Defender Assumption questions (the powerscore method)

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ltowns1
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Defender Assumption questions (the powerscore method)

Postby ltowns1 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:56 pm

So for these questions, when there doesn't seem to be a weakness, and I my thought process changes to this is a defender question, do I look for for somehing that strengthens the necessary condition?

BillsFan9907
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Re: Defender Assumption questions (the powerscore method)

Postby BillsFan9907 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:06 am

Not sure what you mean. Give an example of the type of question you are thinking about.

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ltowns1
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Re: Defender Assumption questions (the powerscore method)

Postby ltowns1 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:56 am

BillsFan9907 wrote:Not sure what you mean. Give an example of the type of question you are thinking about.


So for example the the implementation of a traffic system in preptest 21, I think it was #8 section 31 from Powerscore i believe this is classified as a defender question, what's my thoguht process going into the ansewr choices for this question? While I wouldn't diagram this while I'm taking the test, for the benefit of the example I will.

Traffic system-> Improved traffic flow

So my question is should I go into the question looking to strengthen the necessary condtion?

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stray
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Re: Defender Assumption questions (the powerscore method)

Postby stray » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:06 am

Never read the PS bible, but I think I know what you are referring to. I wouldnt try and differentiate between defender/supporter tbh. It just makes things more complicated I think. I could be wrong and maybe its more intuitive for some people and in that case, someone else can maybe explain the PS procedure better.

Personally, I go into necessary assumption questions just asking myself one simple question: does the argument take this answer choice for granted (to be true). That's it. I dont try and overthink it - all I'm asking myself as I read each answer choice is 'for the argument to work, does this answer choice have to be true (is it assumed to be true)? And the trick is that you have to be very critical of the answer choices. You have to want to say 'no, it doesnt.' I use this mindset to eliminate 4 and I choose the correct one and move on.

And only on very very rare occasions, I'll use the negation test to make sure its correct. I know its easier said than done, but thats just how I always went about it, and eventually it just got a lot easier.

Might as well do your question as an example. This is my literal thought process as I'm doing the question.

Whats the argument?
We need to install this new traffic system because it will allow for reduced traffic congestion (reduced temper and save money).

A) Does this have to be true? No. The argument can allow for breakdowns. The new system would, supposedly, just allow for improved traffic flow. We are inferring reduced traffic congestion and It doesn't have to be perfect.

B) Does this have to be true? No. Traffic lights? wtf? And again, we dont need a free flow of traffic. All the argument says is we can infer it would result in improved traffic flow.

C) Does this have to be true? Yes. if traffic flow would be impossible to improve than the argument is broken. If we cant improve the traffic flow, we are screwed. The new system isnt going to do shit for us then.

D) Does this have to be true? No. Why would it have to vary? No reason this needs to be the case from the argument.

E) Does this have to be true? No. Older vehicles cant be fitted? Where'd they get that from?

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karmago
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Re: Defender Assumption questions (the powerscore method)

Postby karmago » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:06 am

ltowns1 wrote:
BillsFan9907 wrote:Not sure what you mean. Give an example of the type of question you are thinking about.


So for example the the implementation of a traffic system in preptest 21, I think it was #8 section 31 from Powerscore i believe this is classified as a defender question, what's my thoguht process going into the ansewr choices for this question? While I wouldn't diagram this while I'm taking the test, for the benefit of the example I will.

Traffic system-> Improved traffic flow

So my question is should I go into the question looking to strengthen the necessary condtion?


I read through that section in the PS Bibles so I know what you're referring to. The first is the aforementioned defender method where you want to "defend" the argument from falling apart. You do this by looking at the answer choices that would introduce any information that would otherwise undermine the argument, and you block that.

For example,
Premise: I have a store coupon.
Conclusion: I can buy something at a discount at the store.

A defender assumption answer choice would look something like, "The coupon is not expired". If you negate this, then it would say "The coupon is expired", and then it becomes an alternative explanation to ruin the argument. You want to prevent this from happening so you would choose that as the correct answer choice.

The second method they use is the "supporter" method. I would be hesitant to say "strengthen" because that would invoke a different question type and you don't want to get mixed up. The supporter method that PS introduces is more akin to SA question types where it asks you for the missing link in the chain of reasoning. To use an example (albeit shortened) straight from that section,

Stimulus: Art is often shocking.
Conclusion: We should use public funds to support shocking works of art.

The correct answer choice goes along the lines of, "Public funds should support art". This supports the assumption made in the argument by bringing together the elements in the stimulus and filling logical holes that would leave your argument complete. You can also use the negation method to say that "Public funds should NOT support art", upon which the argument is ruined, which is how you would know that it's the correct answer.

If you can, I suggest switching over to the Manhattan LR book or the LSAT Trainer. Their methods are far more organic and allow you to develop your intuitive skills without relying too much on mechanical methods like the ones that PS introduce.

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ltowns1
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Re: Defender Assumption questions (the powerscore method)

Postby ltowns1 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:39 am

Thanks guys, and yeah I bought Manhattan already. I agree with you, it worked wonders for my LR score! I just went back to the bible because MAnhattan helped me understand the concepts of the bible even more....and when you go up there on the 165+ advice forum, it seems like everyone swears by the lr bible. I guess I was confusing a suffcient condtion for a necessary condtion!!!!! :) :) :) :)




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