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#9 - Activist: As electronic monitoring of employees grows

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Complete Question Explanation

Flaw in the Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (D)

This is a fairly straightforward example of a Flaw in the Reasoning question. The activist describes the
increasingly common practice of electronically monitoring employees and an attempted justification
of this practice by employers. The given justification is that electronic monitoring “keeps employees
honest, efficient, and polite.” The activist concludes that these justifications should not be accepted
because they “are obviously self-serving.” The activist fails to respond to the justification itself. By
questioning the employers’ motivation rather than addressing the reasoning that employers use in
making their argument, the activist uses the questionable technique described in answer choice (D).

Answer choice (A): Flaw in the Reasoning questions can be valuable study tools because the incorrect
answer choices often describe strategies that are employed elsewhere on the LSAT. Answer choice (A)
describes a common argumentation technique – known as a Straw Man argument – in which one person
misconstrues the opposing position and responds to this distorted version. In this stimulus, the activist is
not really attacking any argument at all – just the source of the argument.

Answer choice (B): An implication of the employers’ justification for electronic surveillance is that
employees are sometimes dishonest, inefficient, or rude; otherwise, why would employers have to keep
them honest, efficient, and polite? Presuming this inference to be false without providing adequate
justification would certainly be a questionable argumentative technique, but it is not the one used by the
activist.

Answer choice (C): This issue is neither addressed by the activist nor necessarily a questionable
technique. Introducing moral considerations into an argument is not inherently questionable.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. This questionable technique is referred as an ad
hominem (against the person) attack (or a Source Argument) and is frequently employed by children and
politicians on the LSAT.

Answer choice (E): The activist does not criticize a sample group as being unrepresentative or biased,
but rather attacks the employers on a personal level.

This incorrect answer choice has appeared numerous times with very similar wording on the LSAT.
Hence, it is very worthwhile to understand what a biased sample is when preparing for the LSAT. A brief
discussion of this flaw—as well as each of the other flaws discussed here—can be found in chapter 13 of
the PowerScore Logical Reasoning Bible.ng their argument, the activist uses the questionable technique described in answer choice (D).