Need Help with Probability Indicators

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Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 7:02 pm

Need Help with Probability Indicators

Post by IgnesFatui » Thu May 30, 2019 7:20 pm


While working through the mini drill questions of the Powerscore LR Bible, I encountered difficulty in understanding the difference between certain probability indicators. For example, the answer key states that for question #3 of the premise and conclusion analysis drill (p. 71 of the 2018 version) "this would be a much better argument if the conclusion stated instead that "he might be incorrect" versus probably incorrect. I just don't see much of a difference between might (which I interpret to mean "may or may not be true") versus "probably" (which I interpret to mean "likely"). Doesn't "might" fall under the scope of probability determined by the word "probably"? Is not something that might happen also likely to happen? Does anyone have any resources they could point me to that might help my understanding of the difference between commonly confused probability indicators? Any answers or insights would be much appreciated.

Here is the stimulus for reference:

If Ameer is correct, either the midterm is cancelled or the final is cancelled. But the professor said in class last week that she is considering cancelling both tests and instead having students submit a term paper. Because the professor has final authority over the class schedule and composition, Ameer is probably incorrect.

Thanks in advance,

Blueprint LSAT
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Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:43 pm

Re: Need Help with Probability Indicators

Post by Blueprint LSAT » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:12 pm

In the language of the LSAT "might" indicates mere possibility. Specifically that there is a >0% chance that something will happen. If a statement says something might happen/could be true all you know is that it is possible. If a statement says something is "likely" or "probable" it means there is a greater chance that it will happen than that it won't happen. In other words there is a >50% chance it will happen. If a statement says something "will" happen there is a 100% chance it will happen.

Think of it this way: If I know I "might" win the lottery, it doesn't make it "likely" I will win the lottery.

You want to treat quantity the same way. If you have "some" apples or even "many" apples then you have an indeterminate number of apples that is > 0. If you have most of the apples then you have >50% of the apples. If you have all the apples you have 100% of the apples.

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