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

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Statement #112 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.
We have sold over 200,000 of these starter planter packages in the last month alone, so don't be the last one in your neighborhood to order one. Call the toll-free number at the bottom of your screen and join the Green Revolution today. Fifty million gardeners can't be wrong!
Appeal to Popularity
Ad Populum

Category: Fallacies of Relevance (Red Herrings)

The Appeal to Popularity has the following form:

  1. Most people approve of X (have favorable emotions towards X).
  2. Therefore X is true.
The basic idea is that a claim is accepted as being true simply because most people are favorably inclined towards the claim. More formally, the fact that most people have favorable emotions associated with the claim is substituted in place of actual evidence for the claim. A person falls prey to this fallacy if he accepts a claim as being true simply because most other people approve of the claim.

It is clearly fallacious to accept the approval of the majority as evidence for a claim. For example, suppose that a skilled speaker managed to get most people to absolutely love the claim that 1+1=3. It would still not be rational to accept this claim simply because most people approved of it. After all, mere approval is no substitute for a mathematical proof. At one time people approved of claims such as "the world is flat", "humans cannot survive at speeds greater than 25 miles per hour", "the sun revolves around the earth" but all these claims turned out to be false.

This sort of "reasoning" is quite common and can be quite an effective persuasive device. Since most humans tend to conform with the views of the majority, convincing a person that the majority approves of a claim is often an effective way to get him to accept it. Advertisers often use this tactic when they attempt to sell products by claiming that everyone uses and loves their products. In such cases they hope that people will accept the (purported) approval of others as a good reason to buy the product.

This fallacy is vaguely similar to such fallacies as Appeal to Belief and Appeal to Common Practice. However, in the case of an Ad Populum the appeal is to the fact that most people approve of a claim. In the case of an Appeal to Belief, the appeal is to the fact that most people believe a claim. In the case of an Appeal to Common Practice, the appeal is to the fact that many people take the action in question.

This fallacy is closely related to the Appeal to Emotion fallacy, as discussed in the entry for that fallacy.

Click For Fallacy Description

 930 Total Answer Attempts   84%
 784 Correctly Popped Fallacies
 146 Incorrectly Un/Popped
posted by wikiworldorder     
( Random Image )

Most Common Responses

784 - Appeal to Popularity
24 - Peer Pressure
10 - Appeal to Common Practice
8 - Biased Generalization
6 - Fallacy of Composition
6 - False Dilemma
6 - Appeal to Authority
5 - Ad Hominem
5 - Gambler's Fallacy
5 - Circumstantial Ad Hominem
5 - Post Hoc
5 - Ignoring a Common Cause
4 - Appeal to Flattery
4 - Begging the Question
4 - Appeal to Fear
4 - Appeal to Novelty
3 - Burden of Proof
3 - Confusing Cause and Effect
3 - Fallacy of Division
3 - Appeal to Tradition
3 - Appeal to Spite
3 - Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief
3 - Appeal to Belief
3 - Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
3 - Appeal to Emotion
2 - Personal Attack
2 - Relativist Fallacy
2 - Misleading Vividness
2 - Red Herring
2 - Guilt by Association
2 - Appeal to Pity
2 - Special Pleading
2 - Slippery Slope
1 - Appeal to Ridicule
1 - Middle Ground

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