Group Four: Sample Fallacies And Booby Traps

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| By Shawanba
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Shawanba
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Quizzes Created: 5 | Total Attempts: 1,066
Questions: 10 | Attempts: 203

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Writing Quizzes & Trivia

Understanding Fallacies and Booby Traps in Argument and Persuasive Writing


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    I’m not a doctor, but I play a doctor on TV, and I wouldn’t dream of using anything but Tylenol for my toughest headaches.

    • A.

      False Cause

    • B.

      Appeal to Authority

    • C.

      Equivocation

    • D.

      Suppressed Evidence

    • E.

      Vagueness

    Correct Answer
    B. Appeal to Authority
    Explanation
    The given statement is an example of an appeal to authority fallacy. The speaker, who is an actor playing a doctor on TV, is using their perceived authority in the medical field to endorse Tylenol for headaches. However, being an actor does not make them a medical expert, so their endorsement is not necessarily based on valid medical knowledge or evidence. This fallacy occurs when someone relies on the opinion or endorsement of an authority figure, rather than on sound reasoning or evidence, to support their argument.

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  • 2. 

    You can hardly blame President Clinton for having extramarital affairs. Many presidents, when faced with similar situations, have yielded to the same temptations.

    • A.

      Suppressed Evidence

    • B.

      Vagueness

    • C.

      False Cause

    • D.

      Red Herring

    • E.

      Genetic Fallacy

    Correct Answer
    D. Red Herring
    Explanation
    The given explanation for the correct answer, Red Herring, is that it diverts attention from the main issue by introducing irrelevant information. In this case, the statement brings up the fact that many presidents have had extramarital affairs, which is unrelated to whether or not President Clinton can be blamed for his own affairs. This distracts from the main point and is a classic example of a red herring fallacy.

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  • 3. 

    Really exciting novels are very rare. And since rare books are expensive, I can’t afford to buy any really exciting novels.

    • A.

      Red Herring

    • B.

      Appeal to Authority

    • C.

      Undistributed Middle

    • D.

      Vagueness

    • E.

      Equivocation

    Correct Answer
    E. Equivocation
    Explanation
    The explanation for the correct answer, which is "Equivocation," is that the argument relies on a play on words or ambiguous language. The statement suggests that really exciting novels are rare and expensive, but it fails to clarify whether the rarity refers to all really exciting novels or just the ones that the person can't afford. This ambiguity in the meaning of "rare" allows for a shift in the argument's conclusion, making it an example of equivocation.

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  • 4. 

    Poetry is based on rhythm, and music is based on rhythm, so isn't poetry a kind of music?

    • A.

      Red Herring

    • B.

      Undistributed Middle

    • C.

      Appeal to Authority

    • D.

      Genetic Fallacy

    • E.

      Vagueness

    Correct Answer
    B. Undistributed Middle
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Undistributed Middle. This fallacy occurs when the middle term in a syllogism is not distributed (referring to all members of a class) in either the major or minor premise. In this case, the argument assumes that because poetry and music are both based on rhythm, poetry must be a kind of music. However, this does not necessarily follow as there could be other factors that differentiate poetry from music. The middle term "based on rhythm" is not distributed in either premise, making the argument fallacious.

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  • 5. 

    Wife: “I see Mr. Smith is cooking out on his new barbecue grill.” Husband: “So his wife finally got fed up with his unfaithfulness!”

    • A.

      Straw Man

    • B.

      Vagueness

    • C.

      Suppressed Evidence

    • D.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • E.

      Red Herring

    Correct Answer
    B. Vagueness
    Explanation
    The husband's response of assuming that Mr. Smith's wife got fed up with his unfaithfulness is an example of vagueness. The wife simply mentioned that Mr. Smith is cooking on his new grill, but the husband jumps to a completely unrelated conclusion without any evidence or clear reasoning. This response is vague because it lacks clarity and is based on assumptions rather than concrete information.

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  • 6. 

    Radio talk show host, on learning that an association of critical thinking professors had suggested his show as a source of fallacious reasoning: “Who are these people? They talk to maybe 30 people at a time. I talk to 5 million people every day. They could not begin to do what I do. They are just gnats flying around getting in the way.”

    • A.

      Vagueness

    • B.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • C.

      Red Herring

    • D.

      Appeal to Authority

    • E.

      Straw Man

    Correct Answer
    C. Red Herring
    Explanation
    The radio talk show host's response is a red herring because he is diverting attention away from the association of critical thinking professors and their suggestion by focusing on the size of his audience and belittling the professors. He is not addressing the validity of their claim or providing any relevant information to support his argument. Instead, he is using a tactic to distract from the main issue and discredit the professors without providing any substantial counterarguments.

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  • 7. 

    Before he died, poet Allen Ginsberg argued in favor of legalizing pornography. But Ginsberg's arguments are nothing but trash. Ginsberg was a pot-smoking homosexual and a thoroughgoing advocate of the drug culture.

    • A.

      Genetic Fallacy

    • B.

      False Cause

    • C.

      Equivocation

    • D.

      Red Herring

    • E.

      Straw Man

    Correct Answer
    A. Genetic Fallacy
    Explanation
    The given explanation suggests that the answer to the question is Genetic Fallacy. This fallacy occurs when someone's argument is dismissed based on irrelevant or unrelated factors about the person making the argument. In this case, the argument in favor of legalizing pornography is dismissed because of personal attacks on Allen Ginsberg's character, such as being a pot-smoking homosexual and advocate of the drug culture. These personal characteristics have no direct relevance to the validity of his argument, making it a genetic fallacy.

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  • 8. 

    We should pass a constitutional amendment making it illegal to burn the American flag. Anyone who thinks otherwise just hates America.

    • A.

      Red Herring

    • B.

      Equivocation

    • C.

      Suppressed Evidence

    • D.

      Straw Man

    • E.

      False Cause

    Correct Answer
    D. Straw Man
    Explanation
    The given statement presents a straw man fallacy. It misrepresents the opposing argument by suggesting that anyone who disagrees with passing a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning hates America. This argument diverts attention from the actual issue at hand, which is whether or not flag burning should be illegal, and instead creates a false and exaggerated representation of the opposing viewpoint.

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  • 9. 

    Miller Lite is cheap beer, so the Guinness will be cheap, too.  

    • A.

      Straw Man

    • B.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • C.

      Appeal to Authority

    • D.

      False Cause

    • E.

      Equivocation

    Correct Answer
    B. Questionable Use of Statistics
    Explanation
    The explanation for the correct answer, "Questionable Use of Statistics," is that the statement assumes that because Miller Lite is cheap beer, Guinness will also be cheap. However, this conclusion is based on a faulty use of statistics, as the price of one beer does not necessarily determine the price of another. The statement does not provide any evidence or data to support the claim that Guinness will be cheap based on the price of Miller Lite. Therefore, the reasoning is flawed and relies on questionable use of statistics.

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  • 10. 

    Middle-class families are paying more taxes than ever.

    • A.

      Straw Man

    • B.

      Undistributed Middle

    • C.

      Equivocation

    • D.

      Genetic Fallacy

    • E.

      Vagueness

    Correct Answer
    E. Vagueness
    Explanation
    Vagueness refers to a lack of clarity or precision in language or statements. In this context, the statement "Middle-class families are paying more taxes than ever" is vague because it does not specify which country or time period it is referring to. Without this information, it is difficult to determine the accuracy or relevance of the statement. Vagueness can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations of information.

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  • Current Version
  • Mar 21, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Oct 31, 2009
    Quiz Created by
    Shawanba
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