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Appeal to Common Practice

 

Disciplines Argument > Fallacies > Appeal to Common Practice

Description | Discussion | Example | See also

 

Description

Many people do X. Therefore X is right.

If other people do something, then it is a reasonable thing to do.

Example

They were doing it, so I thought it would be ok to do it as well.

Oh come on, it's common practice!

Well then, are you going to join in, or what?

Discussion

This is often used as an excuse. When we are uncertain about something, we turn to other people and assume they know what they are doing.

This is also a method of influence in social groups, where pressure is put on people to conform.

Adoption of common practice happens when people are uncertain what to do. When the right thing is unclear, it is generally safer to copy others.

Classification

Appeal, Deductive

See also

Appeal to Tradition, Appeal to Common Belief, Theories about conforming, Social Proof principle

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