LSAT 14 – Section 4 – Question 21

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT14 S4 Q21
Most strongly supported +MSS
+Hardest 148.739 +SubsectionMedium

This is a most strongly supported question, as the question stem asks: If both Monroe’s conclusion and the evidence on which he bases it are correct, they would provide the strongest support for which one of the following?

From the question stem alone we already know someone named Monroe is going to be giving us a conclusion supported by some evidence. The first sentence gives us a phenomenon; Monroe ate at the Tip-Top Restaurant and enjoyed the meals, but afterwards became ill each time. He must have really enjoyed it to go back after being sick two times in a row! Since we have started with a phenomenon, Monroe getting sick every time he eats at Tip-Top, we should expect a causal hypothesis as to why this correlation is occurring. The next sentence gives us some more detail about this correlation. Monroe ate three different meals at Tip-Top, but each one had hot peppers. So this Monroe getting sick every time he eats at Tip-Top correlation is also more specifically a Monroe getting sick every time he eats hot peppers correlation. Where the first sentence probably made you think, “Maybe you should try a new restaurant, Monroe!”, this new information has properly altered your hypothesis to, “Maybe ask them to skip the hot peppers next time, Monroe!”. The final sentence tells us that Monroe agrees and gives us his conclusion, his hypothesis for why he kept getting sick; it was the hot peppers causing him to feel sick after all three meals. He probably should have been able to figure that out after two meals, but good for Monroe!

Having now read the stimulus, and remembering that we are supposed to assume Monroe’s hot pepper hypothesis is correct, our job is to select the answer that is most strongly supported based off of it. Let’s take a look at the answer choices:

Answer Choice (A) What this answer choice does is confuse sufficiency with necessity. Just because hot peppers are enough for Monroe to feel sick, doesn’t mean they are required for him to be sick. Maybe he’s also allergic to pine nuts and the all-you-can-eat specials includes a really nice Pesto pasta! If you chose this answer, you might want to review conditional logic.

Correct Answer Choice (B) This is the correct answer because it does what A tries to do without its error of confusing enough with required. Where A said Monroe can eat anything without hot peppers and not get sick, B correctly infers that if Monroe ate a different dish with hot peppers he would have still gotten sick, because hot peppers are enough for him to be ill.

Answer Choice (C) Same issue as A, this question incorrectly assumes that hot peppers are the only possible cause of Monroe feeling ill.

Answer Choice (D) We need to assume that we just don’t know about Monroe’s eating history for this answer to follow from our stimulus.

Answer Choice (E) This should be clearly wrong. We know nothing about Monroe’s restaurant history outside of Tip-Top. Maybe Monroe is really bad at noticing when an ingredient makes him feel sick and he’s actually eaten hot peppers 20 times at other restaurants and gotten sick, and only now after three meals at Tip-Top made the connection.

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