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#24 - It now seems clear that the significant role initially

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Complete Question Explanation

Parallel Flaw. The correct answer choice is (D)

The flaw in the reasoning here is that a causal relationship is assumed when there is not sufficient information to support it. The stimulus author mistakenly assumes that the only explanation for the decline in classroom computer sales is that the role of computers in the classroom is insignificant. There may be numerous other explanations. For instance, school systems may have bought the bulk of the computer systems they needed in previous years. Therefore, there is no more room for additional systems and that is why sales have declined, not because the systems are not being utilized. Since this is a parallel reasoning question, we want to find the answer choice that similarly uses flawed causal reasoning.

Answer Choice (A): This answer choice does contain possibly flawed causal reasoning, and may be maintained as a contender while working through the answer choices. Once you get to the correct answer choice, however, it should be clear that this is not the best answer choice.

Answer Choice (B): This answer choice does not contain any type of causal reasoning, and it therefore cannot be the correct answer.

Answer Choice (C): This answer choice is trying to sway you by using the same topic —computer sales — that is used in the stimulus. Once again, though, there is no causal reasoning in the stimulus, the stimulus is looking to what will happen going forward, not for a causal relationship of why something has already happened.

Answer Choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. You have the exact same situation where lots of people bought a product initially, and then once the market reached a saturation point, sales declined. Just as with the computer reasoning, this does not in any way lead to a conclusion that the microwaves are not being utilized.

Answer Choice (E): Again, this answer choice does not contain any type of causal reasoning, and it therefore cannot be the correct answer.
mariahenain
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I got this question right, however I think my method of attack was incorrect. I read the stimulus as more of a time shift error, in that "look at the decline in sales in the PAST to predict the future" This is how I matched to the correct answer D... am I far off the mark?
Dave Killoran
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Hi Maria,

I think you were right to consider the "past year" information as helping determine whether a fad had passed. In that sense, the time was important. But I don't think I would call this a classic time-shift error. there was also the element of "reduced sales indicate a decline in interest," which is a causal structure that isn't well-considered (as discussed above).

Thanks!
Dave Killoran
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