Science fallacies in the Jingle Jangle Jungle

(The Archies : 1968)

If you type the phrase “Jingle Jangle” into your favourite internet search engine, there’s a good chance that the first result will be a link to the video above. Or maybe this book from Axel Scheffler. Less likely in the top-ranking results is a mention of a pair of scientific time-wasters first described over 100 years ago. The Jingle and Jangle Fallacies.

“The jingle and jangle fallacies—by no means limited to personality psychology—waste scientific time. The one suggests agreements that do not exist; the other involves useless redundancies, sometimes because of the absence of historical knowledge, that lead to the “reinvent[ion of constructs under new labels” (Holroyd & Coyne, 1987, p. 367). Together, these errors work to prevent the recognition of correspondences that could help build cumulative knowledge.”

(from Psychol Bull. 1995 Mar;117(2):187-215. A contrarian view of the five-factor approach to personality description. Block J.)

To clarify :

A ‘Jingle Fallacy’ is the erroneous assumption that two quite different things are the same, simply because they have the same name.

A ‘Jangle Fallacy’ is the erroneous assumption that two very similar things are different, simply because they have different names.

Jingle Jangle Jungle (1968) from Walden Robert Cassotto

Jingle Jangle Jingle (1942) Kay Kyser

Research research by Martin Gardiner