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Talk:List of common misconceptions

List of common misconceptions is a former featured list candidate. Please view the link under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. Once the objections have been addressed you may resubmit the article for featured list status.
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October 29, 2006Articles for deletionNo consensus
March 24, 2009Articles for deletionKept
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April 25, 2011Featured list candidateNot promoted
September 26, 2018Articles for deletionKept
Current status: Former featured list candidate

List of common misconceptions has been linked from multiple high-traffic websites.

4 January 2011 xkcd Link See visitor traffic
12 January 2011 Boing Boing Link See visitor traffic
3 February 2011 i am bored Link See visitor traffic

edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for List of common misconceptions:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Article requests : Resolve the dyslexia contradiction. It starts with "Dyslexia IS NOT a cognitive disorder characterized by the reversal of letters or words and mirror writing." and ends with "Letter reversal IS a characteristic of dyslexia." contradicting itself.
  • '' : Remove instances of "misconception" and other such phrasing.


Should there be a list of common misconceptions about Wikipedia? (Perhaps not in the article space, but in Wikipedia space?) Here's one example: "Many people refer to IP editing as "anonymous editing." But in reality, IP editing is less anonymous than registering a username." Benjamin (talk) 06:05, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia:IP edits are not anonymous Benjamin (talk) 12:18, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

[1] "Though counterintuitive, editors registered under a pseudonymous username actually have greater anonymity than those who edit “anonymously”." Benjamin (talk) 18:47, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

In a List? No (so far), we as editors do not find examples and analyze them. In an essay? Yeah sure. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 13:29, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the no original research policy only applies to the article namespace. WP:What Wikipedia is not is in many ways such a list. The Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid series exists primarily to answer frequent misconceptions about how Wikipedia works. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch is one of many pages that addresses common mistakes or misconceptions about writing. Essays like Wikipedia:Wikipedia is anonymous or WP:Anonymity deal with the IP misconceptions. There's no reason not to make a page or navbox that groups these under the related topic of misconceptions about Wikipedia.

To exist in the article namespace, it would all need to be sourced to non-Wikipedia sources. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 02:12, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

I think it might be good to have a listing of misconception about Wikipedia on a page that is more geared toward the general public, rather than editors, because they're the ones who would be more likely to hold the misconceptions in the first place. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if something like this already exists somewhere, perhaps just saying something like that the Foundation doesn't exert editorial oversight over the content of articles. Benjamin (talk) 15:59, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

I know Wikipedia is generally not considered a reliable source, but I think it would be appropriate in this instance. Primary sources can be used for facts about themselves, and as we have seen, the media often misunderstands Wikipedia. Benjamin (talk) 01:57, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Okay, so it seems like there might very well be some misconceptions about Wikipedia that are documented in RS, and therefore worthy of the mainspace, but also some that would only be worthy of the WP space. But on the other hand, wouldn't it make sense to gather them all together?

Example: Wikipedia administrators: "In his book Wikipedia – The Missing Manual, John Broughton states that while many people think of administrators on Wikipedia as judges, that is not the purpose of the role.[9] Instead, he says, admins usually "delete pages" and "protect pages involved in edit wars".[9]"

Benjamin (talk) 07:38, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Here's another: Wikipedia:Wikipedia_as_a_court_source: "* Joseph Reagle: Reference works and judicial notice (, 15 February 2008) "The import of the use of reference works in court cases is frequently misunderstood, and in this case Wikipedia is no different. ...""

Benjamin (talk) 06:28, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

Here's some more:

Benjamin (talk) 01:49, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Thoughts? Benjamin (talk) 13:09, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

Perhaps a section here with all the RS sourced Wikipedia misconceptions, but with a link to a full list in project space? Benjamin (talk) 00:02, 15 December 2018 (UTC)

Benjamin (talk) 22:45, 2 January 2019 (UTC)

"On Wikipedia, truth trumps self-expression."

Perhaps a common misconception.


Benjamin (talk) 09:54, 16 January 2019 (UTC)

That requires an uncharitable reading of what sense Harrison means when he says "truth". Based on the WaPo piece, and his other writings, he's not unfamiliar with the inner workings of Wikipedia. I doubt he misunderstands what we mean by verifibility, not truth. But 'verifiability' is Wikipedia jargon and it's unlikely a broad audience would understand it. Even if Harrision had used that word in his article, I would expect the newspaper editor would change it to 'truth' so as not to alienate readers.

You are right, though, that the general public probably doesn't understand the distinction -- the reason the Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth policy exists is that it is a counterproductive and even surprising concept. It is likely one of the most misunderstood things about Wikipedia. As I said above, it's a valid addition here if we can cite external sources, which is entirely possible. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:40, 16 January 2019 (UTC)

"It's a "living" resource, in the sense that any piece of content is available to be edited by anyone with expertise in that particular topic."

You don't need experience to edit, and in fact, having expertise can make it easier to run afoul of WP:OR or WP:SYNTH. Benjamin (talk) 00:39, 20 January 2019 (UTC)

"By contrast, Wikimedia is not well understood and is often confused with Wikipedia. In this recent study, respondents reported that they had “never heard of [Wikimedia] before.” When asked to guess what it might be, many responded with Wikipedia."

Similarly, I think most people think that they're donating to Wikipedia, when they're really donating to Wikimedia.

Benjamin (talk) 10:09, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

"The aim is not to write articles from a single objective point of view--this is a common misunderstanding of the policy--but rather, to fairly and sympathetically present all views on an issue."[1]

Benjamin (talk) 13:39, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

There seems to be some common misconceptions about Wikimedia.

It seems like people 1) think WMF can barely afford the servers, and 2) want their donations to go to pay the editors.

Benjamin (talk) 08:25, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

"It is a common perception - based on our claim of being the encyclopedia anyone can edit - that Wikipedia welcomes all editors. There is also a misconception that because maintaining a neutral point of view is one of Wikipedia's five fundamental principles, administrators would be acting contrary to this if they blocked a racist upon learning of their public self-identification."

Benjamin (talk) 04:18, 12 March 2019 (UTC)


>The dynamic list includes 800 women whose draft Wikipedia pages were recently declined because they failed to meet the English encyclopedia’s notability policy for articles. In other words, based on the sources provided, these women were deemed not important enough to merit a Wikipedia page.

Is notability synonymous with importance?

If not, is it a common misconception?

Benjamin (talk) 12:03, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

Also, primary sources can be considered reliable for uncontroversial facts about themselves, right?

So could Wikipedia be cited as source about common misconceptions about Wikipedia? Benjamin (talk) 12:10, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

"the media often misunderstands how Wikipedia works"

Benjamin (talk) 12:35, 2 April 2019 (UTC)

User:Narutolovehinata5 says that it's a common misconception that a Good Article has to be long. Benjamin (talk) 08:11, 6 April 2019 (UTC)

It says "WikiLeaks is not a Wikimedia project." at the top of the WikiLeaks article. Would it say that if it weren't a common misconception? Benjamin (talk) 13:54, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

"It does not take two edit warriors for an edit war to occur - this is a common misconception. It takes one edit warrior, and a good editor who is not willing to let the edit warrior disrupt the article." [3] Benjamin (talk) 04:35, 29 April 2019 (UTC), please discuss here before reverting again. Benjamin (talk) 19:51, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

[4] Benjamin (talk) 11:36, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

[5] Benjamin (talk) 11:51, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

[6] "There are under 1,200 admins protecting the integrity of its English-language pages. It is their job to ensure neutrality and accuracy on all pages." Yet another example of this common misconception. Benjamin (talk) 20:56, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

I've heard that it's a common misconception that Ser Amantio di Nicolao made a third of Wikipedia. Benjamin (talk) 12:36, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

@Begoon: WP:NAVEL is an essay, not policy, and doesn't even argue that such content should be removed, anyway. Benjamin (talk) 05:23, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

Well, thanks for the ping. Yes, I know it's an essay, it just happened to save me some words in an edit-summary (or so I'd hoped). I disagree that it should be included. The people who edit wikipedia or know/care about its machinations is a very small percentage of the population as a whole, so, even if it's a common misconception amongst them, it's certainly not a general one, since most people would not know, or care. We should avoid including things just because they might seem important or significant to us, from our narrow perspective. Thanks. -- Begoon 05:31, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
It's not just the opinion of Wikipedia editors, it's the claim of a reliable source. Benjamin (talk) 05:58, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, it's the opinion of one wikipedia editor (you) that it's significant enough for inclusion, and one (me) that it isn't. The fact that a thing can be sourced does not by itself make it significant enough for inclusion. See WP:INDISCRIMINATE. We use editorial judgement to decide on inclusion/exclusion. Anyway, you should know all that already - you have my opinion, and you're free to disagree. If the level of debate is going to be "it's sourced, so I can include it" you'll have to play without me, sorry. I think the article will suffer if you start including "inside baseball" stuff like this, but I certainly don't care enough about it to have an interminable back and forth on the matter. Thanks. -- Begoon 06:09, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Two points: I agree that the item is not significant enough for inclusion even if sourced. More importantly, before it is restored I'd like for someone to give us a direct quotation from the source that supports the idea that it is a common misconception among the general population that Wikipedia admins are "judges". (talk) 19:41, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Indeed. It strikes me that there's a tendency to want to apply inclusion criteria quite loosely in this article, often amounting to "Ooh, that's a good one I'd like to include, now let's see if I can find it mentioned somewhere", rather than selection based on a preponderance of reliable sources actually describing things as common misconceptions among people in general. It's fine if the source(s) don't use the exact words "common misconception" but there surely needs to be significant support in reliable sources for the fact that an entry is something often generally and widely believed to be true when it isn't, rather than just a mistake or misinterpretation which some arbitrary, interested group sometimes might have made. Quality of sourcing is important - a source isn't an "arbitrary mention which you need to find so that you can include what you want to", we should be reacting to what the majority of sources actually say and selecting content based on that, not seeking the lowest permissible justifications for what we've already decided we'd like to say. -- Begoon 23:26, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't think WP:INDISCRIMINATE is particularly relevant here. None of the examples are even similar to this. You can't just apply that policy to whatever otherwise good content you don't like. Also, it's not a requirement that a misconception be common in the entire world population necessarily. The one about fan death, for example, is only common in one region of the world. Benjamin (talk) 00:05, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Sigh... The part of WP:INDISCRIMINATE which I was hoping you would read is "As explained in § Encyclopedic content above, merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia." - and, yes, that is policy which should be applied universally. Whether or not I, or anyone else, "likes" content is immaterial. The content is not "otherwise good" if it fails our inclusion criteria, only one of which is that it should be sourced and verifiable. It also needs to be relevant, appropriate and balanced.

I've read the rest of this page and some archives, and you have made great efforts to find material to include in this article, for which you should be commended. I think my points above about "loose" application of criteria and letting the desire to include come before proper consideration of individual merit are worth bearing in mind, and I'd ask you to give them some serious thought, rather than becoming instantly "defensive".

Anyway, I've given you some things to think about - whether you do so is up to you. Thank you. -- Begoon 00:42, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

I appreciate your contribution. Benjamin (talk) 00:51, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps not worthy of the mainspace, but: "Note that it is a common misconception that some developers do not have total control over the entire Wikimedia cluster, and may in fact only have Git access and not the capability to delete your user account. This is a dangerous and foolhardy rumor that may cost you your life, or at least those 2,000 vandalism reverts." [7] Benjamin (talk) 11:49, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

That's a humor page and it's a joke - all developers indeed don't have total control over the entire Wikimedia cluster. That would be bad. ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 19:31, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
I realize that. Benjamin (talk) 22:26, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

I still have mixed feelings about this. Benjamin (talk) 21:04, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

@Begoon: I can understand your opposition to the others, but the entry about the admins seems to be sufficiently sourced. Benjamin (talk) 01:11, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Then you should have no problem getting a proper consensus, which there is not right now. Does it meet all the stated criteria?

Even if you think it does meet all the criteria I'm still opposed - I don't believe it's a "common misconception" among anyone but wikipedia editors and navel-gazing like that is not a good look. Honestly, I have to repeat what I said above: " It strikes me that there's a tendency to want to apply inclusion criteria quite loosely in this article, often amounting to "Ooh, that's a good one I'd like to include, now let's see if I can find it mentioned somewhere", rather than selection based on a preponderance of reliable sources actually describing things as common misconceptions among people in general."

