Informal Fallacies And Cognitive Biases
To use a simple analogy, informal fallacies and cognitive biases are two sides of the same coin-one side that is faulty verbal or written reasoning and other represents faulty reasoning. Informal fallacies describe the argument and enhance the persuasiveness of the rhetoric, the relevance, or clarity of the content, and the purpose or goal of the argument. Cognitive biases focus on how perceptions of the external object or argument are faulty and are easily influenced. Cognitive biases are caused by our decisions and usually we use mental shortcuts to complete the task with faster speed, but also makes us more prone to commit mistakes.
Informal fallacies and cognitive biases should, therefore, be understood and makes situations more reasonable. Informal fallacies are persuasive tools that tend to induce errors in the way that it alters perception of people. They must be handled somewhat delicately since they can be misused to manipulate others. Cognitive biases are descriptive labels for processes that are inborn in the individual as well as learned from social influences. Biases are what make the mind susceptible to persuasive, fallacious arguments because the biases themselves act against reason-they lead people to reach incorrect conclusions that the ‘reasonable person’ would never reach.Thus, fallacies they can be committed intentionally to deceive an audience or they can be committed unintentionally by honest arguers. Most significant reason of cognitive biases on argumentation is the selection of premises.Unknowingly, arguers put forward a set of premises and claim unique reasons to support the situation that they want to make . While this kind of partiality may not always be fallacious, it seems in many cases to undermine the rationality and the credibility of the argument.Most people tend to commit specific errors of reasoning which appear to be too systematic and too pervasive to be random. Whenever someone commits a mistake unintentionally, the choice of premises links to the tendency to favor information that confirms one’s preconceptions. Under the influence of a given desire or emotion, the arguer tends to focus on the evidence that seems to confirm his claim and, conversely, to reject the claim if the situation is not accepted. In principle, the effect that causes the biased search for evidence is associated with the arguer’s commitment towards the credited position. Therefore,cognitive biases affect our reasoning during a discussion.
We can relate this with the upcoming example.A person feels very strongly against consumption of transgenic wheat and he cross-checked scientific studies that confirm her claims, and to disregard studies seemed incompatible. But on the other hand, the motivating effect could also be the desire to be right about the issue at stake. In such cases, it is the emotion of pride that comes into the picture, similarly it happens with the case of self-serving biases where leading arguer seek for information only to prove him correct . As a result, the premises put forward might be so partial that the argument loses its balance and credibility, thereby undermining the goal of the discussion.