Appeal to the minority

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An appeal to minority is a logical fallacy that occurs when something is asserted to be true because most people don't believe it. It is the opposite of an argumentum ad populum.

The fallacy is an appeal to authority and a conditional fallacy.

Alternate names[edit]

  • Authority of the select few
  • Snob appeal

Form[edit]

P1: X is a minority view (as compared to majority view Y).
P2: Minority views are more true than majority views.
C1: X is more true than Y.

Examples[edit]

Irony[edit]

An appeal to the minority is inherently limited. If someone successfully persuades other people that they are right, then their opinion would increasingly lose its minority status -- and eventually would become majority opinion.

If this actually worked every time that someone used it, then this would cause an infinite loop. This loop would continue until only 2 theories existed, with equal followers, and would restart as soon as one person changed their mind.

Second-option bias[edit]

Second-option bias is the (supposed) prevalence of fringe/counterculture groups to assume that any widely-held opinion among the general population must be untrue, and therefore the prevailing contrary opinion must be right. Second-option bias often presumes that the general populace is stupid or informed by propaganda, which apparently makes their opinions incorrect.

Second-option bias is an especially fallacious form of appealing to the minority in that, while the "first option" may be false (or less than true), this does not automatically prove the "second option" true.

Example of second option bias are:

  • An American who rejects the consensus reporting of MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News on some story and says RT must be right, because it is not "mainstream" unlike the big cable news channels.
  • Rejecting the "official" 9/11 story because it's supported by world governments and sheeple.

Second-option bias is related to Choice-supportive biasWikipedia's W.svg, in which people will retroactively decide that choices they made were good choices.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]