LSAT 55 – Section 3 – Question 16

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT55 S3 Q16
Most strongly supported +MSS
+Easier 144.364 +SubsectionEasier

We’ve got a MSS question which we can tell from the question stem: If the statements above are true, which one of the following is the most strongly supported on the basis of them?

The stimulus starts with what looks like a sentence of contextual information which introduces us to a category: common threats to life. The embedded phrase between the commas gives us examples of common threats to life: automobile and industrial accidents. We’re told that only unusual instances of common threats like these receive coverage from the news media.

We then have a shift into what looks like our potential argument (remember that MSS requires us to find a conclusion that completes said argument). This shift is indicated by the “however” that’s wedged into the middle of the next sentence. We then get a premise that introduces us to another category: rare threats. We also get an example of rare threats: product tampering. We are told that instances of rare threats are seen as news and universally reported by reporters in featured stories.

Ok so we know that the media always reports instances of rare threats, but only reports unusual instances of common threats. We then get some information about how the media impacts the population at large: people tend to estimate the risk of threats based on how often those threats come to their attention.

What’s a common way things come to our attention? Well, the media, right? Do we see a potential connection here?

Media covers rare threats instead of common threats. People see coverage of rare threats but not common threats. People perceive greater risk from rare threats because they estimate risk based on how often something comes to their attention.

Seems like a good synthesis of the information we’ve been given! Now let’s go to the answer choices:

Answer Choice (A) We have no information about governmental action. We know about news coverage of risks and the way that individuals perceive risk, but we do not have enough information to draw any conclusions about the government.

Answer Choice (B) We are only given information about the amount of coverage that two types of risk are given. We don’t know anything about the quality of risk and how that affects people. We just know that the amount that people think about risks impacts how those individuals estimate the likelihood of those potential risks coming to fruition.

Correct Answer Choice (C) We know that people estimate risk based on how often it comes to their attention. People who get information primarily from the news media (the same news media that covers rare threats more than common threats) would be likely to perceive higher risk of uncommon (i.e. rare) threats relative to common threats because of the amount of coverage they receive. This is is fully supported by our stimulus, and therefore, correct!

Answer Choice (D) We don’t get any information in our stimulus about how the element of time plays into threats or coverage of threats, so there is nothing to support this answer.

Answer Choice (E) Hard to know where to start with this one! We don't have any information about money or resources spent on threats, so we can safely (and quickly) rule this AC out.

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