
Hasty Generalization
Definition:
The size of the sample is too small to support the conclusion.
Examples:
 Fred, the Australian, stole my wallet. Thus, all Australians
are thieves. (Of course, we shouldn't judge all Australians on
the basis of one example.)
 I asked six of my friends what they thought of the new
spending restraints and they agreed it is a good idea. The
new restraints are therefore generally popular.
Proof:
Identify the size of the sample and the size of the population,
then show that the sample size is too small. Note: a formal
proof would require a mathematical calculation. This is the
subject of probability theory. For now, you must rely on
common sense.
References:
Barker: 189, Cedarblom and Paulsen: 372, Davis: 103
26 May 1995
