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#9- Museum visitor: The national government has mandated a 5

nadiaguo
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This is regarding question 9 in section 2 of the June 2008 LSAT. I sort of guessed the answer would be A or C, and the answer was A, but I do not really understand how the fact that some of the museum's employees are not paid significantly more than min wage completes the museum visitor's argument. Care to explain? Thanks.
Nikki Siclunov
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An assumption is a statement upon which the argument depends, so if you negate the correct answer to an Assumption question, that would weaken the conclusion of the argument.

The author argues that since there is a 5% increase in the minimum wage paid to workers, the museum will be forced to raise their fees or decrease services. This depends on assuming that at least some of the employees working for the museum are paid wages at (or close to) the minimum wage. In other words, "some of the museum's employees are not paid significantly more than the minimum wage." If you negate answer choice (A), you have:

All of the museum's employees are paid more than the minimum wage.
(The logical opposite of "some are not" is "all").

If that were true, the author's conclusion would be illogical, proving that answer choice (A) contains a statement upon which the conclusion depends.

Answer choice (C) weakens the argument, as the employees paid more than the minimum wage are not the ones who will be affected by the increase in the minimum wage. If you negate (C), you will prove the conclusion to be true, not false.
Nikki Siclunov
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nghiem505
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I tried using the assumption negation technique to find the answer to this particular question, however, I still do not see how ANswer choice A is the correct answer. Does the some in front of answer choice need to be negated as well or is it that only the NOT needs to be negated? If the Some needs to be negated, it would be None of the museum employees are paid significantly more than the minimum wage. I don't see how this weakens the conclusion "This Mandate will adversely affect the museum going public". Please help
Steve Stein
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Good question--and you're right to use the Assumption Negation Technique, but as you noticed, this is a tough one to negate!

First, the argument:

They're raising the minimum wage.
That will increase museum expenses.
The museum will thus have to raise income or cut spending.

The correct answer choice, A, provides:

There are some employees who don't make much more than minimum wage. (there are at least a few of these low income earners)

When we negate this assumption, or take it away, we get:

No there aren't; there are no employees who make that little (there are none of those low income earners)

If none of the museum employees make so little, that means that they all earn well above the minimum wage. In that case, the museum would be unaffected by the small increase to the minimum wage.

Tough one! Let me know whether that clears that one up--thanks!

~Steve
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cecilia
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Hi Powerscore gang....I got to the correct answer, but only by process of elimination. And obviously with your explanation, I see how (A) can be the only correct answer, however, the thing that bugged me about this question was that when I initially sat down to it , the part where it says *since the mandate will majorly increase operating expenses* (paraphrased here) - I took that to be a fact/premise used to support the conclusion that the museum would be forced to cut services or raise fees.

And so (A), while attractive, at the same time also seemed to challenge the premise - something that I thought we were always to accept as fact. And that is why I hesitated for a long time before picking it.

I saw the word "since" and almost reflexively/robotically took what followed it as a premise. Can someone further clarify/correct me on this? Weren't we supposed to take it as fact that the museum's expenses were going to be "significantly increased"?

Thanks!
David Boyle
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cecilia wrote:Hi Powerscore gang....I got to the correct answer, but only by process of elimination. And obviously with your explanation, I see how (A) can be the only correct answer, however, the thing that bugged me about this question was that when I initially sat down to it , the part where it says *since the mandate will majorly increase operating expenses* (paraphrased here) - I took that to be a fact/premise used to support the conclusion that the museum would be forced to cut services or raise fees.

And so (A), while attractive, at the same time also seemed to challenge the premise - something that I thought we were always to accept as fact. And that is why I hesitated for a long time before picking it.

I saw the word "since" and almost reflexively/robotically took what followed it as a premise. Can someone further clarify/correct me on this? Weren't we supposed to take it as fact that the museum's expenses were going to be "significantly increased"?

Thanks!


Hello cecilia,

That is an interesting issue. It may go to the kinds of issues that in fiction-writing are called "reliable narrator" issues. Traditionally, the narrator of a book or story was reliable, e.g., if he/she said, "Once upon a time, there were blue fairies in Fairyland", that was what you would believe. In recent decades, one hears, the literary fashion is that there are more "unreliable narrators" than there used to be; e.g., a book features a crazy guy talking about an event, but the reader slowly realizes that the crazy guy is not really telling the truth about what happened.
In the stimulus of our present problem, there may not be a crazy guy, but one wonders if the museum visitor is a reliable narrator. If the words "Museum visitor:" were not there, then maybe you could rely on the stimulus to be a reliable narrative by Law Services, where you should believe what you were told. However, with the stipulation that it's just "Museum visitor"'s opinion, that allows for unreliability and false assumptions by that visitor, it seems.
So it's a little confusing, but remembering that a point of view (as opposed to facts set out by Law Services) may be wrong, and subject to correction, may be helpful. And you get points for pointing out the issue in the first place! Good eye.

Hope this helps,
David
cecilia
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Thanks David.
srcline@noctrl.edu
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Hello,

So We would negate the "some" to "all" correct? Because the conclusion of the argument is that " this mandate (raising minimum wage) would adversely affect the museum going public". And (A) negated would read "All of the museum's employees ARE paid significantly more than minimum wage". So this would undermine the conclusion b/c if they are making over min. wage than the employees wouldn't be affected.

Thankyou
Sarah
Jonathan Evans
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Sarah,

Excellent question. Actually, the standard quantity statements are logically negated as follows:

"none" :dblline: NOT "none" :dbl: "some"

"some" :dblline: NOT "some" :dbl: "none"

"all" :dblline: NOT "all"

Therefore, in this case, to negate Answer Choice (A) we get:

"None of the museum's employees is not paid significantly more than the minimum wage"

In other words, all of the employees are paid significantly more than the minimum wage.

If this were the case, then it would not be possible to make the conclusion that the "museum will be forced either to raise admission fees or to decrease services."

This is a false binary error. There could be other options or considerations, as the credited answer illustrates.
lunalondon
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Hello Powerscore..

I am very confused as to how we negate this as it would seem from the thread that there are two different approaches:

Is A equivalent to "some of the m´s employees are paid significantly more" (Jonathan) or "all of the m's employees are paid significantly more.." (Nikki)? Thanks!