Psychology Sample Essay Paper on Logical Fallacies

Logical Fallacies

            Logical fallacies are the cognitive mistakes that people make in decision-making. The human mind synthesizes information based on the previous occurrences or the known truths. In most cases, people believe something to be true just because the available information predicts the truth. However, making decisions based on the available information is dangerous both at the personal and business level. The most common fallacies include overconfidence fallacies, anchoring fallacies, planning fallacies and gamblers fallacy. All these fallacies attribute to the system one thinking where people make quick and fast decision on limited information without considering the other possible outcomes. Every person around the world has fallen prey of one or more of the logical fallacies (Vleet, 2012). As such, it is important for people to understand the various mechanisms to avoid making mistakes in decision-making based on logical fallacies.

            The idea of generalizing information is the aspect that makes it easy for people to fall prey to logical fallacies. As such, one must avoid generalization of ideas based on very little information. The first impression mechanism hinders people from accepting other options and the possibility of different outcomes. People are quick to believe the first idea they create about a person or a thing based on limited information. Therefore, to avoid logical fallacies in decision-making, one must be willing to seek more information concerning a subject before generalizing results (Kahneman, 2012). Consequently, most people who fall prey of the anchoring fallacy make decisions under a lot of pressure. The world system has created a nation where people must act fast to show their level of confidence in their course. Again, people make decisions faster because they believe in the power of risk taking. As such, people should allocate enough time to decision making and avoid the last minute rush for effective decision-making. To avoiding the mistakes that occur because of overconfidence, people should make decisions in a systematic way and consult different sources before concluding on a matter. Consequently, people should always be willing to seek more information on issues that they think they know to avoid generalizing ideals based on assumptions (Almossawi, 2013). Discussing ideas with different groups of people can help in the acquisition of relevant information that allows people to make sound decisions.

            I have fallen prey to logical fallacies in many occasions. We were once faced with a situation in the workplace on whether to double our investments. The past four years had proven successful and the market was expanding tremendously. Therefore, based on the previous occurrences, it was safe to assume that the growth would continue. As such, we all voted for a double investment with the hope of expanding our markets. The results were, however, not favorable because the markets did not expand and the economic stability of the company was shaken. The team made a mistake of making a rational decision based on the known truths without factoring in the possible changes in the market.

A Decision Tree

Decision-making: investment  
Stay put  
Double the investment  

                                                                                                                                    0.6                                                                                                                                                Increased sales

                                                                                    New markets              0.4       loss            

                                                                                    Product diversification

                                                                                                                        0.4            Double profits                                                                                                                        0.6                  

                                                                                                                        Loose uniqueness

                                                                                                0.5       Stabilize profits                                                                                                                        0.5            increase sales

The decision tree can help in making better decisions because it outlines all the possible outcomes thus allowing the decision maker to pick the most viable option. Additionally, the decision tree does not give room for assumptions and generalization because it is based on facts (Rokach & Maimon, 2015). Therefore, the decision tree goes a long way in preventing people from falling prey to logic fallacies.

References

Almossawi, A. (2013). An illustrated book of bad arguments. New York: The experiment.

Kahneman, D. (2012). The truth about how we think. Business journal. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/153062/truth-think.aspx.

Rokach, L. & Maimon, O. (2015). Data mining with decision trees: theory and applications. New Jersey: World Scientific.

Vleet, V. (2012). Informal Logical Fallacies a Brief Guide. Lanham: University Press of America.