A fallacy based on the assumption that the opinion of the majority is always valid: everyone believes it, so you should too.
Examples and Observations:
- "Carling Lager, Britain's Number One Lager"
- "The majority opinion is valid most of the time. Most people believe that tigers do not make good household pets, and that toddlers shouldn't drive. . . . Nonetheless, there are times when the majority opinion is not valid, and following the majority will set one off track. There was a time when everyone believed the world was flat, and a more recent time when the majority condoned slavery. As we gather new information and our cultural values change, so too does the majority opinion. Therefore, even though the majority is often right, the fluctuation of the majority opinion implies that a logically valid conclusion cannot be based on the majority alone. Thus, even if the majority of the country did support going to war with Iraq, the majority opinion is not sufficient for determining whether the decision was correct."
(Robert J. Sternberg, Henry L. Roediger, and Diane F. Halpern, Critical Thinking in Psychology, Cambridge University Press, 2007)
- "The Steak Escape. Americas Favorite Cheesesteak"
- "As George Stephanopoulos wrote in his memoir, Mr. [Dick] Morris lived by a '60 percent' rule: If 6 out of 10 Americans were in favor of something, Bill Clinton had to be, too. . . .
"The nadir of Bill Clinton's presidency was when he asked Dick Morris to poll on whether he should tell the truth about Monica Lewinsky. But by that point he had already turned the ideal of the presidency upside down, letting arithmetic trump integrity as he painted his policies, principles and even his family vacations by the numbers."
(Maureen Dowd, "Addiction to Addition," The New York Times, April 3, 2002)