to the top

#10 - Interviewer: You have shown that biofeedback, dietary

desmail
LSAT Leader
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:49 pm
Points: 0

Hello,

I can see how answer choice (A) is correct here, but I'm still confused as to why (E) is wrong. I was thinking that the patients may not be responding to the treatment because they don't need it, or that the treatment is too strong and they might do better without it. So the therapist doesn't take into consideration that maybe the patient doesn't need treatment at all. Couldn't that be a flaw too?

Any feedback is appreciated!
Steve Stein
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:33 pm
Points: 1,249

Interesting question. In other contexts, that could indeed be a flaw, but here, we are only dealing with insomniacs--so presumably they all need some type of treatment.

And since it's about whether or not these insomniacs respond positively to treatment, that doesn't really concern the question of whether they actually get worse with treatment.

And with this one in particular, when the argument gets broken down, it becomes much more recognizably circular:

Interviewer: You claim the treatment works on everyone, but some people don't respond to the treatment.

Therapist: Everyone who does the treatment responds. If they don't respond, they must not be doing the treatment.

It's like this:

Me: Everyone likes me.

You: I just spoke with ten people who say they do not like you.

Me: Everyone likes me. If those guys claim not to, they must be lying.

Based on the circular reasoning found in both examples, there is no way to disprove the flawed argument, which is the answer provided in choice A.

I hope that's helpful! let me know--thanks!

~Steve
Steve Stein
PowerScore Test Preparation
desmail
LSAT Leader
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:49 pm
Points: 0

Thanks, I think its much clearer now.

I sometimes try to fix the flaw in each answer choice to see if it would repair the argument. Usually if it does repair the argument somehow that gives me a clue that it might be the right answer.

If we tried to repair the argument with (E), the therapist could still say "maybe some people don't need treatment, but for those who need treatment or choose treatment still won't be responding unless they try harder." So essentially the therapist's argument still wouldn't change.

Am I on the right track here?
Steve Stein
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:33 pm
Points: 1,249

Thanks for your response.

I can see what you're getting at with attempting to fix each flaw, but it seems like that could take a lot of time and effort, and sometimes might lead you to force a square peg into a round hole and force the wrong answer choice.

I would recommend that after you've read the question, but before considering the answer choices, you make sure to prephrase the answer. Then, look at the answer choices and just see whether they accurately describe what is going on in the stimulus. If the description is accurate, and describes the problem with the author's reasoning, then it must be the correct answer choice.

It would also be worthwhile to familiarize yourself with the way the testmakers have described various reasoning flaws in the past. It's striking how often they go back to the same language, and this makes it much easier to prephrase the answer before looking at the answer choices (althought this one would have been pretty tough to prephrase verbatim!).

I hope that's helpful--let me know--thanks!

~Steve
Steve Stein
PowerScore Test Preparation
desmail
LSAT Leader
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:49 pm
Points: 0

Thanks!
PositiveThinker
LSAT Leader
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:02 pm
Points: 49

I see the explanation above and I'm assuming the flaw in the argument is that its circular. Ive never the wording that is used in answer choice A to describe a circular argument.


Is A basically saying "the therapist dismisses evidence against his assertion that his treatment always works"..
again I've never seen that wording to describe a flawed circular reasoning. So if the way I parsed out the grammar and meaning in answer choice A is correct, please let me know, and if its wrong, please let me know and maybe break it down for me. Thanks!
Jonathan Evans
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 681
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:12 pm
Points: 570
Location: DFW, Texas

Hi, PositiveThinker,

While I concur that the Therapist's argument, as the Interviewer characterizes it, could indeed be circular, the actual flaw in the Therapist's response is more akin to an old favorite, causal reasoning.

Essentially, we're not primarily concerned here with the claim that "with rigorous adherence to the proper treatment, any case of insomnia is curable;" instead, we're concerned with the Therapist's claim that if patients don't respond to treatment, it must be because they're not being rigorous.

Note the causal construction here that matches the structure of the Therapist's response. Thus, if we were to choose a flaw to describe this reasoning, we could prephrase that the Therapist assumes that there is only one possible cause for the failure of the treatment and neglects to consider other possible causes.

Here we can observe the close match between this causal prephrase and the credited answer choice.

Great question!
biskam
LSAT Master
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:10 am
Points: 121

I struggled with the referential phrasing in choice A... Which "evidence" does choice A refer to? Or more broadly, what does "disconfirming evidence" mean in the context of the passage?
Jennifer Janowsky
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:58 pm
Points: 91

biksam,

"(A) It precludes the possibility of disconfirming evidence" is simply saying that their statement is impossible to disprove with evidence--in this case, they claim that if patients don't respond to treatment, it must be because they're not rigorous, but they ignore all other alternative possibilities that might explain this problem.

I hope this answers your question!