Count me as strongly opposed to this in any assessment of consensus. -- Begoon 01:20, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Yes, it does meet the criteria. It is reliably sourced, and mentioned in the subject article. The source mentions "people", not specifically editors. Benjamin (talk) 01:23, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
Well it seems to be "reliably sourced" to a book by a wikipedian about wikipedia aimed squarely at wikipedia editors - The missing manual. Is that the only source?

Regardless, as I again said above: "As explained in § Encyclopedic content above, merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia." - we use editorial consensus for that, so if you can get that consensus (which you are very far from having done in this discussion to date) you can add it with my blessing (although I'll still feel it's a poor, misjudged entry). -- Begoon 01:33, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

I don't see how that's particularly applicate here. It meets the criteria, so it's not indiscriminate. Your objection is basically "I don't like it." Benjamin (talk) 11:23, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
On the contrary, my objections are well explained above. Ironic that you'd try to dismiss me by using that term rather than addressing the actual points I made when one of the problems I see, and have expressed, with the approach to inclusion on this page is a tendency towards an attitude that could succinctly be described as "I like it, now how can we shoehorn it in". That's cart before horse - we should be reacting to what the majority of sources actually say and selecting content based on that, not seeking the lowest permissible justifications for what we've already decided we'd like to say. You'd get far fewer objections if you approached it that way around.

But, as I said above, whether or not I, or anyone else, "likes" content is immaterial. The content is not "otherwise good" if it fails our inclusion criteria, only one of which is that it should be sourced and verifiable. It also needs to be relevant, appropriate and balanced.

I don't see how that's particularly applicate here - well, it's policy, so you should familiarise yourself with it - it applies to all content in all articles. "Meeting the criteria" is not enough, you also need to use editorial judgement - you're allowed to argue for a different judgement to me, but a judgement needs to be made nonetheless - that's what consensus is for.

Anyway, I've said enough, and you don't seem particularly interested in addressing the actual points I've made, or providing more and better reliable sources (the one you have is very "inside baseball"), so let's leave others to comment. -- Begoon 02:10, 10 August 2019 (UTC)


[8] "Our findings dispel the traditional myths "Grape or grain but never the twain" and "Beer before wine and you'll feel fine; wine before beer and you'll feel queer" regarding moderate-to-severe alcohol intoxication," Benjamin (talk) 01:09, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

I think this is a worthy inclusion. Squatch347 (talk) 11:24, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347: Thanks. How should it be worded? Think it's worth it to include the sayings? I'm not sure exactly how I'd phrase it otherwise. Benjamin (talk) 22:55, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't think you necessarily can't use the sayings, they are quite popular and referenced in the underlying article. Perhaps a bit stronger summary before it, like "the order in which you consume alcohol does not affect intoxication or adverse side effects (I believe the article says this as well, but we should double check)." Squatch347 (talk) 14:11, 1 July 2019 (UTC)

Added, thanks. Benjamin (talk) 07:36, 4 September 2019 (UTC)


  • The word "the" was never pronounced or spelled "ye" in Old or Middle English.[1] The confusion derives from the use of the character thorn (þ) in abbreviations of the word "the", which in Middle English text ( ) looked similar to a y with a superscript e.[2][3]

Benjamin (talk) 09:21, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Perfect, I've been toying with this one for a while too, but never get around to it. Fully support inclusion as written. Squatch347 (talk) 14:09, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
There seems to be some consensus to retain the inclusion criteria. I'd like to bump this section for inclusion. I'll take the IP editor's comments at face value about assuming good faith. In an attempt to foster good faith consensus, I'm going to propose this with what I hope will be a handy template for inclusion.
Proposed Text: The word "the" was never pronounced or spelled "ye" in Old or Middle English.[4] The confusion derives from the use of the character thorn (þ) in abbreviations of the word "the", which in Middle English text ( ) looked similar to a y with a superscript e.[5]
Criteria 1:
Criteria 2: Uggh, while I'm loathe to admit it as a Husky fan, the WSU link is absolutely a reliable source developed as it is by Professor Paul Brians. His reference includes both the correction referencing thorn and the fact that this misconception is common (if you use this incorrectly, very few people will know better. The Online Etymological Dictionary is also generally considered reliable. This source doesn't reference the mistake as common, though does reference why it is a mistake and how it is commonly used in 'tourist traps.'
Criteria 3: The misconception is referenced (it has its own section) in the topic article.
Criteria 4: No indication that this is an obsolete misunderstanding. A quick google search shows a large number of shops styling themselves as "Ye olde..."
Squatch347 (talk) 13:33, 19 July 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Brians, Paul (2011). "Common Errors in English Usage – Ye". Common Errors in English Usage. Washington State University. Archived from the original on 2013-05-31. Retrieved June 24, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ Harper, Douglas (2001–2010). "Etymology Online". Online Etymology Dictionary. Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2014-04-27. Retrieved June 24, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Partridge, Eric (1961). "The Concise Usage and Abusage". H. Hamilton.
  4. ^ Brians, Paul (2011). "Common Errors in English Usage – Ye". Common Errors in English Usage. Washington State University. Archived from the original on 2013-05-31. Retrieved June 24, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ Harper, Douglas (2001–2010). "Etymology Online". Online Etymology Dictionary. Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2014-04-27. Retrieved June 24, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

Since there appear to be no objections, added. Squatch347 (talk) 13:38, 25 July 2019 (UTC)


[9] "A common misconception that marijuana is harmless makes kids more open to trying it." "Is marijuana really harmless? Despite the popular belief that marijuana is relatively safe, a number of scientific studies link its use with negative short- and long-term consequences in teens." Benjamin (talk) 11:12, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

[10] "Contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive." Benjamin (talk) 23:37, 31 July 2019 (UTC)


[11] "It’s a common misconception that all U.S. embassies are on sovereign U.S. territory despite being physically located in other countries." Benjamin (talk) 12:27, 10 July 2019 (UTC)

I support this for addition. Squatch347 (talk) 13:33, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
This one has been up for more than a month, so I think it's OK to add it. I think it would be good to give a little explanation that there are restrictions on what the host country can do on embassy property and that U.S. citizens are afforded some protections while on embassy property. (talk) 00:28, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
A modified version of this item can be added if someone can add it to a topic article. (talk) 02:14, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

O. J. Simpson murder case - gloves vs socksEdit

An IP editor added an entry regarding the O. J. Simpson murder case that I removed based on the misconception not being mentioned in the topic article. The IP put it back saying "That doesn't mean it doesn't need to be cited here. Maybe some people never bothered to check that article because they considered it an open-and-shut case." Does anyone else here think I was wrong to remove this? Richard-of-Earth (talk) 06:29, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

I agree with you.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:46, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
Also agreed. I have reverted his re-addition of the text. To add to your point I think the link might fail WP:RS. While it is hosted at a university, this appears to be a personal projects page, not an authoritative source. Squatch347 (talk) 13:27, 11 July 2019 (UTC)


  • European honey bees are often described as essential to human food production, leading to claims that without their pollination, humanity would starve or die out.[1][2] The quote "If bees disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live" has been misattributed to Albert Einstein.[3][4] In fact, many important crops need no insect pollination at all. The ten most important crops,[5] comprising 60% of all human food energy,[6] all fall into this category.

Benjamin (talk) 01:44, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

It requires a tortured definition of "common misconception" to claim this doesn't belong on the list, or that it's not common. It doesn't mean every single person you meet thinks we'll all die tomorrow without these bees. It means most of us have heard the claim repeated many times. We need to stand up to various editors who are trying to Wikilaywer this list down to nothing. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 04:03, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for this. I agree completely, and I've long been thinking about how to put it into words. Benjamin (talk) 07:48, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Agreed, I also support the addition of this one. Squatch347 (talk) 13:36, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
@Dennis Bratland, Benjaminikuta, and Squatch347: I disagree but I won't fight this one. I never interpreted "common" to mean "every single person I meet", but I don't think the phrase "often described" is clear enough to come anywhere close to being a common misconception. But thanks for discussing. (talk) 16:48, 12 July 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Haltiwanger, John. "If All The Bees In The World Die, Humans Will Not Survive". Elite Daily.
  2. ^ A Devastating Look At Our World If Honeybees Disappeared
    "A world without honeybees would also mean a world without fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds."
  3. ^ What Would Happen if All the Bees Went Extinct?
    "First, the easy part: "I've never seen anything definitively link the quote to Einstein," says Mark Dykes, the chief inspector for Texas Apiary Inspection Service. Quote checkers like this one, and this one agree. But debunking its message? That's more complicated."
  4. ^ Would a World Without Bees Be a World Without Us?
    "Albert Einstein is sometimes quoted as saying, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” It's highly unlikely that Einstein said that. For one thing, there's no evidence of him saying it. For another, the statement is hyperbolic and wrong (and Einstein was rarely wrong)."
  5. ^ Goldschein, Eric. "The 10 Most Important Crops In The World". Business Insider.
  6. ^ "What Are the World's Most Important Staple Foods?". WorldAtlas.


  • Monopolists do not try to sell items for the highest possible price, nor do they try to maximize profit per unit, but rather they try to maximize total profit.[1]

This was discussed a bit at Talk:List of common misconceptions/Archive 22#Issues with "Economics" section. An IP has removed it twice saying: Fails inclusion criterion 2: "The item is reliably sourced, ... with respect to ... the fact that it is a common misconception."

The citation to this book does not even have a page number. The article does not really seem to mention it specifically as a misconception. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 18:49, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

I was also concerned that there isn't a page number. I located the book and looked through a lot of it, but found nothing about a common misconception about what is stated in the item. Before this is restored we need a page number for the book where it is clearly indicated that there is a common misconception among people in general, not just economists or academicians. (talk) 22:23, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
I've read the book in the past, and it does identify the misconception, but I don't have it handy at the moment. As I understand it, page numbers are helpful, but not absolutely required. Benjamin (talk) 00:21, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
Page numbers are required if the edit is challenged because it is not in the source. I could add a dozen items to the article by stating that "I read it in a book." Another example of the inappropriate bloat in this article. (talk) 00:35, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
Okay, I took the time to find it again. "Because a monopolist can manipulate output and price, people often believe it “will charge the highest price possible.” That is incorrect." Page 431, chapter 22. I would greatly appreciate it if you would assume good faith rather than imply that I would fabricate sources. Benjamin (talk) 02:26, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
I never assumed bad faith, nor did I accuse you of fabricating sources. I just expect appropriate sourcing, as is always required on Wikipedia, and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't personalize that standard expectation. Also note that I am not the only editor who expressed this need, and I did not start this discussion. "People often believe"? What people? The book is not written for the general population. Your source is sufficient for the fact that monopolists do not "try to sell items for the highest possible price". Another source is needed to confirm that it is a common misconception among the general population. Thanks for the page number. (talk) 02:47, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
That's a bit silly. It doesn't need to literally use the words "common misconception". "People" sounds general enough for me. Benjamin (talk) 02:52, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
Talk about assuming bad faith; please don't describe others' comments as "silly". No, it's not silly, and as I have already stated on this talk page, I don't assume that the literal phrase "common misconception" is required. There are a variety of ways to state it: myth, urban legend, the average person thinks, etc. But "people" is quite vague, especially in an academic book written by an economist. I think the average person thinks that monopolists try to maximize total profit, but they don't give any thought to the particulars of how this is done. I could come up with a few examples in my particular academic field in which experts have used the term "people think" to mean people with a certain psychiatric condition, but not people in general. At best the term "people" is vague enough to challenge. It needs either a better source, or a consensus. (talk) 03:00, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
If it were some obscure specially, I might find your argument more compelling. But this is an introductory level textbook. It's not written for an audience of scholars. It doesn't say "economists think", or even "students think". Benjamin (talk) 03:55, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
You make my point. It's an academic book, not written for the general population. How many people outside of a college class do you think have read it? How many blue collar workers have read it? For that matter, how many college students who haven't take an economics course have read it? I feel confident that the answer is close to none. If you can't see that, then we are at an impasse. The edit has been challenged. It needs consensus to be restored. (talk) 03:59, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
That's quite an unrealistic standard. If everyone had to read about it for it to be a misconception, then it wouldn't be a misconception anymore. Benjamin (talk) 05:16, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
lol - which, of course, means that the higher the readership of this article itself is, the less accurate it becomes. I like that - we should probably decide how many pageviews it needs to reach before we delete it as a "job well done"... lol... -- Begoon 09:32, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
It's funny, but you make an interesting point. Common misconceptions do change over time. I'd imagine eventually this article might have a historical section for all those misconceptions that once were. Benjamin (talk) 10:09, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
...complete with excruciating debates about just when a 'misconception' became 'common' and exactly when it ceased to be so...? Saints preserve us... -- Begoon 10:20, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────@Benjaminikuta: You missed the point entirely. The book is an academic text for an economics course. We cannot assume that the person who wrote it has any idea what the average person on the street thinks about monopolists. At best he is making an unproven assumption that it refers to most people. As I said, I don't think most people (excluding those who have seriously studied economics) give a lot of thought to the detailed analysis of how monopolists make a lot of money, whether it's "price per unit". They just know that monopolists control the market for a particular sector and thus make a lot of money. We don't need to keep repeating the same points over and over. You have made your point, and I disagree with your assumptions. I'm not repeating myself again. I will wait and see if a consensus develops. (talk) 15:50, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

