9

I was talking to a small business owner the other day. When asked why they never incorporated in order to limit their liability, their explanation was, to paraphrase, "nothing bad has happened to us in the past, so nothing bad will happen to us in the future."

My initial thought was that it was the gambler's fallacy, but that has to do with predicting that an event will happen less often in the future because it happened many times recently or vice versa.

Is there a fallacy that involves arguing things will continue to be the same in the future because they haven't happened in the past?

  • Selection bias? Changing your own estimate about yourself, "I never died and therefore I won't" – Niklas R. Dec 5 '14 at 18:45
  • Per my answer, I do think it is Normalcy bias. They believe that bad things won't happen in the future because it hasn't happened in the past. It's a form of denial and self-delusion. – pooter03 Dec 5 '14 at 20:05
6

I was able to get the answer. It is a cognitive bias: the Normalcy Bias. Quoting from the Wiki article,

The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur. It can result in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    This is a psychological explanation rather than an identification of the logical fallacy in question. – virmaior Jun 9 '15 at 12:53
  • 1
    @virmaior Fallacies look like logical arguments but aren't. Wouldn't they have to be psychological in nature? – David Thornley Nov 9 '18 at 18:59
  • No idea if they are psychological in nature ... my point is that this explains things in terms of psychology, i.e. a different methodology than philosophy. – virmaior Nov 9 '18 at 19:17
2

They are using induction. There is no justification for induction without using induction in the first place. In other words, any argument for induction would be based on the fallacy of begging the question. So then, we can say that induction is the fallacy that has taken place in his reasoning.

Edit:

I am not able to respond to the alleged answer, but the fallacy is a form of inductive inference.

| improve this answer | |
  • Sometimes this is called "false induction fallacy". That might be what you were looking for – virmaior Jun 21 '15 at 6:52
1

I know it's an old one, but I was searching for this too and I assume Optimism bias is fitting very good. Perfect actually. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimism_bias

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.