understanding logical fallacies for massage therapists

Logical Fallacies

There is a whole list of other types of logical fallacies ( From Excellcior Online Writing Lab) or inaccurate ways of thinking that get in the way of science.

  1. The Strawman – A straw man fallacy occurs when someone takes another person’s argument or point, distorts it or exaggerates it in some kind of extreme way, and then attacks the extreme distortion, as if that is really the claim the first person is making.
  2. False Dilemma or False dichotomy fallacy – Sometimes called the “either-or” fallacy, a false dilemma is a logical fallacy that presents only two options or sides when there are many options or sides. Essentially, a false dilemma presents a “black and white” kind of thinking when there are actually many shades of gray.
  3. Hasty Generalization -The hasty generalization fallacy is sometimes called the over-generalization fallacy. It is making assumptions about a whole group based on evidence that it just too small. This is how stereotypes are created. Essentially, you can’t make a claim and say that something is true if you have only an example or two as evidence.
  4. Appeal to fear – This type of fallacy is one that, as noted in its name, plays upon people’s fear. In particular, this fallacy presents a scary future if a certain decision is made today.
  5. Ad Hominem Fallacy or name calling fallacy – Ad hominem means “against the man,” and this type of fallacy is sometimes called name calling or the personal attack fallacy. This type of fallacy occurs when someone attacks the person instead of attacking his or her argument.
  6. Slippery Slope – A slippery slope fallacy occurs when someone makes a claim about a series of events that would lead to one major event, usually a bad event. Even if we take one step onto the ‘slippery slope” we will end up sliding all the way down the hill. In this fallacy, a person makes a claim that one event leads to another event and so on until we come to some awful conclusion. Along the way, each step or event in the faulty logic becomes more and more improbable.
  7. Bandwagon – The bandwagon fallacy is also sometimes called the appeal to common belief or appeal to the masses because it’s all about getting people to do or think something because “everyone else is doing it” or “everything else thinks this.”
  8. Guilt by Association – A guilt by association fallacy occurs when someone connects an opponent to a demonized group of people or to a bad person in order to discredit his or her argument. The idea is that the person is “guilty” by simply being similar to this “bad” group and, therefore, should not be listened to about anything.
  9. Appeal to ignorance – Asserting that something is true because it has yet to be proven false; or vice versa.
  10. Post hoc (false cause from Latin Phrase “post hoc, ergo propter hoc which means after this, therefore because of this”) Making assumptions that just because B comes after A, A caused B. Correlation causation fallacy or false cause fallacy – Mistaking correlation for causation. Assuming that a preceding event caused a subsequent event
  11. Circular reasoning – Reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with. Also called Begging the question asks the person to accept the conclusion without providing any real evidence. (Because I said so).
  12. Appeal to authority – Argue that something is true because it comes from an authority figure, even if the authority figure has no expertise in the subject. We often resort to saying we learned that in massage school and the school/teachers must be right because they are the authority on the subject. We have to learn to question everything in massage school.
  13. Weak analogy – comparing two or more things or situations that are not alike.
  14. Appeal to Pity is when someone tries to accept a conclusion based on feeling sorry for someone. I should have gotten an A on my exam because my grandma died and I couldn’t study.
  15. Red Herring is when the arguer goes off on a tangent raising a side issue that distracts the audience from what is really at stake and never returns to the original issue.
  1. Science Literacy
  2. Metaphysics, Magical Thinking
  3. Traditional Medicine
  4. Science vs Pseudoscience
  5. Critical Thinking
  6. What gets in the way of critical thinking?
  7. Logical Fallacies
  8. Scientific Method
  9. The Art of Massage
  10. Being Skeptical in the Massage Profession