Question about a logic reasoning question.

ioannisk
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:38 am

Question about a logic reasoning question.

Postby ioannisk » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:37 am

I'm taking the Free PT for extra practice, and I find on section 3 LR, Question 13 has two viable answers: Answers B and D.

The answer is B. Why?

Here's the Link:
http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... ptjune.pdf

The question is on page 18.

User avatar
Howl
Posts: 293
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:11 am

Re: Question about a logic reasoning question.

Postby Howl » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:08 am

At first glance, D is super tempting, but I think that after careful examination of the main conclusion you'll see why D does not necessarily strengthen the argument.

Main conclusion: Thus, cognitive psychotherapy is likely to be MORE effective at helping patients overcome psychological problems than are forms of psychotherapy that focus on changing unconscious beliefs and desires.

D says that if a psychotherapy that focuses on changing the patient’s unconscious beliefs and desires is effective, then it must also help change beliefs that are under the patient’s direct conscious control. However, it mentions nothing of degree - in D's case, the psychotherapy could be effective, and that effectiveness could be 80% from changing unconscious beliefs and 20% from changing conscious ones. This hypothetical would be contrary to the main conclusion. Do you see?

I hope it helps.

User avatar
iamgeorgebush
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Question about a logic reasoning question.

Postby iamgeorgebush » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:19 am

The gap in the reasoning here is between the premise following "since" in the last sentence and the conclusion. Who's to say that psychotherapy that addresses unconscious issues can't be effective through changing unconscious beliefs that aren't under the patient's direct psychological control, e.g., hypnotherapy? You're looking for something that addresses the "only conscious beliefs are under patient's direct psychological control --> therapy that focuses on changing patients' conscious beliefs is more effective than other types" gap; in other words, you want an AC that says something along the lines of "therapy is only effective when it focuses on beliefs directly under the patient's control" (but since it's a strengthen question, it'll probably be a weaker version of this statement).

B directly addresses this gap (in weaker terms than I stated, as expected since it's a strengthen question).

D does not. For one, the conclusion of the argument is not concerned with what might be helpful; it is concerned with the focus of the therapy. Maybe hypnotherapy is effective and focuses on unconscious beliefs and desires but also helps change beliefs directly under the patient's direct control. Watch out for the term shift from "help" to "focus."

What was your thinking about why D might be the answer?

User avatar
iamgeorgebush
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Question about a logic reasoning question.

Postby iamgeorgebush » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:25 am

Howl wrote:At first glance, D is super tempting, but I think that after careful examination of the main conclusion you'll see why D does not necessarily strengthen the argument.

Main conclusion: Thus, cognitive psychotherapy is likely to be MORE effective at helping patients overcome psychological problems than are forms of psychotherapy that focus on changing unconscious beliefs and desires.

D says that if a psychotherapy that focuses on changing the patient’s unconscious beliefs and desires is effective, then it must also help change beliefs that are under the patient’s direct conscious control. However, it mentions nothing of degree - in D's case, the psychotherapy could be effective, and that effectiveness could be 80% from changing unconscious beliefs and 20% from changing conscious ones. This hypothetical would be contrary to the main conclusion. Do you see?

I hope it helps.


Not quite. Remember, for strengthen/weaken questions, you're (almost) always looking for a gap in the reasoning. The credited response will address this gap; uncredited responses will not.

You do touch on one thing, though, that the argument leaves room for a psychotherapy to focus on changing unconscious desires but also help change conscious ones just a little bit, and still be effective and indeed more effective than a psychotherapy that focuses on changing conscious desires. Comes down to the term shift here.

User avatar
crazyvix
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:24 am

Re: Question about a logic reasoning question.

Postby crazyvix » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:37 am

The initial argument has a huge gap in its reasoning. Essentially, the author makes a point that cognitive therapy is more effective because it deals with the conscious, rather than the unconscious. We've been given no proof that dealing with conscious would necessarily do better than with unconscious. The author assumes that in order to be effective, a treatment must address mental processes that are under the control of the patient. So when an assumption is missing in a weaken/strengthen question, we can ALWAYS weaken/strengthen the initial argument by stating the assumption.

The rest of the explanation has been made quite clear by Mr. Bush

User avatar
Howl
Posts: 293
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:11 am

Re: Question about a logic reasoning question.

Postby Howl » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:44 am

iamgeorgebush wrote:
Not quite. Remember, for strengthen/weaken questions, you're (almost) always looking for a gap in the reasoning. The credited response will address this gap; uncredited responses will not.

You do touch on one thing, though, that the argument leaves room for a psychotherapy to focus on changing unconscious desires but also help change conscious ones just a little bit, and still be effective and indeed more effective than a psychotherapy that focuses on changing conscious desires. Comes down to the term shift here.


You're right of course :) I kinda took the lazy way out since it was a strengthen question and not an assumption/justify question (and the asker indicated that he was already deciding between B and D). :oops: But yes you should drill on finding the reasoning gap between the premises and conclusion since it's the cornerstone of like 90% of LR questions. Worse comes to worst, you can do quick hypotheticals on the ACs and see if you can come up with a situation that contradicts the main conclusion.

ioannisk
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:38 am

Re: Question about a logic reasoning question.

Postby ioannisk » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:31 pm

Do you guys approach strenghting questions the same way you approach assumption?

from what I understand, strengthening questions do not necessarily deal with assumptions. It can just be a statement that somewhat puts the argument in a more favorable light.

I thought D strenghtened the argument by sayng that an attribute that the other type of practice (the practice with focus on conscious beliefs) must exist in the other type of practice, thus strengthening the belief that the practice that focuses on conscious beliefs are better.

How am I wrong?

ioannisk
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:38 am

Re: Question about a logic reasoning question.

Postby ioannisk » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:10 pm

Well actually, the way I reasoned D is bad and B is better is that D doesn't really make you actually strengthen the core, which si to say one theory is better then the other.

B does, so it's correct.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Question about a logic reasoning question.

Postby bp shinners » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:43 pm

ioannisk wrote:Do you guys approach strenghting questions the same way you approach assumption?


Yep. Every strengthen/weaken question will have an assumption. If you're in a strengthen question, you need an answer that makes the assumption more likely to be true. If you're in a weaken question, you need an answer that makes it less likely to be true.

from what I understand, strengthening questions do not necessarily deal with assumptions. It can just be a statement that somewhat puts the argument in a more favorable light.


And the way you do that is by making the assumption questions more likely to be true. You'll always be dealing with an assumption.

User avatar
iamgeorgebush
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Question about a logic reasoning question.

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:14 pm

ioannisk wrote:Do you guys approach strenghting questions the same way you approach assumption?


Yes. I have never seen a strengthen question with a credited response that does not help cover an assumption the argument makes.

How am I wrong?


1. Because it doesn't address a gap in the reasoning of the argument.

2. Because a therapy could both focus on changing unconscious beliefs AND help change beliefs directly under the patient's control, like I said before, win which case D would not help at all. To use the hypnotherapy example again, maybe hypnotherapy focuses on unconscious beliefs (e.g., racism) but also helps change beliefs directly under the patient's control (e.g., whether it's a good idea to hire someone based on race).

3. Because there's a term shift from "focus" to "help."




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 2 guests