by Terry Heick

What are logical fallacies and cognitive biases?

In brief, logical fallacies and cognitive biases are each failures of motive–errors in pondering that can lead to inaccurate views, distorted views, error-filled judgments, and ultimately, skewed, irrational beliefs (about one’s self and/or the world round them).

As a result of the human mind is inclined to the identical sorts of errors and distortions, it (that means ‘we’ as human beings) makes the identical errors so incessantly that now we have given them formal names (e.g., strawman fallacy, recency bias, and many others.)

On this method, they’re related in that every is a typical pondering error.

The Distinction Between Logical Fallacies And Cognitive Biases

The first distinction between logical fallacies and cognitive biases is that the previous are failures of motive which are normally occurring within the second whereas the biases symbolize particular person, ongoing pre-dispositions to future errors of motive.

An essential distinction between fallacies and biases is that biases decide/have an effect on/distort the way you consider, on an ongoing foundation, knowledge, truths, or circumstances. Logical fallacies, nevertheless, have extra to do with the way you make claims and assemble arguments.

An Instance Of A Logical Fallacy

In What Is Affirmation Bias, I stated that, “One of many many cognitive biases, whether or not primarily based on worry (e.g., ‘I’m going to lose my job’) or inaccurate and/or incomplete knowledge (e.g., a stereotype), somebody who falls sufferer to affirmation bias will kind an opinion after which hunt down and/or overvalue knowledge that helps that opinion. Within the former instance of shedding your job, due to fear over shedding your job, you’ll start to ‘discover’ issues that appeared to help that principle.”

For instance, the widespread advert hominem fallacy happens when somebody assaults the validity of a judgment or declare by attacking the holder of that declare somewhat than the declare itself.

Individual A: A politician stated we must always make investments more cash in training.

Individual B: I don’t like that politician. He lies about every part and has a historical past of unhealthy concepts.

Whereas each the politician and Individual B right here can each be (roughly) appropriate of their claims (that we must always make investments more cash in training and the politician in query could certainly have a historical past of unhealthy concepts), Individual B is attacking the particular person as an alternative of intellectually criticizing the declare itself. Basic advert hominem.

An Instance Of Recency Bias

Nonetheless, an individual vulnerable to recency bias will favor current occasions and knowledge over the extra full image of actuality or reality. This bias will trigger the particular person to over-emphasize some knowledge and fully miss different knowledge–and thus commit extra fallacies and certain develop extra cognitive biases and associated worldview distortions.

The Definition Of A Logical Fallacy

A logical fallacy is a mistake in reasoning. It happens when somebody attracts a conclusion that doesn’t comply with from the proof or when somebody depends on a defective assumption. There are a lot of various kinds of logical fallacies, however all of them share one widespread impact: to mislead individuals into pondering that the conclusion is legitimate.

The Definition Of A Cognitive Bias

A cognitive bias is a sort of pondering error that leads to judgments and choices which are systematically distorted. This could result in inaccurate beliefs about individuals, conditions, and the world typically. Cognitive biases are sometimes studied in psychology, as they’ll affect the best way individuals assume, really feel, and behave.

Varieties Of Logical Fallacies

There are a lot of dozens of logical fallacies–just a few examples embrace straw man, false dilemma, advert hominem, slippery slope, false dichotomy, and the bandwagon fallacy.

Varieties Of Cognitive Biases

There are additionally many dozens of cognitive biases–just a few examples embrace the sunk value fallacy, affirmation bias, gambler’s fallacy, and anchoring bias.


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