.Ad Populum. To the People!

A fallacy that makes you "Be one with the Bandwagon"

What is Ad Populum? What does it mean?

Ad Populum is Latin for "to the people". It is used to distract listener's attention from examining the claim by stating that beings many people support it, so it must be true. Other names for ad populum are as follows: the bandwagon fallacy, appeal to the masses, appeal to belief, argument to consensus, and appeal to the majority. Ad populum is similar to the fallacies of faulty use of authority and appeal to tradition.

Examples of Ad Populum

  • "Watch Good Morning America on ABC, the number one morning show in America." This is an example of ad populum because it attempts to persuade the reader to watch a show that is supposedly the best in America.

  • Politicians use ad populum in phrases like "Most of the votes in St. Joseph County went to myself, thusly I am the better candidate for this office." In this example of ad populum, the fallacy is used through generalizing that beings a majority voted for the candidate they are the better candidate.

  • A comedic example of ad populum is given at the expense of the Lemus family, the lemmings. The lemmings are an example of ad populum because a lemming will follow other lemmings anywhere, even occasionally over cliffs.

How do I avoid Ad Populum?

To avoid ad populum do not use popular opinion as your only evidence, but as support for other forms of evidence.