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Logical  Fallacy: a error in reasoning
  (adj)     (noun)

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Statement #106 Discussion

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Below is the statement as it appears with the fallacy marked as correct. You can see the totals of most frequent responses to this statement. And after reading the any discussion going on below, you can select your choice(s) for the correct answer. For now, whoever posts each statement can update corrections.
One day late in December…Charles Dickens announced that he couldn't travel by train anymore that year, "on the grounds that the average annual quota of railroad accidents in Britain had not been filled and therefore further disasters were obviously imminent."
Gambler's Fallacy

The Gambler's Fallacy is committed when a person assumes that a departure from what occurs on average or in the long term will be corrected in the short term. The form of the fallacy is as follows:

  1. X has happened.
  2. X departs from what is expected to occur on average or over the long term.
  3. Therefore, X will come to an end soon.
There are two common ways this fallacy is committed. In both cases a person is assuming that some result must be "due" simply because what has previously happened departs from what would be expected on average or over the long term.

The first involves events whose probabilities of occurring are independent of one another. For example, one toss of a fair (two sides, non‐loaded) coin does not affect the next toss of the coin. So, each time the coin is tossed there is (ideally) a 50% chance of it landing heads and a 50% chance of it landing tails. Suppose that a person tosses a coin 6 times and gets a head each time. If he concludes that the next toss will be tails because tails "is due", then he will have committed the Gambler's Fallacy. This is because the results of previous tosses have no bearing on the outcome of the 7th toss. It has a 50% chance of being heads and a 50% chance of being tails, just like any other toss.

The second involves cases whose probabilities of occurring are not independent of one another. For example, suppose that a boxer has won 50% of his fights over the past two years. Suppose that after several fights he has won 50% of his matches this year, that he his lost his last six fights and he has six left. If a person believed that he would win his next six fights because he has used up his losses and is "due" for a victory, then he would have committed the Gambler's Fallacy. After all, the person would be ignoring the fact that the results of one match can influence the results of the next one. For example, the boxer might have been injured in one match which would lower his chances of winning his last six fights.

It should be noted that not all predictions about what is likely to occur are fallacious. If a person has good evidence for his predictions, then they will be reasonable to accept. For example, if a person tosses a fair coin and gets nine heads in a row it would be reasonable for him to conclude that he will probably not get another nine in a row again. This reasoning would not be fallacious as long as he believed his conclusion because of an understanding of the laws of probability. In this case, if he concluded that he would not get another nine heads in a row because the odds of getting nine heads in a row are lower than getting fewer than nine heads in a row, then his reasoning would be good and his conclusion would be justified. Hence, determining whether or not the Gambler’s Fallacy is being committed often requires some basic understanding of the laws of probability.

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 942 Total Answer Attempts   58%
 549 Correctly Popped Fallacies
 393 Incorrectly Un/Popped
posted by wikiworldorder     url: fallacyfiles...
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Most Common Responses

 
549 - Gambler's Fallacy
36 - Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief
30 - Appeal to Fear
28 - Confusing Cause and Effect
26 - False Dilemma
21 - Hasty Generalization
21 - Misleading Vividness
19 - Fallacy of Composition
18 - Post Hoc
16 - Burden of Proof
15 - Relativist Fallacy
14 - Biased Generalization
13 - Slippery Slope
12 - Appeal to Popularity
10 - Appeal to Belief
10 - Appeal to Tradition
10 - Ignoring a Common Cause
9 - Appeal to Common Practice
8 - Circumstantial Ad Hominem
8 - Ad Hominem
7 - Red Herring
7 - Appeal to Ridicule
7 - Fallacy of Division
6 - Appeal to Novelty
5 - Genetic Fallacy
5 - Appeal to Emotion
4 - Appeal to Authority
4 - Middle Ground
3 - Poisoning the Well
3 - Special Pleading
3 - Begging the Question
3 - Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
3 - Appeal to Spite
3 - Guilt by Association
2 - Appeal to Pity
2 - Peer Pressure
1 - Appeal to Flattery
1 - Personal Attack

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* Fallacious statements are usually paired with a random image of a person who never spoke those words.
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