Also Known as: Appeal to the New, Newer is Better, Novelty, Argumentum ad novitatem.
Appeal to Novelty is a fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that something is better or correct simply because it is new. This is the opposite of the Argumentum ad Antiquitatem; it's the fallacy of asserting that something is better or more correct simply because it is new, or newer than something else. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:
X is new.
This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because the novelty or newness of something does not automatically make it correct or better than something older. This is made quite obvious by the following example: Joe has proposed that 1+1 should now be equal to 3. When asked why people should accept this, he says that he just came up with the idea. Since it is newer than the idea that 1+1=2, it must be better.
This sort of "reasoning" is appealing for many reasons. First, "western culture" includes a very powerful commitment to the notion that new things must be better than old things. Second, the notion of progress (which seems to have come, in part, from the notion of evolution) implies that newer things will be superior to older things. Third, media advertising often sends the message that newer must be better. Because of these three factors (and others) people often accept that a new thing (idea, product, concept, etc.) must be better because it is new. Hence, Novelty is a somewhat common fallacy, especially in advertising.
It should not be assumed that old things must be better than new things (see the fallacy Appeal to Tradition) anymore than it should be assumed that new things are better than old things. The age of thing does not, in general, have any bearing on its quality or correctness (in this context).
Obviously, age does have a bearing in some contexts. For example, if a person
concluded that his day old milk was better than his two-month old milk, he would
not be committing an Appeal to Novelty. This is because, in such cases the
newness of the thing is relevant to its quality. Thus, the fallacy is committed
only when the newness is not, in and of itself, relevant to the claim.
A made up advertisement. The Sadisike 900 pump-up glow shoe. It's better because it's new.
Two business people are having a discussion.
A professor is lecturing to his class.
"BeOS is a far better choice of operating system than OpenStep, as it has a much newer design."