For just about everyone with an email address, we all know about the hoaxes that come around. Many of them attempt to tell us we have won a huge amount of money, or we're the nth number visitor and therefore we get a prize. We know these are not true, yet often times we still wonder "maybe?". Although time and time again it's proven false. I recently found a very funny hoax, trying to ban dihydrogen monoxide.
Some of you may wonder, what is dihydrogen monoxide? While others i assume know that it is something that we simply call water. We all know the six principles for critical thinking, and here i want to focus on a couple. The first is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. While the hoax does provide some good "criticism" against said dihydrogen monoxide, it's essential to life. The hoax states that dihyrogen monoxide contributes to gobal warning, is a key component in acid rain, causes metals to rust faster and has been found in cancerous tumors. At first glance it appears yes maybe dihyrogen monoxide should be banned, but upon further review we realize that is first off impossible, but secondly we would be dead without it. In my opinion, keeping dihydrogen monoxide around seems to be a pretty good idea.
I think this is a case which the availibility heuristic can be used. The availibility heuristic involves people making judgements based on the ease of which they come to our minds. In this instance, Ppeople hear the initial defects of the dihydrogen monoxide, and they just assume that dihydrogen monoxide must be bad and therefore banned. They often decide not to put forth effort and really understand the claim, but just make their judgement off of the basic facts presented to them.
the link i used is: http://www.pcworld.com/article/150080/eight_crazy_email_hoaxes_millions_have_fallen_for.html