Two LR questions

melmoththewanderer
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:31 pm

Two LR questions

Postby melmoththewanderer » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:37 am

I have a question re. two LR questions, which I think are similar, but the correct answers are different.

The first is PT37-S4-Q2
The second is PT9-S2-Q4

For both questions, there is an answer choice that discusses how certain information in the stimulus is not confirmed. However, this answer choice is correct in PT37 (A), but incorrect in PT9 (D).

I am wondering if someone could explain to me why this is the case. Thank you in advance.

jrd93
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:29 pm

Re: Two LR questions

Postby jrd93 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:30 am

Well to start off, these are two basic weakening questions and our job is to find an answer choice that makes us question the argument. I'm not sure if you're aware but the answer doesn't necessarily have to be in the stimulus on these question types. They can bring in new information that would help us strengthen/weaken the claims being made.

We will begin with PT 37S4Q2.
Conclusion:The VNO is a functioning sensory organ in most humans.Why?
Premise: Researchers have been able to stimulate VNO cells in humans, the subjects have reported experiencing subtle smell sensations.

What is the problem with the argument? Well, the flaw in the argument is that it is somewhat of a correlation/causation issue. The correlation is that when researchers stimulated VNO cells, the subjects experienced smell sensations. However, the argument doesn't provide us with enough evidence to prove that.

There are actually several ways to weaken causation arguments.
First, you can show that when the cause occurred, the effect did not happen.
Second, you can show that when the effect occurred, the cause was not present.
Third, you can show that maybe something third factor contributes to both and that is exactly what answer choice A does.

If it is not known that the researchers stimulated ONLY VNO cells, then how can we conclude that the VNO cells are responsible for the smell sensations.

As for your other question in PT 9S2Q4, this is very similar to the casusation/correlation issue described above.

Our first job is to find the conclusion which is:
Increased efforts to halt the desctruction are proving effective. Why?
Premise: M's government spent several million dollars last year to enforce laws against burning cutting of the forest
+
The deforestation rate was significantly lower than in previous years.

So remember what we have to do to weaken the claim.

First, you can show that when the cause occurred, the effect did not happen.
Second, you can show that when the effect occurred, the cause was not present.
Third, you can show that maybe something third factor contributes to both.

I wouldn't particularly say that D is relevant to the argument core at hand because it doesn't necessarily address that it has or hasn't been effective. Rather, it suggests that we can't confirm the data despite what the stimulus says. However, if you look at answer choice B it states that the rainfall during the usual burning season was heavy last year. That is the third factor that we need to weaken the idea that the government's method for reducing deforestation has been effective.


I'm not sure if you have taken a look at the PS or MLSAT guides but I, and many others on this forum, have found it beneficial. Pick it up, go through the chapters and




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