Single cause fallacy:
|When it is assumed that there is merely one cause of a phenomenon, while other possibly contributing causes go undetected, are ignored or are illegitimately minimized.||The recent drop in crime in our neighborhood is due to better policing.|
|Also known as: joint effect / causal oversimplification / causal reductionism|
|The actual cause of a local drop in the crime rate may actually be a collection of causes such as the installation of surveillance cameras, a better local economy that has given would-be criminals jobs and money, improved forensics, new home entertainment hardware and software that keep would-be criminals preoccupied, better role models, and tougher laws that have locked up the most frequent offenders. This fallacy is a type of false dilemma.|
Case Study One
Nearly every country that has become prosperous throughout history has had a significant percentage of its citizens claiming that their greatness was entirely due to the superiority of their nationality or their particular god.
Case Study Two
Whenever there is a school shooting, there emerge dozens of speculative opinions, many indexing a single cause such as poor parenting, violent video games, secular education, or the availability of guns. A responsible opinion would attempt cite evidence for the weight of each possible cause.
Keep in mind that a fallacious argument does not entail an erroneous position.