Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy Examples in Media, Real Life, Politics, News & Ads
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy Definition
The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy is a fallacy in which a person argues that a correlation between two variables is not due to the hypothetical cause because of the phenomenon of the same event happening at the same time. It occurs when a person fails to distinguish the evidence for their argument from a large body of evidence. The person needs to provide clear evidence that their argument is truthful.
The widely used term “Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy” refers to similarities that are produced by selective attention. The term can also be used to describe the results of improper pattern recognition. The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy is a term that relates to the fallacy of a person drawing conclusions on incomplete and biased data. The phenomenon is also commonly referred to as “reverse cherry-picking” or “cherry-picking.”
The term was coined by a psychiatrist named Drake Bennett in his article “The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.” Drake Bennett applied the term to psychological experiments involving over-exaggerated levels of significance. It is a logical fallacy perpetrated by the belief that any given number of events is more likely to result from chance if all of those events share a common characteristic.
It is used to describe a fallacy where a person has identified a pattern because they only focus on the observations they think support their hypothesis and disregard the observations that conflict with their hypothesis.
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy Examples
Texas Sharpshooter example in Philosophy
Examples of Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy in Philosophy:
A philosopher may argue that a particular philosophical position is true because it seems to be the only one that can account for all the data when in reality, other positions could also account for all of the data.
The Texas sharpshooter fallacy occurs when someone selectively gathers evidence or applies logical rules to make an argument seem more compelling than it really is.
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy Real-Life Examples
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy in Real Life:
If I say, “I’m a vegan, why don’t you try it,” and you’re a vegan, your response might be, “I’m doing pretty well so far.” That’s an argument that I am the exception to the rule.
The Texas sharpshooter fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone makes a claim and then offers evidence that is not representative of the whole but instead is selected to serve as support for the claim.
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy Examples in Media
Examples of Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy in Media:
The media often reports on a study that finds an association between two events but fails to mention other studies that found no link.
For example, if the media reports on a study that found an association between obesity and diabetes, they may fail to mention another study that found no such link.
This is called “Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy” because it’s like shooting at the side of a barn and then drawing your target around where you hit.
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy Examples in Advertising
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy in Advertising:
The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy is the fallacy of drawing a conclusion from data that has been deliberately selected to confirm it.
A common example of this fallacy in advertising is when an advertiser only advertises on channels with demographics that match their target audience.
This can lead to advertisers concluding, for instance, that all consumers are male because they advertise on sports channels.
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy in Politics
Examples of Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy in Politics:
A politician’s voting record is analyzed, and they are found to have voted for a bill that was passed with bipartisan support.
The politician’s opponents claim that the politician only supports bills when it will benefit their reelection campaign.
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy examples in Movies
Examples of Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy in Movies:
The Texas sharpshooter fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone takes an event or pattern and assumes it to be causal without further evidence.
An example of this would be if someone watched the movie “The Matrix” and assumed that because Neo was able to dodge bullets, he must have been born with superhuman reflexes.
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy Examples in Literature
Examples of Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy in Literature:
The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy draws its name from a visual analogy popularized in Steven J. Gould’s book “The Mismeasure of Man.” This analogy is often associated with fallacies that are based on a biased or incomplete sample
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy Examples in News
Examples of Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy in News:
When it comes to statistical analysis, people will often fall for what is termed the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. This fallacy can be summarized as drawing a target after the fact. The fallacy comes into play when the person drawing the target has already heard the results and sets the target accordingly.
In other words, if researchers assume one outcome and only collect data from that outcome, they’ll analyze the data as if it they were going to get it to begin with.