goodbye milton friedman economics, goodbye efficient market hypothesis

Logical Fallacies and Heuristics

Assembled from Wikipedia articles.  Subject to periodic update.

Accident (arguing a general rule to a special case)
Ad hominem (attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim)
Affect heuristic (current affect influences decisions; “Affect”, in this context, is simply a feeling—fear, pleasure, humorousness, etc.)
Affirming the consequent
Anchoring and adjusment heuristic (people start with an implicitly suggested reference point (the “anchor”) and make adjustments to it to reach their estimate.)
Anchoring/focalism (a cognitive bias that occurs when people place too much importance on one aspect of an event, causing an error in accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome.  Usually once the anchor is set, there is a bias toward that value.)
Appeal to authority
Appeal to ridicule
Appeal to tradition
Argument from ignorance (claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false or is only false because it has not been proven true)
Association fallacy (asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association)
Availability heuristic (people base their prediction of the frequency of an event or the proportion within a population based on how easily an example can be brought to mind; “I know a Chinese guy who…”)
Bare assertion fallacy (premise in an argument is assumed to be true merely because it says that it is true)
Base rate fallacy (conditional probability of some hypothesis H given some evidence E is assessed without taking sufficient account of the “base rate” or “prior probability” of H)
Begging the question/circular argument (the proposition is used to prove itself)
Contagion heuristic (psychological heuristic leading people to avoid contact with people or objects viewed as “contaminated” by previous contact with someone or something viewed as bad (or, less often, to seek contact with objects that have been in contact with people or things considered good); The contagion heuristic includes “magical thinking”, such as viewing a sweater worn by Adolf Hitler as bearing his negative essence and capable of transmitting it to another wearer.)
Converse accident (arguing a special case to a general rule)
Correlation does not imply causation
Division (something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts)
Effort heuristic (a mental heuristic in which the value of an object is assigned based on the amount of perceived effort that went into producing the object.)
Equivocation (misleading use of a word with more than one meaning)
Fallacy of composition (one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole)
Fallacy of Four Terms
False dichotomy (limited set of alternatives are held to be the only possible options, when there are other options which have not been considered; Morton’s Fork)
Familiarity heuristic (rule of thumb in which current behavior is judged to be correct based on how similar it is to past behavior and its outcomes; Individuals assume that the circumstances underlying the past behavior still hold true for the present situation and that the past behavior thus can be correctly applied to the new situation.)
Fluency heuristic (if one out of two objects is processed more fluently, faster, or more smoothly, the mind infers that this object has the higher value with respect to what question is being considered.)
Ignoratio Elenchi (the informal fallacy of presenting an argument that may in itself be valid, but doesn’t address the issue in question)
Loaded/compound question
Non sequitur (argument where its conclusion does not follow from its premises)
Peacock terms (merely promote the subject of the article without imparting real information; e.g., “important,” “among the greatest”)
Peak-end rule (we judge our past experiences almost entirely on how they were at their peak (pleasant or unpleasant) and how they ended. Virtually all other information appears to be discarded, including net pleasantness or unpleasantness and how long the experience lasted.)
Poisoning the well (where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience; ad hominem)
Post hoc ergo propter hoc (“Since that event followed this one, that event must have been caused by this one.”)
Proof by verbosity (excessively verbose mathematical proof that may or may not actually prove the result)
Recognition heuristic  (If one of two objects is recognized and the other is not, then infer that the recognized object has the higher value with respect to the criterion.)
Representativeness heuristic (commonality between objects of similar appearance is assumed.)
Scarcity heuristic (the mind values something based on how easily it may lose it, especially to competitors.)
Similarity heuristic (Decisions based on how favorable or unfavorable the present seems are based on how similar the past was to the current situation.)
Simulation heuristic (Partially as a result, people regret more missing outcomes that had been easier to imagine, such as “near misses” instead of when accomplishment had been much further away.)
Social proof (occurs in ambiguous social situations when people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior. Making the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation, they will deem the behavior of others as appropriate or better informed.  E.g., violinist in subway.  Few stopped, he didn’t get much tips.  People didn’t know how to act, so acted as everyone else did.)
Solipsism (extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one’s feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption)
Sophism (a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone)
Straw Man (to describe a position that superficially resembles an opponent’s actual view but is easier to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent)
Take-the-best heuristic (when making a judgment based on multiple criteria, the critieria are tried one at a time according to their cue validity, and a decision is made based on the first criterion which discriminates between the alternatives.)
Thought-terminating cliché
Weasel words (small phrases attached to the beginning of a statement that may imply something which is difficult to substantiate, because it is too vague, or even possibly intentionally misleading; e.g. “critics say,” “some argue that”)


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