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

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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.
A black cat crossed Babbs' path yesterday and, sure enough, she was involved in an automobile accident later that same afternoon.
Post Hoc
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

AKA False Cause, Questionable Cause, Confusing Coincidental Relationships With Causes

Category: Fallacies of Presumption → Casual Fallacies

A Post Hoc is a fallacy with the following form:

  1. A occurs before B.
  2. Therefore A is the cause of B.
The Post Hoc fallacy derives its name from the Latin phrase "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc." This has been traditionally interpreted as "After this, therefore because of this." This fallacy is committed when it is concluded that one event causes another simply because the proposed cause occurred before the proposed effect. More formally, the fallacy involves concluding that A causes or caused B because A occurs before B and there is not sufficient evidence to actually warrant such a claim.

It is evident in many cases that the mere fact that A occurs before B in no way indicates a causal relationship. For example, suppose Jill, who is in London, sneezed at the exact same time an earthquake started in California. It would clearly be irrational to arrest Jill for starting a natural disaster, since there is no reason to suspect any causal connection between the two events. While such cases are quite obvious, the Post Hoc fallacy is fairly common because there are cases in which there might be some connection between the events. For example, a person who has her computer crash after she installs a new piece of software would probably suspect that the software was to blame. If she simply concluded that the software caused the crash because it was installed before the crash she would be committing the Post Hoc fallacy. In such cases the fallacy would be committed because the evidence provided fails to justify acceptance of the causal claim. It is even theoretically possible for the fallacy to be committed when A really does cause B, provided that the "evidence" given consists only of the claim that A occurred before B. The key to the Post Hoc fallacy is not that there is no causal connection between A and B. It is that adequate evidence has not been provided for a claim that A causes B. Thus, Post Hoc resembles a Hasty Generalization in that it involves making a leap to an unwarranted conclusion. In the case of the Post Hoc fallacy, that leap is to a causal claim instead of a general proposition.

Not surprisingly, many superstitions are probably based on Post Hoc reasoning. For example, suppose a person buys a good luck charm, does well on his exam, and then concludes that the good luck charm caused him to do well. This person would have fallen victim to the Post Hoc fallacy. This is not to say that all "superstitions" have no basis at all. For example, some "folk cures" have actually been found to work.

Post Hoc fallacies are typically committed because people are simply not careful enough when they reason. Leaping to a causal conclusion is always easier and faster than actually investigating the phenomenon. However, such leaps tend to land far from the truth of the matter. Because Post Hoc fallacies are committed by drawing an unjustified causal conclusion, the key to avoiding them is careful investigation. While it is true that causes precede effects (outside of Star Trek, anyway), it is not true that precedence makes something a cause of something else. Because of this, a causal investigation should begin with finding what occurs before the effect in question, but it should not end there.

Click For Fallacy Description

 1,335 Total Answer Attempts   57%
 760 Correctly Popped Fallacies
 575 Incorrectly Un/Popped
posted by wikiworldorder     url: commfaculty....
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Most Common Responses

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

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