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Appeal to Common Belief

 

Disciplines Argument > Fallacies > Appeal to Common Belief

Description | Discussion | Example | See also

 

Description

If something is believed to be true by a lot of people then it must be true.

A variant is where the probability of truth is assessed by the number of people making the assertion (especially when you can see who is voting for and who is voting against the idea).

Example

Oh come on, everyone is saying that this is the right thing to do.

Your family all like the car...

In a survey, 8 out of 10 doctors agreed that this drug is dangerous.

Discussion

When we are uncertain about something, we turn to other people and assume they know what they are doing. We do the same with beliefs. The more other people believe something, the more likely we will be to accept that it is true (especially if we tend towards black and white thinking).

Classification

Appeal, Assumptive, DeductiveRelevance

Also known as

Appeal to Belief, Appeal to Majority, Ad Populum

See also

Appeal to Common Practice, Availability Heuristic, Beliefs, Normative Social Influence

 

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