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Ecological fallacy

 

Disciplines Argument > Fallacies > Ecological fallacy

Description | Discussion | Example | See also

 

Description

The ecological fallacy occurs where an analysis of group data is used to draw conclusions about an individual.

Example

A study of people with spectacles showed that they have above-average intelligence. You have spectacles, so you must be intelligent.

A study of a city is used to draw detailed conclusions about the people who live there.

Discussion

This is an effect which occurs when people use statistical data and apply it incorrectly. It is often used by people who are seeking factual support for their arguments.

It is sometimes also used by researchers who are a bit too keen on proving something.

This fallacy is an effective reversal of the Exception fallacy.

Classification

Deductive

See also

Exception fallacy, Hasty Generalization, Stereotypes

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