Trend in newer LR passages regarding mult correct answers?

ilovethelaw
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Trend in newer LR passages regarding mult correct answers?

Postby ilovethelaw » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:07 am

I just did PT 62, section 2, question 16 about snoring.
Either i misunderstood the question/answers, or there is a subtle change in lsat correct/incorrect answers. is it possible that nowadays they actually enforce the "which of the following MOST strengthens" meaning that 2 of them might strengthen but one is better? in the past, there would only be one clear answer that strengthened, with the rest of them being irrelevant to the conclusion or even weaken it.

but for this question, I had it down to C and E. I picked E since its an obvious case of ruling out the reverse causation. however, i still think that C does strengthen the argument (i initially circled it before i had gotten to reading answer E. if this were one of the earlier questions, i very well might have just moved on). answer C also rules out alternative confounds/possible causes, and increases the strength of the relationship...

can someone clarify this?

suzige
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Re: Trend in newer LR passages regarding mult correct answers?

Postby suzige » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:08 am

I think that is a case and has been so for a while. I can't remember in what of my prep materials it was covered, but yes, some questions ask which is "most" able to do whatever. I've come a across a few problems where I feel it could be argued either way, too.

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flem
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Re: Trend in newer LR passages regarding mult correct answers?

Postby flem » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:23 am

The right answer is right for a reason and the wrong answers are all wrong for a reason. There are never two right answers that are right to different degrees.

In a strengthen question you're probably confusing weak language (some, not always, etc) that seems at face value to be correct but really tells you nothing. Look for stronger language cues (many, most, rarely, few, etc) and that should help.

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glucose101
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Re: Trend in newer LR passages regarding mult correct answers?

Postby glucose101 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:56 am

^ Agreed. While it seems like varying degrees, it's really a slip-up in language.

03152016
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Re: Trend in newer LR passages regarding mult correct answers?

Postby 03152016 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:22 pm

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

ilovethelaw
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Re: Trend in newer LR passages regarding mult correct answers?

Postby ilovethelaw » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:21 pm

can someone explain the difference in the specific question i mentioned? Why C doesnt strengthen. thanks!

03152016
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Re: Trend in newer LR passages regarding mult correct answers?

Postby 03152016 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:59 pm

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Trend in newer LR passages regarding mult correct answers?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:21 pm

Just got done with PT62 here

I do actually agree with you that some questions have a wrong answer that is actually not wrong, but just weaker than the correct answer. I know I've seen it on a couple questions recently. Converse can also be true, as in NO answer is good, but the 'least wrong' is right. For an example of this see my mitters/brushes question I posted a couple days ago.

On this question though, C and E definitely nowhere near each other in how much they help the argument. E eliminates reverse causation, which will almost always be right. C, while does strength a tiny bit, by showing that everyone with the throat abnormalities aren't like 100 years old and the ones without it are healthy 20 year olds, is much much weaker than E.

But you are right, C does strength it a little bit, which is why you need to be careful even in low questions about not reading an answer choice

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flippacious
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Re: Trend in newer LR passages regarding mult correct answers?

Postby flippacious » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:00 am

SaintsTheMetal wrote:Just got done with PT62 here

I do actually agree with you that some questions have a wrong answer that is actually not wrong, but just weaker than the correct answer. I know I've seen it on a couple questions recently. Converse can also be true, as in NO answer is good, but the 'least wrong' is right. For an example of this see my mitters/brushes question I posted a couple days ago.

On this question though, C and E definitely nowhere near each other in how much they help the argument. E eliminates reverse causation, which will almost always be right. C, while does strength a tiny bit, by showing that everyone with the throat abnormalities aren't like 100 years old and the ones without it are healthy 20 year olds, is much much weaker than E.

But you are right, C does strength it a little bit, which is why you need to be careful even in low questions about not reading an answer choice


I think that's a flawed way to think about this question. (C) here is definitely not a strengthener, and is potentially a weakener. The key is that "all subjects were the same age, same weight, and same state of health" does NOT equate to "these people were completely healthy otherwise." At best, this answer does nothing for us. At worst, it weakens the argument. Maybe the subjects are all 100 years old, weigh 500 pounds, and are lifetime chain smokers. In that case, maybe being overweight and snoring causes throat damage. Maybe smoking and snoring causes throat damage. Maybe all these people have some weird genetic defect that causes their throats to overreact to stimuli, and therefore if they snore and have this genetic defect their throat develops abnormalities. Then, it is not actually the snoring the causes throat damage but snoring PLUS something else.

Also, I think it is incorrect reasoning to think that (C) eliminates other causes at all. It is easy to read this answer choice and think "oh, all these people are the same weight, so weight is not a factor." On the contrary, what this answer choice does is limit the data used to reach the conclusion. This weakens the argument by opening up the possibility that maybe the correlation between snoring and throat damage is specific to this group of people, which in turn suggests something else is at play. In order to strengthen the argument, you would need to have an answer that suggested, for example, that the biopsies came from people with a wide range of body weights, and there was no correlation between weight and throat abnormalities (or snoring). That would be how to eliminate weight as a factor.




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