@Begoon: I also tire of the vagueries of how to define "common misconception". That's the nature of an article like this in an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. If I made the decisions, this article would be whittled down severely and changed from an endless list to an article with a few good examples (see Misnomer), but fortunately I'm not in charge. But the four inclusion criteria were developed to make this article less of a crap magnet, and it has helped although imperfectly. (talk) 16:17, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

Given the current sourcing and language, I don't see any reason not to include this verbiage. The misconception is listed on the main page of this subject and can be seen with even a rudimentary google search. Heck five minutes of reading any popular press article on monopolies would reveal just how common this misconception is. Squatch347 (talk) 13:47, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

Following on earlier;

Proposed Text: Monopolists do not try to sell items for the highest possible price, nor do they try to maximize profit per unit, but rather they try to maximize total profit.[2]

Criteria 1:

Criteria 2: This appears to be a valid source, given that it is the 15th edition text book and can be found online at several university book stores. The authors are both notable economists. Given the quoted text from the book it would seem to cover both that this is a common misconception and that it is incorrect.

Criteria 3: The misconception is referenced in the topic article, though it does seem like a slightly out of place comment in that section....

Criteria 4: No indication that this is an obsolete misunderstanding, a quick perusal of the popular press finds this misconception used quite frequently.

Squatch347 (talk) 13:46, 19 July 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ McConnell, Campbell R. Economics : principles, problems, and policies / Campbell R. McConnell, Stanley L. Brue.– 17th ed.
  2. ^ McConnell, Campbell R. Economics : principles, problems, and policies / Campbell R. McConnell, Stanley L. Brue.– 17th ed. pg 431

Hearing no objections...Added. Squatch347 (talk) 13:48, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

@Squatch347: Hearing no objections??? I objected, and so far there are two editors supporting inclusion of the item. Two editors do not make a consensus. This was one my points in the recent RfC: A few editors here think they own the article. (talk) 00:24, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Please stop edit warring. It's clear the consensus is against you. This entry meets the criteria for inclusion, and you haven't made a convincing argument otherwise. Benjamin (talk) 00:53, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347 and Benjaminikuta: Again, two editors do not make a consensus, so you are flat wrong that there is a "clear consensus". And exactly who decides that the arguments of those two are more "convincing" than mine? There are ways to resolve disputes on Wikipedia when discussion doesn't reach a consensus, but you and Squatch347 have decided that your opinions are more important and thus no dispute resolution is needed. "Hearing no objection" in the clear presence of objection clearly says "Your opinion doesn't matter." Please stop assuming ownership of this article. (talk) 01:19, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Consensus doesn't have to be unanimous, but feel free to seek a third opinion. Benjamin (talk) 01:35, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
@Benjaminikuta: Read my comments again. Please quote me where I said that consensus has to be unanimous. Don't try to divert from the real issue by creating a straw man. I don't think i need to keep repeating that the opinions of two editors do not make a consensus. And it is you who needs to seek other means of dispute resolution since there is no consensus. And so far no one has addressed the issue that I raised about why an objection was interpreted as "no objection"? (talk) 01:43, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Please stop acting unilaterally. Wikipedia is a collaborative project. You can either deal with that fact, or you can't. Banging on the revert button repeatedly displays a failure to grasp the fact that this project is collaborative. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 05:56, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Hi IP, you'll notice that after your objection (and coincident with the closing of your inclusion criteria discussion) I posted suggested language and validation that the inclusion met all 4 criteria. There was no additional info for a week post that inclusion. Thus I assumed no objection. I'll note that in your 'objection' here you've offered no substantive critique of the approval or the defense of the inclusion criteria listed. If you don't have that you aren't really objecting, you are just trying to WP:OWN. Please collaborate with other editors here, it is far easier. Squatch347 (talk) 13:10, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347: If you don't mind, I'd appreciate clarification on a couple of points:
  • "There was no additional info for a week post that inclusion. Thus I assumed no objection.": Does that mean I had to state an objection to inclusion of the item (regardless of wording) twice for it to be considered a real objection?
  • "you've offered no substantive critique of the approval or the defense of the inclusion criteria listed": Who specifically made that determination that my comments above were not a "substantive critique"?
Thanks. (talk) 00:20, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but your objection basically boils down to arguing that "people often believe" is not substantively similar enough to be considered a common misconception, even though you agree that using the exact term isn't required. Benjamin (talk) 00:36, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
I'll be happy to respond to that question later, but I don't want us to get sidetracked from my questions to Squatch347. I would like for that response to be made in regard to all of my previous comments in this section. (talk) 00:54, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
IP, I posted a suggested language change along with a defense of how it met the four criteria. I think a reasonable interpretation of that action is that it was specifically meant to answer your objection (and did). Thus, no further objection would imply assent. It also seems to be an unreasonable standard to apply that we would need positive consent from an unregistered IP in order to assume previous objections were withdrawn, especially when those objections were directly addressed.
I would argue that your response on 30 July was not substantive as it didn't reference my post at all, only your concern at being left out. I didn't mean to imply you had never brought up a critique, just that your post on 30 July had no substantive material related to the proposal. You did, however, bring up two substantive critiques before my proposal. a) that there wasn't a specific page number, which was clearly addressed and rectified. b) that it was an academic book and therefore not widely read. This critique was also addressed by me in my criteria discussion in criteria 2.
Squatch347 (talk) 14:13, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347: Just to make sure I don't misunderstand your comments, am I correct in assuming:
  • Anyone who expressed an objection prior to your "proposed text" needed to express that same objection again for that objection to be considered before your action to restore the item in the article?
  • It was you who made the determination that the entirety of my comments in this section did not offer a "substantive critique", after which you restored the item in the article?
  • It was you who determined that there was a clear consensus to restore the item?
  • "It also seems to be an unreasonable standard to apply that we would need positive consent from an unregistered IP": So opinions, objections, and comments from IPs carry less weight in a discussion than those from registered users?
Thanks. (talk) 15:35, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
I would love to continue this long rambling discussion but WP:NOTAFORUM. If you don't have material objections to the proposal or defense I made, I'd suggest we move on. Squatch347 (talk) 13:58, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347: You're simply wikilawyering and refusing to discuss. NOTAFORUM pertains to nonwiki political advocacy, self-promotion, or advertising, and none of those is occurring in this discussion. NOTAFORUM does not relate to discussion relevant to the content of the article, particularly directly relevant to consensus. Obviously no one can force you to defend your actions on Wikipedia, but refusal to do so indicates that you have no defense. So if all you can do is hide behind irrelevant policies and refuse to answer my questions, I will repeat them one more time and if you continue to refuse appropriate discussion, we can assume that your answer to each question is "yes". Am I correct in assuming:
  • Anyone who expressed an objection prior to your "proposed text" needed to express that same objection again for that objection to be considered before your action to restore the item in the article?
  • It was you who made the determination that the entirety of my comments in this section did not offer a "substantive critique", after which you restored the item in the article?
  • It was you who determined that there was a clear consensus to restore the item?
  • "It also seems to be an unreasonable standard to apply that we would need positive consent from an unregistered IP": So opinions, objections, and comments from IPs carry less weight in a discussion than those from registered users?
Thanks. (talk) 14:11, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
WP:NOTAFORUM: "In addition, bear in mind that article talk pages exist solely to discuss how to improve articles; they are not for general discussion about the subject of the article, nor are they a help desk for obtaining instructions or technical assistance. Material unsuitable for talk pages may be subject to removal per the talk page guidelines. If you wish to ask a specific question on a topic, Wikipedia has a Reference desk; questions should be asked there rather than on talk pages."
The talk page is for discussing a proposed edit. It isn't for discussing your or my viewpoints on the philosophy of editing here at Wiki. If you have a material question about this proposed edit, let's here it, otherwise why are we talking about this? Squatch347 (talk) 14:45, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347: This is not about needing technical assistance or a general discussion of the common misconceptions. A discussion about consensus and how that consensus was reached is precisely about improving the article. It happens quite regularly on Wikipedia and is not related to NOTAFORUM. Consensus is a cornerstone of Wikipedia that very often determines the content of an article. Refusal to explain how a consensus decision was made and evading questions about that decision is antithetical to that process. If you spent half the time giving straightforward answers to my four straightforward questions as you have avoiding them by citing irrelevant policies, we could possibly move forward on this matter without other means of dispute resolution. The proper procedure here is for you to explain a consensus decision you made rather than making it and walking away with no discussion. It has become quite apparent that you simply don't wish to reveal the rationale for what you did. You have chosen not to explain yourself after repeated requests that you do so. So we again must conclude that your refusal to defend your actions (or even discuss them) means you have no defense. I will proceed from there. By the way, I invite anyone who wishes to join this discussion. (talk) 23:51, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
At this point, the arguments have been repeatedly stated, consensus has been reached, and I don't imagine any productive outcome of continued discussion of the matter. Your arguments were indeed considered, but the determination was made, not just by any single editor, but rather by several, in favor of inclusion. Benjamin (talk) 00:54, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
@Benjaminikuta: The arguments about whether the item should be in the article have been made. I disagree that consensus has been reached. My main concern at this point is that Squatch347 is stonewalling and refuses to explain how he made a consensus determination. That is a critical point in any consensus discussion. No editor, especially one who has participated in the discussion, is entitled to make a conclusion about consensus (and then act on that conclusion) without explanation. That's not how Wikipedia works. This matter is not resolved (nor will it be) until Squatch347 explains his actions and answers my questions. (talk) 02:02, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
I think a quick perusal of WP:GF might do this conversation some good since, somehow, you are assuming that my asking what your current objections are is "stonewalling." What I am asking you, is rather than discussing each others' motives and perceptions, lets discuss what concerns you have about the addition or the justifications. Those are the most relevant topics to updating this article. If you don't have any, then what are we talking about? Squatch347 (talk) 13:19, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

RfC: Was a consensus discussion improperly closed?Edit

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There seems to be consensus that this Rfc serves no purpose. I would like to leave that question aside, and address the issue of this Rfc itself. On discussions that have attracted not that many editors, a two-to-one consensus may be acceptable. An important factor in determining consensus is the strength of arguments. In this case, where the argument that gained a two-to-one consensus is clearly the stronger one, I find that a compelling reason to accept the consensus as valid. I would like to add that Squatch347 made a proposal on July 19, which was not commented on till he acted upon his proposal on July 29. I think that editors have a reasonable expectation that if other editors disagree with their proposal, they will state so clearly in reply to the proposal, and not rely on their previously stated opinion. This last argument supports the conclusion that Squatch347 was acting reasonably when he made his edit. (non-admin closure) Debresser (talk) 18:27, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

Was a consensus discussion improperly closed? (talk) 17:17, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

After opinions from three editors in the discussion above were expressed, user Squatch347 (one of the three editors) acted on the discussion as if a consensus has been reached. Although Squatch347 has repeatedly refused to explain his rationale for this action, it seems that he required one opinion to be expressed twice in order to consider it, that he thinks the opinion of an IP carries less weight than an opinion of a registered editor, and that he alone could make the determination that an opinion did not offer a "substantive critique". To make matters worse, Squatch347 has repeatedly refused to explain his actions or even discuss whether these issues had anything to do with his decision to determine consensus. Note that I am not necessarily asking for a consensus decision here (although that might occur); my concern is with the action that determined consensus and the lack of transparency in how that consensus decision was made.

