Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Fallacy Examples and Definition of Post Hoc Fallacy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Fallacy Examples: A logical fallacy, known as the post hoc ergo propter hoc or the post hoc fallacy, occurs when someone assumes that one event caused a later event simply because it occurred after the first. Despite the fact that two events may have occurred consecutively, Madsen Pirie says in “How to Win Every Argument,” “we cannot automatically assume that the one would not have happened without the other.”

Different beliefs, superstitions, and false findings are rooted in this type of thinking in the search for causes of diseases. There are many post hoc examples in movies that will help us understand more about this topic.

This article will give you more grounds on how to avoid post hoc ergo propter hoc and give you more information about post hoc, ergo propter hoc West Wing.

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Fallacy

Definition Of Post Hoc Fallacy

According to the post hoc fallacy, if event B followed event A, then event A must have caused event B. An argument like this is fallacious because the fact that Event A happened earlier does not mean that it triggered the situation.

You may get a headache after drinking a glass of water, but it does not mean that the glass of water you drank was the cause of your headache. In this case, it’s more likely that another factor is at play.

It is important to realize that events that follow each other may or may not be causally related (or “correlation does not imply causation”).

Thus, this fallacy has the following logical form:

  • After event A, event B followed.
  • This means that event A led to event B.

Many false beliefs are based on the post hoc fallacy. Most superstitions use this fallacy. For example, because it’s Friday the 13th, or they smashed a mirror or stepped under a ladder earlier that day, one would assume that something horrible must have occurred to them. As humans, we have a natural need to understand and identify the reasons for events that are important to us, which usually leads to post hoc thinking.

Is Post Hoc A Fallacy?

Post hoc analysis is a fallacy since correlation does not equal causation. Rain delays can’t be blamed on your friends because every time you go to a ballgame, it storms, and play is delayed. It’s also not true that buying new socks will make a pitcher throw faster if he pitches a winning game.

“Post hoc, ergo propter hoc” roughly translates as “after this, therefore as a result of this.” It is also known as false causation, succession alone, and assumed causation.

Thousands of years ago, the Greeks and Romans realized this mistake in the argument. The fact that one event occurs after another does not imply that the first occurrence was the cause of the second (post hoc ergo propter hoc). This concept, however, is not appreciated in today’s world.

Examples Of Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Examining and presenting examples of post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacies can aid in emphasizing how prevalent this sort of logical error is. “After this, therefore because of this,” this bizarre Latin phrase translates to. To put it another way, if event Y occurs after event X, then event X must have been the cause of event Y. This isn’t always the case, of course. Consider the following instances of post hoc fallacies.

  • Advertising: In mainstream marketing and advertising, there are several post-hoc scenarios. A good example is the television advertising selling a powerful body spray.

We observe a young man striving to attract ladies in these adverts. When he sprays some body spray on himself, a slew of beautiful women flocks to him. The implicit link is that the spray-on deodorant is attractive to females.

A wide number of industries are affected by the same trend. When someone joins a diet program and loses considerable weight, we are taught to assume that the diet program is to blame. But what if the same person exercised significantly more during the same time?

  • Connection And Association: In many aspects, the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy is a subset of the fallacy in which someone may infer a causal link from an association that may only be positive. Person A no longer believes that association implies connection after taking a statistics lesson. Person B assumes it’s due to statistics class, which may or may not be correct.
  • Medical field: correlation does not imply causality.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim that “there is no relationship between vaccinations and autism,” there is a rising anti-vaccination movement among the general population.

Some people believe that the coronavirus can induce a stroke. While there are some similarities between acquiring COVID-19 and suffering a stroke, you can see that one does not cause the other when you look at the larger picture. The majority of COVID-19 survivors do not have a stroke and return to normal health within a few weeks. However, a causal association was shown since more people–particularly younger people–reported having strokes in the previous year. However, just because these two health issues occur in the same circumstances does not entail that one causes the other. Other factors that relate the coronavirus to stroke explain why the two do not have a cause-and-effect relationship.

