Wrong direction


 
In essence, the wrong direction fallacy is when cause and effect are reversed. The notorious example of this is  RA Fisher's (a preeminent and brilliant statistician) argument that the data did not prove smoking caused cancer and that there might be other explanations of why heavy smokers often developing cancer. He suggested that people who were developing lung cancer might have found that smoking alleviated some of their symptoms. His argument essentially reversed the direction of cause and effect: cancer now caused smoking. The problem behind the fallacy is that data correlation does not prove what caused what. So in many situations the fallacy is not just reversing cause and effect but that either direction can be argued for by the data. For example, the level of child violence and the number of hour of TV watched may be strongly related, but the data does not tell you which was the cause and the effect. You can conclude that either 'Children that watch a lot of TV are the most violent. Clearly, TV makes children more violent.' or 'Violent children like watching more TV than less violent ones.'


Name of fallacy Wrong direction
Aliases  
Type Inductive Argument, Informal Argument
Description Fallacy occurs when cause and effect are reversed. For example: Driving a wheelchair is dangerous, because most people who drive them have had an accident.
Example  
Form 
Treatment Dealt with by examining the cause and effect relationship and if required testing the cause and effect in the physical world.