pt 38, s4, q 13 or q. 133 in manhattan weakening set, help!

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pt 38, s4, q 13 or q. 133 in manhattan weakening set, help!

Postby flash21 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:12 pm

Okay so basically I was between (A) and (D)

Okay so I was between A and D and picked D, the CR is A.

(A) If the kids who dont watch tv are being affected by the kids who DO watch tv, they are indirectly being influenced by ads, so the argument is weakened.

(D) if they all hate the low sugar cereal, maybe this means that they simply like high sugar cereal and ads do not matter but it was the high sugar that made them pick the cereal

Someone please tell me why my reasoning is wrong here? I Looked on manhattan and I still dont get it, they just said (D) was out of scope

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Re: pt 38, s4, q 13 or q. 133 in manhattan weakening set, help!

Postby Jeffort » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:41 pm

Your mistake is actually pretty simple here. (D) is very relevant for the reasons you described, but instead of weakening it strengthens the argument since the conclusion is that advertising doesn't significantly influence their preferences. It's an opposite of what you need trap answer.

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Re: pt 38, s4, q 13 or q. 133 in manhattan weakening set, help!

Postby canterlol » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:53 pm

Edit: My answer was initially like Jeffort's, but then after thinking about it more, I saw D as neither weakening nor strengthening the conclusion. I'm a little undecided on this, but here's what I got:

Here's the original argument:

-one group - exposed to T.V. ads
-other group - not exposed to T.V. ads

Both groups prefer sugary cereal that was advertised ---> T.V. advertising does not significantly affect preferences

Answer D is out of scope because it is presenting a scenario that is not related to the above argument. We're concerned strictly with a conclusion that is drawn from groups preferring the cereal that IS advertised. In addition, the scenario in a/c D doesn't weaken or strengthen the conclusion: it actually leaves it up to interpretation of whether television ads "significantly" affected their choice of cereal. If we assume a/c D, consider:

- Perhaps children need a prolonged exposure to T.V. ads in order to be significantly affected by them. That would be proof that the older T.V. ads that advertised sugary cereal affected the children's preference. But even if this is the case, how do you account for the group that didn't watch T.V. ads?
- On the other hand, like you said, the children could just be predisposed to like sugary cereal, and ads wouldn't change their preferences, or the children are being influenced by other environmental factors. But again, even if this is the case, how do you apply it to all children when there is a group that has been exposed to T.V. ads, and one that hasn't? What if the "exposed" group is less naturally predisposed to sugary cereal, etc?

This is a long way to say that the correct answer choice has to address the assumption that says "results from two groups experiencing different conditions can yield a strong conclusion" (a/c A does this). D is out of scope because it instead branches into a different situation that perpetuates the problematic assumption, and introduces new issues (listed above). In short, you could approach this as a flaw in the reasoning question, and pick the answer that addresses the flaw.

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Re: pt 38, s4, q 13 or q. 133 in manhattan weakening set, help!

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:54 am

I think I have to agree with Jeffort that (D) is a strengthener. What might be confusing is that (A) undermines a different central assumption than the one that (D) supports.

If the simplified core is:

    PREMISES: TV group had preference for sugary cereal.
    Non-TV group had preference for sugary cereal.

    CONCLUSION: TV ads don't affect cereal prefence.

On a simplistic level, the language shifts from talking about which group watched TV to a conclusion about TV ads affecting kids. The central assumption here is that if you don't watch TV, there's no way to be affected by those pesky TV ads.

In a real life sense, this argument is attempting to lay out a test group and a control group, and then make conclusions about the test case. A class way to weaken any conclusion coming out of that experience is to show that the control group isn't really a control group at all, and that the test characteristic tainted both groups.

This is the assumption that (A) undermines. If there's bleedover in TV ad influence, in any form, into the 'control group', then no conclusion about TV ad influence is going to be valid.

(D) doesn't attack (or support) this critical assumption about the bleed over of TV ads' influence. But the argument makes another assumption leap - the premises are only about sugary cereal advertising. The conclusion leaps to a much broader claim that TV ads don't influence kids on breakfast cereals in general. To jump from evidence about a single cereal type to a conclusion about all cereal preferences requires the assumption that all kid-cereal preferences work the same way as the kid preferences for sugary cereals. This is the assumption that (D) supports.

If you were caught up on the language shift from sugary cereals to all cereals, and neglected the shift from TV watching to TV ads influence, then (D) would have been quite tempting.

PS - the Manhattan forum does not actually address (D) at all, as far as I can tell. :mrgreen:

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Re: pt 38, s4, q 13 or q. 133 in manhattan weakening set, help!

Postby canterlol » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:53 pm

Above post really sharpened my understanding of this question. (If it's not obvious, listen to Christine and Jeffort!)

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