Linearity fallacy:

Definition Example
When it is assumed that a phenomenon functions linearly, overlooking important factors that may produce non-linearity. The mortality rate of cats falling 20 stories will be double that of cats falling 10 stories.
  Notes
The mortality rate for cats falling from 10 stories may, in fact, be lower than for those falling from 20 due to several non-linear factors such as air resistance resulting in a terminal velocity, plus the time it takes for a cat to turn itself upright, relax, and spead its legs, thereby increasing air resistance and a more surviveable impact position.

Case Study One

To suggest that a person drinking 10 alcoholic drinks will be half as impaired as a person who has had 5 alcoholic drinks is to fail to understand the non-linear relationship between alcohol content and intoxication.


Case Study Two

Spending twice the current budget on education will probably not double student test scores.


Case Study Three

Having twice the income of your neighbor will probably not make you twice as happy.


Case Study Four

It’s very seldom that drinking a $200 bottle of wine results in 10 times the pleasure of drinking a $20 bottle of wine.


Keep in mind that a fallacious argument does not entail an erroneous position.


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