Inaccurate Observation
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Midterm I
Chapter 1: Question 1- 20 points
Inaccurate Observation:
After reading through the section of Inaccurate Observation, I came to the understanding
that Inaccurate Observations is when someone makes a mistake about what they see. The book
gave an example about what your teacher was wearing on the first day of class. An example I
would use to defend my knowledge of the term would be when youre at a stop light in the left
lane and the light to continue to go straight turns green. At a stop light you may not be looking
exactly at the lights waiting to turn green, but you look at other cars or even begin to zone out
when the light to continue to go straight turns green, you lift your foot off the gas because all you
see is the lights flash, and automatically you assume that the left turn light turned green, but in
reality the light is still red, so you quickly put your foot back on the break. This is an inaccurate
observation that happens all the time, I tend to do all the time, and I have even seen people do it
as well.
Overgeneralization is when you get information from only a handful of people out of a
group of thousands, and you interview them, and get back the same answer, you then assume that
because you have received a handful of the same answers that the rest of the thousands of people
are going to have the same answer. In the book on page 20 it gives an example of a reporter who
is under a time crunch to interview and type up a report about an animal rights demonstration.
Due to the fact that the reporter is on such a time crunch the reporter asks the first three
demonstrators they see and receives the same answer for why they are there, the reporter then
assumes that the other 3,000 people that are there are there for the same reason. Being human
this happens a lot in the real world. I will even admit it that I have overgeneralized as well.
Especially when someone is put under a lot of pressure, and has a time crunch all you can
possibly think about is getting your work done before your deadline is up. The fastest way
possible is to just assume that everyone is going to have the same answer because they are all at
the same event, so taking the easy way out by only interviewing a couple people is the best
solution. Of course because this is known as overgeneralization, doing so wouldnt be the best
idea, because when your article or work is published its going to be critiqued by the public.
Selective Observation
Selective Observation comes after overgeneralization, which is one of the dangers that
comes with overgeneralization. Selective observation is a pattern that exists when we have
developed a general understanding of why the pattern began. There is more of a focus on the
issues that follow the pattern and a less of a focus with issues that dont follow the pattern. To
me selective observation is what you want to see, or what your use to seeing. If youre not use to
it or have never heard of it why start especially in selective observation.
Illogical Reasoning
In the book Babbie gives an example of Illogical Reasoning in day to day life with
gamblers fallacy, which he stated that “we often assume that a consistent run of either good or
bad luck at poker may kindle the belief that a winning hand is just around the corner. Many a
poker player has stated in a game much too long because of that mistaken belief.” page 21. With
Illogical Reasoning you assume that your bad luck streak with eventually run out and a win will
come real soon, but in reality its not but because you think that it will you stay in the game
because you feel that you will win, eventually. Clearly Illogical Reasoning doesnt just happen
only in gambling. After reading the chapter and fully understanding Illogical Reasoning I
realized that I have been in the same situation. In high school I would never study for exams, and
I would always get a good grade on the first two exams, and then I would just assume that
because I was able to manage without studying for the first two exams that I wouldnt have to
study for the rest of the exams and that my luck with exams would keep up. Due to this being
Illogical Reasoning that wasnt the case, and I received the grades I was given due to the lack of
From my understanding of mystification it means that we cannot understand everything
that we are told. It doesnt matter how intelligent or diligent we may be there is always going to
be a time when we dont understand something. An example I found was that “We many never
fully understand the origin of the universe.” After reading that I became more clear about
Mystification, we just have to face it that we may never understand why a certain thing is the

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Inaccurate Observation And Illogical Reasoning. (July 5, 2021). Retrieved from