Bias List

Informal Fallacies


Appeal from Ignorance

Asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that there is insufficient investigation and therefore insufficient information to prove the proposition satisfactorily to be either true or false.


Appeal from Incredulity

Assuming that since you cannot imagine how something could be true, therefore it must be false.


Appeal to the Stone

Dismissing a statement as absurd without giving proof of its absurdity.


Argument From Repetition

Signifies that something has been discussed extensively until nobody cares to discuss it anymore


Argument from Silence

Where the conclusion is based on the absence of evidence, rather than the existence of evidence.


Begging the Question

Providing what is essentially the conclusion of the argument as a premise.


Burden of Proof

The obligation on a party in a dispute to provide sufficient evidence to justify their position.


Circular Cause and Consequence

Where the consequence of the phenomenon is claimed to be its root cause.


Circular Reasoning

When the reasoner begins with what he or she is trying to end up with.


Continuum Fallacy

The fallacy causes one to erroneously reject a vague claim simply because it is not as precise as one would like it to be. Vagueness alone does not necessarily imply invalidity.


Correlation Proves Causation

A faulty assumption that correlation between two variables implies that one causes the other. X happened, then Y happened; therefore X caused Y.


Ecological Fallacy

Inferences about the nature of specific individuals are based solely upon aggregate statistics collected for the group to which those individuals belong.



The misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time).


Etymological Fallacy

A genetic fallacy that holds, erroneously, that the present-day meaning of a word or phrase should necessarily be similar to its historical meaning.


Fallacy of Accent

A specific type of ambiguity that arises when the meaning of a sentence is changed by placing an unusual prosodic stress, or when, in a written passage, it's left unclear which word the emphasis was supposed to fall on.


Fallacy of Composition

Assuming that something true of part of a whole must also be true of the whole.


Fallacy of Division

Assuming that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts.


Fallacy of Many Questions

When someone asks a question that presupposes something that has not been proven or accepted by all the people involved. This fallacy is often used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to those that serve the questioner's agenda.


Fallacy of Quoting out of Context

Refers to the selective excerpting of words from their original context in a way that distorts the source's intended meaning.


Fallacy of the Single Cause

When it is assumed that there is one, simple cause of an outcome when in reality it may have been caused by a number of only jointly sufficient causes.


False Attribution

Occurs when an advocate appeals to an irrelevant, unqualified, unidentified, biased or fabricated source in support of an argument.


False Authority

Using an expert of dubious credentials or using only one opinion to sell a product or idea.


False Dilemma

Two alternative statements are held to be the only possible options, when in reality there are more.


False Equivalence

Describing a situation of logical and apparent equivalence, when in fact there is none.


Furtive Fallacy

A fallacy of emphasis in which outcomes are asserted to have been caused by the malfeasance of decision makers.


Gambler's Fallacy

The incorrect belief that separate, independent events can affect the likelihood of another random event. If a fair coin lands on heads 10 times in a row, the belief that it is "due to the number of times it had previously landed on tails" is incorrect.



Using words with ambiguous meanings, then changing the meaning of them later.


Historian's Fallacy

Occurs when one assumes that decision makers of the past viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those subsequently analyzing the decision.


Homunculus Fallacy

An argument that accounts for a phenomenon in terms of the very phenomenon that it is supposed to explain, which results in an infinite regress.



An argument that supports both sides of an issue by using terms that are selectively emotionally sensitive.


Incomplete Comparison

Insufficient information is provided to make a complete comparison.


Inconsistent Comparison

When different methods of comparison are used, leaving one with a false impression of the whole comparison.


Inflation of Conflict

The experts of a field of knowledge disagree on a certain point, so the scholars must know nothing, and therefore the legitimacy of their entire field is put to question.


Irrelevant Conclusion

An argument that may in itself be valid, but does not address the issue in question.


Kettle Logic

Using multiple, jointly inconsistent arguments to defend a position.


Ludic Fallacy

The belief that the outcomes of non-regulated random occurrences can be encapsulated by a statistic; a failure to take into account unknown unknowns in determining the probability of events taking place.


Middle Ground

Assuming that the compromise between two positions is always correct.


Moral High Ground Fallacy

One assumes a "holier-than-thou" attitude in an attempt to make oneself look good to win an argument.


Moralistic Fallacy

Assuming that whichever aspect of nature which has socially unpleasant consequences cannot exist. Its typical form is "if X were true, then it would happen that Z!", where Z is a morally, socially or politically undesirable thing.


Moving the Goalposts

Argument in which evidence presented in response to a specific claim is dismissed and some other (often greater) evidence is demanded.


Nirvana Fallacy

When solutions to problems are rejected because they are not perfect.


Proof by Assertion

A proposition is repeatedly restated regardless of contradiction.


Proof by Verbosity

Submission of others to an argument too complex and verbose to reasonably deal with in all its intimate details.


Prosecutor's Fallacy

A low probability of false matches does not mean a low probability of some false match being found.


Proving Too Much

Using a form of argument that, if it were valid, could be used more generally to reach an absurd conclusion.


Psychologist's Fallacy

Occurs when an observer assumes that his/her subjective experience reflects the true nature of an event.


Red Herring

A speaker attempts to distract an audience by deviating from the topic at hand by introducing a separate argument the speaker believes is easier to speak to.


Referential Fallacy

Assuming all words refer to existing things and that the meaning of words reside within the things they refer to, as opposed to words possibly referring to no real object or that the meaning of words often comes from how we use them.


Regression Fallacy

Ascribes cause where none exists. The flaw is failing to account for natural fluctuations.



A fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating as a "real thing" something that is not a real thing, but merely an idea.


Retrospective Determinism

The argument that because some event has occurred, its occurrence must have been inevitable beforehand.


Shotgun Argumentation

The arguer offers such a large number of arguments for their position that the opponent can't possibly respond to all of them.


Special Pleading

A form of fallacious argument that involves an attempt to cite something as an exception to a generally accepted rule, principle, etc. without justifying the exception.


Suppressed Correlative

A type of argument that tries to redefine a correlative (one of two mutually exclusive options) so that one alternative encompasses the other, i.e. making one alternative impossible


Wrong Direction

Cause and effect are reversed. The cause is said to be the effect and vice versa.