Fallacy Detectors Part 1

Available now - Develop the skills to tackle logical fallacies through a series of 10 science-fiction videos with activities. Recommended for ages 8-12.

Chapter 1: Circular Reasoning

Have you ever felt like a conversation was stuck in a loop? It might have fallen into the trap of circular reasoning. Let's learn how to stop going in circles so that our conversations can take us somewhere more interesting.

About the course

Logical fallacies are bad arguments or flaws in reasoning. They often come up in conversation and debate. Being able to spot logical fallacies helps you to keep conversations on track.

In Fallacy Detectors Part 1, you will learn to recognize logical fallacies as you go on an adventure through cyber-space. Your mission includes writing tasks and interactive quizzes.

This course was developed for children ages 8-12, but I have received positive feedback from kids as young as 6 who did the course with the assistance of a parent.

If you are a teacher, you may be interested in my short guide on how to use Fallacy Detectors in the classroom.

What is a logical fallacy?

Logical fallacies are bad arguments or flaws in reasoning. They often come up in conversation and debate.

Sometimes people commit logical fallacies intentionally to try to win arguments, but sometimes it’s accidental. Critikid’s goal is to teach kids how to recognize not only when others are committing logical fallacies, but also when they themselves are unintentionally committing them.

Logical fallacy examples

Let’s say a doctor tells Bob that smoking is unhealthy, and Bob replies, “My grandfather smoked every day and lived to be 100, so smoking must not be unhealthy.” Bob committed a logical fallacy called the “anecdotal fallacy”, which happens when you base your opinion on one or a few examples instead of a large amount of data.

People can also commit logical fallacies in their thought processes. For example, imagine Bob goes to a movie and quickly realizes he hates it. He considers leaving, but thinks, “I paid $20 for the ticket and can’t get my money back, plus I drove all the way here, so I guess I should just finish it.” Now, not only has Bob wasted money and a bit of time, but he will waste more time and suffer for the next two hours. This is a logical fallacy called the “sunk cost fallacy”, in which you don’t want to give up on something that you have invested time or money into even if it’s very unlikely to pay off.

In the first ten videos, we will cover these 10 logical fallacies:

  1. Circular reasoning – “Bob is trustworthy because he’s honest.”
  2. Burden of proof – “I believe in Zeus and you should too because nobody has proven that he doesn’t exist.”
  3. False dilemma – “You’re either my friend or my enemy.”
  4. Tu quoque – “Your claim that smoking is unhealthy must not be true because you smoke.”
  5. Appeal to nature – “Your drink has artificial flavorings so my drink is healthier than yours,” says Bob as he drinks a glass of maple syrup.
  6. Hasty generalization – “I've met three people with red hair, and they were all funny. I guess all people with red hair are funny.”
  7. Guilt by association – “Hitler said that we should invest in our children, so investing in our children would be an evil thing to do.”
  8. Middle ground – “Bob thinks the sky is yellow and Sally thinks the sky is blue, so let’s compromise and say the sky is green.”
  9. Slippery slope – “If I let you get away with not doing your homework, you’ll be burning down the school next!”
  10. Sunk cost – “We’ve lost $1000 to the casino already, so we can’t stop now or else we’ll never win our money back.”