PT 44 S2 Q20 (LR)- I don't buy it!!

NightmanCometh
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PT 44 S2 Q20 (LR)- I don't buy it!!

Postby NightmanCometh » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:50 pm

Hello, I have a big problem with this question and was hoping for some insight...

Conclusion: There is a causal relationship between a gene variant that increases sensitivity to dopamine and an inclination toward thrill seeking behavior (note the bold).

Support: Research shows that children who engage in impulsive behavior similar to adult thrill seeking behavior are more likely than other children to have that gene variant. (again note the bold)

This seems to be a pretty straightforward weaken question- correlation does not imply causation. Looking at the answer choices, (A), (D) and (E) are out pretty quickly. Down to (B) and (C).

Here is where I get stuck. The two answer choices seem to be taking the same approach to weakening the cause-effect relationship between the gene variant and the behavior- namely, they attack the "effect" element of (the behavior). In my mind both of these could work, but I like (C) better. Here's why: if you note the bolded above, you will see that there is a crucial assumption here- that "impulsive behavior similar to thrill seeking behavior" (in the premises/studies) is the same as "thrill seeking behavior". So answer choice (C) perfectly addresses that: it says that what adults describe as "thrill seeking behavior" might actually simply be impulsive behavior. Of course the two are not the same- one can act impulsively without seeking a thrill. So the causal relationship should actually be between the gene variant and impulsive behavior, NOT thrill seeking behavior! So I thought this answer choice was perfect, and was shocked to find out that it was not the right answer.

Can anyone explain to me why (C) is incorrect and where my reasoning is flawed?

vegso
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Re: PT 44 S2 Q20 (LR)- I don't buy it!!

Postby vegso » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:32 pm


NightmanCometh
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Re: PT 44 S2 Q20 (LR)- I don't buy it!!

Postby NightmanCometh » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:01 pm

vegso wrote:Good explanation of this here

http://www.manhattanlsat.com/forums/q20 ... 3a748b4723


I already looked at this, I don't think it addresses my point:

The instructor explains:
"(C) tries to link thrill-seeking and impulsive behavior, which the argument already does."

My point is that the argument does NOT do that- if you read the conclusion carefully, it states that the causal relationship is between the gene variant and the "thrill seeking behavior". It never made a link to the language in the premises about "impulsive behavior similar to adult seeking behavior." Hence I thought that was the gap...

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SumStalwart
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Re: PT 44 S2 Q20 (LR)- I don't buy it!!

Postby SumStalwart » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:10 am

Okay, I am going to take a swing at this.

Let's first through each of the answers and eliminate them..

A) This answer discusses "many" impulsive adults that do not have an increased level of dopamine sensitivity. As you know, this is 1) outside of the scope, and 2) does not address the relationship between the gene and thrill- seeking/impulsive behavior.

C) This, as you stated, is a possible contender. However, it fails to attack the connection between the gene and impulsiveness. The main point of the argument is that there is a connection between the gene and thrill seeking. This just makes a point about how impulsive children are labeled as "engaging in thrill-seeking behavior." Furthermore, "often" is not a strong indicator. What can be reliably drawn from "often?" At best, it is more than none, but one is not able to make a stronger inference than that.

D) This can be ruled out quickly as invalid. It doesn't really break down the relationship between the gene and the behavior. It relies on the test taker's confusion of the word "many." If it was "most," then this would be a contender.

E) When I first went over this problem, I kept this as a contender. However, it can be eliminated because it almost strengthens the argument. The implication is that the gene variant is not only linked with the thrill-seeking behavior, but it also can be linked to other impulsive mannerisms.

B) This is the main issue. If you aren't able to distinguish impulsive behavior from other behavior, how are you going to identify someone as a "thrill-seeker?" If this proves to be true, then the scientist is almost left completely groundless.

This was a tricky question, for a few reasons. The answer choices seem to lead the test-taker to fill in the missing assumptions. However, this can be avoided if we make the answers prove themselves.

I hope that this helps!

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cahwc12
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Re: PT 44 S2 Q20 (LR)- I don't buy it!!

Postby cahwc12 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:23 am

(C) is a typical trap answer to a weaken question. It says that some children don't conform to this causal connection. But the author already admits that. He doesn't say all impulsively-acting children exhibit this tendency, just that they are twice as likely to do so. Moreover, (C) may well be an accurate and true statement-- ultimately, it doesn't impact the argument.

(B) on the other hand does something rare in weaken questions--it says that the argument is invalid because a premise is invalid. These answer choices seem incorrect sometimes because they are so strong in language--if it is true that it is impossible to reliably distinguish thrill-seeking behavior from impulsive behavior, there isn't even an argument to be forwarded anymore.


edited: morning mental lapse!
Last edited by cahwc12 on Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

NightmanCometh
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Re: PT 44 S2 Q20 (LR)- I don't buy it!!

Postby NightmanCometh » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:03 am

cahwc12 wrote:Not only is (C) wrong, but it's a wrong answer to a different question type.

(C) would be a good trap answer if the stem were a weaken question. It says that some children don't conform to this causal connection. But the author already admits that. He doesn't say all impulsively-acting children exhibit this tendency, just that they are twice as likely to do so. Moreover, (C) isn't even a flaw, and may well be an accurate and true statement-- ultimately, it doesn't impact the argument.

