Logical Fallacies: Hasty Generalization, Circular Reasoning, False Cause & Limited Choice

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Logical Fallacies: Appeals to Ignorance, Emotion or Popularity

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:05 Logical Fallacies
  • 1:17 Hasty Generalization
  • 1:49 Circular Reasoning
  • 2:23 False Cause
  • 3:02 Limited Choice
  • 3:43 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Watch this video lesson to see how you can identify cases where logic is not sound. Learn the characteristic traits of hasty generalization, circular reasoning, false cause, and limited choice.

Logical Fallacies

Logical fallacies refer to ways of reasoning and proving statements that are not based on pure fact. They are, in essence, bad logic. It's like making the claim that a big-footed monster exists just because one person says he saw it in the woods last fall. It's easy for one person to claim he saw something, but without more evidence, it is difficult to prove that it really happened. Such is a logical fallacy.

But, just because something is a logical fallacy does not necessarily mean that the statement is false. For example, if I reasoned that my friend's rabbit must love carrots just because another rabbit I know loves carrots, this might actually be true if my friend's rabbit really did love carrots. So, even without proper logic and proof, I can still arrive at a correct conclusion.

The thing to remember about logical fallacies is that the conclusion reached by this type of reasoning is not guaranteed to be correct. Keep watching, and you will find out about hasty generalization, circular reasoning, false cause and limited choice.

Hasty Generalization

A hasty generalization is making assumptions without sufficient evidence, like making a guess about a large population based on your knowledge of just a few in the population. If I were to say that Judy's daughter should be talking by the time she is eight months old because Jill's daughter did so, then I would be making a hasty generalization because I'm basing everything on Jill's daughter. This makes for improper logic because there is so much variability in babies and when they start talking.

Circular Reasoning

Circular reasoning is when a statement is used to prove itself. This one is fun. I'm sure you have heard this type of reasoning before. I know I have. And, I have done it many times just because I wanted things to go my way. When you hear someone say, 'Because I said so,' you are hearing an example of circular reasoning.

It is like saying that stars are painted in the sky because they are painted in the sky. There is no proof other than the statement itself. And because of this, this type of reasoning does not produce logically useful statements.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account