Propaganda Guidelines: Concurrency vs. Hasty Generalization

This is the another in a series of Coaching Tips pointing out important distinctions made in the new Propaganda Guide. This one deals with Concurrency and Hasty Generalization in Section E.

Concurrency may lead to a general conclusion. So, in this way, Concurrency resembles Hasty Generalization. However, the form of the argument determines the technique. Concurrency draws a general conclusion from the fact that two events or trends happen at the same time. Hasty Generalization occurs when a person, seeing several particular events, jumps to a general conclusion based on only those events.

Example of Concurrency rather than Hasty Generalization
From October to June when college is in session, the monthly auto accident rate in Kent is much higher than it is for the summer months. It is obvious that students are responsible for the high accident rate.
Comment: The speaker draws the general conclusion that “students are responsible for the high accident rate.” However, the “reasoning” behind the deduction is that the accident rate increased during the time that college is in session.

Example of Hasty Generalization rather than Concurrency
My friend Joan was in an auto accident caused by a college student. Sam had the same experience. College students are the worst drivers.
Comment: The speaker jumps to a general conclusion based on just two accidents involving college students.

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