Complete Question Explanation
Method of Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (E)
Mark draws an analogy between the decongestant drugs Zokaz and Qualzan, and concludes that Qualzan probably increases the risk of heart attack. He states that Zokaz was discontinued by its manufacturer because long-term studies revealed that it increased the risk of heart attack. Apparently, Zokaz and Qualzan work by essentially the same physiological mechanism. Based on this similarity in physiological mechanism, Mark concludes that Qualzan probably increases the risk of heart attack as well.
Kathy disagrees. Although she concedes that the decongestive effects of Zokaz and Qualzan stem from the same physiological mechanism, Kathy points out that the two drugs are different chemically. Because of this chemical difference, Kathy concludes that the two drugs probably have different side effects.
In this Method of Reasoning question, your task is to describe how Kathy responded to Mark.
Answer choice (A): Kathy did not cite Qualzan’s safety record as evidence that it is not linked to an increased risk of heart attack.
Answer choice (B): Kathy did not compare Mark’s argument by analogy to some other argument by analogy. Rather, she stated that the chemical differences between the two drugs would result in the drugs having different side effects.
Answer choice (C): Kathy did not reference underlying scientific studies to support her conclusion.
Answer choice (D): While incorrect, this answer choice is more attractive than the other incorrect answer choices, because Kathy did implicitly apply a principle in reaching her conclusion. The rule applied by Kathy was that if two drugs are different chemically, then they probably have different side effects. However, she did not identify this rule as a “fundamental principle” of medicine.
Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. Kathy challenged Mark’s argument, which he made by analogy, when she stated a conclusion that conflicted with Mark’s conclusion. Further, Kathy based her challenge on a dissimilarity, i.e., chemical differences, between the things being compared, the drugs Zokaz and Qualzan.
#8 - Mark: The decongestant drug Zokaz was discontinued by
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What in God's name does "focusing on an argument from analogy" mean? There was no analogy as I understand the term, simply a focus on the dissimilarity between them. What's the point of saying "from analogy" - where is the analogy? I don't see an analogy, unless the LSAC definition is a weird pedantic definition dictionary usage of the term rather than a commonly understood definition. With my impression of the LSAC, it's probably the former.
EDIT: The definition on Google of analogy is indeed not as we use it in our day to day-
Analogy: A comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
So ANY comparison is an analogy.
While this is fascinating, are there any other words that might trip up an LSAT test-taker? I got this question right because the others were just wrong and this one was closest to what was actually happening. The word Analogy just really tripped me up, since there was no analogies present as we would use the term in social contexts.
This is a great example of why studying former LSAT questions is so useful. You didn't know that an analogy was really just a comparison, and so this answer made no sense at first. But, after you've missed it, you want to dive into what LSAC was thinking and figure it out so it can't get you again next time. You were able to do that with your edit, and what was previously a weakness is eliminated. That's what this whole process is: learning how they think so you are as comfortable as possible when taking their test.
Yes, words like "some" and "inference" are great examples of words that are used on the LSAT differently from how most people use them in daily life. I mention them throughout the LRB and we discuss some of the more frequently appearing ones in the quiz I linked to you in a previous post: PowerScore LSAT Terminology Quiz.
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