PrepTest 44 Section 2 No. 20

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PrepTest 44 Section 2 No. 20

Postby mz253 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:14 pm

How can I categorize the way of attacking an argument here? Destroy what? Premise?

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Atlas LSAT Teacher
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Re: PrepTest 44 Section 2 No. 20

Postby Atlas LSAT Teacher » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:10 pm

Yes, this is a strange weaken question in that it does not do what most weakener questions do and attack the connection between a premise and the conclusion. Instead the answer correct answer calls into question the validity of a premise. For this argument, wrong answer analysis is key.

The argument states that there is a causal relationship between a specific gene variant and an inclination towards thrill-seeking. Why? Because children who tend seek thrills (impulsive behavior) are twice as likely to have this gene variant. Pretty sound argument so far. However, (B) calls into question whether the researcher was really able to identify kids who seek thrills because that behavior is indistinguishable from other behaviors. So, if it turns out those kids were really lacking self-control, then the gene variant may cause that, not thrill-seeking (and my example assumes that lacking self-control is not thrill-seeking!)

(A) is tempting, but it would be much stronger if it said that "Most adults are not unusually sensitive to dopamine" since "Many" doesn't mean much.
(C) tries to link thrill-seeking and impulsive behavior, which the argument already does.
(D) is irrelevant since we're interested in the kids' behaviors.
(E) is tempting, as it suggests there's a different causal connection, but there could be multiple ones at the same time (i.e. just because obesity causes depression doesn't mean it cannot also cause hair loss).

Does that clear it up?

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