When someone deliberately tries to trick you by making a false statement, that's a sophism. Inventing statistics to back up your personal belief that dogs are smarter than humans is one example of sophism.

Fact-checking the statements politicians make is important, in order to uncover sophisms they might be using. If a candidate falsely claims that the crime rate in a city is rising so that he can gain the support of voters who believe he'll be tough on crime, his statement is a sophism. The word comes from the Old French sophime, "fallacy or false argument," and its root, the Greek sophisma, "clever device or stage trick."

Definitions of sophism

n a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone

sophistication, sophistry
Type of:
fallacy, false belief
a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning

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