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Critical Thinking and our Inclination Toward Faulty Logic. Arendt. Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic. You have the right to question what you see, hear, and read.

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critical thinking our inclination toward faulty logic
Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • You have the right to question what you see, hear, and read.
  • Many pieces are not written/presented to offer information clearly and directly; instead their goal is to persuade you to take a particular action, accept a particular viewpoint, or to argue for one side of a controversial issue.
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Armstrong Williams – CNN/CNBC - $241,000 to promote No Child Left Behind
    • http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A57881-2005Jan7.html
    • http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56330-2005Jan7.html
    • http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A57268-2005Jan7.html
critical thinking our inclination toward faulty logic2
Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Subjective content is any material that involves judgment, feeling, opinion, intuition, or emotion rather than factual information.
  • Evaluating subjective content involves distinguishing between facts & opinions, identifying generalizations, evaluating viewpoints, understanding theories and hypotheses, weighing data and evidence, and being alert to bias.
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Subjective content examples
    • Edwards unveils plan to control drug advertising
    • http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN28439707
    • Caffeinated schnapps
    • http://wideeye.com/
critical thinking our inclination toward faulty logic4
Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • A generalization is a statement made about a large group or class of items based on observation or experience with a portion of that group or class
  • I loved that song, therefore the band must be great
  • That student cheated, therefore I’d better do something to stop all my students from cheating
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Bias is when a statement reflects a partiality, preference, or prejudice for or against a person, object, or idea. Much of what you read and hear expresses a bias.
    • Bandwagon (groupthink)
    • Confirmation bias / selective perception (preconceptions)
    • Focusing effect (too much focus on one thing)
    • Loss aversion
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Slanting is when a writer or speaker uses a selection of facts, choice of words, and the quality and tone of description, to convey a particular feeling or attitude. Its purpose is to convey a certain attitude or point of view toward the subject without expressing it explicitly.
  • Ask yourself: What facts were omitted? What impression would I have if different words had been used?
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • What are Propaganda Techniques?

They are the methods and approaches used to spread ideas that further a cause - a political, commercial, religious, or civil cause.

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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Why are they used? To manipulate the readers' or viewers' reason and emotions; to persuade you to believe in something or someone, buy an item, or vote a certain way.
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Name calling (labeling): Attaching a negative label to a person or a thing. People engage in this type of behavior when they are trying to avoid supporting their own opinion with facts. Rather than explain what they believe in, they prefer to try to tear their opponent down.
  • Consider: commie, yuppie, bum, queer, terrorist, fascist
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic

"Bad names have played a tremendously powerful role in the history of the world and in our own individual development. They have ruined reputations, stirred men and women to outstanding accomplishments, sent others to prison cells, and made men mad enough to enter battle and slaughter their fellowmen. They have been and are applied to other people, groups, gangs, tribes, colleges, political parties, neighborhoods, states, sections of the country, nations, and races." (Institute for Propaganda Analysis, 1938)

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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Glittering Generalities: This technique uses important-sounding "glad words" that have little or no real meaning. These words are used in general statements that cannot be proved or disproved. Words like "good," "honest," "fair," and "best" are examples of "glad" words.
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • "We believe in, fight for, live by virtue words about which we have deep-set ideas. Such words include civilization, Christianity, good, proper, right, democracy, patriotism, motherhood, fatherhood, science, medicine, health, and love. For our purposes in propaganda analysis, we call these virtue words "Glittering Generalities" in order to focus attention upon this dangerous characteristic that they have: They mean different things to different people; they can be used in different ways. (Institute for Propaganda Analysis, 1938)
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • While Name Calling seeks to make us form a judgment to reject and condemn without examining the evidence, the Glittering Generality device seeks to make us approve and accept without examining the evidence.(Institute for Propaganda Analysis, 1938)
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Transfer: In this technique, an attempt is made to transfer the prestige of a positive symbol to a person or an idea. For example, using the American flag as a backdrop for a political event makes the implication that the event is patriotic in the best interest of the U.S.
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • False or Weak Analogy: In this technique, two things that may or may not really be similar are portrayed as being similar. When examining the comparison, you must ask yourself how similar the items are. In most false analogies, there is simply not enough evidence available to support the comparison.
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • WASHINGTON (AP)--The only exterminator in Congress told his colleagues Wednesday that it would be a short-sighted move to ban use of chlordane and related termiticides that cause cancer in laboratory animals.

