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#15 - A good manager must understand people and be able to

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Please post below with any questions!
Terry Padilla
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Hi there,

Could you explain why answer choice C is correct? I had it as a contender but could not reconcile the use of "necessary" and "guarantee" so I ultimately didn't choose it.

Thanks!
Jon Denning
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Hi Terry,

Thanks for the question, and welcome to the Forum!

This is a somewhat tricky Flaw in the Reasoning question, where the flaw itself is based on a conditional reasoning error known as a Mistaken Reversal. So let's see if we can set the argument up and then look at how the conclusion commits this mistake.

The first sentence tells us that being a good manager (GM) requires that one understand people (UP) and be able to defuse tense situations (DFT), and then, somewhat oddly, we're told the anyone able to defuse tense situations must understand people. So we can create a diagram if we want that ties all of that together:

..... ..... ..... UP
..... GM :arrow: +
..... ..... ..... DFT :arrow: UP

Connecting DFT to UP is an unusual step, but it essentially means that there are two ways you could know someone understands people: if they're a good manager, of if they're merely able to defuse tense situations (regardless of what kind of manager they might be).

But what we need to avoid here at all costs is the tendency to go backwards against these arrows! To say that understanding people means you can defuse tense situations or that you're a good manager, for instance, would be a mistake. Similarly, knowing someone is able to defuse tense situations and then concluding that they're a good manager would be a reversal of the terms and thus may not be true.

And that's where the error comes in. The last sentence concludes that Ishiko can defuse tense situations so she must be a good manager:

..... DFT :arrow: GM

That's backwards, reversing the connection between GM and DFT that we have from the first sentence.

Now we need an answer choice that describes that reversal, making sure we include the proper piece(s) involved.

Answer choice (C) gives us what we want: the confusion between a quality necessary for being a good manager (DFT is necessary in our first diagram above, GM :arrow: DFT) with a quality that guarantees (is sufficient for) being a good manager (DFT is given as sufficient in the conclusion, which is the Mistaken Reversal, DFT :arrow: GM).

That's pretty classic LSAT wording for a Mistaken Reversal, so I'm glad you've encountered it early in your prep and I hope this answer helps to better explain it :)

Thanks again!

Jon
Jon Denning
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Terry Padilla
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Hi Jon,

Thank you for the welcome; I'm sure you'll see me around on more forums now that I've finally created a login! Thanks for the great explaination as well; I had the correct diagram of the stimulus but your diagram was also helpful as it combined the first two whereas I originally diagrammed them as three separate diagrams. The missing key for me was the fact that I didn't take guarantee to mean / refer to the sufficient condition so I'm also glad that I encountered it early on because it was a tricky correct answer choice!

Thanks again!
Jon Denning
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Great Terry! Happy I could help out!
Jon Denning
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Isaiah4110
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I understand why C is correct but how is A wrong?

Good Manager → Understand People
Good Manager → Defuse → Understand people
Defuse
(Defuse → Understand people → Good Manager)
—————————————————————-
Good Manager

A) confuses a quality that shows an understanding of people, Good Manager, with a quality that is necessary for understanding people. Good Manager is stated as a sufficient condition for Understanding People but is mistakenly taken as a necessary condition.

Why can’t being a good manager being a quality that shows understanding of people?
Brook Miscoski
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Isaiah,

The diagram you created is not quite correct.

1st sentence: Good Manager :arrow: Understands AND Defuses
2d sentence: Defuses :arrow: Understands
3rd sentence, first clause: Ishiko :arrow: Defuses

What we know is this: Ishiko :arrow: Defuses :arrow: Understands.

Thus, Ishiko has fulfilled some of the necessary conditions for being a good manager. However, the stimulus concludes that he is a good manager, which is (as also explained by Jon above) a Mistaken Reversal.

Answer choice (C) captures what's happening in the stimulus--it's the necessary conditions for good management that are being confused for sufficient conditions for good management.

Answer choice (A) misses the point, because "good management" is where the logical error is happening. There's no evidence in the stimulus that there is confusion over whether Defuse is sufficient or necessary for Understands:

If you wrote out the concluding logic a bit more, what you should get is:

Ishiko :arrow: Defuse :arrow: Understands :arrow: Good Manager.

Notice that there's no problem with "Defuse :arrow: Understands," because that's simply a restatement of a premise, not a Mistaken Reversal. The problem occurs when we try to infer that Ishiko is a Good Manager, because that step does involve a Mistaken Reversal. All we know is that he could be a good manager.