Double Standards: What They Are and How to Respond to Them

  A double standard is a principle or policy that is applied in a different manner to similar things, without proper justification. Essentially, this means that a double standard occurs when two or more things, such as individuals or groups, are treated differently, when they should be treated the same way. For example, a double …

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Hubris: The Dangers of Excessive Pride and Confidence

  Hubris is a personality trait that involves excessive pride, confidence, and self-importance. Accordingly, hubristic individuals tend to overestimate things such as their abilities, knowledge, importance, and likelihood of success. For example, a hubristic person might believe that they’re never wrong, that they’re guaranteed to succeed in all their ventures, or that they deserve to …

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The Appeal to Definition Fallacy: When People Misuse the Dictionary

  The appeal to definition (also known as the argument from dictionary) is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone’s argument is based, in a problematic manner, on the definition of a certain term as it appears in a dictionary or a similar source. The main problem with such arguments is that dictionaries are descriptive in …

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The Fundamental Attribution Error: When People Underestimate Situational Factors

  The fundamental attribution error is a cognitive bias that causes people to underestimate the influence of environment-based situational factors on people’s behavior, and to overestimate the influence of personality-based dispositional factors. Essentially, this means that the fundamental attribution error causes people to assume that other people’s actions are less affected by their environment than they …

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Virtue Signaling: When People Try to Show Their Goodness

  Virtue signaling is the act of speaking or behaving in a way that’s meant to demonstrate one’s good moral values. For example, if a person widely proclaims on social media that they strongly support a certain cause, just because they want to show others how caring they are, that person is virtue signaling. Virtue …

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Ennui: How to Overcome Chronic Boredom

  Ennui (pronounced on-wee) is a type of chronic boredom, which generally involves weariness, dissatisfaction, and apathy, as well as the tendency to feel that everything is uninteresting and unfulfilling. People can experience either a general sense of ennui in their life, or they can experience it in relation to a specific domain, such as …

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Equivocation and the Equivocation Fallacy

  Equivocation is the deliberate use of vague or ambiguous language, with the intent of deceiving others or avoiding commitment to a specific stance. For example, when a person is asked a direct yes-or-no question, and gives a vague response that doesn’t answer the question, that person is equivocating. The equivocation fallacy is a logical fallacy …

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The Sagan Standard: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

  The Sagan standard is the adage that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” (a concept abbreviated as ECREE). This signifies that the more unlikely a certain claim is, given existing evidence on the subject, the greater the standard of proof that is expected of it. Accordingly, if a certain claim is considered extraordinary, meaning that …

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Opportunity Cost: What It Is and How to Account for It

  Opportunity cost is the value of the best alternative that you miss out on as a result of choosing a different option. For example, if a person chose to invest in a certain venture, their opportunity cost is the money they could have made by investing in a different venture, and namely in the …

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