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Welcome! This is the place to ask the community of experts and other fallacyophites (I made up that word) if someone has a committed a fallacy or not. This is a great way to settle a dispute! This is also the home of the "Mastering Logical Fallacies" student support.


Dr. Bo's Criteria for Logical Fallacies:

  1. It must be an error in reasoning not a factual error.
  2. It must be commonly applied to an argument either in the form of the argument or in the interpretation of the argument.
  3. It must be deceptive in that it often fools the average adult.

Therefore, we will define a logical fallacy as a concept within argumentation that commonly leads to an error in reasoning due to the deceptive nature of its presentation. Logical fallacies can comprise fallacious arguments that contain one or more non-factual errors in their form or deceptive arguments that often lead to fallacious reasoning in their evaluation.

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michael michalchik

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michael michalchik


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Sat, Sep 29, 2018 - 12:24 AM

Bias towards the first version you have heard, Primacy Bias?

I have noticed a strong tendency for people to believe facts, explanations or accounts that are the first version they have heard. Even when more or better evidence is presented later it seems much harder to overturn an existing belief than establish a new one.

I would call this the primacy bias. Is there a more widely accepted name and is there an except explanation of this?

I have noticed a lot on my recent girlfriend where for example, when she heard that US money was green because of that color best-evoked trust, but when I showed her psychological literature that showed blue was most strongly associated with trust. That color theory had not been developed at the time the greenback was inaugurated, and that there were explicit anticounterfeiting reasons documented with the green ink dollars were printed with her response was to question the credibility of my sources rather than examine the credibility of the sources she heard that original assertion from.



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Bo Bennett, PhD
Author of Logically Fallacious

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Bo Bennett, PhD

Author of Logically Fallacious

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About Bo Bennett, PhD

Bo's personal motto is "Expose an irrational belief, keep a person rational for a day. Expose irrational thinking, keep a person rational for a lifetime."  Much of his charitable work is in the area of education—not teaching people what to think, but how to think.  His projects include his book, The Concept: A Critical and Honest Look at God and Religion, and Logically Fallacious, the most comprehensive collection of logical fallacies.  Bo's personal blog is called Relationship With Reason, where he writes about several topics related to critical thinking.  His secular (humanistic) philosophy is detailed at PositiveHumanism.com.
Bo is currently the producer and host of The Humanist Hour, the official broadcast of the American Humanist Association, where he can be heard weekly discussing a variety of humanistic issued, mostly related to science, psychology, philosophy, and critical thinking.

Full bio can be found at http://www.bobennett.com
Print Sat, Sep 29, 2018 - 06:27 AM
In psychology, there is a cognitive bias know as the primacy effect, which is the strong tendency for people to remember the first item on a list, first idea presented, first impressions, etc. I don't know of any literature that supports the fact that is also affects belief. However, it is plausible that it does indirectly through the availability heuristic. The availability heuristic is the tendency to use/believe those ideas that most easily come to mind and if through the primacy effect, the ideas that first come to mind are the first, then we have this link. But there is also the recency effect, which is the inverse of the primacy effect, so through that bias, it is plausible that people would believe the last (or most recent) thing they hear. Again, I am just throwing out possibilities here. As far as I know, there is now clear indication that we tend to believe the first things we hear. What you might be noticing is simply the difficulty of undoing a strongly held belief.
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