Rationalization Fallacy Examples in Media, Real Life, Politics, News & Ads
Rationalization Fallacy Definition
Rationalization (also called the Rationalization Fallacy) is a very common bias where a person has to rationalize or justify their actions, feelings, or beliefs. It is a form of self-deception that’s especially dangerous for adolescents because they’re still developing their identity and moral compass.
The “rationalization fallacy” is the act of playing the devil’s advocate to prove a point you already believe in. The rationalization fallacy is a persuasive technique that is used in communication in order to avoid the appearance of an unjustified conclusion.
The most common type of rationalization is when someone says that they have a reason for making a decision. But that reason is not a good one. We may need to do this because “I want to do it”. We may have to do this because “everyone else is doing it”.
For example, if you were tempted to eat chocolate, you might justify the action by telling yourself that “chocolate is good for you” even though you really just want to eat it because it tastes good. I’m not sure if you have the time to read this, but I wanted to share a few thoughts about the rationalization fallacy.
This fallacy is found in every aspect of life, but it’s most common in the workplace, where it can lead to unethical business practices and unfair treatment of employees.
There is an abundance of evidence that this fallacy exists being used as a defense for unethical business practices.
When we reject the facts or fail to look at all the evidence, we are committing the rationalization fallacy. We can end up making this fallacy if we are trying to convince ourselves of the rightness of what we are doing.
Rationalization Fallacy Examples
Rationalization example in Philosophy
Examples of Rationalization Fallacy in Philosophy:
The person is convinced that the reason they did something wrong or bad was because of a circumstance, not their own fault,. They are trying to justify their actions by blaming someone else for it.
It’s often done in an effort to convince themselves that what they did wasn’t really so bad
Rationalization Fallacy Real-Life Examples
Rationalization Fallacy in Real Life:
The most common example of the rationalization fallacy is when someone explains away their poor grades with the claim that they are not studying enough. Other examples include using the excuse that they are too busy or that they didn’t graduate high school.
The rationalization fallacy is a common logical fallacy where someone offers an explanation to justify a questionable or unfavorable behavior.
Rationalization Fallacy Examples in Media
Examples of Rationalization Fallacy in Media:
The media often rationalizes the actions of people in power by portraying them as being benevolent.
Rationalization can be seen when the media portrays a politician who is caught in an affair with someone else’s wife as being “loyal” to his own wife.
The media also rationalizes violence and war by depicting it as necessary for peace
Rationalization Examples in Advertising
Rationalization Fallacy in Advertising:
- The product is not as expensive as other similar products.
- The product has a lot of features that other similar products don’t have.
- The company gives back to the community
Rationalization Fallacy in Politics
Examples of Rationalization Fallacy in Politics:
- The president is not racist because he has a black friend.
- The president is not sexist because he hired a woman to be his secretary of state.
- The president’s policies are good for the economy, so they must be good for you too
Rationalization Fallacy examples in Movies
Examples of Rationalization Fallacy in Movies:
- The protagonist is always right, even when they are not.
- Characters never change their minds or admit that they were wrong.
- Plot devices are used to make the protagonist look like a hero and save the day
Rationalization Fallacy Examples in Literature
Examples of Rationalization Fallacy in Literature:
The protagonist of “The Catcher in the Rye” is a 16-year-old boy who has been expelled from prep school and decides to spend his Christmas break in New York City, where he becomes increasingly alienated from society.
In “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Blanche DuBois moves to New Orleans with her sister Stella and brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski after she loses her family’s estate due to gambling debts.
In “Lord of the Flies,” a group of British boys are stranded on an uninhabited island following their plane crash during World War II
Rationalization Fallacy Examples in News
Examples of Rationalization Fallacy in News:
The media often uses the fallacy of rationalization to justify their position when they are in the minority opinion.
This is done by presenting facts that support their argument and ignoring or dismissing any evidence that contradicts it.
For example, a news outlet may publish an article about how most people agree with them on an issue while only citing data from polls where they were included as one of the options.