  • Yes, improperly closed, for the reasons I describe above. (talk) 17:20, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • No. Please stop misusing the RfC function. Benjamin (talk) 18:09, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
@Benjaminikuta: Maybe you don't know that an RfC is a perfectly acceptable means of dispute resolution; see WP:DR. Any editor, including an IP, is entitled to use an RfC when there is an impasse in discussion. Thank you for your opinion about the RfC, but please don't make false accusations about the way someone seeks dispute resolution. If you have a problem with the way I am editing, the proper way for you to deal with it is to discuss it at WP:ANI, not make irrelevant comments in the RfC. I respect your opinions on this talk page and I don't have any problem with your comments regarding this misconception (or at least I didn't until you just made the false accusation). I hope you will remove your irrelevant "misuse" commentary and let this RfC proceed as it should. If you do so I will gladly remove this particular response. Thanks. (talk) 19:17, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • No. The summary of my actions do not meet WP:Opponent guidelines. To detail this a bit more clearly, there was a debate concerning a proposed addition. IP had made some objections to that inclusion that had been discussed. During that discussion IP also opened up another RfC related to the inclusion criteria which was universally rejected by the editors here. Once it was clear that his proposal would be rejected, I posted some suggested language for addition and a defense of its inclusion based upon the four existing criteria for the page. These defenses and the language suggestion specifically took IP's objections into account and referenced them explicitly. No further objection was noted, nor any comment made despite his activity elsewhere on the page for more than a week. I added the text to the main page and was met with a revert (which itself was reverted) which has become a relatively common practice for this IP. He then asked here a series of questions related to how I came to a consensus conclusion. I entertained these questions for more than a week as can be seen just above this section. During that time he has offered no further objection, not maintained his objections, nor noted why the inclusion should not hold. I would maintain that consensus is reached when no editor on a topic is willing to to discuss substantive objections to a suggested addition or change. Squatch347 (talk) 14:27, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347: I never had any difficulties with reading comprehension in college, grad school, and med school. So my reading skills are at least above average. I read and reread your extensive commentary in this section and was unable to find some information. I also asked a professor of English to try to find the information, but she also was unable. I think it's a reasonable assumption that at least a few Wikipedia editors also might have difficulty finding the information. So if we are failing somehow to "read between the lines' and missed it, it would help us a lot if you would repeat the information here. Specifically, was it essential that any point of view in this section be stated more than once? How did you go about reaching your conclusions of consensus? Did you consult with any other Wikipedia editors to make a determination that no comments in this section offered a substantive critique of including the item in the article? Do you think that the opinions of IPs carry less weight in a consensus discussion than those of registered editors? Thanks for the clarification. (talk) 00:01, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
  • No. Agree with @Benjaminikuta:; repeated misuse of RfC by IP is abusing the system. siafu (talk) 20:32, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment This RFC serves no purpose what so ever. It's a waste of time for everyone that takes part in WP:FRS. I closed it upon receiving a request from the bot to review it. It doesn't address the article at all or anything pertaining to the article. It addresses a talk page discussion. It asks an unclear question about some unknown closed discussion. A positive or negative consensus achieved by this RFC would have zero effect.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 05:15, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment What a pointless discussion that wastes everybody's time. --John B123 (talk) 08:48, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

electroconvulsive therapyEdit

Suggested addition:

Most controlled research suggests that electroconvulsive therapy is helpful as a treatment for severe depression.[1]The reputation as a barbaric treatment[2] can be traced to its erroneous portrayal in popular cinema.[3] In actuality patients are put under general anesthesia before treatment. Over 80% of patients are satisfied with electroconvulsive therapy.[4][5]

-1Veertje (talk) 19:42, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

This may have some potential as an item, specifically the misconception that it is barbaric as currently done (in the past it was in fact barbaric, and the film portrayals often are accurate). However, your description is a little too rosy, as it remains one of the most controversial treatments in mental healthcare. The article you link on ECT provides details. It is a misconception that it is barbaric, but it is not a misconception that there are serious questions about the balance between effectiveness and very serious side effects. (talk) 20:41, 12 July 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Pagnin D, de Queiroz V, Pini S, Cassano GB (March 2004). "Efficacy of ECT in depression: a meta-analytic review". J ECT. 20 (1): 13–20. PMID 15087991.
  2. ^ "These Are The 10 Biggest Myths In Psychology". 7 April 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  3. ^ McDonald A, Walter G (December 2001). "The portrayal of ECT in American movies". J ECT. 17 (4): 264–74. PMID 11731728.
  4. ^ Rose D, Fleischmann P, Wykes T, Leese M, Bindman J (June 2003). "Patients' perspectives on electroconvulsive therapy: systematic review". BMJ. 326 (7403): 1363. doi:10.1136/bmj.326.7403.1363. PMC 162130. PMID 12816822.
  5. ^ 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology


  • Witches were not systematically persecuted during the Middle ages. On the contrary, the Middle Ages were a period of mildness compared to the time before and the time after.

Benjamin (talk) 03:53, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

Fails inclusion criterion 2: "The item is reliably sourced, ... with respect to ... the fact that it is a common misconception." And Wikipedia cannot source itself. (talk) 14:38, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

Cooking with alcoholEdit

  • Food containing wine or liquor retains alcohol even after cooking, contrary to the misconception that cooking burns all alcohol off. According to the USDA, 75% of the alcohol remains after flambéing, 25% after one hour of baking or simmering, and 10% after two hours of baking or simmering.[1] However, the amount of alcohol consumed while eating a dish prepared with alcohol will rarely if ever be sufficient to cause even low levels of intoxication.[2]

Benjamin (talk) 03:53, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

Fails inclusion criteria 2 ("The item is reliably sourced, ... with respect to ... the fact that it is a common misconception.") and 3 ("The common misconception is mentioned in its topic article with sources.") (talk) 14:37, 15 July 2019 (UTC) (Same editor as using different IP)
From source 2: "Contrary to what most people believe..

" So it seems to have met with criteria 2. For criteria 3, can you point to the Wiki article you are referencing? Squatch347 (talk) 12:59, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

As it is written now, the topic article does not mention the misconception. It needs to be written into the article, with a source.. (talk) 23:37, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
You really should be more specific in your removal rational. Multiple times now you have removed entries for being unsourced, when they actually were sourced. If what you really mean is that you disagree with the interpretation of the source, or there's some other reason why it shouldn't be taken to mean what it says, then you should say so. Benjamin (talk) 01:42, 30 July 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ "USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors, Release 6 (2007)". National Agricultural Library. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  2. ^ Weil. "Does Alcohol Really Cook Out of Food". Archived from the original on April 27, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

"Stranger Danger"Edit

Is this eligible as a common misconception and widely promulgated myth? See: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

What specifically are you suggesting is the common misconception? Do you have a reliable source that it is a common misconception? (talk) 02:05, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
Taking a quick look at the lede of that article, which calls it a moral panic, I'd say it qualifies. Benjamin (talk) 01:51, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
There may be a misconception here, but so far no one has identified exactly what the misconception is. Is stranger danger the misconception, meaning that there is a common misconception that all strangers are dangerous? I don't think that is a misconception; most people who warn about the danger of strangers do not literally say that all strangers are dangerous; it is usually stated that you don't know if a stranger is dangerous so you should assume they are unless you have clear evidence to think otherwise. There may be a misconception but as it is presented above the misconception is not at all clear. The "moral panic" idea is not sourced in the article, although there may be sources that validate that term. (talk) 02:12, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Of course we would need sources, but I think the misconception is that strangers are more dangerous or likely to kidnap or abuse than known adults. I'm not sure how it should be phrased, but I think there is something of a disconnect between fear and reality. Benjamin (talk) 02:59, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure that a lot of people literally believe that being a stranger automatically makes someone more likely to be dangerous. It is the unknown that people fear, and strangers are unknown to us until we get to know them. I think most people see it that way and would tell you that we don't mistrust strangers simply because they are strangers; we mistrust them because we don't know if they are safe or dangerous. But there's no misconception there, just facts. We have to be careful how we word this so we don't state something is a misconception that isn't a misconception. The misconception isn't that every stranger is dangerous, and I don't think you could find a reliable source to support that misconception. And it is not a misconception that we don't know if a stranger is dangerous. That is a fact. So as I see it, there is no misconception about the danger of strangers in general, but there are misconceptions about some crimes as related to strangers. For example, there is a misconception that most child abductions are done by strangers, but they are not. But that doesn't mean that people think that all strangers are dangerous. Most crimes, in fact, are done by people that we don't know; there's no misconception there. Apart from the child abduction misconception (and there may be other misconceptions related to specific crimes) I don't see where there is a misconception. (talk) 03:21, 30 July 2019 (UTC)

Credit scoreEdit

"Consumer Watch: Many Americans think income affects credit score" KOKH FOX25 [12] Benjamin (talk) 11:11, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

"How to boost your credit score" Fox 59 "It's quite a misconception that income has anything to do with your actual credit score. Often times people in lower income brackets actually have..." [13] Benjamin (talk) 11:14, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

There is no consensus against adding this item, so it should be added. (talk) 00:30, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
I do not see that all four of the criteria have been met. What article will be linked and does it mention the misconception. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 08:46, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
There is a statement in Credit score in the United States explaining that income does not contribute to the credit score. It could easily be added there, with sources. (talk) 00:35, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
Okay, I just added it to that article. Benjamin (talk) 03:35, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
Added to this article. (talk) 02:41, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
Great, thanks! Benjamin (talk) 02:47, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

RfC about the four inclusion criteriaEdit

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
No consensus for change; proposer requested WP:SNOW close. The legobot/FRS-bot sent me. EllenCT (talk) 05:25, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

Should the four inclusion criteria from a previous consensus be rescinded? (talk) 03:18, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

