PT 34 Sec 2 Q 4

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PT 34 Sec 2 Q 4

Postby bk1 » Thu May 20, 2010 10:56 pm

I narrowed it down to A and C, of which I felt that neither was a good answer but that they were better than the rest. C is supposedly the correct answer.

To me, the "primary caregiver" category breaks down into 2 categories, "mothers" and "non-mothers." It is said that "mothers" within "primary caregivers" soothe babies with their voice. It is not said whether "non-mothers" within "primary caregivers" soothe babies with their voice.

From this, non-mother primary caregivers either soothe babies with their voice or they don't soothe babies with their voice. If they do, then primary caregivers in general soothe babies with their voice (answer C) or they don't soothe babies with their voice, which means that babies can distinguish between mothers and non-mothers (answer A).

I realize that answer A has it's flaws (there could be differing reasons why babies react differently to mothers and non-mothers), but C seems to have flaws as well and to me rests on a completely unwarranted assumption that mother is irrelevant to whether the baby is soothed by the primary caregiver's voice.

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Re: PT 34 Sec 2 Q 4

Postby Atlas LSAT Teacher » Fri May 21, 2010 10:02 am

I agree, there's a bit of wiggle room in (C), which is more common with a "most reasonably supported" question than a straight-up "which of the following can you infer" or "which logically follows"

I actually don't have much to say about (C), as I agree that we're not sure if the issue was that the voice is of the mother caregiver or simple a caregiver. However, I think (A) is even more flawed than you suggest. It doesn't have to be true the babies more easily learn the voice for the voice to have a certain effect. I was about to say that (A) also leaves out the fact that the mother should be a primary caregiver, but that brings us back to a potential issue with (C)! I think the big takeaway is that the answer needs to be the most provable, not the one that is provable, and we should work from wrong-to-right.

Maybe some even bigger geek will weigh in on this and point out something we've both missed.

- Noah


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Re: PT 34 Sec 2 Q 4

Postby FlamingCow » Fri May 21, 2010 12:06 pm

I just did this practice test yesterday, and this question tripped me up, too. I think the point of the primary caregiver/mother distinction is really just to throw us off. "Mother" is a subset of "primary caregiver" like you said, but the operating factor here is that "primary caregiver" is more important, because "mothers" could fall inside and outside of that category. The mothers in the category are the ones discussed in the stimulus; mothers outside of it do not fit the criteria.

The way the stimulus was worded, too, implied causation: hearing primary caregiver's (mother's) voice --> temporary halt in crying. Usually, when the stimulus features this kind of reasoning, a "most supported/must be true" question is going to mirror that, (ie, that's the prephrase you'd most readily think of before you see the answer choices).

The qualifier here is that the crying is due to hunger or discomfort. Because that's the entire scope of the possible reasons for crying, the stimulus implies that for the baby to stop crying, this discomfort must be addressed. I think that's what separates A and C.

I thought A was wrong for a few reasons: First, it didn't address the discomfort angle of the crying, which defines the gist of the entire question -- learning the mother's voice by itself doesn't imply that the voice will soothe the child. Secondly, even if you make that association, it's plausible that even if a child learns the mother's voice more quickly than others, s/he could still learn both very quickly. That seems to violate the stimulus which says that non-primary caregivers' voices don't have an effect, period. Also, it leaves in the possibility that a child learns the mother's voice faster even if she isn't the primary caregiver, which again falls outside of the area addressed in the stimulus.

Lastly, and this might just be me, implying that the child is "learning" the voices seems a bit strong for the causal relationship the stimulus implies. I think "learning" implies an understanding beyond associating the voice with a stop to discomfort, which would fall outside the scope of the stimulus. But, that might well just be semantics. [EDIT]: I don't think the "more easily" part of the answer choice fits, either. For all we know, learning the primary caregiver's voice could be very difficult, but ultimately more important to the child's development because the primary caregiver feeds the child (or whatever), which is why the kid would do it.

In any case, A could be addressing mothers that fall outside of the "primary caregiver" category, which is fully outside of the stimulus' scope.

I thought C wasn't a strongly worded choice, but relative to the other questions which seemed plainly wrong, it was the strongest of the five choices. It encapsulates the causal relationship implied in the stimulus: the baby associates the voice with an end to discomfort. The fact that it uses "primary caregiver" rather than "mother" reflects that "primary caregiver" is the necessary part of the equation, which limits C's applicability to the group focused on in the stimulus, which is why it's most supported.

Hope that helped -- let me know if I missed something along the way.

[EDIT 2]: Clarity.


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Re: PT 34 Sec 2 Q 4

Postby MissLucky » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:22 pm

Can someone explain why (D) is not a better answer choice here? How is "providing comfort" different from (C)'s "release from discomfort"? (C) just seemed to strong is trying to rationalize and explain just HOW and WHY babies halt their crying when to me, that is just not inferable.


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