Bias List

Faulty Generalizations



A deductively valid but unsound argument occurring in statistical syllogisms (an argument based on a generalization) when an exception to a rule of thumb is ignored.


Cherry Picking

The act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position.


False Analogy

A faulty instance of the argument from analogy.


Hasty Generalization

Making a hasty conclusion without considering all of the variables.


Misleading Vividness

Anecdotal evidence describing an occurrence with sufficient detail to permit hasty generalizations about the occurrence. It may be used, for example, to convince someone that the occurrence is a widespread problem.


No True Scotsman

When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim ("no Scotsman would do such a thing"), rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule ("no true Scotsman would do such a thing").


Overwhelming Exception

A generalization that is accurate, but comes with one or more qualifications which eliminate so many cases that what remains is much less impressive than the initial statement might have led one to believe.


Survivorship Bias

Concentrating on the people or things that "survived" some process and inadvertently overlooking those that did not because of their lack of visibility.


Sweeping Generalization

Using some statement in an all-inclusive way without allowing for any exceptions.


Thought-Terminating Cliché

A commonly used phrase, sometimes passing as folk wisdom, used to quell cognitive dissonance, conceal lack of thought-entertainment, move on to other topics etc. but in any case, end the debate with a cliche—not a point.