Bias Time (6 of 9)

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[Baroque ideas of yours]

Yes, it’s bias time again. The sixt of the series of biases that you, yes you, have. Even if you are aware of these, and even if you consciously try to correct for them to be, heh, ‘objective’, as in what e.g. auditors pursue, you will fail.

Formal fallacies

Formal fallacies are arguments that are fallacious due to an error in their form or technical structure. All formal fallacies are specific types of non sequiturs.

  • Appeal to Law: an argument which implies that legislation is a moral imperative.
  • Appeal to probability: assumes that because something could happen, it is inevitable that it will happen. This is the premise on which Murphy’s Law is based.
  • Argument from fallacy: assumes that if an argument for some conclusion is fallacious, then the conclusion is false.
  • Bare assertion fallacy: premise in an argument is assumed to be true purely because it says that it is true.
  • Base rate fallacy: using weak evidence to make a probability judgment without taking into account known empirical statistics about the probability.
  • Conjunction fallacy: assumption that an outcome simultaneously satisfying multiple conditions is more probable than an outcome satisfying a single one of them.

Correlative based fallacies

  • Denying the correlative: where attempts are made at introducing alternatives where there are none.
  • Suppressed correlative: where a correlative is redefined so that one alternative is made impossible.
  • Fallacy of necessity: a degree of unwarranted necessity is placed in the conclusion based on the necessity of one or more of its premises.
  • False dilemma (false dichotomy): where two alternative statements are held to be the only possible options, when in reality there are more.
  • If-by-whiskey: An argument that supports both sides of an issue by using terms that are selectively emotionally sensitive.
  • Ignoratio elenchi: An irrelevant conclusion or irrelevant thesis.
  • Is-ought problem: the inappropriate inference that because something is some way or other, so it ought to be that way.
  • Homunculus fallacy: where a “middle-man” is used for explanation, this usually leads to regressive middle-man.
  • Explanations without actually explaining the real nature of a function or a process. Instead, it explains the concept in terms of the concept itself, without first defining or explaining the original concept.
  • Masked man fallacy: the substitution of identical designators in a true statement can lead to a false one.
  • Naturalistic fallacy: a fallacy that claims that if something is natural, then it is good or right.
  • Nirvana fallacy: when solutions to problems are said not to be right because they are not perfect.
  • Negative proof fallacy: that, because a premise cannot be proven false, the premise must be true; or that, because a premise cannot be proven true, the premise must be false.
  • Package-deal fallacy: consists of assuming that things often grouped together by tradition or culture must always be grouped that way.
  • Red Herring: also called a “fallacy of relevance.” This occurs when the speaker is trying to distract the audience by arguing some new topic, or just generally going off topic with an argument.

Propositional fallacies

  • Affirming a disjunct: concluded that one logical disjunction must be false because the other disjunct is true; A or B; A; therefore not B.
  • Affirming the consequent: the antecedent in an indicative conditional is claimed to be true because the consequent is true; if A, then B; B, therefore A.
  • Denying the antecedent: the consequent in an indicative conditional is claimed to be false because the antecedent is false; if A, then B; not A, therefore not B.

Quantificational fallacies

  • Existential fallacy: an argument has two universal premises and a particular conclusion, but the premises do not establish the truth of the conclusion.
  • Proof by example: where examples are offered as inductive proof for a universal proposition. (“This apple is red, therefore all apples are red.”)

Formal syllogistic fallacies

  • Affirmative conclusion from a negative premise: when a categorical syllogism has a positive conclusion, but at least one negative premise.
  • Fallacy of exclusive premises: a categorical syllogism that is invalid because both of its premises are negative.
  • Fallacy of four terms: a categorical syllogism has four terms.
  • Illicit major: a categorical syllogism that is invalid because its major term is undistributed in the major premise but distributed in the conclusion.
  • Fallacy of the undistributed middle: the middle term in a categorical syllogism is not distributed.
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About maverisk

Maverisk Consultancy, IS Audit and Advisory services: Wikinomics meets governance and audit; otherwise, see my personal LinkedIn profile
This entry was posted in ERM, GRC, Information Risk Management, Sociological, psychological notes. Bookmark the permalink.

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