An Easy Way to Lose an Argument: Fallacious Fallacies Quiz

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About This Quiz

Fallacies make your arguments weak, and learning to avoid these reasoning failures can make you a better speaker and give you the edge over friends and family when it comes to winning a debate. Take our quiz to test your knowledge of fallacies forthright and subtle.

The tu quoque fallacy is also known by this name.

Tu quoque, or you-too, is a fallacy in which one dismisses an argument because the person making it doesn't practice what he preaches.

Which of these is an example of tu quoque?

If you dismiss the advice of a drug addict to tells you to avoid drugs, you are guilty of the tu quoque fallacy.

Stealing someone's lunch because she stole yours is an example of this fallacy.

This is a type of ad hominem fallacy simply called "two wrongs make a right."

What does "ad hominem" mean?

Ad hominem means to the person. It applies to fallacies where an argument is dismissed because of the person making it, not because of the argument itself.

What is another name for ad baculum?

Ad baculum, also known as scare tactic or appeal to emotion, is a type of fallacy in which an argument invokes fear or emotion.

If you fall down the stairs, you're out of shape. You're out of shape, so you're going to fall down the stairs. This is an example of …

This is an example of the fallacy of affirming the consequent.

My mom smokes a pack a day, and she's super healthy. This is an example of …

This example uses anecdotal evidence to draw a conclusion. One example — an anecdote — is simply not a useful amount of evidence to support an argument.

Which of these is an appeal to authority?

An appeal to authority is a type of fallacy which relies on an authority that isn't actually an expert in the field at hand. Your grandfather may be a great guy, but unless he's a bona fide rocket scientist, his thoughts on alien life don’t prove anything.

Line-drawing occurs when an argument has this quality.

Line-drawing, or bald-man fallacies, applies to arguments that are overly vague or nonspecific.

If Hillary Clinton responds to questions about her email security with pictures of her grandchildren, she is …

Avoiding the issue is a fallacy in which one responds to questions with information unrelated to the topic at hand.

What is ad crumenam an appeal to?

Ad crumenam arguments appeal to money — for example, suggesting that Donald Trump would be a good resident because he is wealthy.

What is a fallacy called that assigns human qualities to inanimate objects?

Pathetic fallacies assign human qualities to inanimate objects. Examples include a cruel storm or a car that hates you because it breaks down.

Buying a Lexus because that's the car you've always bought before is an example of …

Doing something because that's what you've always done before is known as an appeal to traditional wisdom.

An issue that distracts from a relevant argument goes by this color.

A red herring is any issue that distracts listeners from a relevant argument.

What is ad novitatem also known as?

An ad novitatem, or appeal to novelty, refers to the argument that something must be better because it's newer than something else.

Which of these is NOT another name for a false dilemma?

A false dilemma — presenting someone with an unreasonably limited choice — is also known as a false dichotomy or a black-and-white argument.

"Windshield wipers cause car accidents" is an example of this fallacy.

Both wiper use and car accidents increase when it rains, but just because these issues share a common cause doesn’t mean that one causes the other.

What is another name for an ad populum fallacy?

An ad populum fallacy appeals to the people or attempts to support an argument by stating that it's what everyone believes, so it must be true.

Arguing that a whole takes on the qualities of its parts is an example of this fallacy.

A composition fallacy incorrectly assumes that a whole takes on the qualities of its individual components.

Which is an example of the composition fallacy?

Assuming that an entire brick wall is cheap to build just because one brick is inexpensive to buy is an example of composition fallacy.

Which of these is the opposite of composition fallacy?

Division fallacy — assuming each component of a whole takes on the properties of the whole — is the opposite of composition fallacy.

What fallacy is nicknamed the "Disney fallacy"?

Disney fallacy is another name for anthropomorphism, or assigning human emotions to an animal.

Which of these is an example of anthropomorphism?

Your dog may be happy to see you, but he has no idea you love him — that's anthropomorphism at work.

Which of these fallacies involves switching the meaning of a term midargument?

If you incorrectly swap the meaning of a term midargument, you're guilty of equivocation.

Believing a certain number is "due" in the lottery is an example of this fallacy.

The gambler's fallacy involves thinking a random event or occurrence is due because it hasn't happened in a while. Each flip of a coin is completely independent and unrelated to any previous or future flips.

Speaking of the universe or nature in concrete terms is an example of this fallacy.

Both nature and the universe are abstract, so if you speak of them in concrete terms, you are guilty of hypostatization.

Believing that a small typo negates an entire written argument is an example of this fallacy.

Quibbling discounts an entire argument based on one small or minor detail, such as a typo.

Nostradamus believers are guilty of this fallacy.

The sharpshooter fallacy refers to arguments where one makes a large number of predictions, then claims victory when even one comes true.

Claiming you're not cheap because you bought a round of drinks that one time is an example of this fallacy.

One token gesture doesn't prove an argument, and buying one round of drinks last year doesn't prove your generosity.

"The devil made me do it" is an example of this fallacy.

This type of statement is a type of unfalsifiability. It's possible the devil did make you do it, but no one can prove it, so arguing that he did is a form of fallacy.

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