Hyperbole

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Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration to make a point.

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[edit] Fallacy

Hyperbolic fallacy (also known as "inductive hyperbole") occurs when something is stated much more strongly than the observations behind it support.

Hyperbolic fallacy is very common in science reporting. Science reporters try to make science interesting to the general public, and all too often do this by exaggerating the importance of certain findings, "hyping" them as "breakthroughs" that "entirely upset" our previous assumptions, etc.

In fact, it is in the nature of inductive sampling that no conclusion is guaranteed to be true. There is always a degree of uncertainty, and always a possibility that the entire study might prove wanting.

This constant emphasis on breakthroughs in science may prime some listeners to accepting more wild claims of pseudoscience — because if science can do it, why can't the nice man with a website find a cancer cure?

[edit] Examples

  • Obama supports universal background checks on gun purchases. CommuNazi dictator!
  • "Many hospitals have had to raise their rates recently. Medical costs are sky-rocketing out of control!"
  • "These findings that modest alcohol consumption can be beneficial for the heart completely upset all our previous assumptions about the health effects of drinking."

[edit] See also

[edit] External links


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