1. Item 1
– Analysis: Basing on the news item “As people grow older, they tend to store their socks flat rather than rolled up “reading out by her daughter, the mother immediately reasoned it weakly; she thought that her husband would feel younger if he rolled his socks up. She used an analogy to support her conclusion. The younger is thought to store their socks rolled up, but it doesn’t mean that the people who roll their socks up will be the young or feel younger. Besides, the father also drew his own inappropriate analogy. Believing in his wife conclusion, he found out that he has been wasting his time exercising and eating oat bran, which lead to serious misunderstanding of the whole family.
=> Weak analogy
2. Item 2
Sam is riding her bike in her home town in Maine, minding her own business. A station wagon comes up behind her and the driver starts beeping his horn and then tries to force her off the road. As he goes by, the driver yells “get on the sidewalk where you belong!” Sam sees that the car has Ohio plates and concludes that all Ohio drivers are jerks.
– Analysis: Sam starts to have a prejudice against all Ohio drivers when she encounters a particular one who beeps his horn, tries to force her off the road and yells “get on the sidewalk where you belong! “. She draws a conclusion about all members of a group from characteristics of a few members, which is inappropriate.
=> Hasty generalization
3. Item 3
Gerda Reith is convinced that superstition can be a positive force. “It gives you a sense of control by making you think you can work out what’s going to happen next,” she says. “And it also makes you feel lucky. And to take a risk or to enter into a chancy situation, you really have to believe in your own luck. In that sense, it’s a very useful way of thinking, because the alternative is fatalism, which is to say, ‘Oh, there’s nothing I can do.’ At least superstition makes people do things.”
Analysis: Fatalism is not the alternative to superstition; it is an alternative. Superstition involves acting in ways that are ineffective, whereas fatalism involves failing to act even in situations in which our efforts can be effective. Fortunately, there are other alternatives, such as recognizing that there are some things we can control and other things we cannot, and only acting in the first case.
=> False dilemma