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Situations of failed logic are numerous in the actions of people on a daily basis. However, there are those unique cases that have stood out over time, attracting the attention of both psychologists and other experts who are keen to unravel the truths behind the actions performed by the individuals in question. This paper will focus on a famous case, which is the campaign period of Donald Trump as the president if the United States of America. His actions at the time exhibited malfunction in reasoning mainly caused by the fact that he had never been in a leadership position of a similar caliber before, hence had insufficient knowledge of the same but showed confidence that exceeded that of an individual who had years of experience in the position. The case is commonly referred connected to the Dunning-Kruger Effect, named after two famous psychologists had studied similar behavior. When Donald Trump was running his presidential campaigns, he was confident that he would win the elections and even commented several times that his followers would be tired of winning. His theory was that a more significant part of the total voter population would vote him in as the president to the extent that the winning margin would be large enough to bring satisfaction to his followers such that they wouldn’t wish for more votes in his favor. However, in actual sense, the competition was stiff because a significant number of the masses also preferred his opponent Hillary Clinton. Hence it would be wrong to assume that almost all people wanted him as president (Stojiljković et al. 78). The paper will explore his instance of failed reasoning and analyze the same from an original and objective perspective to determine what malfunctioning in thinking entails and the repercussions it has on the victim.
The generalization in the applicability of options in all situations shows cases of failed reasoning because different circumstances differ in what is required to get past them, which means that means o solving situations cannot be universal. Each case has a unique way of solving it. For example, just because one person likes covering themselves with an umbrella when it starts to rain, it does not mean that all people on the planet like doing the same (Pennycook et al. 1780). Some would prefer wearing a raincoat while others could opt to stay indoors till the rains subside. Also, there are situations whose intensity is extreme that the simple daily solutions cannot solve them for them to be successful. They require more smart thinking and discernment, like in the case of Donald Trump who acts like he has been in the presidential scene for a long time and therefore has the experience required to lead a nation when in the actual sense he doesn’t. During his campaign period, he sells the idea of building a wall on the border of America and Mexico and make Mexicans pay for the costs. Therefore, the Dunning-Kruger effect is an observation that exhibits a case where reasoning failed, a fact that will be justified in the paper.
The outline of the paper is designed such that it begins with the overview of the original campaign story of Donald Trump, the mixed reactions of the masses towards his ideas and strategies of running the state, and his way of thinking that lead him to stick by his plans. The overview will be followed by the studies done by the expert psychologists after whom such behavior was named after, the experiments they carried out regarding similar situations and the conclusions they arrived at. The analysis of the case will then follow from an objective perspective, taking into account all the available facts provided by the scientists, the Donald Trump’s side of the story, and the acceptable facts connected to the concept of malfunction in reasoning.
An overall conclusion will follow the analysis, which will justify the thesis, and give a summary of the investigation carried out, as well as provide recommendations on how to deal with similar situations in the future. Donald Trump, the current president of the United States, held campaigns that were unique before becoming the president. Unlike previous presidents who had leadership experience, with most having been senators in the states of America, or were running for the presidency the second time, the situation for Trump was different because he had never held a public leadership position before.
As part of the campaign strategy, he needed to let the public know the plans he had for the country, for example, development goals, leadership styles and the controls he was going to put in place as the president. He laid out strategies most of which were frowned upon by the masses especially because they contradicted the wishes of most people and seemed unethical and unconventional. He planned to find all undocumented immigrants and deport them, a move none of the preceding leaders had not implemented. His plan shocked immigrants, especially those that were in the process of acquiring permanent residency and those struggling to get legal papers, (Motta et al. 100) triggering uproar against considering Donald Trump president.
He had failed in reasoning because an individual with complete knowledge of the operations of governance would consider the difficulties immigrants go through to acquire residency documents, and that some of the immigrants are refugees who require help from the government and would be frustrated in the event that they are returned to the same countries they escaped from.
Donald Trump also planned to manipulate the military into carrying out his orders even though they went against the code of ethics of the military force. It was part of his strategy to order the military to kill terrorists and their families and have establishments of national security exercise waterboarding as a torture technique for terrorists and their families during his reign as president. The people of America expected a continuation of the previous systems where the military have their powers to carry on with their activities and are often not interrupted by the sovereign state. However, Donald Trump being a new face in the nation’s leadership arena was in support of a different approach that was disputed by General Hayden of the military who termed it as illegal (McIntosh et al. 98).
