LSAT 16 – Section 2 – Question 22

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT16 S2 Q22
Flaw or descriptive weakening +Flaw
+Hardest 0 +SubsectionMedium

Here we have a flaw question, which we know from the question stem: “The personnel director’s reasoning is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it…” Right away we know our correct answer has to do two things: be descriptively accurate, and describe the flaw of the stimulus. We also know what the wrong answers will do - describe reasoning flaws we’ve seen before, but don’t like up with our stimulus. Once we have a clear understanding of the question's objective, we can proceed into structural analysis of the stimulus.

The argument begins by presenting us with Ms. Tours’s predicament. We are told she requested a salary increase and that her grounds for that increase appear justified given her excellent job performance over others in the office who did receive raises. We finally get to what looks like our conclusion that nevertheless, her request should be denied on the basis of something completely outside the topic of work performance - but instead because giving in to a complaint would threaten the integrity of the merit-based reward system.

That seems quite silly, doesn’t it? The stimulus begins by saying all these things that lead us to the conclusion that Ms. Tours should get the raise. I mean, everyone in her corner of the office received a raise and we’re told Ms. Tours does a way better job than those guys. The truth of our premises are supposed to guarantee the truth of our conclusion. But we cannot guarantee a claim’s denial on the basis of integrity. And why not? Well, because then we would be denying Ms. Tours a raise she is entitled to - an act that would certainly weaken the integrity of the reward system.

Answer Choice (A) This is descriptively accurate, but it does not describe the flaw of our stimulus. Whether a complaint is handled officially or unofficially has no connection to the integrity issue in this question. Plus, this answer choice does not even say it would be considered unofficially - only that the possibility exists. That does not tell us anything!

Answer Choice (B) This answer choice is descriptively accurate in that we do see the director of personnel taking a shot at Ms. Tours’s complain at the end of the stimulus. But the characterization of “mere complaining” does not attack the reasoning of our argument. Someone thinking Ms. Tours’s is a big complainer and does not change whether the decision in response to her complaint was justified.

Answer Choice (C) While this answer choice is descriptively accurate, it is not the flaw of our stimulus. Whether or not superior job performance is a good measurement of giving out an award does not weaken the truth of the conclusion we see in the stimulus. Our correct answer is going to use the rationale of our speaker, and the quality of the award requirements does not hit on the integrity issue.

Answer Choice (D) This answer choice is descriptively accurate. However, this connects back to the reasoning we do not like answer choice B. Whether or not the awards were justly selected or well vetted makes no difference to our speaker. Because our stimulus relies on the amount of integrity that results from an action, our correct answer choice will point out how denying Ms. Tours' claim will actually undermine that goal.

Correct Answer Choice (E) This answer choice is both descriptively accurate and hitting the flaw of our conclusion. Notice this is the only answer choice that connects in any way to the ramifications of integrity. If denying Ms. Tours’s request hurts the integrity of the system, we cannot justify a denial on the basis it would hurt that same system.

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