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#24- Music critic: How well an underground rock group's

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Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen—PR. The correct answer choice is (B)

The argument proceeds as follows: strong record sales could mean that an underground group’s music is too trendy, while weak sales could mean that the group is simply incompetent. (Neither of these claims is conditional, because conditional relationships are absolute, not tentative). On this basis, the author concludes that how well the rock group’s recordings sell is no mark of success. You should immediately spot the logical gap between the premises and the conclusion: neither “trendy” nor “incompetent” are explicitly associated with success. Indeed, the author does not provide any standard for determining what makes an underground group successful. The correct answer choice to this Strengthen question must provide that standard.

Answer Choice (A): The contrapositive of this answer choice states that especially strong or especially weak sales would guarantee that a group is unsuccessful. However, we do not know that the music discussed in the premises had especially strong or weak sales. Since this answer choice does not apply to the facts of the stimulus, it does not strengthen the argument.

Answer Choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. If any rock group that is either too trendy or incompetent is unsuccessful as an underground group, then neither strong nor weak sales would be an indicator of success. This principle correctly links the premises to the conclusion of the argument, and is therefore correct.

Answer Choice (C): The stimulus tells us that many underground musicians consider weak sales desirable. If this answer choice is true, then weak sales are not a mark of a group’s success. While this answer supports the idea that weak sales are not a mark of a successful underground group, strong sales might still be an indicator of success. Since this answer choice only addresses one aspect of sales, it does not strengthen the argument as much as answer choice (B).

Answer Choice (D): This answer choice weakens the argument. If competent bands that do not sell well are successful, then poor sales are a mark of success.

Answer Choice (E): This answer choice does not strengthen the argument because it does not apply to the facts in the stimulus. This answer choice applies to competent underground groups and authentically underground music. The stimulus, by contrast, addressed incompetent underground groups and trendy (non-authentic) underground music. Even if competence and authenticity were not marks of success, incompetence and trendiness might be.
lathlee
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24. stem is skipped since you guys already have it)
Which one of the following principles , if valid, most helps to justify the music critic’s argument? (I Consider this as strengthen question. )
This is how I Broke down:
conclusion: [sentence 1]
Premise 1: [sentence 2, first half]
Premise 2: [sentence 2, second half]
Counter premise to premise 2: [sentence 3]
Analysis according to Cause and effect
1,some of the music on the record is too trendy effect- it sells well – underground music does not find that desirable.
or
Group’s incompetence – weak sales of incompetence -

[answer choices redacted]

I know b) is the correct due to following:
Contrapositive of b) if an underground rock group is successful as an underground group, it must be that the group is competent and any of its music is NOT too trendy to be authentically underground, or only one of the criteria met.
Also this choice secures one of five strength scenario: cause occurs – effect follows
The answer sheet said b) is correct but These concerns are why I am posting this question and asking your expertise: 1) did I identity the question type correctly? I know question stem said most helps to justify instead of most justify (which according to logic bible, is strength)
2) Did I broke down correctly in order to get the question right? Especially the question consists of cause- and effect then I used the conditional reasoning to get the question right.
3) most importantly, what role does competence/ incompetence in question play in this answer solving process cuz they neither weaken or strength the conclusion that much which bothered so much in my mind , couldn’t figure out why the authors put it here, while I was solving the question.
3) also, what role does Function that Both) play in question choice b)? also did I contrapositive correctly by saying only one of the criteria met in contrapose form?
Emily Haney-Caron
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Hi lathlee,

Thanks for the question! I redacted your post to remove the stimulus and answer choices, just to make sure we're not violating any copyright laws since LSAC owns the questions.

You are right that this is a strengthen question (a Principle Strengthen question, more specifically).

I'm not totally sure I follow the reasoning in your question, so let's just walk through this one a bit, and if you have lingering questions definitely post a follow-up.

Basically, the stimulus here is telling us that sales of recordings doesn't tell us if a group is successful, because low sales could mean a group is authentic (a positive) or could mean the group is incompetent (a negative). We're looking for some principle that strengthens the argument; in this case, we can be pretty sure it will be something connecting the idea of success to authenticity and competence, since those are the things the conclusion is being based on.