  • Rescind previous consensus - Quite a few years ago a consensus was developed after extensive debate and discussion to establish four criteria for inclusion of an item in the article. This was done because the article had become very unwieldy with lots of people adding their favorite misconception regardless of whether it was reliably sourced that it was, in fact, a common misconception. One of those criteria is: "The item is reliably sourced, both with respect to the factual contents of the item and the fact that it is a common misconception" (bold added). For a few years these criteria resulted in a modest improvement in preventing addition of new items with no reliably sourced indication they the item is a common misconception among people in general. The bloat to the article shrunk but didn't disappear. In the last year or so, however, the inclusion criterion mentioned above appears to be used selectively by several "regulars" who edit this article. New items are sometimes removed if added by a newbie or IP. Older items, however, are fiercely protected with little regard to whether the inclusion criteria are met. There is a sometimes a semblance of discussion, but often the will of a few "regular" editors of the article prevails regardless of any improvement in sourcing or consensus. In short, the effects of the inclusion criteria have eroded so much that they serve very little purpose. Therefore, I propose that the consensus for the four inclusion criteria be rescinded if it is the will of the larger Wikipedia community. My rationale for this proposal is that, if a few regulars can protect their favorite items in the article regardless of the criteria, any editor should be able to add items without the restrictions of the inclusion criteria. There are items that have remained in the article for years that do not fulfill the inclusion criteria because a few editors do not wish for them to be removed. That's fine, as long as we operate on a level playing field in which anyone can make an addition to the article as long as it meets the usual standards for sourcing that are required for any Wikipedia article. Thanks. (talk) 03:19, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
Is your argument that the existing criteria should be rigorously enforced (in which case I could probably cut down the size of the article by about 30% on a first glance), or is your argument that it should be a free-for-all? This is a list article, which requires the existence of inclusion criteria in some form. Risker (talk) 03:24, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
if a few regulars can protect their favorite items in the article regardless of the criteria, any editor should be able to add items without the restrictions of the inclusion criteria. A bit pointy, perhaps? If you really think that some entries don't belong and the list should be pared down, it's a bit disingenuous to argue in favor of the opposite, getting rid of the criteria and opening the floodgates for all sorts of additional entries.
Regarding the inclusion criteria, I think it's mostly a pretty reasonable standard, perhaps to be used with a bit more flexibility and common sense, of course. I will also note that, as mentioned previously at Articles for Deletion, a clearly defined scope is important for a list article to have. Benjamin (talk) 03:27, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
It's already a free-for-all for a select few, thus minimizing the effectiveness of the criteria. There's no point in having something that doesn't work (recall why the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was rescinded). Not pointy at all; certainly no more pointy than seeking semiprotection to protect one's preferred version of the article. It's just realistic. If the Wikipedia community wishes for the criteria to be selectively enforced by a few regulars and leave everything as it is, so be it. If others agree with me that the criteria serve very little purpose, they can decide to remove them or determine a fairer way to enforce them. I'm fine with any consensus, but I'm not fine with a select few determining the contents of this article without an OK from the larger Wikipedia community. As for your comment that a list article "requires the existence of inclusion criteria", the vast majority of list articles establish their criteria for inclusion with just the title of the list and possibly a sentence or two. But this article was completely out of hand and included everyone's favorite misconception. The criteria helped for a while, but over time the criteria have become the tools of a select few editors. The article's edit history and talk page history speak for themselves on that matter. So let's see what a bigger sample of Wikipedians think about it (talk) 03:36, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Opposed While the opening of this discussion is about all the criteria, the IP editor seems to be interested in one in particular. The question arising from this issue is one we've dealt with before here relatively recently with another editor. It isn't, in fact, that the criteria are wrong, or should be rescinded, but whether or not the exact phrasing "common misconception" is used in the article. The question for the editors here is whether the source article can use equivalent phrasing or not. IE would an article saying "It is commonly believed that..." warrant inclusion? The answer, imo, is obviously a yes. That we are overlawyering the phraseology to remove certain sections (and for the life of me, I cannot understand why there is such a push on the friendship paradox, we've seen at least four accounts come in to try to remove it both here and at the main page) is the problem. Take, for example the discussion on monopolists. When shown the following language: "Because a monopolist can manipulate output and price, people often believe it “will charge the highest price possible.” That is incorrect," the argument changed from "the source needs to reference it" to "I don't think a lot of people read text books." This is blatant cherry picking to remove a valid source that obviously meets the criteria of being a reliable source that references the belief as a common misconception.
I don't mean to be over pointed in this discussion, but it seems a backhanded way of dealing with the fact that a majority of editors don't agree with you when you try to remove text without a valid reason. Squatch347 (talk) 14:20, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Opposed per WP:POINT. Criteria are fine, sour grapes is the problem. One editor is unwilling to work to gain consensus on discussions of whether something is sufficiently sourced, or meets other criteria, and rather than make the effort, and lose gracefully from time to time, they accuse the whole rest of the world of "adding their favorite misconception regardless of whether it was reliably". The vast conspiracy to flout the list criteria is much less plausible than one editor who is unhappy they aren't getting their way. Occam's Razor.

    It typically takes from a few days to a week or so to reach consensus on a given editorial question. What we have here is someone who allowed less than 12 hours from being forced, by edit warring page protection, into talk page discussion to giving up and escalating to an RfC. At least give it a week before forum shopping. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:23, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

  • Oppose The argument presented seems to be that old inclusions aren't being removed, despite not currently meeting inclusion criteria. I'm not even going to attempt to evaluate if that's true in the slightest because removing the inclusion criteria altogether is not in any sense a solution to that putative problem in the first place. siafu (talk) 20:40, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
@Siafu: Thanks for your comments. I understand your point, and I would just add that I am simply trying to find out if most people agree with me that the criteria serve no useful purpose if they are selectively enforced by a few. If the consensus is to keep the criteria as they are, I will respect that. (talk) 00:57, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - Despite the above failures to assume good faith, knee-jerk defensiveness, and immature whining, this is a serious attempt to discern what editors in general think about the inclusion criteria. I am not trying to convince anyone to agree with me; I simply want a consensus (if possible) about what should be done about the inclusion criteria. For the vast majority or editors who realize that someone can disagree with you without having sinister motives, I have a few comments and suggestions. If you're not very familiar with the article look at the four inclusion criteria by opening any edit window in the article. Those criteria have been in place for many years and were determined by consensus. I am satisfied if a consensus of editors agrees to keep the criteria as they are now, rescind them, or somehow modify them so that they are applied more fairly. You can fairly quickly gather the information to make a reasoned decision. Take just a few minutes to look at the edit history of the article and the talk page comments over the last few months. You'll see a few editors who are frequently involved with this article. Notice when new items were removed using the inclusion criteria as a rationale. Who contributed the items (a newbie or an IP?), and who removed the items (one of the regulars here or someone else)? Now look at items that were removed by a newbie or an IP. Look at how much discussion occurred before restoring the items (see WP:BRD). Were those items fairly new, or have they been in the article for years? Who restored them? I see patterns, but I trust you to reach your own conclusions, and I know that if you disagree with me that you make your decisions in good faith. Then feel free to ask questions or express your opinions here. Thanks. (talk) 01:15, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose the removal of inclusion criteria (no comment about the current content disputes). They may perhaps be improved but this seems out of the scope of this particular RFC. —PaleoNeonate – 02:28, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose If there is a problem with some stuff on the list not meeting the inclusion criteria, the solution is to discuss those items and seek consensus to remove them, rather than to remove the criteria. We should be trying to improve the article, not open it up for anyone to add anything they like. GirthSummit (blether) 13:14, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - This looks like a WP:SNOW to me. As I have always said, I respect any consensus. If someone wants to close it I have no objections. Except for the snarky remarks that did not assume good faith, thanks to all who expressed opinions. (talk) 23:18, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Price elasticity of demandEdit

Benjamin (talk) 04:30, 18 July 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Economics, Tenth edition, John Sloman


Benjamin (talk) 04:31, 18 July 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Economics, Tenth edition, John Sloman


Benjamin (talk) 04:32, 18 July 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Visualizing Human geography, Second edition, ALYSON L. GREINER

Lump of labour fallacyEdit

Benjamin (talk) 04:33, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

I removed the "failed verification tag." See this text in the source: "One of the best-known fallacies in ECONOMICS is the notion that there is a fixed amount of work to be done - a lump of LABOUR - which can be shared out in different ways to create fewer or more jobs..." I think this is a valuable addition. It probably should have a short blurb on the Luddite movement which heavily used and promoted this misconception. Squatch347 (talk) 14:07, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
Who added the 'page needed' addition? This is a website that links directly the page referenced. Squatch347 (talk) 13:48, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
My bad, sorry. I should have checked the link. Since it is a glossary we only need the entry not the page number. But it still needs to be specified in the citation. So the citation is still incomplete and Benjamin has been sloppy with giving citations that can be verified. In this case it is ultimately a book authored by Matthew Bishop and the author is not given credit here. The web page is just a reprint of it. Even if there is a link to the part, there should be some kind of indication where in the book to look. I have added a correct citation for comparison. Most likely the person who added the "failed verification tag" thought the citation was to the "Labor" entry at the top of the web page which does not mention the "Lump of labour fallacy" toward the end of the page. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 17:25, 19 July 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Economics A-Z terms beginning with L". The Economist. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  2. ^ Bishop, Matthew (April 2004). "Lump of labour fallacy". Essential Economics: An A to Z Guide. Bloomberg Press. ISBN 9781861975805. One of the best-known fallacies in ECONOMICS is the notion that there is a fixed amount of work to be done - a lump of LABOUR - which can be shared out in different ways to create fewer or more jobs...

I'd like to propose the following language for this addition:

"For any given set of production, there is a set amount of labor input (a "lump of labor") to produce that output. This fallacy is commonly seen in Luddite and later, related movements either as an argument that automation causes permanent, structural unemployment, or that labor limiting regulation can decrease unemployment. Rather, the amount of work to be done for any given input is not fixed. Changes in capital allocation, efficiency, and economies of learning can change the amount of labor input for a given set of production." Same source. Squatch347 (talk) 14:53, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Edit warEdit

It's really unfortunate that this article has been full protected. Do you think we could simply agree to refrain from re-reverting each other (even if the other editor isn't justified)? Benjamin (talk) 00:09, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

Invading Russia in the WinterEdit

Adolf Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte did not invade Russia in the winter. In fact, both of these historical invasions took place in the summer, in late June. Operation Barbarossa, Hitler's 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union, began on June 22, 1941. Napoleon's Grande Armée invaded on June 24th, 1812. These invasions were carefully planned and their overseers were well aware of the harsh climactic conditions, long travels and sprawling supply lines associated with such an invasion. Late June was a logical choice in both cases as it provided the longest daylight of the year, allowing prolonged travel and offensive action in the earliest stages of the invasions. This time of year also provided many months of deployment preceding winter conditions, as well as favorable road conditions. It is true that harsh winter conditions contributed to the failure of these invasions. However, both invading forces still made preparations to operate in the winter, although the conditions were harsher and more prolonged than expected. --ChippahDippah (talk) 18:31, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

Please provide reliable sources to verify the factual contents of the item as well as the fact that it is a common misconception. (talk) 00:45, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
French invasion of Russia#German invasion mentions the myth that the Russian winter was the cause of both the German and French defeats, citing one source. I imagine additional sources around this topic are cited in French invasion of Russia and in Operation Barbarossa. I would say the next step is to go to the talk pages of those two articles and get help bringing this myth or common misconception into focus, so that at least one of the articles says explicitly what we are saying here on this list. Or bring what this list says into line with what's into the article. Whichever the editors on those articles are most supportive of. With all those ducks in a row, it should be easy to add an entry here. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 04:13, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

Forced penetrationEdit

"One myth Weare's research dispels is that forced penetration is impossible because men are physically stronger than women. Another is that men view all sexual opportunities with women as positive. A third myth is that if men have an erection they must want sex. In fact, Weare says, "an erection is purely a physiological response to stimulus"." [14] Benjamin (talk) 08:22, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

Federal ReserveEdit

[15] Benjamin (talk) 21:55, 30 July 2019 (UTC)


Dyslexia is not defined or diagnosed based on seeing or writing letters or words backward or in reverse.[1] (talk) 00:51, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

There's already an entry about dyslexia, but I went ahead and added that reference to it. Benjamin (talk) 00:58, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Forces do not cause motionEdit

If the forces acting on an object are balanced and the object is in motion, then it will continue in motion with the same velocity. Forces do not cause motion; forces cause acceleration. (The misconception can be added to Force). [1][2][3] (talk) 00:58, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Support, though I would switch the two sentences. The main thrust is the second sentence, and the first sentence is an example of why it is true. Squatch347 (talk) 13:35, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Negative reinforcement is not punishmentEdit

In operant conditioning, negative reinforcement is not the same as punishment. Punishment decreases a behavior. Negative reinforcement increases a behavior. (The misconception can be added to Reinforcement) [1][2] (talk) 01:03, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Dark side of the moonEdit

The "dark side of the Moon" is not in perpetual darkness. Both sides of the Moon experience two weeks of sunlight followed by two weeks of darkness.[1] (talk) 01:20, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Support, good info. Squatch347 (talk) 13:33, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, very common misconception and in lots of media. --Bluecrab2 (talk) 01:18, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Egyptian pyramidsEdit

Student loan bubbleEdit

[16] "The claim that student borrowing is “too high” across the board can—with the possible exception of for-profit colleges—clearly be rejected. Indeed, media coverage proclaiming a “student loan bubble” or a “crisis in student borrowing” even runs the risk of inhibiting sound and rational use of credit markets to finance worthwhile investments in collegiate attainment." Benjamin (talk) 18:47, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

