Jun 95 LR1 #3 bacteria ulcer

Captainahab
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:52 pm

Jun 95 LR1 #3 bacteria ulcer

Postby Captainahab » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:34 pm

I chose (A) and moved on, but (E) is the credited response. (A) seems to support the argument by eliminating an alternative explanation for the ulcers (kidney disease). So why doesn't this answer choice work? Is it that (E) simply supports the argument more? Or that we're supposed to see kidney disease as an implausible reason for ulcers that occurred "within weeks"? Am I misunderstanding the word "induce"? It just means cause, right?

I keep getting strengthen/weaken questions wrong because many answers seem to work on certain questions. Please help.

barneytrouble
Posts: 241
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Jun 95 LR1 #3 bacteria ulcer

Postby barneytrouble » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:52 pm

We have no reason to believe that kidney disease is linked to ulcers. Even if it is in real life, the argument doesn't mention it at all. So just throw it away for that reason right off the bat.

Captainahab
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:52 pm

Re: Jun 95 LR1 #3 bacteria ulcer

Postby Captainahab » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:15 pm

Thanks for the quick response. I see that the argument never mentions kidney disease, but does eliminating an answer for that reason work every time? For example, in Sept 98 LR1 #12 we have this weaken question: The higher the average fat intake among the residents of a country, the higher the incidence of cancer in that country; the lower the average fat intake, the lower the incidence of cancer. So individuals who want to reduce their risk of cancer should reduce their fat intake. The correct answer choice in this case is actually that countries with high average fat intake are also the countries with the highest levels of environmental pollution, which comes out of nowhere.

barneytrouble
Posts: 241
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Jun 95 LR1 #3 bacteria ulcer

Postby barneytrouble » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:02 pm

Well you are now comparing a support question to a weaken question... Weaken questions are great for bringing in outside information because you can show that there is another possible cause for the phenomenon described. So in some question types it is good to throw out answers with seemingly out-of-nowhere info, while for others it would be detrimental to do so.

User avatar
Jeffort
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

Re: Jun 95 LR1 #3 bacteria ulcer

Postby Jeffort » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:13 am

Both questions mentioned are similar in that they present arguments with correlations being used to support a causal conclusion as well as a credited answer choice that uses another correlation to impact the validity of the conclusion. In the first it is to strengthen the argument, in the other to weaken, but the question type distinction is immaterial to how you are supposed to analyze/interpret the material (other that which direction you are supposed to push the argument) since those two types are just opposite sides of the same coin.

You are allowed to and EXPECTED to use common sense warranted assumptions/common knowledge when interpreting the argument, the answer choices and reasoning involved. When the subject matter of the argument and/or of what an answer choice presents is about something that college educated people have had or can reasonably expected to have had exposure to in life and/or through basic education, common sense reasonable assumptions are fair game in the analysis. If the topic/subject matter is something specialized/abstract/requires a particular focused field of study to know about (for example physics or other specialized sciences), interpreting the material and solving the question will not require any non common sense assumptions or knowledge.

As this type of thinking applies to the ulcer question and trap answer choice (A), would it be reasonable/warranted to assume from common sense/common knowledge that kidney disease has/could have some sort of a causal relationship with ulcers? The answer is no. Thinking that it does and that the answer choice eliminates an alternate cause requires adding on an unwarranted assumption that kidney disease does/could have a causal relationship with stomach ulcers. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, I have no idea, but this is not the MCAT or medical school.

Kidneys are a different organ than the stomach and basic physiology is taught in grade school and high school. Stuff goes into the mouth to your tummy, fluids and chemical stuff after food is digested go through a kidney before dumped into your bladder, filling it up to make you need to pee. College students/graduates seeking law school are expected to be familiar with common knowledge such as this.

You also may have gotten the question wrong because you didn't read all five ACs before making your choice and moving on, which is a risky way to go about solving LR questions. You should always read and consider all five, other than in a crunch shortly before time is going to be called for the section and you haven't addressed all of the questions and need to cut corners to hopefully pick up a few more points. Time permitting, always always always read and consider all five answer choices before you make a final decision, otherwise you are opening yourself up to choosing attractive sucker choices. Also, you may have lost sight of the conclusion of the argument you are supposed to strengthen, which is about the bacteria, when in the stomach, being highly likely to cause ulcers.

In the weaken question about a cause and effect relationship between fat intake and cancer, the argument presents a correlation and concludes causation. The credited answer choice is partially based on a common sense reasonable/warranted assumption. Is it reasonable to assume that high levels of environmental pollution can cause cancer? The answer is obviously yes, it is warranted to make that assumption when analyzing how the answer choice impacts the argument to determine that it presents a possible alternative cause for the incidence of cancer rates described in the premises.

Answer choice (B) is one of the sucker choices that helps illustrate the difference between warranted and unwarranted assumptions and new information/topics in answer choices. Is it reasonable to assume wealth is a possible alternate cause of cancer? The answer is no, you would need to add in a premise/assumption that is not established/warranted to causally connect wealth to cancer since you'd have to add in/assume something that establishes rich people do/are exposed to things other than fat that might cause cancer to reason it is a possible alternative cause.

I hope this makes sense and helps. It sounds like you are on the right track with what you are looking for and how you are analyzing strengthen/weaken questions with cause and effect logic in mind.

Captainahab
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:52 pm

Re: Jun 95 LR1 #3 bacteria ulcer

Postby Captainahab » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:04 am

Thanks for the excellent responses. I think the common sense advice is definitely relevant--it's a good reminder for me not to think of arguments in an overly abstract way. You're also right about reading the answer choices. Sometimes if an initial answer looks right, I'll carelessly cross off others without seeing why they're wrong. I'm going to try to eliminate some of these bad LR habits today.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: #gobroncos, bearedman8, BobBoblaw, cherrygalore, floatie, Instrumental, jonny27, mrgstephe, stego and 12 guests