The Fallacy Detective: Generalization

The Fallacy Detective continues to be one of my favorite books this year.

The fallacy Generalization means, referring to making comments about an entire group of things or people, and saying the same thing is true about all of them.

One example from the book is, “No matter what they say, all salesmen don’t care a bit about the people they sell to. They just want your money.” In reality, not 100% of all salesmen don’t care about their customers.

Generalizations can be weak or strong. Say I surveyed 100 people, and they all agreed that Verizon is the best phone carrier. That generalization would be weaker than if I surveyed 1000 people.

But if I took a study of all people in the world who liked milk, and all of them liked 2% better than 1%, I could say that all people like 2% better than 1%. That would not be a generalization. It would actually be true. 🙂


This was pretty short, but then again, it was a short chapter….

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