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Spotlight Fallacy

September 25th, 2009

Spotlight Fallacy

classification : informal – fallacy of distraction

The spotlight fallacy occurs when observed data is incorrectly assumed to represent a different or larger group.


Receiving a great deal of attention or coverage is often referred to as being in the spotlight. It is similar to Hasty Generalization, Biased Sample and misleading because the error being made involves generalizing about a population based on an inadequate or flawed sample.


“Kids these days are so much more violent; I see all these stories about school violence.”

Other Names

Biased Sample

Hasty Generalization

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Categories: Logic