PT83.S3.Q25 - Salesperson: If your vacuuming needs are limited to cleaning...

mepstlsatmepstlsat Legacy Member
edited February 2018 in December 2017 LSAT 33 karma

First off, what type of question is this? I can't tell from the question stem. It seems like it's a cross between a SA and a MSS, but I'm not really sure.

I'm having a little trouble why seeing A is correct. Why can't there be other types of floor surfaces? I thought this was a little too strong.

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  • SamiSami Alum Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    10710 karma

    It's a sufficient assumption questions stem. The "if assumed" would help the conclusion indicates that we are looking for an assumption that can plug the gap between premise and conclusion. But its a bit different from other question stems that I have seen in that it doesn't say "allows the conclusion to be properly drawn" -just that it supports or strengthen the conclusion. But our task is still the same. We have to find the gap between premise and conclusion.

    Here is a breakdown of how I would approach the argument:

    The first question I asked myself is, why should I believe that If my needs are limited to small areas of uncarpeted floors that an inexpensive hand held vacuum cleaner would be sufficient for me?
    The stimulus only tells me that they are easy to use and would be satisfactory on wood and tile floors.
    So the stimulus only provides enough support for me to conclude about wood and tile floors, but its not enough to conclude about small areas on uncarpeted floors.

    So it better be that uncarpeted areas are either wood or tile. Otherwise our conclusion over reaches.

    Here is an analogous argument I drew to see the flaw better:
    Premise: This crate would be satisfactory to all dogs.
    Conclusion: If your pet needs a crate, then this crate would probably be sufficient for you.

    The problem with the conclusion is that our premises only give enough support about dogs and not about pets in general. But in sufficient assumption questions we have to fix that problem. In this case, If you have a pet then its a dog, would fix it.

    It's very similar to the problem we faced in the argument above:
    Our premises are only enough to conclude about wood and tile floors but the conclusion is about uncarpeted floors. An answer choice that would help us fix it would be: floors that are uncarpeted are either tile or wood. Answer choice A does precisely that. It's another way of saying the same statement that we were looking for- most consumers encounter either a carpeted, wood, or tile floor.

    It's obviously harder to see the gap in the LSAT stimulus than in the analogous argument I drew. In general, we are used to think of an uncarpeted floor as either wood or tile. The LSAT writers are using our own bias against us. But don't fall for it. It's still a gap very similar to what I drew in the analogous argument.

    I hope this helped. Let me know. :)

  • mepstlsatmepstlsat Legacy Member
    33 karma

    Thanks @Sami ! That makes sense. Does that mean A is also a Necessary Assumption? If there were other types of floor surfaces that most consumers encounter besides carpet, wood and tile that would hurt the argument, correct?

  • SamiSami Alum Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    10710 karma

    No problem! I am glad that helped.

    I think the conclusion by saying "will likely satisfy" leaves a bit of room for other types of uncarpeted floors to exist but they just can't be so prevalent like tile and wood. Had it just said, "it will satisfy" then the sufficient assumption would have to be a necessary assumption as well.

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