Topics: Critical thinking, Fallacy, Ad hominem Pages: 2 (457 words) Published: March 15, 2013
In the scenario given above, it is noticed that Sarah and her friends have a common opinion that is cognitive biased, which means that they tend to ignore the prior known probabilities of a subject and failing to incorporate with a specific topic.

According to Sarah, the drivers of the red cars often get the speeding tickets at a higher chance than drivers of the other cars with other colors. In order to analyze and address this personal opinion, fallacy and heuristic will be identified and explained.

Fallacy is a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning, in other words, fallacies are caused by the technical flaws in reasoning. Heuristic is the well-known set of rule that intended to increases the probability of solving specific problems and encourage us to develop the rules of thumbs or shortcuts in reasoning.

The logical fallacy that Sarah has fallen into is the “ad hominem”, it tends to discard a theory not because of the lack of evidence or any evidence that runs against it, but it is totally depending on an individual person who argues for it.

In this case, Sarah claimed that all the red-car drivers have higher chances of receiving the speeding tickets; it is a biased opinion because the statement that she has made was based on her or her friends’ past experience only, not because of any other information or evidence provided.

The type of heuristic indicated in this scenario is “The Availability heuristic”, it tends to make judgments or inferences base on the information that is more accessible or more active in one’s mind, memory or imagination, etc. than other information.

In this case, Sarah made the assumption based on her memory of her past events, it is to be believed that she or her friend owns a red car and have received quite a few speeding tickets in the past. However, it is an error being made as one cannot assume something is true for everyone just because it seems to be true for them.

The overuse of the availability...
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