Top 10 Common Generalizations

1 2

A generalization is a broad statement about a group of people or things. It almost always uses the following key words: sometimes, always, never, most, many, all, generally. This article intends to highlight 10 examples to help you better understand this term.


1. Begging the question:

This usually is mistaken for raise the question. The common example of this is to ask a husband if they stopped beating their wife. The assumption is that the husband is beating the wife.


2. I’ve been waiting forever:

How many of us have heard this generalization being made. Many people state this- have never actually been waiting more than 10 minutes. Some of them run out of patience and make generalizations that would make the other person feel horrible. Be truthful and honest, never lie.


3. There are so many things to name:

I was sitting in on a meeting between the principal and the parent. As a mediator, I tried to comprehend the parents’ concerns. The principal asked the parent to state her concerns, which the principal would write down. The parent kept saying that there are too many things to name. If you have the principal listening, why do you not name them? Generalizations such as these will never help you out of the situation.


4. Ad Hominem:

This is one common fallacy that has a claim or argument rejected based on criteria irrelevant to the point being made. Let’s say a religious person is against gay marriages. The respondent says that he expected that opinion because the claimant was religious. Being religious is irrelevant to the debate. One can be religious and still be gay.


5. Slippery Slope:

Common slippery generalizations are made when individuals are treated as a homogeneous group. Generalizations are simply made to win a debate and to prove the opponent wrong.


1 2

About The Author