Meaning of Cherry Picking

Cherry Picking or cherry-pick is a reference to the literal picking of cherries. In going cherry picking, or any fruit picking for that matter, we choose the ones that look the plumpest, the ones that look the most fresh, and the ones that we think will taste the sweetest. So basically, we pick the best of the bunch.

Hence, cherry picking refers to the act of picking the best. This could be in the matter of fruit or food in general, but more commonly it refers to benefits, profitable items, opportunities, etc. For example, it could refer to painting, household appliances, and even people. Such as, the company cherry picked the employees for that position.

The term is also used in basketball, where it means to remain on the offensive side of the court and wait for a long pass to score easily. A cherry picker will rarely come back to his side of the court to play defense.

In fallacy, cherry picking refers to the act of providing only a select part of the evidence, and suppressing the rest. This leads the data and information to be skewed in the direction the person wants, as he has suppressed the evidence that would have proved him wrong. Here the cherry picking may be committed intentionally or unintentionally. Cherry picking is a major problem in public debate, as the speaker only uses part of the evidence that supports his point.

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