Accused of a fallacy? Suspect a fallacy? Ask Dr. Bo and the community!

Quickly register to comment, ask and respond to questions, and get FREE access to our passive online course on cognitive biases!
Register!

one moment please...


Questions? Friendly Debate? Deep Conversations? Be a Call-in Guest on the Dr. Bo Show!

Cherry Picking

(also known as: ignoring inconvenient data, suppressed evidence, fallacy of incomplete evidence, argument by selective observation, argument by half-truth, card stacking, fallacy of exclusion, ignoring the counter evidence, one-sided assessment, slanting, one-sidedness)

Description: When only select evidence is presented in order to persuade the audience to accept a position, and evidence that would go against the position is withheld.  The stronger the withheld evidence, the more fallacious the argument.

Logical Form:

Evidence A and evidence B is available.

Evidence A supports the claim of person 1.

Evidence B supports the counterclaim of person 2.

Therefore, person 1 presents only evidence A.

Example #1:

Employer: It says here on your resume that you are a hard worker, you pay attention to detail, and you don’t mind working long hours.

Andy: Yes sir.

Employer: I spoke to your previous employer.  He says that you constantly change things that should not be changed, you could care less about other people’s privacy, and you had the lowest score in customer relations.

Andy: Yes, that is all true, as well.

Employer: Great then.  Welcome to our social media team!

Explanation: Resumes are a classic example of cherry picking information.  A resume can be seen as an argument as to why you are qualified for the job.  Most employers are wise enough to know that resumes are one-sided and look for more evidence in the form of interviews and recommendations to make a decision.

Example #2:

My political candidate gives 10% of his income to the needy, goes to church every Sunday, and volunteers one day a week at a homeless shelter.  Therefore, he is honest and morally straight.

Explanation: What information was left out of the example is that this same candidate gives 10% of his income to needy prostitutes in exchange for services, goes to the bar every Sunday after church (and sometimes before), and only works at the homeless shelter to get clients for his drug dealing business.

Exception: If the parts of the truth being suppressed do not affect the truth of the conclusion, or can reasonably be assumed, they could be left out of the argument.  For example, political candidates are not committing this fallacy when they leave out the fact that they will need about 8 hours of sleep each night.

Tip: If you suspect people are only telling you a half-truth, don’t be afraid to ask, “Is there anything you are not telling me?”

References:

Fallacies | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#SuppressedEvidence



Registered User Comments

Krista Neckles
Sunday, March 24, 2019 - 06:54:03 PM
Hello Sir,

What fallacies do you detect in these humorous passages:
"Dozens of plants and animals are being wiped out every year, even though we have laws to prevent it. Clearly, we should repeal the Endangered Species Act", and
" People are driving their cars like maniacs tonight. There must be a full moon".
Thank You in advance Sir!

login to reply
1 reply
0 votes
 
Reply To Comment
working...
 

Bo Bennett, PhD
Monday, March 25, 2019 - 06:47:22 AM
Hi Krista, for general questions like this, I encourage you to post them on our forum at https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/qa/Bo/LogicalFallacies .

login to reply
 
0 votes
 
Reply To Comment
working...

Krista Neckles
Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 03:25:21 PM
Hello Sir,

In the introductory logic textbook I am reading, it says that the following passage contains a missing the point or suppressed evidence fallacy, but I do not see how. Could you explain please:

"The vast majority of car accidents occur within twenty miles of one's home. Apparently it is much more dangerous to drive close to home or far away from home".

Thank You in advance Sir.

login to reply
1 reply
0 votes
 
Reply To Comment
working...
 

Bo Bennett, PhD
Sunday, March 24, 2019 - 06:22:46 AM
The information left out is that the vast majority of people drive within twenty miles of one's home, so of course that's where the majority of the accidents will be. This has nothing to do with increased risk. I have also heard it said that most people die in hospitals...so stay away from hospitals!

login to reply
 
0 votes
 
Reply To Comment
working...

Krista Neckles
Thursday, March 07, 2019 - 07:38:54 PM
Hello Sir,

I am reading an introductory logic textbook which contains problems at the end of each chapter. Can you please explain to me how the following passage commits the suppressed evidence fallacy:
"During the fifty years that Mr.Jones worked, he contributed $90,000 to Social Security. Now that he is retired, he stands to collect $200,000 from the system. Obviously he will collect a much greater monetary value than he contributed".
I have difficulty understanding how this is an example of the suppressed evidence fallacy.
Thank You in advance.

login to reply
1 reply
0 votes
 
Reply To Comment
working...
 

Bo Bennett, PhD
Friday, March 08, 2019 - 09:18:18 AM
Assuming the speaker knew about interest, he or she is deliberately leaving out that important fact in an attempt to make it appear as if Mr. Jones is getting more than he deserves. The speaker is suppressing the "evidence" (i.e., the fact that this money was earning interest).

login to reply
 
0 votes
 
Reply To Comment
working...


Become a Logical Fallacy Master. Choose Your Poison.

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:


Not Much of a Reader? No Problem!

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.


About Archieboy Holdings, LLC. Privacy Policy Other Books Written by Bo
 Website Software Copyright 2019, Archieboy Holdings, LLC.