Common Fallacies In Advertising PowerpointPresentation Transcript
Common Fallacies in Advertising Ad Hominem, Appeal to Emotions, False Dilemma, Appeal to the People, Scare Tactic, False Cause, Hasty Generalization, Red Herring, and Traditional Wisdom
What is a Fallacy?
According to Webster’s Dictionary, a fallacy is an error in reasoning or a flawed argument.
It’s an argument that does not conform to the rules of logic, but appears to be sound.
Prevalence of Fallacies in Advertising
Fallacies are all around you…
Advertisements in magazines, on T.V., on billboards all contain fallacies!
Can you think of a place where there are NO advertisements?
Probably not! That’s because advertising is impossible to escape and ad-free zones rarely exist.
Impact of Fallacies
What might be the impact of being told that we are not pretty, handsome, rich, clean, or good enough?
What does the casual acceptance of surrounding ourselves with fallacies say about us?
Types of Fallacies: Ad Hominem
Ad Hominem (meaning “against the person”) attacks the person and not the issue
The major difficulty with labeling a piece of reasoning as an ad hominem fallacy is deciding whether the personal attack is relevant.
For examples, attacks on a person for their immoral sexual conduct are irrelevant to the quality of their mathematical reasoning, but they are relevant to arguments promoting the person for a leadership position in the church.
Types of Fallacies: Appeal to Emotions
Appeal to emotions manipulates people’s emotions in order to get their attention away from an important issue.
You commit the fallacy of appeal to emotions when someone’s appeal to you to accept their claim is accepted merely because the appeal arouses your feelings or anger, fear, grief, love, outrage, pity, pride, sexuality, sympathy, relief, and so forth.
Types of Fallacies: Bandwagon
Bandwagon creates the impression that everybody is doing it and so should you.
If you suggest that someone’s claim is correct simply because it’s what most everyone is coming to believe, then you’re committing the bandwagon fallacy.
Types of Fallacies: False Dilemma
False dilemma limits the possible choices to avoid consideration of another choice.
A person who unfairly presents too few choices and then implies that a choice must be made among this short menu of choices commits the false dilemma fallacy.
Types of Fallacies: Appeal to the People
Appeal to the people uses the views of the majority as a persuasive device.
If you suggest too strongly that someone’s claim or argument is correct simply because it’s what most everyone believes, then you’ve committed the fallacy of appeal to the people.
Similarly, if you suggest too strongly that someone’s claim or argument is mistaken simply because it’s not what most everyone believes, then you’ve also committed the fallacy.
Types of Fallacies: Scare Tactic
Scare tactic creates fear in people as evidence to support a claim.
If you suppose that terrorizing your opponent is giving him a reason for believing that you are correct, you are using a scare tactic and reasoning fallaciously.
Types of Fallacies: False Cause
False Cause wrongly assumes a cause and effect relationship.
Improperly concluding that one thing is a cause of another
Example: My psychic adviser says to expect bad things when Mars is aligned with Jupiter. Tomorrow Mars will be aligned with Jupiter. So, if a dog were to bite me tomorrow, it would be because of the alignment of Mars with Jupiter.
Types of Fallacies: Hasty Generalization
Hasty generalization (or jumping to conclusions) draws a conclusion about a population based on a small sample.
Example: I’ve met two people in Nicaragua so far, and they were both nice to me. So, all people I will meet in Nicaragua will be nice to me.
Types of Fallacies: Red Herring
Red herring presents an irrelevant topic to divert attention away from the original issue.
A Red Herring is actually a smelly fish that would distract even a bloodhound, so in the case of advertisements…it causes the viewer to become so distracted that they forget about the true issue at hand.
Types of Fallacies: Traditional Wisdom
Traditional Wisdom uses the logic that the way things used to be is better than they are now, ignoring any problems of the past.
If you say or imply that a practice must be okay today simply because it has been the apparently wise practice in the past, you commit the fallacy of traditional wisdom.
Applying What You Learned:
You will now be working in small groups to identify the types of fallacies used in several different advertisements.
As a group, you will need to come to an agreement as to which type of fallacy is being used in each advertisement.
You will write your answers on the “Finding the Fallacies that Surround You” Hand-out
Information taken from:
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Fallacies