistics, it may involve basing broad conclusions regarding the statistics of a survey from a small sample group that fails to sufficiently represent an entire population.[1] Its opposite fallacy is called slothful induction, or denying a reasonable conclusion of an inductive argument (e.g. "it was just a coincidence").

Contents

  • Examples 1
  • Alternative names 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Examples

Hasty generalization usually shows this pattern

  1. X is true for A.
  2. X is true for B.
  3. X is true for C.
  4. X is true for D.
  5. Therefore, X is true for E, F, G, etc.

For example, if a person travels through a town for the first time and sees 10 people, all of them children, he may erroneously conclude that there are no adult residents in the town.

Or: A person is looking at a number line. The number 1 is a square number; 3 is a prime number, 5 is a prime number, and 7 is a prime number; 9 is a square number; 11 is a prime number, and 13 is a prime number. Therefore, the person says, all odd numbers are either prime or square.

Alternative names

The fallacy is also known as:

  • Illicit generalization
  • Fallacy of insufficient sample
  • Generalization from the particular
  • Leaping to a conclusion
  • Hasty induction
  • Law of small numbers
  • Unrepresentative sample
  • Secundum quid

When referring to a generalization made from a single example it has been called the fallacy of the lonely fact[2] or the proof by example fallacy.[3]

When evidence is intentionally excluded to bias the result, it is sometimes termed the fallacy of exclusion and is a form of selection bias.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Fallacy: Hasty Generalization (Nizkor Project)". Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  2. ^ Fischer, David Hackett (1970). Historians' Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought. HarperCollins. pp. 109–110.  
  3. ^ Marchant, Jamie. "Logical Fallacies". Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  4. ^ "Unrepresentative Sample". Retrieved 2008-09-01. 

External links

  • Common Logical Fallacies in Propaganda and Debate
  • Fallacy: Hasty Generalization, Michael C. Labossiere's Fallacy Tutorial Pro
  • Hasty Generalization, The Fallacy Files
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.