Preptest 68 section 2 #15 (LR)

june2014
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Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:14 am

Preptest 68 section 2 #15 (LR)

Postby june2014 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:54 am

I can see how (D) can strengthen the argument, but I'm not clear on how it's a necessary assumption. Can anyone explain? Thanks!

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: Preptest 68 section 2 #15 (LR)

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:38 am

It's the "probably" that's getting to you, isn't it? :p

Let's make this argument way simpler so we can talk about it easily:

PREMISE: Certain behavior happens with people from disparate cultures.
CONCLUSION: People are genetically predisposed to that behavior.

The standard assumption can be thought of as an if/then statement "if (premise), then (conclusion)". So, the central assumption here is "If there is a certain behavior common to people of widely disparate cultures, then there must be a genetic predisposition to that behavior."

We have to be assuming that - try negating it: if sometimes there were such a common behavior with NO genetic predisposition, then the conclusion would be a dumb thing to say, and unsupported. If we have to assume that a certain thing MUST be true, then it's also accurate to say that we must be assuming that thing is *probably* true.

That "probably" doesn't make it any less necessary! If I need my grade to be an A, it's legit to say that I need my grade to probably be an A also - that's not all I need, but I can't do without that. What the "probably" does is make this assumption not sufficient - but that's okay, since the question didn't ask for a sufficient assumption.

Try negating the answer choice as is: sometimes, if there is such a common behavior, there is probably not a genetic predisposition. If that's the case, then this conclusion is no longer supported by this evidence. That is enough to destroy the argument. Remember, the negation test doesn't have to make the conclusion false, it merely has to make the conclusion unsupported (i.e., destroy the leap from the premise to the conclusion).

Thoughts?

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PDaddy
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Re: Preptest 68 section 2 #15 (LR)

Postby PDaddy » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:54 am

+1

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Jeffort
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Re: Preptest 68 section 2 #15 (LR)

Postby Jeffort » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:06 am

(D) negated means that there could be a different cause for the common behaviors other than people being genetically programmed to express certain emotions the same ways, which kills the argument.

This is a tricky question with the way the answer choices are constructed. (D) being phrased as a conditional along with 'probably' to make it sound a little off compared to typical phrasings of correct answers for this Q type pretty much makes sure that on first read you don't really like it. That plus having two really good trap answers (A) & (E) that sound very attractive on first read make it hard to even keep (D) in the running and give it full consideration instead of just focusing on (A) & (E) as the final contenders. Pretty rough construction of a question designed to make sure only people that religiously follow full procedure, fully analyze and have solid reasons against the other 4 before making final answer even have a chance of getting it correct.

I call (D) a stealthed correct answer, one that was specifically written in a slightly different than typical way with a certain element of the phrasing specifically meant to make people uncomfortable, second guess the answer and want avoid it, thus making one more prone to gravitating towards and rationalizing an attractive trap.

On the recent tests LSAC has been pretty consistent with including at least one or two LR questions per section with an AC written in a tricky way designed to throw people off that are prone to making firm split second decisions to reject/select an answer based only on a minor but noticeable cosmetic feature that can lead to a snap judgment that the answer has a flaw or to some other incorrect perception/judgment that insures you get the question wrong. The ones I'm talking about are the ones that are clearly devious and designed to play on peoples split second reactions before logical analysis to get them to make a firm yet incorrect snap judgment about a particular answer on first read without deep analysis or further consideration so that you box yourself in and get the question wrong due to that one bad split second judgment.

A perfect example of the construction type I'm talking about is the most recent one from the December 2013 test. Second LR section, #21, the one about sulfur, damage to sense of smell and chemical reproductions of smells. The CR is intentionally written in a way to guarantee that one split second decision early in the analysis guarantees you'll get the question wrong due making a snap final judgment about the first AC you read! Questions structured in ways like this punish people that selectively cut corners and skip steps in the analysis to pick up speed. Specifically, people that sometimes skip the part about making sure you have good reasons against the four answers you're not picking to make sure you gave everything full consideration/didn't make a mistake/get trapped/suckered due to skipping verification or other steps of the analysis because of focusing more on speed and rushing to pick an answer and move on.

june2014
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:14 am

Re: Preptest 68 section 2 #15 (LR)

Postby june2014 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:07 am

Aha! I finally got it. Thanks for the explanation!

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:It's the "probably" that's getting to you, isn't it? :p

Let's make this argument way simpler so we can talk about it easily:

PREMISE: Certain behavior happens with people from disparate cultures.
CONCLUSION: People are genetically predisposed to that behavior.

The standard assumption can be thought of as an if/then statement "if (premise), then (conclusion)". So, the central assumption here is "If there is a certain behavior common to people of widely disparate cultures, then there must be a genetic predisposition to that behavior."

We have to be assuming that - try negating it: if sometimes there were such a common behavior with NO genetic predisposition, then the conclusion would be a dumb thing to say, and unsupported. If we have to assume that a certain thing MUST be true, then it's also accurate to say that we must be assuming that thing is *probably* true.

That "probably" doesn't make it any less necessary! If I need my grade to be an A, it's legit to say that I need my grade to probably be an A also - that's not all I need, but I can't do without that. What the "probably" does is make this assumption not sufficient - but that's okay, since the question didn't ask for a sufficient assumption.

Try negating the answer choice as is: sometimes, if there is such a common behavior, there is probably not a genetic predisposition. If that's the case, then this conclusion is no longer supported by this evidence. That is enough to destroy the argument. Remember, the negation test doesn't have to make the conclusion false, it merely has to make the conclusion unsupported (i.e., destroy the leap from the premise to the conclusion).

Thoughts?




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