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Cherry Picking Fallacy

Updated May 11, 2023

The Cherry Picking Fallacy: A Slippery Slope in Reasoning


In the realm of critical thinking and logical reasoning, fallacies can often be found lurking in arguments, waiting to mislead and distort the truth. One such fallacy that frequently rears its head is the cherry picking fallacy. This deceptive tactic involves selectively choosing evidence or data to support a particular claim, while disregarding or ignoring contradictory information. In this blog post, we will explore the cherry picking fallacy, its implications, and how to avoid falling into its trap.

Understanding the Cherry Picking Fallacy

The cherry picking fallacy, also known as the fallacy of incomplete evidence or confirmation bias, occurs when someone intentionally selects only the evidence that supports their preconceived conclusion, while conveniently disregarding any evidence that contradicts it. By focusing solely on the "cherries" that support their position, individuals can create a distorted and misleading representation of reality.

Examples of the Cherry Picking Fallacy

To better grasp the cherry picking fallacy, let's consider a few examples:

  1. "All politicians are corrupt."

    • A person might cherry pick instances of corruption among politicians, ignoring the many instances of integrity and honesty within the political sphere.
  2. "Vaccines are dangerous."

    • An individual might selectively choose anecdotal stories of adverse reactions to vaccines, while ignoring the overwhelming scientific consensus on their safety and effectiveness.
  3. "Climate change is a hoax."

    • Some might cherry pick specific cold weather events as evidence against global warming, disregarding the vast body of scientific research supporting the reality of climate change.

The Danger of Cherry Picking

The cherry picking fallacy poses several dangers to both individuals and society as a whole. By selectively presenting evidence, proponents of this fallacy can manipulate public opinion, distort scientific findings, and hinder progress. Here are a few notable risks associated with the cherry picking fallacy:

  1. Misrepresentation of reality: Cherry picking creates an inaccurate portrayal of the true state of affairs, leading to misunderstandings and flawed decision-making.

  2. Confirmation bias reinforcement: By selectively choosing evidence that aligns with preconceived beliefs, the cherry picking fallacy perpetuates confirmation bias, hindering personal growth and intellectual development.

  3. Loss of credibility: Engaging in cherry picking undermines one's credibility and trustworthiness, as it demonstrates a lack of intellectual honesty and integrity.

Avoiding the Cherry Picking Fallacy

To steer clear of the cherry picking fallacy, it is vital to embrace critical thinking and adopt a balanced approach to evaluating evidence. Here are a few strategies to help you avoid falling into this deceptive reasoning trap:

  1. Examine counterarguments: Actively seek out and engage with evidence that challenges your viewpoint. This allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the topic at hand.

  2. Consider the whole picture: Look beyond isolated data points or anecdotes by considering the broader context and all available information.

  3. Consult reliable sources: Rely on reputable sources that employ rigorous research methodologies and adhere to scientific standards.

  4. Question your own biases: Be aware of your own biases and strive for intellectual humility. Acknowledge that your initial beliefs may not always be correct.


The cherry picking fallacy represents a slippery slope in reasoning, capable of distorting reality and impeding progress. By selectively choosing evidence that supports a predetermined conclusion while ignoring contradictory information, individuals fall into the trap of this fallacy. To cultivate a more accurate understanding of the world, it is crucial to recognize the cherry picking fallacy and actively avoid its pitfalls. By embracing critical thinking, considering multiple perspectives, and valuing intellectual honesty, we can navigate through the sea of fallacies and arrive at more informed and well-rounded conclusions.


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