(1) Prep Test 41, Section 1, Question 20. This question is about the televised debate between political candidates.
I really tried to write out explanations for each of these answer choices (Please help!!!) but it's so damn hard.
Here, I'm talking about televised debates and how they affect elections.
I'm told that most of those watching the debate have already made up their minds. Those who watch the debate and haven't made up their minds don't really make up their minds while watching the debate (if they had, they would have picked that person as the winner; since they didn't pick a winner, they still haven't made up their minds).
From this, I conclude that winning a TV debate doesn't help your chances of winning.
Well, what's missing here? I've established that the people who watch the debate don't change their minds, or make up their minds. However, I haven't talked at all about another important group - those who didn't watch the debates. While it might seem like common-sense to say that if you didn't watch the debate, it won't affect how you vote, that's not something we can say on the LSAT.
So, in abstract terms, my flaw here is that it draws a general conclusion (winning a debate doesn't enhance your chances of winning an election) when I only know about a subset of the population (those who watch the debate). Whenever I ignore a group that plays into my conclusion, I have a flaw.
(A) Exciting debate?
(B) This is the correct answer. I had crossed it off though because...... "I thought because the stimulus is not talking about the voting behavior of people who don't watch a debate."
(C) Difference's of opinion?
(D) I chose this answer but I'm not sure why.........
(E) This answer also sounded good.
A) Exciting debate gives me problems. Also, I know my flaw is that I ignored those who don't watch the debate; this answer choice is talking about those who do watch the debate.
B) Ah, here we go. It's telling me that I'm ignoring the people who didn't watch the debate. This is a specific example of that flaw, but that's fine - as long as it highlights the gap in my argument. Here, those who didn't watch have their minds made up by those who report on it. I've ignored that group, and B points it out.
C) Yep, you got it.
D) I think you were thinking, "Well, if it's unpredictable, then maybe winning the debate doesn't lead to winning the election." However, I'm told in the stimulus that people who watched the debate either already made up their minds or didn't make up their minds even after watching the debate. D is saying those groups responded in unpredictable ways. I'm still talking about those who watched the debates (not what I'm looking for), and D seems to contradict the stimulus (if it does anything), so it can't be the right answer.
E) This might be a specific way that the argument's conclusion could work, but it's not an actual flaw that the argument makes. Sure, if people vote even if their guy gets dismembered in the election, then winning an election doesn't guarantee a win. But that's not what the argument does - it's not talking about percentages of support that vote. It's talking about the effect of debates on who people vote for, not whether they vote. Extraneous to the argument, so not correct.
(2) Prep Test 37, Section 4, Question 16 (Question about Rembrandt):
There's a ton of background in this stimulus. Connoisseurs make one argument: Emotional impact should be considered in the determination of authenticity.
The author only has one premise (the 'but' statement) to back up his conclusion:
Emotional impact differs wildly from person to person
Connoisseur's assessment can't be given credence.
Well, there's a big jump there between the average person ('person to person') and a connoisseur. I don't know that they have the same reaction to paintings, and the author of the stimulus gives me no reason to think that they do.
So it's possible that, while reactions differ wildly from person to person, the subset of people we call connoisseur's all react in the same way to authentic/inauthentic pieces. Whenever I shift from one group to another, I have a problem.
(A) Anybody? They're talking about connoisseur's here.
(C) Not sure. (This is actually the correct answer)
(E) Sounds good
I was debating between (A) & (E) and chose (E).
A) It seems to absolutely rely on that fact that anyone can have an opinion; I'm with you on this one.
B) The Rembrandt example is the basis for the connoisseur's argument, not the author's.
C) Bingo - the average person differs in opinion, but the connoisseur's don't. These two groups differ in some fundamental way according to C, and that's what I'm looking for.
D) He does give justification (the fact that it differs wildly) - just because that's bad evidence doesn't mean that it isn't evidence.
E) Again, the Rembrandt example is used in the connoisseur's argument. If the Author's premise was, "But the degree to which Rembrandt's artwork...", we could talk more about E. But since his premise is about all artwork, he doesn't make a jump from one artist to all others.
I've bolded the way that I would describe the flaw in each stimulus. That's how you should be writing it out - relating it to a common flaw archetype, and writing it in a way that conveys what the argument does that it can't do. Nothing long and intense, just something simple like that.
For the answer choices, I think you're spot on when you know an answer choice is wrong. For the others, I think having a better idea of what you're looking for going in will help you eliminate the ones that aren't relevant.