14: Cherry Picking

Informal Fallacies

Key Terms

Modus Ponens
Modus Tollens
Disjunctive Syllogism
Reduction Fallacy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
False Dilemma
Straw Man
Special Pleading
Slippery Slope
Weasel Words
Meaningless Jargon
Argument from Authority
Argument from Tradition
Ad Hominem Attack
Appeals to Emotion (Pity/Fear/Flattery)
Cherry Picking

  • Not logical
  • Pseudo-reasoning (false reasoning)
  • Unsound arguments

Fallacies of Evidence

  • Or, what happens to public discourse when we forget to do proper research
  • 3 types:
    • Cherry Picking
    • Hasty Generalization
    • Hasty Conclusion

Cherry Picking

  • Only useful examples are chosen to support an argument
  • Other evidence is ignored


  • Have you heard about the labor problems they’re having in Springfield? I don’t know why anyone would ever join a union! Unions are bad for America!


  • Purpose is to intentionally distract the target from the argument
  • The examples chosen are not indicative of a larger trend and so there is insufficient evidence to draw a conclusion