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When do we know "in other cases" can be helpful or not?

in General 161 karma
Hi,

I thought "other cases" are alwas irrelevant to the case discussed in the stimulus...
I thought "yes, maybe that happens in this case, but may not in the specific case discussed in the stimulus."
So I kind of always eliminate those answers.
But for example in PT 71 Sec 1 Q12...the correct answer is B, which uses other mountainous regions to support the argument.
I cannot recall exact question numbers, but I'm pretty sure those answers including "other" things are red flag...
So my question is...
When do these "other" choices work and when do not?
Do they work in support/weaken questions always?
I just thought those "other" cases are irrelevant in discussing what happens in the stimulus.
I'd appreciate any insights.

Thanks

Comments

  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    I remember wanting to so badly eliminate the correct AC. Since the question came down to three different ACs, all dealing with outside examples, I figured the question was doing something relatively novel.

    Really, the correct AC is demonstrating other instances of what is hypothesized in the stimulus. This is honestly a very subtle strengthening AC, which is a key factor in what makes this question so difficult.

    If a stimulus is hypothesizing a cause/effect, correlation, or a simple possibility, a strengthener may simply show that that cause/effect, correlation, or simple possibility is in fact found elsewhere. The correct AC does exactly this and shows that, on average, the occurrence hypothesized in the stimulus happens in areas with the same components.

    This is a pretty general answer to your question. I imagine others will add more specific input. If not, and if you're still left with questions regarding this question and its implications on other questions, I can try to elaborate.

  • 161 karma
    Hi @danielznelson
    Thanks for your answer,
    @danielznelson said:
    If a stimulus is hypothesizing a cause/effect, correlation, or a simple possibility, a strengthener may simply show that that cause/effect, correlation, or simple possibility is in fact found elsewhere.
    So what about other cases that do not involve cause/correlation relationships? Cannot come up with an example, but...
    Can we still use "other" but similar situations to support the phenomena discussed in the stimulus?
    And,
    Can we use this kind of choice to weaken what discussed in the stimulus?
    Such as...similar situation→not the phenomena
    I was just wondering when those choices discussin other cases can be used as strengthener/weakener...and when they are irrelevant.
    Because I saw in many cases people eliminate those answer choices because they are discussing "other cases" so not related to the specific case in the stimulus.
    I'm not sure what distinguish them...when is/is not useful to influence what is discussed in the stimulus.

    Sorry if my question does not make sense :(
    I'd appreciate further clarification.
    Thanks,

  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    Good questions. I would say yes. If, for example, you were attempting to show that it was possible for Person A, who is suspected of having telekinetic abilities, to actually have these abilities, a strengthener could provide you of a case where it has been conclusively proven that Person B has telekinetic abilities, and it just so happens that the factors contributing to Person B's ability are factors applicable to Person A as well - maybe one factor could be that Person B is a genius, which enables him to possess telekinetic abilities. Person A has is a genius as well.

    The support would be weak, but it would still be support. Not only is telekinesis possible according to the AC, but it is also possible for Person B because he is a genius, and Person A, who is suspected of being able to use telekinesis, is a genius as well.

    So while the AC does not mention Person A, it shows that telekinesis is possible. It also shows that certain characteristics allow for the ability, characteristics that Person A has.

    This is by no means an airtight example, but I hope this demonstrates a way in which outside examples could be used to potentially strengthen a stimulus.
  • 161 karma
    Thanks, @danielznelson
    So...I assume we can use this kind of coice as weakener as well?
    Such as...
    A will happens because B happens.
    C is similar to B and this does not trigger A, so what the author says is not true...??

    And, "irrelevant" is when C and B are not similar at all, so cannot relate to the argument right?
    When do you eliminate answer choices as "irrelevant"?
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    Hmm... of that I'm not sure. I suppose it could theoretically and depending upon the question, but I can't think whether LSAC has used something like that. I imagine a weakening question like yours could look something like this practically:

    "Brown swiss cows are nocturnal and therefore it must be that they graze at night."

