Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: The Differences Between Abraham Lincoln And John F. Kennedy

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The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy is based on the misconception that randomness is taken into account when attempting to determine cause and effect. The book You Are Not So Smart cites many examples, the most known being the similarities between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Author, David McRaney, gives numerous similarities between the two presidents such as both were born and elected one-hundred years apart, they were both killed on a Friday while next to their wives, and they were both succeeded by a man with the last name Johnson. It is easy to be in awe of the similarities, but it is the differences that go unnoticed. It turns out there are way more differences than there are similarities between the two men. The truth about the Texas…show more content…
The brain also works in patterns which make it extremely easy to draw conclusions between to two things, it provides meaning and allows you to place the blame on something. The brain’s ability to make “something out of nothing” helps to navigate our chaotic world. Even our ancestors used the genetic predisposition to adapt to change and survive. Their creation of patterns for food and protection is what causes us to apply the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.
After thinking about the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy, it surprised me to realize that I do not commit this fallacy as much as I thought I would. There are often times that I think or speak about random topics and create some sort of relation between the two which is the fallacy; however, upon mentioning the idea, I follow up by saying that there most likely is no correlation between the two and that I am just trying to match the similarities. Though I do not often commit the fallacy, there is one particular instance in which I did commit the
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I had often kept the idea in mind that girls tend to search for partners that are in the likeness of their fathers, so when there were many similarities between my father and now boyfriend, I could not help but be in awe. Some of the similarities ranged from them both having the same basketball number and favorite candy to having the same sense of humor and upbringing. Though the similarities are not astounding or out of the ordinary, at the time I thought it was crazy just how much he was like my dad. Looking back, with the fallacy in mind, the similarities are nothing more than a coincidence. For instance, them having the same basketball number in high school is likely to happen because there is not an infinite amount of numbers to choose from. It is fun to think that the similarities are due to fate or destiny, but I know that these things are just chance and I just happened to meet someone similar to my

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