What Is the Appeal to Novelty Fallacy? Definition and Examples

Appeal to Novelty - Definition and Examples - Fallacy in Logic

Appeal to novelty is a logical fallacy, or an error in reasoning, that is based on the assumption that novel (new) things are necessarily good or better. It is arguably a common fallacy in many domains, such as politics, fashion, and technology industries.

It is also known as appeal to the new, appeal to progress, and argumentum ad novitatem, and it belongs to the category of informal fallacies.


Appeal to novelty states that something, such as a product or idea, must be good or superior simply because it is “new”.

As such, this fallacy may occur in two ways: First, something that is novel is claimed to be superior simply due to its virtue of being novel, and second, the alternative is said to be inferior because it is “older”.

People fall victim to it in a wide variety of situations, such as:

  • A new type of diet quickly becomes popular because many people perceive it as a more effective solution to weight loss.
  • Business managers and other decision-makers rush to adopt new technologies and tools because they are “cutting edge”.
  • People challenge the traditional, yet effective ways of doing certain things because they assume that change must be positive.

Why It Occurs

The underlying reasoning behind an appeal to novelty is that new versions will always be improved from the previous standards. However, it fails to consider a number of important factors, including:

  • Our understanding of the issue in question, and why the previous solution either did or didn’t work, may not be complete; a new solution may expose a set of new problems and, consequently, make things worse.
  • The motives for creating something new may not always promote progress; for instance, the main purpose of a new product release may in fact be to increase profits, rather than improve from the previous version.
  • A new idea or product may simply fall short of expectations due to errors made by the creators.

Thus, “newness” alone will not guarantee improvement or superiority; even though the latest idea or solution can, and frequently does, prove to yield better results, sticking with the status quo is often the more sensible thing to do.


  • “We have experienced way too many difficulties under our current political system. Therefore, we need a new system!”
  • “Have you seen the new product X that just came out? It must be so much faster and better than the old one.”
  • “You want to lose weight the right way? You have to try this new diet!”
  • “Keeping up with the latest trends is always an excellent idea.”
  • Pepsi slogan in the 1990s: “Pepsi: the taste of a new generation!”

Related Fallacies

Appeal to tradition is the opposite of the previously explained fallacy. It occurs when someone claims that an action or belief must be good or true because it is traditional, that is, done a certain way for a long time. For example:

  • “This medicine has been used by people since ancient history; it must be so effective that we should keep using it.”

Similarly, this type of argument is fallacious because the sole fact that a particular practice is traditional does not prove that it must be the best possible solution.