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#12 - The five senses have traditionally been viewed as

GLMDYP
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The five senses have traditionally been viewed as distinct yet complementary...[Question content removed by Admin. LSAC rules unfortunately do not allow the posting of the text of complete LSAT questions. But, if you give us the test date or PrepTest number, the section, and the question number (which I put into the question title), we can find it easily and still answer the question. Thanks!]


The right answer is (A), but I don't understand why (A) is right. Is it because it demonstrates that there are other possibilities?
Thanks!
Dave Killoran
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Hi GLMDYP,

Thanks for the question. Don't worry about the Admin notice--we simply have to follow their rules when it comes to having complete LSAT questions posted (in short, they can't be posted :-D ). But, you'll see that every one of the questions you submitted was altered, and that is why. In the future, just post the test location info, and we can track it down.

Regardless, you've run across one of the more interesting LSAT questions out there. First, the topic itself is unusual, but it is based on reality--synesthesiacs actually do exist! That said, let's break down the stimulus in the typical PowerScore fashion:

    Premises: The five sense have always been thought to be distinct from the other senses, but it turns out researchers have uncovered these synesthesiacs.

    Conclusion: On that basis, the author concludes that these synesthesiacs apparently have senses that don't respect the usual boundaries.

The question stem is a Weaken, so we want to weaken the idea that these people have senses that do not work properly.

Answer choice (A) successfully achieves this by introducing the possibility that perhaps there's nothing wrong with their senses, but rather that how they label the results when talking is messed up. For example, in (A), someone would eat a banana, taste a banana, but instead of saying "it's a banana!," because of their impairment they would say it tastes "blue." So, their sense aren't messed up; the way they label things is messed up.

(A) is not an easy answer to identify, and only about 54% of test takers get this one right.

Please let me know if that answers your question. Thanks and welcome to the forum!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation

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GLMDYP
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Thank you! It's great to see you on the forum!! Yes, the staffs of Powerscore are awesome and very helpful! Thanks again for inviting me to this place!! :lol:
cindyhylee87
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Hi,

Just a follow-up with this question.

When I read this problem, I did a totally different prephrase. My prephrase: the author thinks that those synesthesiacs have their problems due to the fact that their senses do not respect the usual boundaries, the correct answer will the the one which states that senses do not respect the usual boundaries is not the cause of synesthesia.

And I could not find a correct answer following by my own prephrase.

Thanks,
Cindy
Adam Tyson
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That's an interesting prephrase, Cindy, but I'm not sure it really addresses the core issue in the argument. The label "synesthesiac" is simply descriptive - it's what we call the people who claim to have these senses that go beyond the normal boundaries. The author has defined a synesthesiac as someone whose senses do that, so looking for an alternate cause for their synesthesia is essentially redefining what that is. That's not our goal here.

Instead, focus on the conclusion - these folks, whatever you want to call them, have senses that go beyond/do not stay within normal boundaries. To weaken that we only want to suggest that they may indeed stay within boundaries. Either tasting blue and smelling a color are still within the normal bounds or, as answer A suggests, they may not actually be doing those unusual things. My prephrase was a little more blunt: those people are full of...let's say baloney.

Let me know if that smells right to you!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
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Lily123
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Adam Tyson wrote:Instead, focus on the conclusion - these folks, whatever you want to call them, have senses that go beyond/do not stay within normal boundaries. To weaken that we only want to suggest that they may indeed stay within boundaries.

My prephrase was pretty much in line with what you’re saying here but I got the answer wrong & picked E. I understand why A is correct. Can someone please explain why E is wrong? This was my thought process:

I was looking for an answer choice that suggested synesthesiacs MAY have senses that stay within the usual boundaries. I thought (E) did this by saying their synesthetic experiences are due to a condition that does not allow the usual sensory boundaries to be be obeyed. If they’re ABLE to experience senses just like everyone else with the use of drugs, then it COULD be the case that there’s nothing wrong with their sensory boundaries & there’s another mechanism at play (some condition) that makes it SEEM like there is (I guess this is similar to what A is saying but my thought process never got that specific). Is this line of reasoning wrong because the conclusion isn’t about whether their senses are ABLE to respect the normal boundaries?

Since the stimulus said “each sense is thought to have its own range of stimuli that are incapable of stimulating the other senses”; I took ‘not respecting the usual boundaries’ to mean their senses ARE capable of being stimulated by stimuli outside of their typical range... I realize as I’m writing this that if this were the case, then the ability of drugs to suspend synesthethia would actually strengthen the argument because those drugs would most likely be receptor blockers (therefore confirming that their senses have additional receptors as opposed to just the usual ones, which is another way of saying they don’t respect the usual boundaries).

I think I just answered my own question. I’m going to post anyways - can someone please tell me if I’m completely out to lunch? Is there a different way that (E) can be eliminated without going into all that?
Lily123
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Does "This shows that..." in the conclusion indicate this is a causal argument?
Synesthethia is caused by senses that don't respect the usual boundaries