Supporters of the bill, however, claimed that the Environmental Protection Agency was "dragging its feet" on a chemical that could cause 300,000 cancers in the American population in 70 years.

"This bill reminds me of legislation that ought to be introduced to outlaw automobiles" on the grounds that cars kill people, said Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, who owns an exterminating business.

EPA banned use of the chemicals on crops in 1974, but permitted use against termites because the agency did not believe humans were exposed. Chlordane does not kill termites but rather drives them away.

Source: Associated Press, June 25th, 1987

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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Testimonial: This technique is easy to understand. It is when "big name" personalities are used to endorse a product.

Whenever you see someone famous endorsing a product, ask yourself how much that person knows about the product, and what he or she stands to gain by promoting it.

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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Tiger Woods to have his own drink
    • Gatorade deal estimated to pay superstar golfer as much as $100 million
    • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21327726/
    • http://www.brandweek.com/bw/news/sportsent/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003659230
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Plain Folks: This technique uses a folksy approach to convince us to support someone or something. These ads depict people with ordinary looks doing ordinary activities.
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Card Stacking: This term comes from stacking a deck of cards in your favor. Card stacking is used to slant a message. Key words or unfavorable statistics may be omitted in an ad or commercial, leading to a series of half-truths.
  • Keep in mind that an advertiser is under no obligation "to give the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Bandwagon: The "bandwagon" approach encourages you to think that because everyone else is doing something, you should do it too, or you'll be left out. The technique embodies a "keeping up with the Joneses"
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Either/or fallacy: This technique is also called "black-and-white thinking" because only two choices are given. You are either for something or against it; there is no middle ground or shades of gray. It is used to polarize issues, and negates all attempts to find a common ground.
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Faulty Cause and Effect: This technique suggests that because B follows A, A must cause B.
  • Remember, just because two events or two sets of data are related does not necessarily mean that one caused the other to happen (correlation versus causation)
  • It is important to evaluate data carefully before jumping to a wrong conclusion.
  • Example: Low school attendance & crime
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to "win" an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:
    • Topic A is under discussion.
    • Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).
    • Topic A is abandoned.
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Fallacies of Distraction
  • False Dilemma: two choices are given when in fact there are three options
  • From Ignorance: because something is not known to be true, it is assumed to be false
  • Complex Question: two unrelated points are conjoined as a single proposition
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Appeals to Motives in Place of Support
  • Consequences: the reader is warned of unacceptable consequences
  • Prejudicial Language: value or moral goodness is attached to believing the author
  • Popularity: a proposition is argued to be true because it is widely held to be true
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Changing the Subject
  • Attacking the Person
  • Appeal to Authority
    • Anonymous Authority: the authority in question is not named
  • Style Over Substance: the manner in which an argument (or arguer) is presented is felt to affect the truth of the conclusion
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Inductive Fallacies in Research
  • Hasty Generalization: the sample is too small to support an inductive generalization about a population
  • Unrepresentative Sample: the sample is unrepresentative of the sample as a whole
  • Fallacy of Exclusion: evidence which would change the outcome of an inductive argument is excluded from consideration
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Causal Fallacies
  • Post Hoc: because one thing follows another, it is held to cause the other
  • Joint effect: one thing is held to cause another when in fact they are both the joint effects of an underlying cause (ex: bad in class/tired/abused)
  • Insignificant: one thing is held to cause another, and it does, but it is insignificant compared to other causes of the effect (buying cd makes you broke but far more is spent on something else)
  • Wrong Direction: the direction between cause and effect is reversed (ex: drinking and marital problems)
  • Complex Cause: the cause identified is only a part of the entire cause of the effect
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Missing the Point
  • Begging the Question: the truth of the conclusion is assumed by the premises (if A is true and B is true then C must be true)
  • Irrelevant Conclusion: an argument in defense of one conclusion instead proves a different conclusion
  • Straw Man: the author attacks an argument different from (and weaker than) the opposition's best argument
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Category Errors
  • Composition: because the attributes of the parts of a whole have a certain property, it is argued that the whole has that property
  • Division: because the whole has a certain property, it is argued that the parts have that property (Utah has young population, therefore St. George has a young population)
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Critical Thinking & our inclination toward Faulty Logic
  • Absurdisms (Non Sequitur)
  • Affirming the Consequent: any argument of the form: If A then B, B, therefore A
  • Denying the Antecedent: any argument of the form: If A then B, Not A, thus Not B
  • Inconsistency: asserting that contrary or contradictory statements are both true