LSAT 46 – Section 3 – Question 05

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT46 S3 Q05
Main conclusion or main point +MC
+Easier 145.195 +SubsectionEasier

We start with the question stem: Which of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the psychologist's argument? This is a Main Conclusion question.

The argument begins with what seems like an argument by saying that because of the “social stigma against psychotherapy, and because of age discrimination on the part of some professionals, some elderly people feel discouraged about trying psychotherapy” (the old people don't want to get therapy because they don't want to be bullied). Although this is an argument, it’s still a contextual information because of the Context Indicator “however” in the next sentence, which indicates a turn to the author's argument.

The first few words of the next sentence say “They should not be,” which sure looks like referential phrasing. Who should not be what? When we see Referential Phrasing we need to understand what the author is referring to. Referring back to the previous sentence, the who is “old people,” the what is “be discouraged from trying psychotherapy”. Let’s try translating that sentence now that we know our referential phrasing.

“However, the old people should not be discouraged to try psychotherapy, for many younger people have benefited from it, and people later in life have certain advantages over the young...that contribute to the likelihood of a positive outcome.”

We skipped over some of the stimulus, but right here we have everything we need. We have a Premise Indicator “for,” which tells us that everything after is a reason to think that old people should not be discouraged from trying therapy. In other words, the fact that “young people have benefited from therapy” and that “old people have advantages to therapy” supports the idea that old people should not be afraid to try therapy. An idea with support? That sounds like a Conclusion. Terrible argument? Certainly. But our job here isn’t to judge the quality of this argument; it's to find the conclusion.

So, our conclusion is that “Old people should not be discouraged from trying therapy.” Now, all we need to do is find an answer choice that expresses the same idea.

Answer Choice (A) is wrong. Not because it is bad for certain psychotherapists to discriminate against old people but because it is Contextual Information. (A) is a reason the elderly are reluctant to try therapy, but the author used that to introduce his argument.

Answer Choice (B) says that elderly people are better able to benefit from psychotherapy than young people. This is wrong because it’s not the same idea as our Main Conclusion. Additionally, we cannot actually infer (B), so even if this were an MSS question, (B) would also be wrong. Ultimately, it still would be the right answer for a Main Conclusion question.

Correct Answer Choice (C) expresses the same idea as our Main Conclusion. While it is not written exactly the same, “Elderly people should not be reluctant to undergo psychotherapy” expresses the same idea as our main conclusion. Therefore, it is correct.

Answer Choice (D) is incorrect. It might be tempting to say that this is a premise, but it's not. And even if it were a premise, we need to be looking for not a paraphrase of our premises, but a paraphrase of our main conclusion. Where in the stimulus does it say that the advantages the elderly have over the youth are important? It doesn’t.

Answer Choice (E) is also wrong. (E) does not accurately express the same idea as our Main Conclusion, and we additionally don’t know if this is true. Sure, we know that old people are discouraged from going to therapy, but we do not know how discouraged the youths are. Maybe youths are discouraged, too. Maybe they are bullied even more than old people for going to therapy and that makes them even less inclined to go.

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