The policies Donald Trump was proposing out of his inexperience of presidency depicted failed reasoning because they were a violation of the law. The law enforcement teams, for example, the police and the personnel in the military try their best to avoid situations where civilian deaths result from collateral damage occurring during strikes or lawful warfare. However, considering that Trump encourages the deliberate targeting of members of the family of the terrorists is illegal.
The illegal policy he was willing to pursue exhibited the vast extent of ignorance he had, and how it landed him into collision with the military because they rebelled against the idea, and even threated to stage a coup should they be forced to engage in illegal activities during the reign of Donald Trump. He had not bothered to go through the laws of the country and learn about the things considered legal, and those that are illegal hence should be avoided. Therefore, the combination of ignorance and lack of skills and experience in the specific field of sovereign leadership were the main contributing factors to his case of failure in reasoning.
The specific case of Donald Trump’s which showed failed reasoning landed him into the records of the unreasonable campaigners in the world, even though he was voted in as the president. It is the occurrence of such modes of thinking captured the attention of a professor of psychology, David Dunning, who recognized a universal aspect, which the individuals who lack most in skills and knowledge are still the same individuals who appreciate their knowledge inefficacy the least. He joined hands in the analysis with a fellow psychologist Kruger hence their observation was eventually named Dunning-Kruger effect.
According to the psychologists, it does not pay to have a high level of confidence about something, when in reality, the ability to execute the task at low levels (Mahmood 102). They were of the notion that confidence levels need to be matchable with one’s skills and intelligence leeks to accomplish a task. Donald Trump needed to be competent enough to carry out in-depth research on the government of America if indeed he wanted to carry out a successful campaign with minimal criticism.
From their study, they concluded that an individual is likely to inflate his confidence about executing a particular task when he is less competent about the same. It is the less able individuals that are surer of success compared to the able ones. The duo carried out experiments to justify their theory by administering quizzes on logic, jokes, and grammar to undergraduate students of psychology and analyzing their responses. After submission of the questionnaires, the students were required to give a rating of their expected performance in the tests. They were needed to gauge their expected results relative to their colleagues in percentage terms. The responses the two administrators of the tests got after marking the papers and awarding the marks were that the students who expected to outperform their colleagues scored the lowest. Even though Dunning had anticipated that such an occurrence would come to pass, the magnitude of the effect was beyond his expectation. The poor performers had prior estimated that their skills outdid those of two –thirds of the rest of the students regarding superiority.
The duo extended the research outside the university space to the external environment where they held a shooting competition for volunteer gun hobbyists who were required to participate in a short quiz comprising of ten questions whose purpose was to gauge their knowledge of guns and safety of the same (Latham 440). From the group of volunteers, the individuals who had the least knowledge about firearms exhibited higher confidence regarding the same, in that hey overestimated their knowledge of both gun safety and the usage of weapons.
The experiment justified their notion that it is the individuals with the highest level of confidence about a subject that has the least knowledge in the real sense. They acknowledged that the situation is the same or sports coaches, for example, basketball coaches who are confident about their understanding of the sport, for example, the practical strategies players can employ to win the game when in the real sense they cannot perform basic moves of the sport like dunking. The duo considers the incorporation of intelligence in a person to ensure they realize their level of stupidity, which means that one cannot understand how stupid they are unless they are intelligent enough to notice. This insinuates that Donald Trump must have lacked in intelligence because he was unable to recognize his lack of competency in the creation of acceptable strategies of leadership during his campaign.
The last experiment carried by the psychologists has the purpose of strengthening the notion that those who were overconfident about their abilities had the most mistakes hence failed in their reasoning, contrary to those that were skeptical about their performance because it meant they had to be more careful therefore emerged as winners.
The volunteers were issued with a quiz about the facts they had earlier typed, and one group was instructed to remember the details they had given while the other group wasn’t compelled to remember (Gibbs et al. 589). The outcome was that the group which was required to remember performed worse than that which hadn’t been instructed to remember. The group that scored better comprised of those that were sure their work would be erased.
There is a puzzle piece in the reason why Donald Trump believes that his strategy will work, yet he hasn’t consulted with previous presidents and has no clue about most of the things that are considered illegal. He only creates policies based on what he thinks is right for the company, regardless of whether it aligns with the law or wishes of a majority of the population. Reasonable conclusions are based on evidence or data that is more often than not derived from repeated experiments to ascertain that the results can indeed be relied upon. Cases of failed reasoning occur as a result of insufficient research or in a situation where conclusions are not supported by evidence or existing data, as in the case of the two bank robberies.