    "Shorthorn cows are nocturnal as well, yet they do not graze at night."

    With this alone, the second statement really can't weaken the original argument. The two types may have many different habits from each other. For the second statement to weaken, there would have to be a much greater and more relevant connection between the two types. Here's an example that could fix that, though it strays from what we're discussing:

    "Since brown swiss cows are nocturnal and therefore graze at night, all nocturnal cows graze at night."

    "Shorthorn cows are nocturnal, yet they do not graze at night."

    This again would resolve the problem of the second statement not weakening the original argument. Of course the second statement would weaken, since it shows not all nocturnal cows graze at night. Yet this really isn't the same as what you're addressing.

    So while I very much doubt a correct AC for a weakening question could be what you posed, it could perhaps be. To then answer your very last question, I honestly can't think of a case where something merely similar would be relevant to a weakening question. In other words, any AC dealing with a similar idea that is purportedly weakening the argument in the stimulus would be an incorrect AC, in my opinion. The threshold for a weakening question is arguably higher than it is for a strengthening question, because of two components more applicable to weakening than to strengthening questions. Firstly, a correct AC for a weakening question cannot allow for the one arguing in the stimulus to concede to that very AC. For example...

    Stimulus: "Most boys are taller than girls."
    AC: "Some girls are taller than boys."

    This does erase the possibility that all boys are taller than girls, but the stimulus can easily concede that some girls are taller than some boys.

    In the scenario you posed, I would think that the stimulus could concede to a similar case having different outcomes while still holding firm to its own argument (e.g. the first example with the cows).

    Secondly, a weakening question falls to an AC that weakens the reasoning by finding a practical fact or claim which attacks the inherent flaw/assumption of the stimulus. For this reason, I had trouble thinking of an example like the one you posed, because it seemed to fall outside of this.

    I've really gotten into deep waters with this one. I hope I'm making even the tiniest bit of sense, and there's a good chance I'm getting too complicated with this. I'm going to do some "research" on this for sure... great questions! I myself am learning a lot in attempting to answer them.
  • 161 karma
    Thank you so much for the detailed analysis! It helps a lot.
    It'd be great if you could find anything regarding this topic&post here...I'll do my research and will post here if I find anything :)
    Thank you again.
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    edited October 2016 4181 karma
    No problem. If I were wholly selfish, I'd still be all about answering your questions. Attempting to arrive at any meaningful conclusions is honestly very helpful for myself. Try browsing through 5-star weakening questions to see if you can find anything of the sort. I'll be doing the same. Just don't look at questions from fresh PTs! I've got you covered, since I've taken all but two of them, haha.
  • edited October 2016 161 karma
    lol great.
    Thanks for reminding me of that...totally forgot to make use of the chart (sorted by difficulty levels/question types)
    This community is so great, full of good recources and nice ppl! :)
  • 10bird__10bird__ Legacy Member
    80 karma

    @danielznelson said:
    I remember wanting to so badly eliminate the correct AC. Since the question came down to three different ACs, all dealing with outside examples, I figured the question was doing something relatively novel.

    Really, the correct AC is demonstrating other instances of what is hypothesized in the stimulus. This is honestly a very subtle strengthening AC, which is a key factor in what makes this question so difficult.

    If a stimulus is hypothesizing a cause/effect, correlation, or a simple possibility, a strengthener may simply show that that cause/effect, correlation, or simple possibility is in fact found elsewhere. The correct AC does exactly this and shows that, on average, the occurrence hypothesized in the stimulus happens in areas with the same components.

    This is a pretty general answer to your question. I imagine others will add more specific input. If not, and if you're still left with questions regarding this question and its implications on other questions, I can try to elaborate.

    Hey Daniel, I had some problems with this question as well. I got the right answer because (B) covered the effects of "melting of snowpacks" but I'm a little confused on why (C) is wrong. Could you please elaborate?? Thanks :D

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