(B) on the other hand does something rare in flaw/weaken questions--it says that the argument is invalid because a premise is invalid. These answer choices seem incorrect sometimes because they are so strong in language--if it is true that it is impossible to reliably distinguish thrill-seeking behavior from impulsive behavior, there isn't even an argument to be forwarded anymore.


Huh?? This makes no sense. Look at it again- The question stem IS a weaken question..."most calls into question" = weaken. The author goes from correlation to causation, a very common flaw...

SumStalwart wrote:Okay, I am going to take a swing at this.

Let's first through each of the answers and eliminate them..

A) This answer discusses "many" impulsive adults that do not have an increased level of dopamine sensitivity. As you know, this is 1) outside of the scope, and 2) does not address the relationship between the gene and thrill- seeking/impulsive behavior.

C) This, as you stated, is a possible contender. However, it fails to attack the connection between the gene and impulsiveness. The main point of the argument is that there is a connection between the gene and thrill seeking. This just makes a point about how impulsive children are labeled as "engaging in thrill-seeking behavior." Furthermore, "often" is not a strong indicator. What can be reliably drawn from "often?" At best, it is more than none, but one is not able to make a stronger inference than that.

D) This can be ruled out quickly as invalid. It doesn't really break down the relationship between the gene and the behavior. It relies on the test taker's confusion of the word "many." If it was "most," then this would be a contender.

E) When I first went over this problem, I kept this as a contender. However, it can be eliminated because it almost strengthens the argument. The implication is that the gene variant is not only linked with the thrill-seeking behavior, but it also can be linked to other impulsive mannerisms.

B) This is the main issue. If you aren't able to distinguish impulsive behavior from other behavior, how are you going to identify someone as a "thrill-seeker?" If this proves to be true, then the scientist is almost left completely groundless.

This was a tricky question, for a few reasons. The answer choices seem to lead the test-taker to fill in the missing assumptions. However, this can be avoided if we make the answers prove themselves.

I hope that this helps!


You bring up an interesting point- the "often" part. Now I am wondering if that's the culprit...It seems to me upon looking at it again is that (B) attacks the effect to a much greater degree than (C). Where (C) questions whether SOME (often) of the "thrill seeking behavior" in question could be mistakenly attributed to "impulsive behavior, (B) just outright says it's not possible to distinguish any "special behavior" from the study to begin with.

Still, putting (C) in just seems cruel...

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cahwc12
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Re: PT 44 S2 Q20 (LR)- I don't buy it!!

Postby cahwc12 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:05 am

Yeah, you're right. I looked the problem over quickly when I had just woken up and turned on my PC.

Anyway, the entire explanation is equally valid and you'd be served well to re-read it--edited for your convenience!


And to be clear, I want to explain to you something so that you don't start doing what I used to do which is second-guess yourself every time you see a "some/often/few/many" indicator in a weaken answer choice. There are definitive situations when that 'weak' language is sufficient for a weaken answer, and definitive situations where it does not impact the argument.

IF the stimulus says: ALL X are Y
THEN an answer choice saying that SOME X don't conform would be correct. It implies that NOT ALL X are Y.

IF the stimulus says: MOST X are Y
THEN an answer choice saying that SOME X don't conform would be incorrect. It still allows for the validity of the statement MOST X are Y.

Another good example of this principle at play is 42.2.25. Give it a shot if you haven't seen that question before (or if you have, you would have struggled with it if you struggle with this question).

NightmanCometh
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Re: PT 44 S2 Q20 (LR)- I don't buy it!!

Postby NightmanCometh » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:46 am

cahwc12 wrote:Yeah, you're right. I looked the problem over quickly when I had just woken up and turned on my PC.

Anyway, the entire explanation is equally valid and you'd be served well to re-read it--edited for your convenience!


And to be clear, I want to explain to you something so that you don't start doing what I used to do which is second-guess yourself every time you see a "some/often/few/many" indicator in a weaken answer choice. There are definitive situations when that 'weak' language is sufficient for a weaken answer, and definitive situations where it does not impact the argument.

IF the stimulus says: ALL X are Y
THEN an answer choice saying that SOME X don't conform would be correct. It implies that NOT ALL X are Y.

IF the stimulus says: MOST X are Y
THEN an answer choice saying that SOME X don't conform would be incorrect. It still allows for the validity of the statement MOST X are Y.

Another good example of this principle at play is 42.2.25. Give it a shot if you haven't seen that question before (or if you have, you would have struggled with it if you struggle with this question).


No worries! And you are right about being careful to second guess about the scope of the language, but here I am just trying to find out why (C) is wrong.

As for your explanation, I reread it and again, it doesn't address my main concern. Again, I don't need to be convinced that (B) weakens the argument, but rather why (C) does NOT weaken it. Let me try to rephrase my main point in simpler terms.

The conclusion states that there is a causal relationship between X and Z.
The premises states that there is a correlation between X and Y similar to Z.

Do you see the gap here? Z is not necessarily the same as "Y similar to Z"! Hence the error seems to be that the scientist attributed the wrong effect to the cause. (C) fills that gap because it says that adults often equate the two (adults believe that Z when simply Y") when they shouldn't be equated.

Am I overthinking it? In other words, do you think that I am going to far to say that there is that gap? If that's the case and there is no gap, then I could easily eliminate (C) and stick with (B).

Let me know if you have any ideas related to this point...

VasaVasori
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Postby VasaVasori » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:08 am

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