1. The popularity in the past year of network TV shows featuring supernatural events is not a sign of social decline, as some have said, but is simply the result of a shift in viewer demographics. Recent studies have confirmed this theory. One study showed that in the past year, the percentage of network television viewers who are also avid comic book readers has increased 20%.
The flaw in the argument above is most similar to which of the following errors of reasoning?
(A) mistaking correlation for causation
(B) mistaking causation for correlation
(C) making unfounded assumptions
(D) providing insufficient support for premises
(E) There is no flaw in the argument.
This question asks you to identify the reasoning in the passage. The argument opens with the author’s conclusion; after stating her position, she then goes on to offer support for her conclusion via a recent study; and finally restates her conclusion. However, her premise (which is supposed to provide evidence for the truth of her conclusion) does not support her conclusion. Her mistake is assuming that an increase in viewers who also like to read comic books caused an increase in shows about supernatural events. That’s not necessarily true; the increase in this type of viewer could be entirely coincidental. The author has assumed a correlative relationship to be causative; choice (A), “mistaking correlation for causation”, is therefore the best answer. Choice (B) reverses the error. Choice (C) is vague. Choice (D) describes an error in the premises, whereas the error in the passage lies in the relationship between the premise and the conclusion. Choice (E) is untrue. Choice (A) accurately describes the flaw in the argument, and is therefore the correct choice.
2. Though some reports have called the People’s Republic of China’s recently instated property law their first piece of legislation addressing the individual’s right to own private assets, this is not true; the right to private property was in fact written into the constitution of the People’s Republic of China four years ago, in 2003.
The bolded phrase plays which of the following roles in the passage above?
(A) answer to a question
(B) correction of a misconception
(C) refutation of a known fact
(D) support for a claim
(E) statement of identity
This question asks you to identify the reasoning in the passage. The unbolded portion of the passage contains a claim that reports about the new law in China are incorrect. The bolded portion contains support for that claim. Choice (D) is the best answer. Choices (A) and (E) do not describe the role played by the bolded phrase. Choice (B) describes the passage as a whole. Choice (D) is the best answer is and therefore correct.
3. A consulting firm is planning to start a new program allowing employees more control over their health coverage. Instead of having their level of coverage based solely on salary, the employees now will be able to choose from three plans, the least expensive of which is the same price as the current mid-level plan.
The company’s plan, as outlined in the passage above, assumes that
(A) Employees will be willing to sacrifice a portion of their salaries for increased control over their coverage.
(B) The current least expensive plan offers inadequate coverage.
(C) Employees are tired of having their coverage determined by their salaries.
(D) The most basic of the three plans will include the same amount of coverage as the current least expensive plan.
(E) Higher-salaried employees will not be resentful of the plan.
This question asks you to identify the assumption in the company’s plan to change their employee’s health care coverage. The plan is intended to give the employees more control over their coverage, but, because the least expensive plan costs as much as the current mid-level plan, it is also more expensive. The assumption, then, is that employees will be willing to pay more for their plans in exchange for the freedom to choose their own plans. This assumption is stated in choice (A). Choices (B) and (C) are assumptions we might make about the reasons behind the company’s decision to change their plans, but neither is necessarily true. Choice (D) is not necessarily true either; again, this is an assumption one could make about the plans, but it isn’t necessary for the plan to work. Choice (E) is not a necessary assumption either; though they might hope this assumption to be true, the company’s plan isn’t based on employee’s potential resentments. Choice (A) is the best answer.
Next LSAT: January 26
Next LSAT: January 26