Overlapping confidence intervalsEdit

In inferential statistics, overlapping confidence intervals do not necessarily indicate that there is no statistically significant difference between the means.[1][2][3][4] (talk) 00:30, 6 August 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Robert Pagano. Understanding Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences, 10th Edition (2012). Wadsworth Publishing. pages 298-327
  2. ^ Vandana Bagla. Inferential Statistics. (2018) CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. pages 77-79.
  3. ^ Nathaniel Schenker and Jane F. Gentleman, “On Judging the Significance of Differences by Examining the Overlap Between Confidence Intervals,” The American Statistician vol.55, no.3 (2001). pages 182-186.
  4. ^ Student Misconceptions in Statistics.
This fails criteria 3 as this specific misconception isn't referenced there.
It is also a bit technical for a common misconception page. The broader misconception, which is referenced there and might be a valid inclusion is "According to the strict frequentist interpretation, once an interval is calculated, this interval either covers the parameter value or it does not; it is no longer a matter of probability. The 95% probability relates to the reliability of the estimation procedure, not to a specific calculated interval." The problem with that inclusion is that it relies on a specific philosophical viewpoint, which I don't see support for being the mainstream or consensus viewpoint. Squatch347 (talk) 14:05, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Criterion 3 can easily be fulfilled by adding the misconception to the related article, with sources. It is certainly as relevant as and no more technical than the specifics about particular aspects of monopolists' beliefs about maximizing total profit, or misconceptions about invasion of Russia, lump of labor fallacy, or price elasticity. The sources are valid, and the authors are notable in the field of statistics and identifying any common misconceptions. "Common" does not mean everyone in the population. Regarding "specific philosophical view", statistical calculation has little or nothing to do with philosophy. Use of the calculations to reach broader conclusions about behavior might be philosophical, but that is not part of this misconception. (talk) 14:29, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Sure, once you get consensus over there for the addition, let's discuss it here.
I think you might be surprised just how much philosophy has to do with statistics (and most mathematical and scientific fields). Squatch347 (talk) 14:48, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
I think there must be some common misconceptions about philosophy, but I can't even begin to imagine just how they all might be worded. Benjamin (talk) 21:35, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347: Consensus is not necessary to add the misconception to another article if it is properly sourced. And there's nothing preventing us from discussing this item prior to adding it to another article. Look at this talk page and archives. It happens regularly.
As an expert on use and interpretation of statistics, I am not surprised that philosophy relates to conclusions reached based on statistics. But as I have said, the misconception is based purely on statistical calculations, not the broader conclusions that might relate to those calculations. For example, there is no philosophy in calculating means, standard deviations, standard error of difference between means, a confidence interval, and a t-score. Anyone, regardless of philosophical orientation, would do the calculations exactly the same. But if I used those statistics to conclude (as a hypothetical example) that Group A is significantly smarter than Group B, there could be philosophy involved. But for the calculations, no philosophy; and this misconception is about calculations. Googling "philosophy statistics" and coming up with an article on philosophy of statistics doesn't change that. You tried to reframe the misconception as a philosophical issue, but it has nothing to do with philosophy. (talk) 23:54, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
We can certainly discuss it here, but, as you've repeatedly pointed out, it would fail to meet the inclusion criteria until it is added to the parent page as a misconception. Related to the philosophic issue, we should note that the parent article itself is referencing the closest we have to a misunderstanding with a specific philosophic interpretation qualifier. As a fellow expert in the use and application of statistics, I'm sure you'll agree that there are multiple schools of thought on what is actually meant by different statistical tests and analyses. It only takes a few minutes to review the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society or the Annals of Statistics to find a couple of well sourced and well cited articles on the epistemology within Bayesian statistics. Regardless, the qualifier is present both in the parent article and the linked sources so it would need to be included in the proposed text, which would also probably need to be modified to something closer to the text I quoted yesterday and the text from the one accessible source. Squatch347 (talk) 13:32, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347: You have repeatedly refused to get the point, so much so that you are being disruptive. This discussion is about the misconception presented above, as I have worded it. It is not about your revised wording of the misconception. If you wish to start another discussion about "Philosophy of statistics", please do so. Otherwise, tell us how the misconception about statistical calulations. as stated above (not your rewording) has anything to do with philosophy. Please explain how calculating means, standard deviations, standard error of difference between means, a confidence interval, and a t-score involves philosophy. Otherwise, please start a separate discussion of your preferred wording of the misconception and stop being disruptive in this section. (talk) 17:26, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Interesting that you didn't actually address my objections to your inclusion. I'll state them again. "...but, as you've repeatedly pointed out, it would fail to meet the inclusion criteria until it is added to the parent page as a misconception." You are incorrect about me not getting to the point, I addressed the point in my initial response to you. If the misconception is limited to being a misconception in only one school of thought on a topic, it should not be included as a broad misconception unless that school of thought is a WP:Consensus. That you don't realize that the interpretation of statistical processes and methods involves a basic philosophic structure makes me question your self-reported expertise in the subject. That you don't recognize that the frequentist interpretation is an influential, but hardly consensus view makes me question it further. As it currently stands this addition fails for two reasons. It does not meet WP guidelines on consensus nor does it meet inclusion criteria 3. Once it meets those criteria, I'm happy to relook at it. Squatch347 (talk) 14:34, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Interesting that you didn't actually address the question about how statistical calculations are influenced by philosophy. That you don't (or can't) address that issue makes me question your self-reported expertise in the subject. So lets break this down in baby steps so I can understand. Let's start with a simple calculation: arithmetic mean. Let's suppose we have three data points: 20, 30, and 40. My method is to add the data points (20+30+40=90) and divide by the total number of data points (90/3) which produces an arithmetic mean of 30. I'm not aware of any philosophical perspective I would have in doing the calculations. Please select any philosophical perspective of your choosing and tell us how the calculations would be done and what the end result is. Then we might be able to move on to the more complex calculations involved in the misconception. As it stands right now, there is no substantive critique for including a misconception about statistical calculations, so there is no consensus against inclusion. Naturally, of course, if someone offers a substantive critique I would consider that in my conclusions about consensus. (talk) 00:21, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
That would be because I didn't say that philosophy affected statistical calculations, but rather statistical interpretations. In case you were unaware, your fallacy is not about calculation, it is about interpretation. That is what is meant when we ask if some finding is statistically significant. IE does the finding mean that there is a real difference or correlation or whatever, or is this an artifact of statistical grouping? Thus, if we are going to discuss the import of this fallacy, we would need to discuss statistical interpretations; which are governed by philosophy of statistics. You'll notice in your example that you haven't done any statistical analysis. You've only done arithmetic averaging. You aren't even really doing statistics here because your fallacy relates to pulling a sample from a population and testing whether your sample's means relates to the actual population mean (technically the means of two populations).
Additionally, your proposed text fails criteria 3. Until that is addressed, it cannot be added here. Squatch347 (talk) 15:03, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Now I am quite convinced that you have little expertise in statistics beyond what you found from googling philosophy and statistics. Every step in the process of determining confidence intervals and statistical significance at any given level (.01 or .05 for example) is purely a set of statistical calculations. A computer can do it with no assistance if the data are put into the program. We can easily calculate confidence intervals and a t-test with no reference whatsoever to "real differences" or other interpretive conclusions (and by the way, even though a correlation coefficient isn't involved in the calculations, calculation of a correlation coefficient also involves no philosophy). The interpretation of those calculations, which I have specifically not included in the stated misconception, may involve philosophy. So the misconception, as stated, has no philosophy involved. Zero. None. Your attempt to force interpretation into pure calculations doesn't change those calculations or the misconception. In fact, it certainly seems that you don't really understand the difference between statistical calculations and statistical interpretations, which is what I might expect from a non-statistician googling statistics and philosophy. But that is nothing to be ashamed of, just something you should be aware of. There are a lot of things about which I don't have expertise, but I don't claim that expertise after a couple of google searches. The misconception, properly sourced, will be added to statistical significance and/or confidence interval, thus fulfilling all of the inclusion criteria. As I said, so far there is no substantive critique for including a misconception about statistical calculations, so there is no consensus against inclusion of the misconception as I have stated it. (talk) 18:42, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

You are completely correct that every step of determining a confidence interval is a purely mechanistic calculation. Your proposed addition isn't about calculating confidence intervals. It is about what inferences can be drawn when two confidence intervals overlap. The process of drawing inferences is not a mechanistic process and requires an intellectual framework to conduct. Some might even call that a philosophy. When your proposed addition says: "do not necessarily indicate that there is no statistically significant difference between the means," you are applying an inference to the data that forms the first part of the sentence.
Once you've added the misconception there, we can talk here about this language. As it stands now, your addition fails criteria 3.
The proposed language, as stated also does not have consensus. There is an ongoing objection by an editor (me). Until that is addressed or I drop that objection, its just posturing to claim there is a consensus. Squatch347 (talk) 14:10, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────@Squatch347: The misconception will be added to the parent article. Otherwise all inclusion criteria are met and there will be no changes in the wording of the misconception unless another editor makes a suggestion that actually makes sense. There is no consensus that prevents addition of this item, despite your assumption of ownership of this article. You are free, of course, to seek consensus through other means if no one else supports you. You have reached the point that it is quite clear that you're arguing just to be arguing. Anyone who reads your interactions with me throughout this talk page can easily discern why you are using that tactic, refusing to answer simple questions but always ready to repeat the same underwhelming argument again and again. I could copy a commentary from Sam Kou or Neil Shephard explaining that the calculations necessary to refute this misconception involve no interpretation, and if I signed my IP address to it, you would pull up the same useless arguments that assume interpretation beyond calculation. Anyone who has completed their second semester (and likely the first semester) of statistics in grad school or med school will easily grasp this misconception. Anyone who hasn't studied statistics and tires of this useless back and forth can message me and I'll try to give you detailed explanation that includes a dataset with all the calculations. But it is a waste of everyone's time here for me to respond to someone who simply refuses to get the point as if the number of words written gives you a stronger argument. If anyone who actually understands a little about statistics wishes to have a real discussion about this misconception, I'll be happy to respond. (talk) 14:23, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

It does strike me as a bit technical. Perhaps it could be worded differently? Benjamin (talk) 23:08, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
@Benjaminikuta: Thanks for your comment; I'll give it some thought. But it certainly is no more technical than the specifics about particular aspects of monopolists' beliefs about maximizing total profit, or misconceptions about invasion of Russia, lump of labor fallacy, or price elasticity. Most of us tend to think that something we don't understand is technical and that things we do understand are less technical. That's the nature of many misconceptions in this article. "Technical" is a very subjective term. (talk) 23:49, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I do have mixed feelings about several of those. Benjamin (talk) 00:13, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
There are currently two problems with this addition.
1) It does not meet criteria 3. You are assuring us that it will, fine, when it does we can reopen that.
2) The current language does not have consensus support. I've offered some suggested text as points, but as you point out, those are also do not have consensus. Perhaps it would help to move the discussion forward if you would detail for the rest of us the specific misconception you are trying to point out. The language initially proposed and your response from earlier in the week seem to be about two different concerns. Are you saying; a) that when there are two overlapping confidence intervals for a sample that people shouldn't assume that means the population means are statistically identical? OR b) that the calculation of overlapping confidence intervals does not require statistically identical means?
Squatch347 (talk) 13:18, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not saying anything about population means. That would require interpretation. I'm saying the calculations from two samples can produce a t-score for any given alpha level that is significant, and the confidence intervals based on that alpha can overlap. That's quite clear to anyone who can understand English, who actually understands basic statistics, and who doesn't have a thinly veiled agenda to oppose a proposal for no reason whatsoever. Otherwise your comments are the same drivel and require no response. (talk) 14:03, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
When you say they are, in fact, different from each other (IE the correction of the misconception) are you extracting meaning from the calculation?
Is your misconcpetion "mentioned in its topic article with sources?" Squatch347 (talk) 13:51, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347: There is no meaning to extract beyond the fact that one number is larger than another number, and one range of numbers can overlap with another range of numbers. The data points do not represent anything in particular. That's why there is no meaning to extract. The data points do not have to refer to test scores, human characteristics, effects of a drug, or any other of millions of possible measurable units. In the simple example I gave above (20, 30, 40) there is no reference to 30 mg, 30 IQ points, 30 minutes, or 30 flopnards. And as anyone who has the simplest of knowledge of statistics knows, the calculations can be done without any meaning to the numbers, and the results of the calculations can yield a t-score that either does or does or does not exceed a given alpha, and a range of numbers (confidence interval) can be calculated based on that alpha without any particular meaning to the numbers, and we can determine if two ranges of numbers overlap without any reference to the meaning of the numbers. Your desperate attempts to force "meaning", interpretation, "real differences", "drawing inferences", population means, "school of thought", epistemology, or philosophy on a simple set of meaningless numbers so that you can then falsely claim that an IP's suggestion means something that it does not is utterly absurd. Now, we have boiled this down to the point that it can't be simplified much more, and no one (including an IP) is required to change your preconceived and ill-motivated perceptions, or to improve your understanding of statistics or the English language, or to repeat the same responses to your repeated and meaningless comments. You long ago squandered any assumption of good faith you might have deserved, and you reached the level of disruptive behavior long ago. Continuing to repeat the same meaningless comments again and again becomes increasingly more disruptive. There is no substantive critique for including a misconception about statistical calculations, so there is no consensus against inclusion of the misconception as I have stated it. And as you have been told multiple times, the misconception will be added to a parent article before the misconception is added to this article. Is there something about the phrase "will be added" that you don't understand? (talk) 00:21, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Well, let's reopen this discussion when that happens. As it stands now, this suggestion fails Criteria 3. Squatch347 (talk) 10:18, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
This discussion can proceed as it normally would before that happens. You don't determine when a discussion does or does not end. So if you have additional concerns about the misconception, now is the time to express them. You have been told numerous times that the item will be added to a parent article, and there's nothing about that process that prevents any discussion here, whether you like it or not. There are examples on this talk page of a misconception being added to the parent article immediately prior to being added to this article. As it stands right now, there is no substantive critique for including a misconception about statistical calculations, so there is no consensus against inclusion of the misconception as I have stated it. (talk) 14:05, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Dog's mouthEdit

