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Overgeneralization is a logical fallacy in which a selected subset of examples are taken to be representative of the whole, without examining all of the available evidence or using due diligence to collect a reasonably large sample.

Forms of overgeneralization include:

  • hypernormalization: If something doesn't fit the overgeneralized definition of a category, then that thing doesn't belong in the category.
  • "Everyone I know..." logic:
    • These people do a thing, therefore everyone does it. (Or: These people don't do a thing, therefore nobody does it.)
    • All the examples I know of fit into these two categories, therefore there are exactly two categories and no other options.
  • argument by label: These examples belong in a particular category, which also has other attributes. Those attributes therefore also apply to this category.