Post hoc fallacies abound in the protracted hunt for the etiology of malaria. “It was discovered that those who went out late at night were more likely to get the illness.” “Night air was considered to be the origin of malaria, and extraordinary measures were made to keep it out of sleeping quarters,” author Stuart Chase noted in “Guides to Straight Thinking.” ”

However, several scientists were doubtful of this notion. Malaria is produced by the bite of the anopheles mosquito, according to a long series of trials. Only because mosquitoes love to strike in the dark did night air enter the picture.

Some daily life examples:

Event 1 Event 2 Post hoc fallacy Why a fallacy
Outside, it’s becoming dark. I’m exhausted. I become fatigued when I see how dark it is outside; darkness promotes fatigue. This misconception ignores the fact that staying awake for long periods of time causes fatigue, regardless of how light it is outside.
The crows of the rooster The sun rises. The sun rises as a result of the rooster’s crowing. When the link is the opposite way around, this post hoc fallacy asserts a causal tie between the rooster and the sun.
I make a wish on a star My wish is granted. Because I wished on a star, my desire came true. Wishing on a star, like many superstitions, constructs a causal link where none exists; wishing on a star has no effect on the world.

Crime: In his hunt for causes for rising crime, Sewell Chan wrote an article for the “New York Times” headlined “Are iPods to Blame for Rising Crime?” On September 27, 2007, the New York Times published an article that purported to blame iPods:

The report suggests The spike in violent crime and the explosion in sales of iPods and other portable media devices is more than coincidence,’ the study claims, and asks, somewhat provocatively, ‘Is There an iCrime Wave?’ ‘America’s streets filled with millions of individuals visibly wearing, and being distracted by, pricey electronic gear,’ according to the analysis, which shows that violent crime declined every year from 1993 through 2004, before rebounding in 2005 and 2006. Naturally, correlation and causation are not the same things, as any social scientist will tell you.

Post hoc fallacy and food business: In actuality, there is no such thing as a vacuum. While it’s natural to want to draw a straight line between two occurrences — which is how post hoc ergo propter hoc mistakes occur — there are always other considerations.

Consider the case of a small restaurant that chooses to remodel its menu and include a lot of new products. Sales surge after a few weeks, and the restaurant is more prosperous than ever. Isn’t it true that the new menu items are to blame for the surge in business?

What if the restaurant, in addition to promoting the new menu, mounted an aggressive advertising campaign? Was it because of the new menu or because of the marketing campaign’s enhanced exposure that business grew? What if a nearby competitor closes at the same time?

Real-life examples of post hoc fallacy:

  • Professional athletes have a reputation for being superstitious. Michael Jordan, the famed basketball player, is one of the most famous examples of this. For the remainder of his NBA career, he is claimed to have worn his University of North Carolina shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls shorts.

UNC’s shorts were “fortunate.” Did Jordan win several titles as a result of wearing two pairs of shorts? Most certainly not, given this was most likely a mistaken generalization. When they come up to bat and go through a routine, many baseball players make a similar type of post hoc error.

They believe that if they execute that routine, they will be more likely to get a hit.

  • When things go well, politicians, like most people, are quick to take credit, and when things don’t go so well, they’re ready to blame outside factors.

President Barack Obama is credited for reviving the economy following the Great Recession. Obama came office after a couple of years of substantial losses, and GDP increased dramatically. According to the post hoc view, Obama is to blame for the shift.

The country’s economy improved after he was elected, but numerous other variables are likely to have had a role.

Would the economy have recovered if John McCain, a Republican, had been elected instead? What about Hillary Clinton, for example? It’s impossible to say.

  • Pele, the legendary Brazilian footballer, once handed his match shirt to a fan, and his game performance suffered as a result. He assumed it was because he had misplaced his favorite clothing, so he told his friend to look for it. And, once the shirt was returned to him, he was able to resume his playing.

It appears that this particular garment was to blame for Pele’s poor performance. However, his companion failed to inform him that they had been unable to locate the original shirt and had returned with a substitute.

One of the thirteen original fallacies listed by Aristotle in his work Rhetorics, the post hoc fallacy appears to have originated with the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Logical fallacies such as post hoc ergo propter hoc are common. That is why it is critical to be careful in detecting them, and by doing so, you may discover that the findings may be explained in different ways.

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