A: This actually weakens the argument a bit, because if A were true, then knowing the sales of recordings WOULD tell us something about success.

B: This is the right answer. This is connecting success to incompetence and authenticity, which we know we can't identify from sales alone.

C: This doesn't give us enough information. If C were true, couldn't it still be true that high sales would tell us about success?

D: This is a mistaken negation of B.

E: This doesn't strengthen the argument, because we know that competence is actually a part of a group's success; it's just that we can't know competence from sales alone.
lathlee
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Thx for the answer, but i still have my doubts left here. first, this question used conditional reasoning indicator, if, so i figured there must be conditional reasoning relationship. two, as you stated, weak sales due to authentic sound and incompetence are the causing factors to determine group's success? as in this question is strength principle question, strengthening the conclusion through useage of cause and effect? or am i too much reading into this?
Nikki Siclunov
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Hi lathlee,

Despite the elements of conditionality present in the question stem, conditional reasoning was not central to the author's method of reasoning here.

Hope this helps!

Thanks,
Nikki Siclunov
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lathlee
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Hi. Nickky, thank you so much for the reply.

but your response awakens my other anxiety/fear about logical reasoning solving process , how can i decipher reasoning properly or right direction when there are elements of cause-effect and conditioinal reasoning in logical reasoning questions even though the proper way to breakdown does not invovle the techniques of cause-effect/conditional reasoning.
Like this question, the right way to breakdown would have been not relying on cause-effect or conditoinal reasoning processes. DO I still simply need to practice more and those problem will go away?
Jon Denning
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I think that's exactly right, lathlee: it's all about practice.

First, you must master the conceptual fundamentals, like knowing how to spot conditional and causal reasoning, how they operate, and how to diagram and manipulate the relationships (when necessary). It sounds like you're well on your way to achieving that--that's what our courses and books try to establish for people at the outset, and why we always begin with discussions of ideas and question types rather than just problem sets.

Next, it's all about immersion. Doing tons and tons of questions where you can hone your skills applying the conceptual knowledge you've gained, and also learn all the ways in which the various concepts are presented. You're moving towards this phase of your prep, so while it can be frustrating at times to fell like you're encountering moments of unfamiliarity, the only way to combat that is to see things enough times that they're no longer unfamiliar!

So keep at it and try not to get discouraged or overly anxious. With time and diligent effort you can learn how to appropriately tackle anything this exam throws at you!
Jon Denning
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My LSAT Articles: http://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/author/jon-denning
deck1134
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Hi PowerScore,

I eliminated A, C and E with ease, but was confused about the difference between (B) and (D). The above explanation is helpful, but I wonder why (D) is not a correct answer. I usually do strengthen questions by mentally inserting the answer choice into the prompt. If (D) is inserted, it certainly plays off of the desirable/undesirable part of the question and deals with competency.

Isn't it true that if it is competent and does not sell well that it is good? I thought that is what the author said.

The explanation says, "
Answer Choice (D): This answer choice weakens the argument. If competent bands that do not sell well are successful, then poor sales are a mark of success.


But if poor sales equate to success in this genre, and they are NOT incompetent, wouldn't that mean that they are successful? (Poor Sales=success, unless incompetent. But they are competent, so successful.)

Thank you.
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Administrator wrote:Answer Choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. If any rock group that is either too trendy or incompetent is unsuccessful as an underground group, then neither strong nor weak sales would be an indicator of success. This principle correctly links the premises to the conclusion of the argument, and is therefore correct.

Answer Choice (C): The stimulus tells us that many underground musicians consider weak sales desirable. If this answer choice is true, then weak sales are not a mark of a group’s success. While this answer supports the idea that weak sales are not a mark of a successful underground group, strong sales might still be an indicator of success. Since this answer choice only addresses one aspect of sales, it does not strengthen the argument as much as answer choice (B).


For some reason I thought being successful was different from whether something is an indicator of success. Thats why I eliminated answers (A), (B), and (D), and was left with answers (C) and (E) which refer to indicator/marks of success. Why is this approach wrong? Can you help me where I went wrong?