8

I am looking for the name for the logical fallacy that compares the best samples from one group with the worst samples from the second group and concludes that the first group is better than the second. Example (maybe a little vague): In a gun-related debate a picture is presented with two doctors who were recently accused of murder and a person with a gun (probably a marine) and the question is asked: "who is the real murderer?" The conclusion that one is supposed to draw is that based on this comparison of "the worst" of the doctors vs. "the best" of the gun users is that the whole group of gun-users is "good".

10

Informal fallacies have fuzzy boundaries. This seems to me to be a variation on "cherry picking," which is basing a general conclusion on a few carefully selected data points (which may not reflect the larger trends).

  • 3
    I think cherry picking is the best answer here. Hasty generalization is based on too small a sample. But what OP is asking about is based on the biased method of selecting the sample, not its size. – shane Mar 30 '16 at 15:00
  • 2
    After some research, I think that it is a particular sub-type of cherry-picking. There is a nice example in Rational Wiki: Cherry-picking is common among historical revisionists who may try to smear a group they disagree with by finding a couple people on the other side who were "bad" while only presenting a few people on your own side who were "good". – Igor Mar 30 '16 at 16:34
  • 1
    @shane Agreed, I will edit to remove the extraneous answers. – Chris Sunami Mar 30 '16 at 17:53

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.