A dog's mouth is not cleaner than a human's mouth.[1][2] (talk) 14:32, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

I'd generally support this for inclusion. The page's status on this is a bit more ambiguous than we have it worded. We should reference some of the hedging language in our inclusion. Maybe something like "While it is difficult to determine which mouth is “cleaner” (the bacteria found in a dog’s mouth are different than the bacteria in a human’s mouth), dog's do not have significantly less bacteria in their mouths than humans. However, those bacteria are generally non-infectious to humans."
It might be helpful if this were addressed at the parent page. I didn't see this specifically mentioned, but it could be there. Perhaps you could offer a quick explanation of how your proposal meets the evaluation criteria? Squatch347 (talk) 14:41, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Garfield lied to me??? Benjamin (talk) 21:37, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Odie put him up to it. There is a vast canine conspiracy at play. (talk) 23:58, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347: The cited source is from a reputable veterinary hospital, which identifies it as a current myth: Criteria 2, 3 and 4 fulfilled. I linked the parent article, which identifies legends of curative powers of dog's saliva. It can easily be tweaked with a source to fulfill criterion 1. (talk) 00:36, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Criteria 1,2, and 4 are clearly met, no issue there. 3 might be a bit iffier (though primarily because 1,2, and 4 are so clearly met), but I agree with you that the legendary reference over there is close enough to what we are talking about, so 3 would be met as well. What are your thoughts on some of the hedging language from the source? Squatch347 (talk) 13:36, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
I added another source. No more "hedging". If necessary the misconception can be worded to add information about harmful bacteria, but I don't think that is necessary. The misconception as stated above does not claim that a dog's mouth is germ free, just that it is no cleaner than a human's mouth. (talk) 17:34, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
But we need to be careful when we are summarizing a source. The source specifically declines to use the word "cleaner" either way because it isn't really a meaningful term to them. I'd suggest this language better reflects the source's point: "While it is difficult to determine which mouth is “cleaner” since a dog has similar numbers of bacteria in its mouth as a human, the bacteria found in a dog’s mouth are different than the bacteria in a human’s mouth), dog's do not have significantly less bacteria in their mouths than humans. However, those bacteria are generally non-infectious to humans." Squatch347 (talk) 14:38, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure that you're looking at the same source. The IVG source begins with the misconception: "Dogs have cleaner mouths than humans" (italics added). And it repeats that sentence a few lines down. (talk) 00:26, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, it says that in the title section where it is quoting the common myth. It then goes on to immediately say: " It’s difficult to determine which is “cleaner” because the bacteria found in a dog’s mouth are different than the bacteria in a human’s mouth." Squatch347 (talk) 15:06, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Don't confuse the misconception with the facts. Every misconception in this article is contrary to the facts. Otherwise they wouldn't be misconceptions. It is a fact that a dog's mouth has different bacteria than a human's mouth. The misconception, as stated twice in the source, is that a dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's mouth. (talk) 18:48, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Except, that isn't what the source says. Please see my quote from your source. You seem to indicate that there is a specific quote where the article from IVG says that dog's mouths are cleaner than human mouths. Can you quote that for us? Also, congrats on turning an edit that was supposed to be relatively routine into a slog fest with you uncollaborative style. Squatch347 (talk) 14:13, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────"Myth #2: A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth." Most third-graders can understand that as clearly stating a misconception. (talk) 14:30, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Indeed. The problems is that they are not specifically saying that it isn't cleaner, you are inferring that. They are saying that it isn't true that is is cleaner, but that the reality is much more complicated. How about: "A dog's mouth is not necessarily cleaner than a human's mouth. While dogs have different (and generally less infectious to humans) strains of bacteria, there is no appreciable difference between the amount of bacteria between the two." Squatch347 (talk) 13:23, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
@Squatch347: Almost every item (if not every item) in this article follows a specific pattern: the fact that is contrary to the misconception is stated, and the misconception is understood but not literally stated. Here are a few examples that I selected at random:
  • It is rarely necessary to wait 24 hours before filing a missing person report. (That's the fact; the unstated misconception is: "It is necessary to wait 24 hours before filing a missing person report.")
  • Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball. (unstated misconception: Abner Doubleday invented baseball.)
  • Not all dinosaurs became extinct during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. (unstated misconception: All dinosaurs became extinct during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.)
  • Humans have more than the commonly cited five senses. (unstated misconception: Humans have five senses.)
I don't need to provide additional examples; the article is full of them. Following that same pattern for my proposed item:
"A dog’s mouth is not cleaner than a human’s mouth." The misconception is clearly written in the source: "A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth."
You have selected this one item that should be an exception to this pattern. The duck test tells us why you selected this item: because I am the person who suggested the item. If one of the regulars who edit this article had presented the misconception exactly as I have, you would have been supportive without making unreasonable demands as you have with me. I'm not sure about all of your motives in this disruptive behavior, but you're on record revealing one of your motives: You think the opinions of IPs should not have the same weight as registered editors (please don't insult our intelligence by denying it; it's on this talk page and forever in the history of this talk page). I suspect another motive is that you don't like someone challenging your assumption of ownership of the article. So, once again, I will not pander to these disruptive demands. The misconception is clearly stated in the source, and I have patterned my proposed item exactly as it is done throughout this article. If others wish to comment I will be pleased to have a reasonable discussion with them. (talk) 13:59, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not saying that you need to state the misconception specifically, I'm pointing out that your sources aren't using the language you are using and we need to be careful in attributing more to a source than is actually there. The difference between those examples and yours is that their sources clearly stated the language used. IE in the baseball example, the sources clearly state that Abner Doubleday didn't invent baseball while many people think he did. They aren't saying "well its hard to know if he invented baseball because invention isn't really something done with a sport, but lots of people were doing it at the same time." Those are two very different levels of statement by a source. Yours fits more of the latter. The IVG source says that "clean" isn't really a helpful term and that while dog's bacteria are less infectious (one possible interpretation of clean), they don't contain less bacteria (another possible interpretation of clean). Attributing a wholehearted thumbs up to the use of that language by the source is inappropriate for an encyclopedia. Now, if you could literally quote the section of the source that says, as you seem to think it does, "A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's" obviously that would change the discussion. I didn't see a quote to that effect in either source.
Please set aside the idea that you think I'm persecuting you. You'll notice I've offered my support for several items you've put forward and am supportive of this one as well. That doesn't mean you get to insert it without input from other editors, nor that their concerns should be ignored. I've had similar collaboration with several of the editors here, including Benjamin, who've I've pointed out suggested language changes to on several occasions. On a side note, you seem to think that my comment way back when about IPs was about them being "less trustworthy" or something to that effect. If you go back and re-read my comment you'll clearly see that what I'm saying is that IPs tend to not engage persistently. IE IPs often will engage in a talk page for a day or two then not come back. That isn't a comment about editing potential or value or anything like that, it is a comment, based on behavior, of their persistence on Wiki. Squatch347 (talk) 14:05, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Just a repeat of your previous drivel, and not worthy of a response. Your "supporting" me elsewhere is simply trying to walk back your previous behavior after you were called out several times and after you suggested a "ban" with no support. Your attempt to refactor what you have previously written about IPs is entirely unsuccessful. I didn't say you said IPs are not "trustworthy". You said that IPs' comments should not carry the same weight as registered editors. I even asked you to explain your comment five times and you refused. It's a little late to try to defend yourself now. Cut your losses and move on. Again, the duck test tells exactly what has gone on. You targeted my ideas because I am an IP and probably because I had the audacity to challenge your presumed ownership of the article. The item about dog's mouth is perfectly in line with most if not all of the other misconceptions in the article, and you have not provided a substantive critique of the wording of the item. (talk) 16:47, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
The language you suggested is not supported from the source article. Without the clarifying text to better fit the source's meaning I think it is hard to come to a consensus on what text to add. Squatch347 (talk) 10:20, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Endlessly repeating your comments does not make them any more valid. There is no substantive critique for including this misconception, so there is no consensus against inclusion of the misconception as I have stated it. (talk) 14:13, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Breast cancerEdit

[17] "There are still prevalent misconceptions in society that cancer is incurable and patients don't live a normal lifestyle after treatment." Benjamin (talk) 21:11, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Alcohol sleepEdit

[18] "This is the biggest and most dangerous misconception. Alcohol deteriorates quality of sleep by interrupting the vital REM (rapid eye movement) sleep." Benjamin (talk) 21:14, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Yelling fireEdit

There is no First Amendment exception that applies to yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. The idea comes from a court decision regarding distribution of pamphlets in opposition to the draft during World War I. But, even absent such an exception, the First Amendment will not necessarily apply if by yelling "fire" a person infringes upon the constitutional right to "life" that laws against raising a false public alarm are founded upon.

What exactly is this trying to say? I think this belongs in a discussion of the First Amendment, perhaps, but I don't see what is the "common misconception".--Jack Upland (talk) 10:48, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

I've always read that as saying it's not actually illegal to yell fire in a crowded theatre, but people often think that the SCOTUS said that it is illegal. Benjamin (talk) 19:17, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
The wording for this entry in the article seems to miss the point about the First Amendment and exceptions. The sources do not focus exclusively on that one example of yelling fire in a crowded theater. The larger concern is to what extent there might be exceptions to free speech when the free speech endangers or seriously infringes on the rights of others. The fire example is not the real point. It is simply an illustration of the complexities of free speech and the limitations of free speech. I don't really see any justification for keeping the item in the article as it is currently worded. I couldn't find any clear indication in the sources cited that most people think there is a "First Amendment exception that applies to yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater". If I missed something please correct me.
The Atlantic article says the quote is often misinterpreted. Benjamin (talk) 20:13, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, that's clear that the quote is often misinterpreted; actually "misused" might be a more apt term to describe the meaning conveyed in the sources. But the issue isn't whether we literally do or do not have a right to yell fire. As the Atlantic article says, the Supreme Court case where the phrase originated "had nothing to do with fires or theaters". I think those who use or misuse the quote are not making a point about the right to yell fire; they are trying to apply that trivial example to advance their point of view about whether a person's or group's right to free speech is illegally being suppressed. I don't think we have a source that anyone has actually tried to make the case for yelling fire in a crowded theater. There may be such a case, but the sources cited do not provide it. I really can't see including an item in the article about a misconception about the right to yell fire. I agree with Jack Upland; no common misconception has been identified. (talk) 20:53, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

Monetary policyEdit

"Four Big Myths of Monetary Policy Are Spooking Markets" Bloomberg. "Perhaps the most widespread of these misconceptions is that low interest rates mean that money is easy, and that a drop in interest rates means ..." [19] Benjamin (talk) 19:13, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

This one has some applicability to larger historical activities (it was blamed by Friedman for the beginning of the Great Depression). We would need to expand it a bit to get to what the author is driving at. Something like "The Fed's lowering of the Prime Rate does not necessarily mean an expansion of the money supply (or "easy money"). When the natural rate of interest (or "market interest rate") falls faster, as it did in the late 1920s, the result is a contractionary money supply." Squatch347 (talk) 13:29, 14 August 2019 (UTC)


  • Pagans often do not worship the devil. Most pagans, if not all, don't even believe in a deity called devil. Devil worship is different. Pagans or white witches do not sacrifice animals.


