Common Logical Fallacies

Often a prospect spirals into a negative abyss. As a master persuader you need to understand what is happening to your prospect. By having an understanding of your prospects concerns, you will have a greater ability to resolve concerns and close more sales.

1. Faulty Cause: assumes that because one thing follows another, the second thing was definitively caused by the first. Example: Shawn broke his mother’s mirror, and sure enough, he was in a car wreck the next week

2. Sweeping Generalization: assumes that what is true in most cases must be true in all cases. Example: We can’t hire this candidate because he’s an ex-felon, and studies show that most ex-felons experience relapses.

3. Hasty Generalization: assumes that a small piece of information is soundly representative of the whole situation. Example: I don’t like Thai food at all. The food I tried at this one Thai restaurant just was terrible and I was sick for days.

4. Faulty Analogy: assumes that if two things are alike in some ways, they must be alike in all ways. Example: Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera dress the same and sing the same type of music, so they must have very similar personalities.

5. Faulty Sign: assumes that one event is a reliable predictor of another. Example: That guy is wearing a big Starter jacket, has a tattoo, and wears baggy pants. He’s probably a gang member.

6. Tautology: defines an argument in a manner that makes it impossible to disprove. Example: You are a disagreeable person and, if you disagree with me, it will just prove even more how disagreeable you are.

7. Appeal to Authority: justifies an argument by citing a famous or popular person who also supports the argument. Example: Those shoes are great for Michael Jordan, so they’ll be great for me.

8. Slippery Slope: assumes that a particular step invariably leads to similar steps, culminating with a negative outcome. Example: If I let one student hand in their paper late, then I’ll have to let others hand theirs in late, too, and before you know it, everyone will be begging for an extension.

9. Red Herring: attempts to divert attention away from the real issue. Example: When accused by his wife of cheating at cards, Frank says, “Nothing I do ever pleases you. I spent a whole week cleaning out the garage, and then all you did was complain about how I’d reorganized it.”

10. Appeal to Ignorance: uses a person’s inability to disprove a claim as proof that the claim is right. Example: We know there are people living on other planets in other galaxies because no one can prove that there are not.