- Wrong direction
Wrong direction is a
logical fallacyof causation where cause and effect are reversed. The cause is said to be the effect and vice versa.
For instance, a
tobaccocompany executive once suggested that cancercaused smoking as a matter of pain relief, to explain the high correlationbetween them.Fact|date=February 2007
Another obvious example::"Driving a wheelchair is dangerous, because most people who drive them have had an accident."
In other cases it may simply be unclear which is the cause and which is the effect. For example::"Children that watch a lot of TV are the most violent. Clearly, TV makes children more violent".
This could easily be the other way round; that is, violent children like watching more TV than less violent ones.
Likewise, a correlation between
recreational druguse and psychiatric disorders might be either way around: perhaps the drugs cause the disorders, or perhaps people use drugs to self medicate for preexisting conditions. Gateway drug theorymay argue that marijuanausage leads to usage of harder drugs, when hard drug usage instead predicts marijuana usage (see also " confusion of the inverse").
A historical example of this is that people in the
Middle Ageswere convinced that licewere beneficial to your health, since there would rarely be any lice on sick people. The reasoning was that the people got sick because the lice left. The real reason however is that lice are extremely sensitive to body temperature. A small increase of body temperature, such as in a fever, will make the lice go look for another host. The medical thermometerhad not yet been invented, so this increase in temperature could not be noticed. Noticeable symptoms came later, giving the impression that the lice left before the person got sick.
In other cases, two phenomena can each be a partial cause of the other; consider poverty and lack of education, or procrastination and poor self-esteem. One making an argument based on these two phenomena must however be careful to avoid the fallacy of
circular cause and consequence. Poverty is "a" cause of lack of education, but it is not the "sole" cause, and vice versa.
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Look at other dictionaries:
head in the wrong direction — be off course, go the wrong way … English contemporary dictionary
Wrong way driving — is the act of driving a motor vehicle against the direction of traffic. It is a serious problem associated with divided highways. In the United States, about 350 people are killed each year in accidents caused by drivers headed in the wrong… … Wikipedia
wrong-foot — verb transitive 1. ) in a sport, to make an opponent go in the wrong direction by suddenly changing the direction in which you move, or hit or kick a ball 2. ) BRITISH to put someone in a difficult or embarrassing situation by doing or saying… … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
direction — noun 1 where to/from ADJECTIVE ▪ same ▪ They were both going in the same direction. ▪ different, opposing, opposite, reverse, separate (esp. AmE) … Collocations dictionary
Wrong-way driving — Fatalities caused by wrong way driving in the United States, 1996–2000 Wrong way driving is the act of driving a motor vehicle against the direction of traffic. It can occur on either one or two way roads (in the latter case, arising from driving … Wikipedia
wrong-foot — UK / US verb [transitive] Word forms wrong foot : present tense I/you/we/they wrong foot he/she/it wrong foots present participle wrong footing past tense wrong footed past participle wrong footed 1) British to put someone in a difficult or… … English dictionary
wrong — 1 adjective 1 NOT CORRECT saying, believing, or depending on something that is not correct: Your calculations must be wrong. | be wrong to think/say: I m sorry; I was wrong to assume that you wanted to go. | prove sb wrong: I wish you d stop… … Longman dictionary of contemporary English
direction — n. course 1) the opposite; right; wrong direction supervision 2) under smb. s direction guidance 3) to give direction to * * * [d(a)ɪ rekʃ(ə)n] right wrong direction [ course ] the opposite [ guidance ] to give direction to [ supervision ] under… … Combinatory dictionary
wrong — I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English wrang, from *wrang, adjective, wrong Date: before 12th century 1. a. an injurious, unfair, or unjust act ; action or conduct inflicting harm without due provocation or just cause b. a violation… … New Collegiate Dictionary
wrong — [rôŋ] adj. [ME, crooked, twisted, wrong < OE wrang < ON rangr, wrangr, wrong, twisted: for IE base see WRING] 1. not in accordance with justice, law, morality, etc.; unlawful, immoral, or improper 2. not in accordance with an established… … English World dictionary