PT63.S3.Q18 - the probability of avoiding heart disease

rockytoralrockytoral Alum Member
edited January 2016 in General 149 karma
This question just doesn't seem to click for me any which way I look at it... I don't see how answer choice (A) is the correct answer. If someone has any insight as to how to better approach this question, be my guest! Thanks!


  • Accounts PlayableAccounts Playable Alum Sage
    3107 karma
    This is a pretty tricky question since the correct answer is so abstractly worded, and I relied on POE to get to this one.

    Premise 1: If you don't eat fatty foods, you increase your chances of not having a heart attack.
    Premise 2: If you don't eat dairy foods, then your chances of not eating fatty foods increases.
    Conclusion: Therefore, the chances of maintaining good health is increased by not eating dairy foods.

    What I am looking for: Another reason why this question is pretty hard is because the argument is very bad. Our two premises don't chain up, and they certainly don't allow us to draw the conclusion. The first premise is about "heart disease," but our conclusion is about "good health." This is a pretty large equivocation.

    Say we are charitable to the argument and link up our premises: Not eating dairy implies increasing your chances of not having a heart attack. But, aren't there other things related to maintaining good health? Do we know the cost/benefit of getting rid of dairy? What if my chances of having a heart attack are 5% and not eating dairy lowers it to 4.9% (so a benefit to my health of .1%). But, what if avoiding dairy increases my chances of getting cancer by 99%? It's hard to see how avoiding dairy MUST mean that my good health will be maintained.

    Answer choice A: This is a really good paraphrase of the flaw. Not eliminating dairy might not promote good heart health (a potentially negative consequence), but not eating dairy at all might have really bad negative consequences as well (cancer).

    Answer B: So what? Our argument is only talking about decreasing dairy and fat. Eating your Wheaties is another way to avoid heart disease. It just doesn't matter.

    Answer C: The argument never states that something "should" or "should not" be done. The argument only describes a set of facts.

    Answer D: Risk of heart disease is at least somewhat relevant to good health, so this isn't it.

    Answer E: This is probably the most attractive wrong answer choice, but it's wrong since the conclusion is still talking about probabilities and not certainty.
  • hlsat180hlsat180 Free Trial Member
    edited January 2016 362 karma
    Two recommendations:

    1. Learn Flaw Patterns. Akin to LG inferences, recognizing Flaw Patterns are key to solving Flaw Qs quickly. There are only so many types of flaws and the LSAT must recycle them. This skill also helps you eliminate wrong answers describing flaws that don't apply to the stimulus.

    2. Focus on the Conclusion. Note how it introduces a new element unsupported by any Premise(s): Good Health. This is the literal gap in the argument's reasoning any correct answer will focus on.
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