Looking for examples of causal fallacy? So, let’s first start with understanding causal fallacy.
A causal fallacy is an error in reasoning that occurs when someone incorrectly assumes that there is a relationship between two things just because they are often related. The error in this thinking is called the “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy, which means “after this, therefore because of this.”
This type of fallacy can be difficult to avoid, but it is important to be aware of it to reason more clearly.
Examples of Causal Fallacy
Here are some examples of causal fallacy to what it looks like.
- When someone assumes that all students who like to party are lazy and will likely fail their classes.
While it is true that some students who party a lot do end up failing their classes, many students party a lot and still manage to get good grades.
- Someone might see a person trip and then fall down the stairs and conclude that the tripping caused the falling. However, it is also possible that the person tripped because they were already falling down the stairs.
Causal Fallacy Example In Real Life
Mentioned below are some examples of the causal fallacy that we use in our daily life.
- Whenever I wash my car, it rains.
- My friend likes cycling, and I should also like it because I am his friend.
- People buy more pumpkins in October than in any other month
- I am not going to that shop because last time he mistakenly charged me extra
- Many old houses are haunted, or haunted houses are old
- I wanted to become a teacher, but my friend is a teacher, so I became a doctor
- Whenever I take these pills, I sleep
- Children who play violent video games are more violent.
- Every time the rooster crows, the sun comes up.
- He got angry because of your frustration
- God exists because I am his believer.
- Students commit suicide because of study stress.
- She left you because you are not beautiful
- It was all going well until you arrived
Causal Fallacy Examples and Superstitious Belief
In these examples, we will see a causal connection between the happening and the proximity of time. This creates a mythical connection between the two, as seen in the examples.
- These black pants bring bad luck. I got into an accident last time when I wore them.
- Our market made a lot of money until Emily came.
- Every time this bird sits in the car, something bad happens
- I wore this lucky hat, and my team won
- I wore this shirt, and we lost
Kinds Of Causal Fallacies With Examples
Mentioned below are some kind of the causal fallacies with examples;
Post Hoc Fallacy
The post hoc fallacy is a logical fallacy when someone assumes that the first event caused the second because one event followed another.
Suppose you eat new food and then get sick. You might assume that the new food made you sick, but other explanations could exist.
Maybe you were already getting sick, and the new food coincided with the start of your illness. Or maybe the new food had nothing to do with your illness, and you just got sick by chance.
The post hoc fallacy occurs when people fail to consider alternative explanations and conclude that one event caused another simply because it came first. This type of thinking can lead to all sorts of false beliefs and can be used to manipulate people by preying on their fears and biases.
The genetic fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone judges the merits of an argument based on its origin. People assume that two things are correlated to cause the third one.
The genetic fallacy is a dangerous mistake, but we can avoid succumbing to it if we are aware.
- Dismiss this scientific theory because it is “just a theory.” and it has nothing to do
- Students get injured during games.
- You will get injured if you jump.
In each of these cases, the person allows their biases to cloud their judgment, and as a result, they are not considering the argument on its merits.
Reverse Causal Directions
The Reverse Causal Directions fallacy is committed when it is assumed that because B follows A, A caused B. The reverse happens all the time as well.
It assumes that two events are correlated with each other. Just because two events are correlated does not mean one caused the other.
- I put my shoes on before I leave for work ( Just because I put my shoes on before I leave for work does not mean that putting my shoes on caused me to leave for work)
- People who engage in solo activities are solo males. (The fact that many people who engage in criminal activity are solo males does not mean that being a solo male causes criminal activity).
- I prayed for good weather, so it rained. ( Prayer causes rain. The reality is that there is no causal link between prayer and rain. They just happen to be correlated.
- She purchased paper and paper clips (Papers did not force her to buy paper clips, but there is a correlation between the two).
This fallacy can be avoided by remembering that correlation does not equal causation. Just because two things are related does not mean that one caused the other.
Fallacy Of the Single Cause
The Fallacy of the Single Cause, also known as Causal Oversimplification, is a fallacy that occurs when a complex problem is reduced to a single cause. This can lead to ineffective solutions and a false understanding of the problem.
- Imagine that a city is experiencing an increase in crime. The Mayor might blame this on a lack of police officers and call for more officers to be hired. However, multiple factors often contribute to crime rates, and simply increasing the number of police officers is not likely to be an effective solution.
- When we fail an exam, we might be tempted to blame it on our intelligence or lack of effort. However, the reality is that multiple factors usually contribute to our success or failure.
Confusing Correlation of Causation
A cause is something that makes another thing happen. It shows a confusing relationship between the two things.
- When you hit a nail with a hammer, the hitting is the cause, and the dent in the nail is the effect. A correlation is when two things are related.
- There were good sales until she joined our business.
- When it rains, more people seem to catch colds. However, just because two things are related does not mean that one causes the other. In this case, the weather is correlated with colds, but it doesn’t cause them.
To understand the fallacy, we can assume that the weather is not even a necessary component of colds. Cold can occur indoors during any season. The confusion between correlation and causation often leads people to assume that one thing causes another when there is no evidence to support this claim.
So, next time you see two things that seem related, remember to ask yourself whether there is evidence to suggest that one caused the other before drawing any conclusions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Avoid Causal Fallacy?
The easiest way to avoid the causal fallacy is to remember that correlations are not always linked with causation. Just because two things happen together doesn’t mean one caused the other.
For example, just because there’s a correlation between eating ice cream and catching a cold doesn’t mean that eating ice cream causes a cold.
It could just be a coincidence. To prove that one thing causes another, you must conduct a controlled experiment where you manipulate one variable to measure its effect on the other variable. You should look for sufficient evidence for the correlation between the two things.
Is Causal Fallacy Also Known As False Cause Fallacy?
Yes, Causal Fallacy is also known as False Cause Fallacy because it falsely assumes that one thing caused another.
It creates a false connection between the two events, mistakenly assuming that because one event followed another, the first event must have been the cause of the second. Although the truth is the connection between them probably does not exist.