Technique #3: False Dichotomy

What is a
false dichotomy

A false dichotomy (or false dilemma) is a logical fallacy in which a limited number of choices or sides are presented as mutually inclusive, when in reality more options are available. It’s also known as the “either-or fallacy

How to be sure
it’s a false

Everyday Examples

If you’re not with us, you’re against us.

Either you buy this book or you don’t care about reading.

You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.

Study under review - coming soon

Project Description

Truth Labs for Education is a collaboration between Cambridge University, the University of Bristol, and Google Jigsaw. We created a series of short videos designed to help people resist unwanted persuasion online. The videos are rooted in a framework from social psychology called inoculation theory, which posits that by exposing people to a weakened dose of a persuasive argument or technique and pre-emptively refuting it, they develop psychological resistance against future manipulative persuasion attempts.

We created 5 videos, each of which “inoculates” people against a particular manipulation technique or misleading rhetorical device commonly encountered online: ad hominem attacks, using emotional language to evoke fear or outrage, false dichotomies, incoherence, and scapegoating.