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#16 - Salespeople always steer customers toward products

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Complete Question Explanation

Flaw in the Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (B)

Because salespeople in major health stores work on commission, the author suspects that they are lying about the quality of the products they sell. Also known as an ad hominem, this type of flawed argument attacks the person (or source) instead of the argument they advance. Here, the author focuses on the alleged motives of the salespeople without offering any evidence that their claims are actually inaccurate. This is a Source Argument error, which agrees with answer choice (B).

Answer choice (A): There is no circular argument here, because the premise presented is different from the conclusion.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. The author infers that some claims are inaccurate solely because the salespeople making them (i.e. the source) have a vested interest in selling their products.

Answer choice (C): There is no evidence that the author attributes a characteristic of the whole group to a part of the group. Granted, the argument begins by making a general claim about all salespeople, but immediately thereafter focuses on salespeople working in major health stores. Because the second clause of the first sentence serves as a premise for the main conclusion, the argument cannot be said to contain an Error of Division.

Answer choice (D): There is no evidence suggesting that the argument contains an error in conditional reasoning.

Answer choice (E): The author does not make an appeal to authority in reaching her conclusion. There is no evidence of an appeal fallacy.
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I got this question right, but I don't understand why C is wrong? The argument goes from talking about salespeoplein general and then not to trust sales people of major health stores - it kind of sounds like its making a claim of every member of the community based on a generalized thought
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The conclusion is not about an individual salesperson, so there is no flaw in division here.
Robert Carroll
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BostonLawGuy is correct in that there is no Error of Division here. The premise talks about "all salespeople." That's not a claim about the group as an entity, but a claim about each member of the group. It's the difference between "All salespeople earn at least $1000 commission per year" and "Salespeople earn a total of at least $1 billion commission per year." The first statement is a claim about each person; the second statement is a claim about the group. If I conclude something about individuals in the first case, I'm not going to commit the Error of Division (though I could commit other flaws!); in the second case, making a conclusion about an individual COULD commit the Error of Division (though possibly with other flaws as well).

Robert Carroll