Fallacies to Persuade and Possibly Manipulate

 Advertisements exist to sell you a product. It might be soap, music, political positions, or ideas. Most advertisements use a variety of logical fallacies to persuade but some use them to subtlety or overtly manipulate the intended audience. 

– Review the list of logical fallacies in your content and study the ads presented.

– Select at least two (2) ads that you feel represent two (2) different logical fallacies. 

– Determine how the language and images of the ads appeal to the consumer; identify the kinds of fallacies being used;  and describe what needs or insecurities the ads are trying to reach. 

– Explain the ads’ effectiveness.

Here is a list of fallacies

Ad hominem – attacking the person rather than the issue. Sometimes this is acceptable if the reason for attacking the individual is related to the issue.

All or nothing (black-and-white and either/or) – unfairly limiting reader to only two choices when there are most likely more options.

Appeal to authority – appealing to an authority is a fallacy if the authority is not an expert on the topic, cannot be trusted to tell the truth, or is misquoted.

Appeal to emotions – attempting to use emotions as key premises or tools to downplay relevant information.

Appeal to force (scare tactic) – threatening opponent rather than giving logical reason.

Appeal to ignorance – saying that something is false because it is not known to be true.

Bandwagon – saying that a claim is correct because it is what most everyone believes.

Begging the question – using circular reasoning to prove a conclusion that is included in the premise.

Circular reasoning – beginning an argument with what the reasoned is trying to prove.

Either/or – unfairly limiting reader to only two choices when there are most likely more options.

Exaggeration – overstating or overemphasizing a point.

Rationalizing – providing reasons that may not be our reasons for supporting our claim.

Red herring – like using a smelly fish to distract a bloodhound, using a digression to lead reader off track from relevant information.

Scapegoating – blaming an unpopular person or group for a problem.

Self-fulfilling prophecy – not recognizing that an act of prophesying will produce the effect that is predicted.