to the top

#20 - Only experienced salespeople will be able to meet the

PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 6670
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:19 pm
Points: 3,343

Complete Question Explanation

Parallel Flaw. The correct answer choice is (B)

The first statement presented in this stimulus is that only experienced salespeople will be able to meet the company’s selling quota. In other words, if you are going to meet the company’s sales quota, then you must be an experienced salesperson:

    quota ..... :arrow: ..... experienced salesperson

The writer concludes that if one doesn’t achieve the quota, one must not be an experienced salesperson:

    quota ..... :arrow: ..... experienced salesperson

This is a clear case of Mistaken Negation. We are asked which answer choice reflects the flawed pattern of reasoning in the stimulus, so the correct choice will be the one which reflects an analogous Mistaken Negation.

Answer choice (A): The first conditional statement provided here is that employees are allowed to dress casually only on Fridays. The author of this answer choice concludes, based on Hector’s formal dress, that he must not be going to work. The reasoning contained in this answer choice is flawed, because Hector might still go to work on Friday, and opt out of the casual option. This is not a Mistaken Negation, however, so this choice does not parallel the flawed reasoning found in the stimulus.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. This answer choice offers a conclusion based on a conditional statement:

    Premise: ..... Only music lovers take this class.

    Flawed conclusion: ..... Since Hillary’s not taking the class, she’s not a music lover.

    Premise: ..... take class ..... :arrow: ..... music lover

    Flawed Conclusion: ..... take class ..... :arrow: ..... music lover

This flaw is the same as that found in the stimulus: Mistaken Negation.

Answer choice (C): This answer choice provides the following conditional reasoning:

    Premise: ..... Only oceanographers enjoy the Atlantic in midwinter—that is, if you enjoy the Atlantic in the ..... ..... ..... ..... midwinter, you must be an oceanographer.

    Conclusion: ..... Since Gerald is not an oceanographer, he can be expected not to enjoy the Atlantic in midwinter. ..... ..... ..... This valid conclusion is the contrapositive of the conditionally stated premise.

The above can be diagrammed as follows:

    Premise: ..... Enjoy Atl MW ..... :arrow: ..... oceanographer

    Valid Conclusion: ..... Oceanographer ..... :arrow: ..... Enjoy Atl MW

Since the conclusion above is a valid contrapositive of the original statement, this sound reasoning cannot parallel the flawed reasoning reflected the stimulus.

Answer choice (D): This answer choice presents the following conditional reasoning:

    Premise: ..... It is only in the northern latitudes that we would find giant redwoods; that is, if we see a giant ..... ..... ..... redwood, we must be in the northern latitudes.

    Conclusion: ..... We are looking at a giant redwood, so we must be in the northern latitudes.

As we can see, the above conclusion represents a restatement of a conditional rule:

    Premise: ..... Redwood ..... :arrow: ..... Northern latitudes

    Conclusion: ..... Redwood ..... :arrow: ..... Northern latitudes

Since this choice is based on sound reasoning, it cannot parallel the flaw in the stimulus.

Answer choice (E): This answer choice reflects the following flawed conditional reasoning:

    Premise: ..... Only accomplished mountain climbers can scale El Capitan; that is, if one can scale El Capitan, ..... ..... ..... ..... that person is an accomplished climber.

    Conclusion: ..... Since Michelle is an accomplished climber, she must be able to scale El Capitan.

The reasoning in this answer choice is flawed, but it is not a mistaken negation, as we can see when we diagram the above conditional statements:

    Premise: ..... EC ..... :arrow: ..... AMC

    Conclusion: ..... AMCM ..... :arrow: ..... ECM

This is a Mistaken Reversal, rather than a Mistaken Negation. Because this answer choice does not employ the same pattern of flawed reasoning as that reflected in the stimulus, this answer choice should be eliminated.
LSAT Leader
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:37 pm
Points: 2

For this super easy question I had trouble identifying between B and C. What did I do wrong? :( usually I am pretty good at identifying suffciant and necessary indicators but I do not know where I went wrong with C.

Meet Quota -> Experienced
not meet quota -> not experinced

B) Class -> Music lover
not take class -> Not music lover

C) Enjoy winter -> Oceanographers
Not enjoy winter -> not oceanographers -

Thanks so much!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 3136
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:18 pm
Points: 3,132

Hi Sherry!

Thanks for the question. You've got everything right except for your analysis of answer choice (C). They changed the order of the argument parts in the second sentence, and that looks like it threw you off. Let's take a closer look:

With answer choice (C), you've diagrammed the first sentence correctly (good job!). But, they pulled a little trick with the second sentence: the conclusion is given first, and then premise. So, (C) is a contrapositive and actually looks like:

    Answer choice (C):

    ..... Enjoy winter :arrow: Oceanographers

    ..... Oceanographers :arrow: Enjoy winter

That's a fairly common trick they use, so it's a good thing to come across is while still studying. To really lock in this idea, take a look at the differences in the second sentences of (B) and (C).

    Answer choice (B):

    ..... "Thus, since [premise], [conclusion]."

    Answer choice (C):

    ..... "Thus, [conclusion], since [premise]."

That little ordering change made a big difference in how you read answer choice (C), and caused the confusion here. So, make sure you are comfortable with what they've done here because you will see it again :-D

Please let me know if that helps make this one clear. Thanks!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation

Follow me on Twitter at
My LSAT Articles:
PowerScore PodCast: