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List of Common Cognitive Fallacies (with Examples)Cognitive fallacies (or logical fallacies) are errors in reasoning that weaken or invalidate an argument. Cognitive fallacies should not be confused with cognitive biases. A cognitive bias is an error that causes an element of an argument to be under- or over-weighted. A cognitive fallacy is an error in how the elements of an argument relate to one another.
- Ad Hominem Argument An ad hominem argument (ad hominem is Latin for "to the man") occurs when someone tries to contest a claim by highlighting the negative characteristics or beliefs of the person making the claim rather than contesting the claim itself.
- Appeal to Authority Fallacy The Appeal to Authority Fallacy is an error in reasoning that occurs when someone adopts a position because that position is affirmed by a person they believe to be an authority.
- Appeal to Flattery Fallacy The Appeal to Flattery Fallacy is an error in reasoning that occurs when someone adopts a position due to flattery or a compliment presented within the argument.
- Base Rate Fallacy The Base Rate Fallacy is an error in reasoning that occurs when someone reaches a conclusion that fails to account for an earlier premise – usually a base rate, a probability or some other statistic.
- Gamblers' Fallacy Gamblers' Fallacy occurs when someone predicts the outcome of a pending random event based on previous random events.
- Obfuscation Fallacy The Obfuscation Fallacy occurs when someone adopts a position after hearing, or presenting, an argument containing unnecessarily complex language that either impresses (when it shouldn't), confuses or deceives. "To obfuscate: to make obscure, unclear or unintelligible"
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