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Probability Indicators (2018)

IgnesFatui
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 5:05 pm
Points: 2

Hi,

While working through the mini drill questions in Ch. 2 of the 2018 LR Bible, I encountered difficulty in understanding the difference between certain probability indicators. For example, the answer key states that for question #3 of the premise and conclusion analysis drill (p. 71) "this would be a much better argument if the conclusion stated instead that "he might be incorrect" versus probably incorrect. I just don't see much of a difference between might (which I interpret to mean "may or may not be true") versus "probably" (which I interpret to mean "likely"). Doesn't "might" fall under the scope of probability determined by the word "probably"? Is not something that might happen also likely to happen? Any answers or insights would be much appreciated.

Here is the stimulus for reference:

If Ameer is correct, either the midterm is cancelled or the final is cancelled. But the professor said in class last week that she is considering cancelling both tests and instead having students submit a term paper. Because the professor has final authority over the class schedule and composition, Ameer is probably incorrect.

Thanks in advance,
Monique
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
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Points: 3,167

Hi Ignes,

Thanks for the question! You've actually defined these correctly, but incorrectly concluded that the difference is small or inconsequential: it's not! "Might" suggests that something could happen but is uncertain, which could be as low as a 0% chance of something happening. On the other hand, "probably" means that the chances of it happening are greater than 50%. So, while they overlap, they are very different in terms of force being used.

If that still feels uncertain, think about the difference in meaning between statements such as:


    I might go to the store tonight.

    and

    I'm probably going to the store tonight.

The LSAT will test you repeatedly on your ability to discern small differences such as these, so it's good to lock in on it now :-D

Thanks!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation

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IgnesFatui
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 5:05 pm
Points: 2

Hi Dave!

Thanks so much for the thorough reply. I recently stumbled on the free LR overview video and after reviewing the "Likelihood" subsection within "Importance of Language", I understand the difference now. Your reply definitely corroborated the information provided in that video. I only wish this information could have been made available in the actual text of the LR bible! Notwithstanding, I am thankful for the myriad of resources Powerscore offers.

Best,
Monique