PT68.S2.Q15 - psychologists recently conducted

TheoryandPracticeTheoryandPractice Alum Member
edited July 2017 in Logical Reasoning 1008 karma

Hi, I BR-ed this question, read the explanations from various websites and sources, and this question is still not making much sense to me.

The correct choice D has "probably" in it, which when negated is "not likely." Doesn't "not likely" still leave room for the support in the stimulus to stand? I know that it weakens the support, but is merely weakening it the same as being "necessary?"
If the AC had the word "some" instead of "probably," I would have chosen D in a heartbeat.
If negating the assumption still renders the support possible, I am wondering what makes it "necessary."

How is this AC different from, for example,

Stimulus: Kofi is a cat. Therefore, she is happy.
Here, an assumption "all cats are happy" would be an SA, but not a NA, because even if we were to negate "all cats are happy," we are left with "some cats are happy," which still makes the support plausible.

Here's my guess at the difference, but please critique me:
15 is directly targeting the author's interpretation (the conditional statement directly applies to the author's interpretation in this case)
However, in the above cat example, we wouldn't know if the particular cat "Kofi" would belong to the "some cats" group and therefore the effect of the negated assumption is unclear & doesn't weaken?

If that is the case, if answer choice D were to be worded as "Behaviors common to people of widely disparate culture probably have genetic predisposition to those behaviors" also be necessary? why or why not?

I would really appreciate any advice!


  • TimLSAT180TimLSAT180 Alum Member
    619 karma

    Would appreciate any input @danielznelson and @"Cant Get Right"!

  • ebenknightebenknight Legacy Member
    11 karma

    Premise: "people of different cultures identified the same emotions in photos"

    conclusion: "this is due to a genetic predisposition."

    The assumption is an unstated premise that necessarily links the conclusion and premise in a way that if the assumption is true (and it is not always true, so this can be a trap), the conclusion logically follows.

    The necessary assumption in this argument is that the phenomenon described in the premise is due to genetics and not due to cultural factors.

    A, B, and E do not provide this link. They are actually irrelevant to this. They don't explain how you could get the conclusion from the premise.

    C actually goes against the conclusion, since it acknowledges cultural factors, whereas the conclusion denies them.

    D is correct simply because it is the only choice out of the five options that could actually lead to that conclusion logically following from the given premise.

    I somewhat understand your reasoning, but the necessary/sufficient issue and probabilities are not relevant here, since none of the other answers meet the requirement of the correct answer by linking the premise to the conclusion in a way that logically follows.

    I hope this helps somewhat. Let me know if it doesn't, and I will try to better articulate it.

  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ‚≠ź
    4181 karma

    This is a very interesting question, and I don't think I've seen an AC like this before - at least, I've never before noticed this.

    I do think "not likely" would destroy the argument, since if genetic predisposition was less likely, it wouldn't make sense to choice that over a more likely possibility when given evidence that could lead to either conclusion.

    So while "not likely" still leaves open the possibility that genetic predisposition is the reason behind the evidence, it isn't the most likely case. Thus, why end with that conclusion? The argument would effectively be stating something like this:

    "For each photograph, everyone identified the same emotion. The most probable explanation is that emotional recognition is taught similarly across all cultures (i.e. culturally influenced). Yet this shows that there is a genetic predisposition to such facial recognition."

    THAT would be a horrible argument. You can't possibly conclude one thing over another, when the thing you conclude is less probable and is without any clarification.

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