|When a claim is deemed true or untrue based on an association with some irrelevant element.||Jane is an exceptional pianist, and also pretty. Therefore, all pianists are pretty.|
|Also known as: guilt by association / honor by association|
|There may, however, be a relevant association between two qualities. If, for example, you note that pianists have long fingers, there may be a causal relationship between long fingers and pianists, though this needs to be substantiated with evidence and argumentation.
This is a type of hasty generalization or proof by example fallacy. A more detailed treatment of proof by example fallacies can be found on the supplementary Inductive Errors page.
Case Study One
If you come to the strong conclusion that all Japanese must be polite because your only 2 Japanese friends are, you are committing the association fallacy.
Case Study Two
If you assume, based on the height of your friend from China, that all Chinese are tall, you are comitting the association fallacy.
Keep in mind that a fallacious argument does not entail an erroneous position.