Description: Focusing your attention on certain aspects of the argument while completely ignoring or missing other parts. This usually results in irrelevant rebuttals, strawman fallacies, and unnecessarily drawn-out arguments.
News Anchor on TV: The Dow Jones was up 200 points today, NASDAQ closed up 120 points, unemployment is and has been declining steadily, but foreclosures have not budged.
Jimbo: Did you hear that? Our economy is in the crapper!
Explanation: While there are many problems with the reasoning of Jimbo, due to his selective attention, and possible pessimism when it comes to the economy, he did not let the good news register and/or did not take that information into consideration before concluding that our economy is still in the “crapper”, based on that one piece of news on foreclosures.
Example #2: Most of us are guilty of selective attention when the information is about us. We tend to embrace the information that makes us feel good and ignore the information that does not.
Exception: Ignoring irrelevant information is a good thing when evaluating arguments. The key is to know what is irrelevant.
Logically Fallacious is one of the most comprehensive collections of logical fallacies with all original examples and easy to understand descriptions; perfect for educators, debaters, or anyone who wants to improve his or her reasoning skills.
Get the book, Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett, PhD by selecting one of the following options:
Enroll in the Mastering Logical Fallacies Online Course. Over 10 hours of video and interactive learning. Go beyond the book!
Enroll in the Fallacy-A-Day Passive Course. Sit back and learn fallacies the easy way—in just a few minutes per day, via e-mail delivery.
Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Dr. Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here.