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#8 - Numerous studies suggest that when scientific evidence

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ChicaRosa
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Is A correct because of the legal theorists hypothesis?

Thank you!
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Adam Tyson
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Sending this back over to you, Chica, for more information before we answer. What was your prephrase for this Evaluate the Argument question? What did you want to know before deciding whether the argument was good or bad? What answer did you feel was the best answer, and why? Don't spend time and effort trying to decide why an answer is "right" or "wrong", but instead focus on why it's better or worse than the other answers. That usually starts with a prephrase, which is the answer that you come up with on your own before looking at any answer choices. If you do that consistently, so that your process of selecting the best answer is guided by an understanding of what the best answer should say or do, you will find that you are more consistently selecting the credited response, faster and with greater confidence. There won't be any need to think about why an answer is right, because the answer will be "because it matches what I knew I was looking for."

So, re-read this stimulus, ask yourself what the answer should be (as if this was a fill-in-the-blank test instead of multiple choice), and then select the answer that is the best match for that prephrase. Then, if you still have questions about it, come back here and we'll see if we can help.

Good luck!
Adam M. Tyson
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ChicaRosa
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Adam Tyson wrote:Sending this back over to you, Chica, for more information before we answer. What was your prephrase for this Evaluate the Argument question? What did you want to know before deciding whether the argument was good or bad? What answer did you feel was the best answer, and why? Don't spend time and effort trying to decide why an answer is "right" or "wrong", but instead focus on why it's better or worse than the other answers. That usually starts with a prephrase, which is the answer that you come up with on your own before looking at any answer choices. If you do that consistently, so that your process of selecting the best answer is guided by an understanding of what the best answer should say or do, you will find that you are more consistently selecting the credited response, faster and with greater confidence. There won't be any need to think about why an answer is right, because the answer will be "because it matches what I knew I was looking for."

So, re-read this stimulus, ask yourself what the answer should be (as if this was a fill-in-the-blank test instead of multiple choice), and then select the answer that is the best match for that prephrase. Then, if you still have questions about it, come back here and we'll see if we can help.

Good luck!


Hi Adam!

The stimulus says that numerous studies propose that when scientific evidence is presented in court the jurors view the evidence more credible than if they would have encountered this information outside of the courtroom. So now these legal theorists hypothesize that since the judge reviews the scientific evidence and only allows credible scientific evidence to be presented in court.

At first I thought that the legal theorists hypothesis could be true but it doesn't have to be true either. I think the legal theorists are assuming that the judge's role has a lot to do with how the jury views the evidence that is presented to them.

So my contenders were A and D but I think A's the correct answer because it addresses the judge's role and the assumption made by the legal theorists' hypothesis. If the jury knew that the judge approved the evidence presented in court then this would explain why the jury would view the evidence being more credible.

I hope my line of reasoning was spot on?

Thank you very much for your tips!
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life."~ Prince
Adam Tyson
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You got it, and that's the process! If the theory is that the evidence seems more credible because the judge reviewed it first, then the author must assume that the jury knows the judge did that. What if they didn't know? Then this explanation would make no sense. Nicely done!
Adam M. Tyson
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wrjackson1
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Hi, could you elaborate on why C is wrong? I understand that A is the better answer, but I want to know exactly why C is wrong, for other practice tests. In my mind, it could strengthen or weaken the argument. If they evaluate it because of the judge, then it supports the argument. But if they use a different method, I feel like that is providing an alternative explanation.
Adam Tyson
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Typically, wrjackson, the correct answer to an Evaluate the Argument question will set up a binary answer choice - True/False, Yes/No, Agree/Disagree, etc. Answer C here, a "how" question, sets up multiple possible answers. Maybe the jury read the CVs of the experts? Maybe they evaluate their tone of voice and body language? Maybe they evaluate them based on their accents and skin color?

The goal here is that the answers to the question should set you up to strengthen the argument in one case and weaken it in the opposite case. Knowing the answer should immediately cause you to either upgrade or downgrade your analysis of the conclusion. For answer C, let's try a test - what if the answer is "the jury evaluates the experts by examining their body language and tone of voice during testimony." Does this strengthen the claim that the reason they treat the evidence as being more credible than if they had heard the same info outside the courtroom is because the judge prescreened it? Does it weaken it? I'm not sure. What is the opposite answer choice in answer C? What if they evaluate the experts by looking up their credentials? Does that help or hurt the argument any? Again, it's not clear. It probably depends on whether they do the same thing outside the courtroom as they do inside it.

Answer A has the binary nature that we want. To answer the question posed in that answer choice, we would try "they do" (which strengthens the argument) and "they do not" (which weakens it). That's what we need from the correct Evaluate answer.

I hope that helps!
Adam M. Tyson
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wrjackson1
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Hi thanks, that does help! Just to make sure I have it, though, I'm gonna try to put it in my own words. The questions posed by C could potentially help, but it requires more information than a "yes" or "no". Like, if they decide the posture matters, we still don't have any context as to how the judge pre screening evidence plays into that mattering. Because of that, it can't really support or weaken.

Is that right?
Alex Bodaken
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wrjackson1,

Let me see if I can clarify...sometimes it can be hard electronically :-D The issue with answer choice (C) is that the use of the word "how" sets up more than 2 (as in, non-binary) potential responses. When we attack an evaluate the argument question, we are looking for answer choices that set up one of those binary responses Adam mentions. The answer choice is also wrong because it doesn't connect to the argument about the scientific evidence itself (it instead is talking about a different issue of who presents the evidence), but it is wrong right off the bat because it doesn't create that binary choice.

I hope that helps!
Alex