JCU PRESENTS: FALLACIES IN THE WORKPLACE

This series will explore common fallacies that occur in the workplace during the group decision making and planning process. The goal of the series is to help teams identify fallacies and, in doing so, foster healthy decision making and optimal outcomes.

Video 1: Series Introduction, False AB Fallacy

(1) In the example in the video, Bob is arguing that there are only 2 choices: increase safety observations or allow employees to keep getting hurt. How would you reframe Bob's response to avoid the False AB fallacy?

(2) Are there any examples of the "False AB" fallacy you've encountered in your career or your personal life?

Video 2: Strawman Fallacy

(1) In the video's example, Bob argues that Billie doesn't think safety is important and that she is perfectly comfortable with injuries continuing to occur as long as her team is not inconvenienced. How would you reframe Bob's response to open the discussion and be fair to Billie's position?

(2) Why is the strawman fallacy unfair both to the listeners and to the person who's being mischaracterized?

(3) Are there any examples of the "Strawman" fallacy you've encountered in your career or your personal life?

Video 3: Ad Hominem & Tu Quoque

(1) In the video's example, Bob argues that while, Billie has stated her managers dont have time for additional observations, she added a new inventory report that takes even more time AND does street racing on Saturday nights, so she obviously does not care about safety. How would you reframe Bob's response?

(2) Do you think it is instinctual for people to respond to an argument they disagree with by shifting the focus to the other person's flaws or past behavior? If so, why?

(3) Are there any examples of the "Tu Quoque" or "Ad Hominem" fallacies you've encountered in your career or your personal life?

Video 4: Bandwagon & Appeal to Tradition Fallacies

(1) In the video's example, Bob argues that he is proposing the same number of observations being performed by Big Shipping Inc; Billie responds by stating that they have always done just two safety observations per week. How can they support their positions without committing the Bandwagon or Appeal to Tradition fallacies?

(2) How can you bring in past examples to support your argument without committing the "Appeal to Tradition" fallacy?

(3) Are there any examples of the "Bandwagon" or "Appeal to Tradition" fallacies you've encountered in your career or your personal life?

Video 5: Emotional & Personal Incredulity Fallacies

(1) In the video's example, Bob asks Billie if she wants to be the one telling employees' children that their parent died because supervisors were too busy to take safety seriously; Billie, in turn, questions what observations have to do with reducing injuries anyway and that the research Bob cited is too complicated to follow. How can they reframe their arguments?

(2) Is there a way Bob could bring up employee's children in his argument without committing the emotional fallacy?

(3) Are there any examples of the "Emotional" or "Personal Incredulity" fallacies you've encountered in your career or your personal life?

Video 6: Slippery Slope Fallacy

(1) In the video's example, Billie argues that if she allows Bob to increase the number of observations her supervisor are performing, everyone is going to come to her and ask to add more work to her team's plates. How can Billie reframe her argument to avoid the Slippery Slope fallacy?

(2) Do you agree that arguing something is a "slippery slope" is a fallacy? Why or why not?

(3) Are there any examples of the "Slippery Slope" fallacy you've encountered in your career or your personal life?

Video 7: Appeal to Authority Fallacy

(1) In the video's example, in response to Billie's concern about her team's workload, Bob states "I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'm the boss, so make it happen" regarding his request to increase safety observations to improve safety.

     (a) How may Bob's response inhibit healthy discussion about safety at the facility?
     (b) What does it convey to Billie that her concerns were ignored?

(2) As a leader, when do you trust your instincts rather than follow the counsel of your team? What is the best way to communicate when you need to make an executive decision without stating "because I said so/because I'm the boss"?

(3) Are there any examples of the "Appeal to Authority" fallacy you've encountered in your career or your personal life?

Video 8: Anecdotal Evidence Fallacy

(1) In the video's example, Bob states that, at his last job, they increased safety observations and never had another accident again. How has Bob committed the anecdotal evidence fallacy? In what ways may his previous experience be irrelevant to the current situation? In what ways could it be helpful?

(2) What are factors that tend to make an anecdote helpful? What are some factors that make an anecdote irrelevant to the current situation?

(3) Are there any examples of the "Anecdotal Evidence" fallacy you've encountered in your career or your personal life?

Video 9: Correlation & Causation Fallacy

(1) In the video's example, Bob states that they increased safety observations at his last job and never had another accident again.
What support could Bob bring into the discussion to show that the increased safety observation led to no further accidents? Could other variables have contributed to the reduction in accidents?

(2) Are there any examples of the "Correlation & Causation" fallacy you've encountered in your career or your personal life?

Video 10: Middle Ground Fallacy

(1) In the video's example, Bob suggests rotating the inventory reports to cut reporting time in half and then doing only one additional observation. He says that this will allow them both to get half of what they want. How has Bob committed the Middle Ground fallacy? Is his solution best for the company because they will both "get half of what they want"?

(2) When can compromise be beneficial when it comes to team decision making and when can it be problematic? Why? 

(3) Are there any examples of the "Middle Ground" fallacy you've encountered in your career or your personal life?

Video 11: The Fallacy Fallacy

(1) In the video's example, Bob suggests rotating the inventory reports to cut reporting time in half and then doing only one additional observation. He says that this will allow them both to get half of what they want. How has Bob committed the Middle Ground fallacy? Is his solution best for the company because they will both "get half of what they want"?

(2) When can compromise be beneficial when it comes to team decision making and when can it be problematic? Why? 

(3) Are there any examples of the "Middle Ground" fallacy you've encountered in your career or your personal life?

Video 12: Find that Fallacy

(1) How'd you do?  Which fallacies were easier to spot?  Which ones were more difficult? 

(2) What do you think you will take away from this series?