In chapter 12 of the text, we learned that a generalization is reasonable only if it is based upon a large enough sample, where “large enough” is defined by the underlying variability of the population, the desired level of confidence, and the stated margin of error. And it also requires that the sample be random (or stratified). In regards to polling people, we added that the questions must be well-framed (i.e., not loaded, overly broad, or ambiguous) and the responds free to answer.
For each of the following generalizations, determine whether it is prima facie (on the face of it, i.e., without reading any other information to what is stated) reasonable and why, or prima facie unreasonable (i.e. fallacious) and why.
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Question 1 of 5
Field biologists in Africa examine three adult honey-badgers from different areas, and find that they all have 32 teeth. So they conclude that all normal adult honey-badgers have 32 teeth.CorrectIncorrect
Question 2 of 5
My three ex-wives all came from Texas. You know what? That state produces mean women, I can tell you from personal experience.CorrectIncorrect
Question 3 of 5
3,800 Californians whose names were gotten from alumni records of the California State University and University of California systems are randomly digitally called. 56% say they intend to vote Democratic in the next election. So the pollsters conclude that if the election were held today, between 54% and 58% of Californian voters would vote Democratic.CorrectIncorrect
Question 4 of 5
Of 1,600 patients in drug rehabilitation programs polled, 85% say that they first started using alcohol. That shows that about 85% of all people who start drinking will become drug abusers.CorrectIncorrect
Question 5 of 5
A poll of a hundred families in Northern Michigan showed that 55% of them owned dogs. The pollsters concluded that conclude that more than half of all Americans own dogs.CorrectIncorrect