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Well, this should be fun. Let’s go! As a reminder, my method is that every question is premise, reasoning, conclusion.
Premise are facts, reasoning is “because…”, conclusion is opinion or prediction (something to argue with).
This is all taken from the LSAT sample test, section III.
1) If the analysis is that people are willing to sacrifice pleasure for the sake of appearances, we just want a similar story with the situation.
We could set this up as the original situation as the premise, the conclusion as the analysis, and the reasoning as “this is a common situation”, but that’s overkill unless you’re really stuck on this one.
2) Premise: new water heater is more efficient than old. Conclusion: water bills increased. Reasoning: ??
This is one in which the conclusion seemingly contradicts the premise. I would describe this as a paradox sort of question.
The tricky part is that we’re asked to fill in the reasoning with something that would NOT help bridge the gap between conclusion and premise. Why? Because the LSAT sucks.
Anyhow, the answer is A.
3) Carolyn’s argument goes like the following: premise is that there’s a creepy DNA “portrait”, conclusion is that it’s not a real portrait, reasoning is that portraits need to look like the subject.
Arnold’s argument has the same premise, conclusion is that it is a realistic portrait, reasoning is that it contains instructions.
They aren’t disagreeing about the premise (it’s some weird DNA that doesn’t look like a human being), they’re arguing about what defines a portrait. E.
4) Premise: the stupid motivational pictures are supposed to make employees more productive. Conclusion: it probably won’t work. Reasoning: almost all employees are already motivated to be productive.
I underlined a key part of the premise, which shows why the reasoning is messed up and doesn’t lead to the conclusion. Just because you’re already motivated a little bit doesn’t mean you can’t be motivated more.
5) Premise is that ants are carrying particles to neighbors AND are emptying their colony’s dump. Conclusion is that contrary to early entomologist, they’re not carrying food to neighbors. Reasoning is presumably that you wouldn’t bring your neighbors food from the trash.
The assumption, therefore, is C.
6) This one is tough because we’re missing a conclusion. So we have to set up premises carefully. Jablonski donated cars to driver’s ed to encourage better driving, and then some locals bought cars from Jablonski because they thought it was nice.
Let’s find a conclusion then fill in reasoning. B, because Jablonski meant to be altruistic, but then got rewarded for it.
7) Antonio’s conclusion is moderation leads to losing out on joys of spontaneity and also opportunities, because you just stick to a single course (no real premise).
Marla’s conclusion is that real moderation doesn’t lead to never taking a chance, because real moderation is about moderating moderation.
Basically they’re arguing about the definition of moderation. Antonio thinks it means being boring, and Marla is just cheating by saying it means whatever she wants.
8) Premises are that each customer got a fabric soft towel and a normal one, and 99% of people liked the fabric-soft one. Conclusion is that fabric soft is the best fabric softener. Reasoning is apparently we covered every single other fabric softener with the normal towel???
9) Premise is that Tasmanian tiger’s habit is gone and naturalists in the region have found no evidence of it. Therefore, Tasmanian tiger is extinct. Because where would it live and why would naturalists not have found it?
D is the answer, because it says the tiger didn’t just move.
10) Missing conclusion again. Let’s keep careful track of the premises.
If an advertiser links bad things through pictures and words to nice things, people are “easily encouraged” to feel nice about the bad things.
Therefore, advertisers are likely to do that. E.
11) Premise is that 1880s seabirds’ feathers contain half as much mercury as feathers taken recently from birds of the same species. Conclusion is that mercury levels in fish now are higher, because mercury in feathers comes from fish that the bird eats.
The hidden reasoning is that this is an apples-to-apples comparison (we can compare feathers from the 1880s to feathers today).