# Linearity fallacy:

Conceptual/Mathematical 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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