  • The pentagram does not symbolise evil or dark magic. Many pagans wear a pentagram, or five pointed star to protect against negative energy. This misconception likely comes from pentagrams being in horror films, or Satanists adopting the symbol. Satanists wear the pentagram facing downwards, sometimes with a goat in the middle. White witches wear the pentagram facing upwards.[1]

Benjamin (talk) 18:41, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Pagans: I doubt that many people confuse pagans with Satanists or witchcraft. Needs a reliable source that it is a common misconception.
Pentagram: Wikipedia cannot source itself. (talk) 19:35, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
What are "pagans"??? This seems to refer to present-day pagans, not the pagans or history. I don't think this is helpful.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:32, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Queen - We are the ChampionsEdit

The Queen song "We are the Champions" does not end with the words "Of the World", but only ends with, "We are the Champions.".
That is only partially correct. Album release does not end with the words "Of the World", but live versions often do, e.g., Wembley 1985, Wembley 1986, Rio 1985, Munich 1978, Houston 1977. (talk) 10:41, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Absolutely correct, and even the reference source says that sometimes it ended that way. Removed from the page. Risker (talk) 00:57, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Buying healthyEdit

""Thinking that buying healthy is more expensive is a definite misconception," added Jenny LeGrand, Wegmans nutritionist." [20] Benjamin (talk) 19:00, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

Oh for heaven's state. One sentence, taken out of context from a partial transcript of a local TV news show, does not constitute evidence of a common misconception. The reference source is about school lunches. This isn't acceptable. Risker (talk) 22:53, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm going to go further here. First, the phrase "buying healthy" is undefined and subjective; there's nothing in the phrase that even implies what products are involved, let alone how one defines their "health" attributes. Even assuming that it refers to foods, there's pretty good evidence that in much of the world outside of the wealthy and food-rich industrialized countries, it would be well outside the means of a significant portion of the population to purchase what would be considered a "balanced diet". Even in certain more remote regions of North America, the cost of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy products, etc., are extremely expensive (if they are even available) for large parts of the year. Therefore, it is not only *not* a common misconception, but it is in fact a correct statement for many parts of the world. Risker (talk) 23:53, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Risker The target audience for the source seems to be those who actually have an option about how much they spend on food. And it's not just remote areas of the United States that the cost of a healthy diet is beyond the means of a substantial portion of the population. Except in the most affluent areas, a sizable number of children (20-30%, depending on the source of the figures) would get very inadequate nutrition except for free or reduced cost school breakfast and lunch programs. To the parents of those children, healthy is definitely more expensive because they can barely afford to pay for enough cheap food to keep from being hungry. Buying healthy is not an option (or a misconception) for them. (talk) 00:18, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
Once again, you're arguing with the sources. The sources define what healthy is, and you're inventing novel arguments to pick it apart rather than taking the source at face value. The sources that say it's a common myth have more weight than those that don't. Are they wrong? Not for you to say. What you should be doing is comparing sources with other sources, not advancing your own novel ideas and invented arguments against sources on behalf on a point of view. Is this a common misconception, or isn't it? The answer is yes, it's a common misconception. Here: [21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31].

The opinions against these mainstream establishment sources are generally bloggers: [32][33]. They invent their own arguments and redefine things to their liking, and that's great. Maybe they're right! But Wikipedia doesn't give much weight to them. See WP:WEIGHT. Wikipedia gives weight to the establishment. People come to an encyclopedia looking for the answer to the questions: What is the mainstream view? What is considered known? Not, what does some blogger nobody has heard of think is the 'real' truth? Yes, that's a valid question, and a non-encyclopedia is a good place to dive into that. We exclude fringe theories not because that's always best, wisest, and the only good choice. We exclude them because this is an encyclopedia. In creating an encyclopedia, we have a much simpler task. Gauge what is the consensus of the best mainstream sources. The accepted experts. Can they be wrong? Sure, anyone can be wrong. But we aren't claiming they're right or wrong. We're merely claiming that "this is what the mainstream establishment thinks". We can never know what the TRUTH is. It's not for us to judge. But we can know what's the conventional point of view.

So much of these fraught talk page battles would be unnecessary if you'd stop overthinking this. It's just not that hard to see what belongs in an article and what doesn't. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 01:28, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Dennis, I think you should incorporate this into an essay, if it isn't already there. It perfectly and concisely sums up what we should be aiming for in terms of representing current scientific consensus, rather than riding personal hobby horses and spending too much time on YouTube. Fortnum (talk) 08:30, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm OK with including this item, as both sides of it are valid; if I felt strongly enough to oppose it I would find sources to back up my opinions. But I would like to correct some mischaracterizations. This was a rational discussion, not a "fraught talk page battle", at least not until that reproach was needlessly cast into it. No one was "arguing with the sources." On a talk page we are allowed to express a personal opinion about what a source means by "misconception", and if we feel strongly enough we can (and should) provide sources to back up that disagreement. We do not need to be chastised for doing so. And neither side of any difference of opinion here is a "fringe theory". As is often the case here, it comes down to what the meaning of "common" is. And often that is very much a matter of interpretation. Some have interpreted that quite liberally to mean a large percentage of any particular group, not just the population in general. Although in the past in this article "common" had a narrower meaning, the consensus here now supports a broader interpretation of "common misconception", although that consensus is not consistently followed because of differences of opinion about the meaning of the term. But we can disagree here without being reprimanded for expressing an opinion. (talk) 00:24, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
It's common because reliable sources tell us it's common. You're just second guessing them. Cite an equally reliable source that disputes it, or keep your novel theories separate from valid editorial positions. Your criticisms are original research, not verifiable points of view that we can cite. If they were, we'd have the very simple task of describing both sides of the dispute. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 03:11, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
Words can have shades of meaning and don't always have an absolute meaning that is agreed upon by everyone, including the word "common" or in some cases another word that could have similar meaning but is not literally the word "common". But that's not my main concern in my comment above. On a talk page, editors are actually allowed to discuss such things as what a source might or might not mean, and they can do so without someone barking at them about "fraught talk page battles", "overthinking", and an assumption that one person's understanding of a source must be everyone's understanding. (talk) 00:10, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

If we were to include this, it might be phrased as something along the lines of "inexpensive foods are not necessarily unhealthy". Really the misconception is that anyone knows exactly what is and is not healthy and to what degree. Try to find a way to measure health that is not subjective. I have seen studies that try to measure health by longevity and others on income level. Food grown on the side of an active volcano is not healthy for the person who has to risk their life farming on the side of a volcano, but you can bet someone will believe that food is healthier. Driving old cars is less healthy then driving new cars with newer safety features, but driving old cars make some people happier and therefore improves their well-being. If there really was a method of definitively measuring health more companies who claim their products promote heath would be getting sued. I think the item is too subjective to be presented in a neutral manner. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 18:53, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

It's true that we don't know what the MOST healthy diet is, but we certainly do know that some foods are healthier than others. Let's not overstate the degree of uncertainty here. Benjamin (talk) 01:47, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

Also, what article would we link? Health? Well-being? Diet (nutrition)? Healthy diet? Meal? Health food? Therapeutic food? Junk food? Fast food? <joke>Slow Food?</joke> None of them mention this misconception. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 19:02, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestions. I went ahead and added it to healthy diet. Benjamin (talk) 02:00, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
All of the sources referred to by Dennis Bratland are American, and half of them say that it *is* more expensive to "buy healthy"; many of them quote an additional cost of $2200/year for a family; that's a huge amount of the median *American* family income of about $61,000/yr. This isn't a misconception, since many of the sources do, in fact, state exactly what you're saying is the misconception. I've removed it from the article you put it into, because that article needs to be sourced to WP:MEDRS standards, and a local TV news station's article doesn't meet that level of sourcing. Risker (talk) 02:15, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
The medical claim is how healthy it is. How expensive it is is not a medical claim. Benjamin (talk) 02:20, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
Cost and health are both relevant to this issue. Both factors need to be supported by good sources. And there is enough conflicting evidence in various sources to raise doubts about the item as it is worded above. It might be possible to reword it by giving more specific details about what "healthy" means and which groups have the misconception. The misconception may apply to certain groups (those who have a choice in how much money they pay for food, for example), but it can't easily be generalized to low income groups. (talk) 02:35, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
Again, you see a conflict, but the conflict or controversy, such as it is, is between reliable sources with great weight, and WP:FRINGE sources. The burden is on you to show that those who disagree with the mainstream view are significant. I see bloggers, social media posts, obscure pundits. I don't see major peer reviewed publications, major newspapers or magazines, recognized experts, who share that view. Taking these minor dissenters too seriously violates WP:FALSEBALANCE.

Risker, did you really read the sources I cited? The very first one is reporting the findings of a UK study, in the December 5, 2013 British Medical Journal. If you were to read all of the sources I provided, you'll note more than one of them refers to either this 2013 UK study, or to others outside the US. Your opinion that it is a "huge amount" is contradicted by the reliable sources. I pointed to a couple fringe sources who agree with you, that the extra cost is a great hurdle to overcome. But they carry little WP:WEIGHT. The generally accepted view is that it is not a large enough difference that healthy food is out of reach of those of limited means. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 03:11, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

Is a single one of those sources talking about the African, Asian, or Native North American contexts? I did read only your "good sources", not the junk ones, and I did see some said it was about the same, and some said it was more expensive to "eat healthy" in [pick your industrial northern hemisphere country]. It's not a misconception that eating healthy can be significantly more expensive. The entire discussion may well belong in the healthy diet article, but it doesn't belong here, because it's not a common misconception, since it is often correct. Risker (talk) 03:22, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
OK, then cite your African or Asian sources. All I see is you casting doubt and raising hypothetical issues. My question is, if those doubts are significant, how come none of our reliable sources were worried? Perhaps you're right. I don't know. What I do know is that it's a WP:FRINGE view. "Fringe" doesn't mean "wrong". It means, "outside Wikipedia's scope". That's all. If the fringe is right about this, then some day the mainstream will acknowledge they were right all along, and Wikipedia will adjust accordingly. But Wikipedia doesn't get ahead of the mainstream. We only have to summarize what respected sources say, without having to second guess them.

I'm more than willing to see your sources -- reliable ones -- saying that this doesn't apply to Native Americans or Africans or Asians or whatever it is you think. But if you don't have those sources, then we have to stand pat with what we have from the sources we have. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 03:45, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

Another source: [34] "For all metrics except the price of food energy, the authors find that healthy foods cost less than less healthy foods" Benjamin (talk) 13:57, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

Another: [35] "A common misconception is that healthier foods tend to cost more" Benjamin (talk) 20:27, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

If this item is added it needs to be restricted to the United States unless there are other reliable sources that support the general population of the world. And we still need a source that meets the criteria of WP:MEDRS to add it to the topic article. (talk) 02:12, 29 August 2019 (UTC)


Has it really been determined that war is not a product of humanity's biological nature? After all, tribal conflicts between organized groups have also been observed in humans' nearest relatives, the chimpanzees. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:12, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

Incognito modeEdit

[36] "There is a common misconception that incognito mode hides you from websites." Benjamin (talk) 05:16, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Private browsing#Security does mention this misconception. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 08:34, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, added. Benjamin (talk) 10:51, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
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