Straw Person Fallacy

🧠 Psych - 117 / 200

Hello,

Can’t believe it’s October already.

Let me tell you about Straw Person Fallacy. 🍓

What is it?

When one attacks a twisted version of the opponent’s stance, they can be said to have committed a straw man fallacy. The argument disturbs and twists the opposition’s stance to make it convenient to claim or prove.

Examples -

Prakash is the class monitor. He thinks that the class should show more interest in their projects and mid-term examinations.

Mehek is disappointed that Prakash doesn’t care about the annual sports meet and only wants to focus on exams and projects. [1]

Where does it occur?

You can notice it in politics, commercials and advertisements. In the famous "Where's the beef?" Wendy's restaurant advertising campaign, the commercials exaggerate the tiny amount of meat that other chains use in their burgers to show how much bigger and better its burgers are. [2]

Why do I need to know?

To refute a straw man attack during a debate, point out the fallacy and how it is incorrect. If you ignore it, and the attacker keeps harping on it, the real issue could get buried in the straw.

If you try and defend what the opponent said in your position, it gets increasingly difficult to show how the opponent distorted your views. [2]

References & Studies: -

  1. https://harappa.education/harappa-diaries/meaning-of-strawman-fallacy-and-its-exampleswhat-is-a-straw-man-fallacy/

  2. https://www.thoughtco.com/straw-man-fallacy-1692144


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