Individual differences |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |
Cherry picking, suppressing evidence, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence is the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position. It is a kind of fallacy of selective attention, the most common example of which is the confirmation bias. Cherry picking may be committed unintentionally.
The term is based on the perceived process of harvesting fruit, such as cherries. The picker would be expected to only select the ripest and healthiest fruits. An observer who only sees the selected fruit may thus wrongly conclude that most, or even all, of the fruit is in such good condition.
Cherry picking can be found in many logical fallacies. For example, the "fallacy of anecdotal evidence" tends to overlook large amounts of data in favor of that known personally, "selective use of evidence" rejects material unfavorable to an argument, while a false dichotomy picks only two options when more are available.
Choosing to make selective choices among competing evidence, so as to emphasize those results that support a given position, while ignoring or dismissing any findings that do not support it, is a practice known as "cherry picking" and is a hallmark of poor science or pseudo-science.— Richard Somerville, Testimony before the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, March 8, 2011
Good science looks at all the evidence (rather than cherry picking only favorable evidence), controls for variables so we can identify what is actually working, uses blinded observations so as to minimize the effects of bias, and uses internally consistent logic."[attribution needed]
- Biased sample
- Confirmation bias
- Proof by example
- Fallacy of quoting out of context
- Hasty generalization
- Informal fallacy
- Selection bias
|Absence paradox · Begging the question · Blind men and an elephant · Cherry picking · Complex question · False analogy · Fallacy of distribution (Composition · Division) · Furtive fallacy · Hasty generalization · I'm entitled to my opinion · Loaded question · McNamara fallacy · Name calling · Nirvana fallacy · Rationalization (making excuses) · Red herring fallacy · Special pleading · Slothful induction|
|Vagueness and ambiguity||
Amphibology · Continuum fallacy · False precision · Slippery slope
Animistic · Appeal to consequences · Argumentum ad baculum · Availability heuristic · Correlation does not imply causation (Cum hoc) · Gambler's fallacy and its inverse · Post hoc · Prescience · Regression · Single cause · Slippery slope · Texas sharpshooter · The Great Magnet · Unknown Root · Wrong direction
|List of fallacies · Other types of fallacy|
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|