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bandwagon

In this error in logic, the writer claims that a conclusion is right simply because most people agree with it. The reasoning here is that if people in general believe something, it must be true. It is easy to see the flaw in this thinking—remember that in the time of Columbus, virtually everyone believed the world was flat!

Examples:

  • This product must be safe because a lot of people are using it.
  • There is growing support for this controversial position. Obviously, we need to bring our legislation into conformity with the wishes of the people.
  • There must be other life forms in the universe—if extraterrestrial life didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be so many people who believe in it.

Look critically at an argument before jumping on the bandwagon!