Brazilfagan
LSAT Novice

Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:52 am
Points: 3

Hello, I do not understand how C is the correct answer since the answer choice says "the first thing was caused by the second thing. Wouldn't the first thing be owning a laptop and the second thing be a higher salary?
Robert Carroll
PowerScore Staff

Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:18 am
Points: 436

B,

Answer choice (C) says that it concludes one thing (let's call this Q) was caused by another (call this Z), so:

The argument apparently claims that Z causes Q. If Q was caused by Z, this matching makes sense.

Let's continue:

...although the evidence given is consistent with the first thing's (that's Q, as it was the first thing listed in this answer choice) having caused the second (that's Z then).

So this is saying that the evidence is consistent with Q causing Z.

This, then, is describing a reverse cause and effect flaw.

If the argument claims that Z causes Q, then we need to look at what the argument claims to identify Z and Q with the phenomena in the argument. The argument concludes that owing a laptop led to a higher-paying job, so the argument says:

owning a laptop causes a higher-paying job

And Z is "owning a laptop" while Q is "having a higher-paying job".

Because the answer choice was phrased in the passive voice, the "first thing" listed is actually the claimed effect in the argument, not the cause. You just have to be careful matching the two things with their orders in the answer choice.

Robert Carroll