Logical fallacies try to sell me lasagna

October 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | Leave a comment
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Maybe this is just the GRE study book talking (I finally took the test last week! Booyah!), but I found myself playing spot-the-logical-fallacy while watching TV today. The culprit? A Stouffer’s frozen lasagna commercial—treacherous, I know.

The voiceover tells us that “studies show” that kids who eat dinner with their families get better grades in school, and therefore, you should serve your family Stouffer’s lasagna, because then you’re doing good by your kids both “nutritionally” and, uh, academically, I guess. It doesn’t even matter what dubious study they’re citing here; I would bet *major* moneys that there is nothing more than a correlation (an overlap on the Venn diagram, if you will) between people who get good grades and people who habitually engage in family dinners. To imply that good grades are actually caused by eating dinner as a family is straight-up “correlation does not imply causation,” or, if you want to be all fancy about it, cum hoc ergo propter hoc. And that is just irresponsible marketing—though good GRE essay practice, I suppose.

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