Donald Trump failed to involve intensive research complete with a wide range of consultations to measure the credibility of his policies before he could embark on the campaign venture. He should have gathered previous presidents and have them provide insight on important matters about the leadership of the United States because they served in the position for one or two terms. He should also have involved legal practitioners who have specialized in the sovereign law to give their contribution on the things he out to include in his manifesto and those he should exclude.
Donald Trump, during his period of campaigning, practiced overgeneralization which is a recipe for failed reasoning. Applying information that is meant to serve a limited range of situations to a broad class leads to a failed outcome because limited information is insufficient for a wide range of conditions. In the case of the president Trump, he assumed that imposing death can also be applied on a broad spectrum of situations, for example killing the families of terrorists and exercising waterboarding as a method of inflicting punishment and preventing future cases of the vice (Dunning 190). That is a failed form of reasoning because of the error of generalization of the functions of lemon juice and their advantage in enabling invisibility.
A solution to the mistake of generalization is to obtain more information through adequate research. Trump should have engaged more leaders in the planning process for the campaign to determine the strategies to include.
Another puzzle piece is present where one needs to find out why Donald Trump plans to build a wall at the Mexican border and make Mexicans pay for it yet Mexicans have significantly contributed to America’s economy through provision of cheap labor, both skilled and unskilled. The construction of a barrier between both countries which mutually benefit from one another is illogical, and the reason for the same unrelated. Making an unreasonable inference or a conclusion that’s unsupported by data leads to a case of failed reasoning. In the event, a child breaks a mirror on his way to school and in the process falls and gets his homework dirty, blaming the broken mirror on the damage assignment is an illogical reference because both situations are unrelated hence cannot serve as the reason for the damaged assignment.
The basing of conclusions according to one’s opinions instead of facts is a puzzle piece because it creates personal bias leading the individual to base his actions on subjective decisions rather than facts. Donald Trump during his campaign period was of the opinion that since he would be president and hence have powers to control the military into following his policies regardless of whether they complied with the law. However, the reality is that the president is not above the law, hence cannot impose policies that go against the same (Bryan et al. 86). This means that had Trump been objective in his decision making strategy, and considered the potential results that come with using imposing extreme policies he would have realized that it was a bad idea.
However, the puzzle, in this case, is his reason for relying on personal opinion before making his decision to build a wall on the border and have families of terrorists killed, considering that subjectivity causes conclusions which often contradict factual data. Before one concludes that the situation at hand is driven by bias they need to test for whether the individual making the argument is speaking from a specific viewpoint. In the case that pure opinions support the arguments, then there is a likelihood of bias, which has the potential to distort the reasoning of an individual leading to its failure. In the case of Trump, there is failed reasoning which results in uproar especially among the supporters of his opponents.
Non Sequitur errors create a puzzle piece because they indicate a tendency to table one argument logically, which is a recipe for failed reasoning. This means that it is impossible to reach the conclusions based on the facts the subject in question presents. An example of the formation of such a puzzle is in the analogy that since the sky is blue and the ocean too has the same color, then the ocean makes up the sky. This argument does not follow logically hence exhibits failed reasoning because from the facts presented one should not deduce that the sky is made of the ocean since it’s an illogical argument (Aqueveque 182). The same case applies in the situation of Donald Trump whose arguments don’t follow logically when he says that families of terrorists should be tortured and killed when in the real sense they are innocent. It is also illogical to build a wall at the border of Mexico, yet both America and Mexico have benefited and continue to benefit from each other.
In summary, the situations where reasoning failed are depicted in the campaign activities of Donald Trump which prioritize the causes of failed logic and the analysis of the same. The uproar from opponents and some of his supporters who did not agree with some of his policies, his way of thinking that led him to believe in the killing and torture of families of terrorists is enough evidence of a case of failed reasoning. From the study, one can conclude that an individual is likely to inflate his confidence about performing a particular task when he is less competent about the same. The current president of the United States practiced overgeneralization which is a recipe for failed reasoning. The basing of conclusions according to one’s opinions instead of facts is a puzzle piece because it creates personal bias leading the individual to base his actions on subjective decisions rather than facts.