LSAT 15 – Section 2 – Question 24

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT15 S2 Q24
Method of reasoning or descriptive +Method
+Harder 142.72 +SubsectionEasier

We can identify this question as Method of Reasoning because of the question stem: “which of the following techniques of reasoning is employed in the argument?”

When dealing with a Method of Reasoning question, we know we are looking for an answer choice that correctly describes the structure of our entire argument. Our correct answer is going to fit the argument exactly. Our wrong answer choices likely explain argument structures we are familiar with, but that simply don’t apply to the specific question we are looking at. Knowing what the right and wrong answers are going to do, we can jump into the stimulus.

Our speaker lays out a survey and the results surrounding it. We are told a survey asked respondents how old they felt. The respondent almost unanimously said that they felt 75% of their actual age. Our speaker claims that there is a problem with this result because of the undesirable effect of a hypothetical scenario; if we repeatedly asked the respondents this question they might continue to give the exact same answer. Thus, the author concludes, this undesirable outcome means the survey results are problematic.

Our author makes a conclusion about the survey results on the basis of a situation that is unlikely to happen. The survey probably is not going to repeatedly ask the same person the same question. Because even if they did, there is no telling that the respondents would change their askers! If someone asks me how old I feel and the answer is 23, the answer is not going to change just because someone bugs me with the same question repeatedly.

Knowing that this argument uses an unreasonable hypothetical to support their claim, we can jump into the answer choices.

Correct Answer Choice (A) This answer choice correctly describes the structure of our entire argument. By telling us that the argument references “hypothetical earlier responses of a single individual…” we can identify this to be the only answer choice hitting on the repetition assumed by the argument. Additionally, the answer choice echoes how the argument uses a comparison between one individual and a quality we can give to the results of a group of people.

Answer Choice (B) This answer choice incorrectly describes the issue our author has with the survey. By telling us that the stimulus questions the results based on what would “have been the most reasonable thing for them to say,” this answer choice goes beyond the scope of the stimulus. In fact, the problem is that our argument does not consider the reasonable interpretations we can actually draw from the survey.

Answer Choice (C) We do not see an “overly sweeping” generalization in our argument as suggested by this answer choice. While the author does conclude something about all the survey results on the basis of one hypothetical, the problem is that the hypothetical chosen is unreasonable. Because of this, our prediction actually contradicts this answer choice. From the beginning, we can identify that the author’s “counterexample” is certainly poorly chosen rather than well chosen.

Answer Choice (D) This answer choice does not line up with what we see in the structure of the argument. This answer tells us that a contradiction is used to prove that one of two statements is false. But we do not quite see a contradiction in our argument. Instead, we are told about an end result that would be silly or nonsensical rather than one that is in contradiction with another idea. Additionally, our argument strives to prove there is a problem in understanding the survey results rather than to prove the results are false.

Answer Choice (E) Our argument does not contain “manipulation of the questionnaires,” as suggested by this answer choice. On top of that, the survey results are being used to prove whether the results can be interesting rather than for the purpose of showing what the questionnaires were trying to accomplish. Furthermore, this is descriptively inaccurate based on the second premise which tells us we do not have completely unanimous results when it comes to the survey.

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