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PT 23 Section 3 Question 12

badgalriribadgalriri Alum Member
Sooooo inferences are usually much more clear and this one is giving me a lot of trouble. I gave B a considerable amount of thought, but I felt like it's a flaw because it goes from health food enthusiasts to saying in general, those who take XYZ will lower chances of heart disease. And I saw that the researchers corrected for differences in health habits, but I still felt like I'd be making some sort of assumption by picking B.

That being said, I didn't like D or E much either because I felt D is really broad. For E, this is the one I chose because although I thought it shouldn't be going from XYZ to general "large daily doses of vitamins," I thought it was the best option available

What am I missing here!


  • nye8870nye8870 Alum
    1749 karma
    The first sentence regarding XYZ as being a longtime favorite vitamin of food enthusiasts is nothing more than irrelevant context. The last sentence goes ahead and confirms that by stating that the researchers accounted and corrected data to mitigate those factors. The conclusion (inference) we are going to make comes from the data collected from the two year study. So what happened in the study? One group took large amounts of the vitamin and a control group did not (for two years). What did researchers find? The group that took XYZ in large amounts for two years showed *on average* a 40% lower risk of heart disease than those in the control group. When dealing with averages we must always stop for a minute and try to realize what actually happened: On average – that could mean that some people who took XYZ showed a 10% lower risk of heart disease and some 90% lower.. perhaps. Or maybe some even showed an increase… We do not know. We only know that when added all up and divided by the number of participants they came up with 40% lower risk than those who did not take it.
    (A) What side effects? [Eliminate]
    (B) Those (perhaps a group just like the people in the study) who take XYZ-in large doses-daily, will exhibit *on average* an increased likelihood of avoiding heart disease. –that could mean some more than others ...perhaps…- but we are given "on average"-... This is correct! It matches the scenario found in the study.
    (C) Li is just one person. She might be the one on the lower end pulling the average down. We cannot confirm anything about a single individual.
    (D) The study is about what happens after two years, we really cannot say with certainty what XYZ will do over the course of one’s life. We would have to assume…and that’s an LSAT no no.
    (E) Again… XYZ seems to promote good health –on average- and –in some instances- … but there may be times and people for which XYZ does not do-so and based on the data we only have an average to go off. Therefore we cannot infer this broad conclusion.
    One note: The only possible flaw I could see with (B) is the one where we count on something happening again just because it happened in the past….But that is why the stim assures us the study was done right and is reliable. Also, this is not a MBT question requiring absolute validity. We choose the most supported inference. There is a difference.
  • badgalriribadgalriri Alum Member
    316 karma
    @nye8870 thank you so much! that was so helpful. I keep forgetting to differentiate between absolute validity and most supported
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