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Statistical Confusion

A statistical generalization is a statement which is usually true, but not always true. Very often these are expressed using the word “most”, as in “Most conservatives favour welfare cuts.” Sometimes the word “generally” s used, as in “Conservatives generally favour welfare cuts.” Or, sometimes, no specific word is used at all, as in: “Conservatives favour welfare cuts.”

Fallacies involving statistical generalizations occur because the generalization is not always true. Thus, when an author treats a statistical generalization as though it were always true, the author commits a fallacy.

Accident

A generalization is applied when circumstances suggest there should be an exception.

Converse Accident

An exception to a generalization is applied to cases where the generalization should apply.