Appeal to Common Belief Fallacy

In this video, the logical form of appeal to common belief is explained and examples of its usage are provided. It is also called “appeal to popularity” (Argumentum ad populum).


Dirty trick: Appeal to common belief
Because most people perform an act, that action is right, because most people believe in something, then it’s true, because most people say this, it must be correct.

– Dad, I would like to study genetics.
– What do you mean? Everyone is killing themselves to go to medical school and you want to study genetics when your ranking has been so good?
– But this is my passion and I really don’t like medicine.
– Hey girl! Who picks genetics with a two digit ranking? Look around you! Everyone is after money and social standing! By studying medicine you can reach both.

A very common example of appealing to common belief is appealing to custom, because most of the people in the past would act in one way, it’s correct and we have to do the same.
Here’s an example:

– “Saeed” and I have come to the conclusion to marry without “Mehrieh”.(Money given by the groom to the bride as a gift, the amount is decided by the families
– No, no it won’t work without a “Mehrieh”. Right now, everyone asks for some, if not much, between 100-200 gold coins as a “Mehrieh”. We’re the same.

Most people feel secure to be the same as the crowd and are worried to do something that defies the public or society’s opinion and custom. Abusers know these thoughts and preferences of people very well and by appealing to the common belief, convince people that what they say is true.
1- Richard, L. E. (2012). The Thinker’s Guide to Fallacies: The Art of Mental Trickery and Manipulation.

2- Parker, B. N. (1986). Critical Thinking.