Complete Question Explanation
Justify the Conclusion. The correct answer choice is (D)
The conclusion drawn by the editorial is, “It is clear that what is called ‘health education’ is usually
propaganda rather than education.” Ironically, this conclusion is not at all clear from the remainder
of the editorial, since “health education” is not mentioned again. The stimulus states that education
and propaganda are mutually exclusive, as propaganda influences behavior through the repetition of
simplistic slogans, and education never involves this method of influence via slogan repetition. Because
this is a Justify the Conclusion question, the correct answer choice, when combined with the remainder
of the stimulus, must prove that the conclusion is true (the Justify Formula). Thus, the correct answer
choice must prove that health education is indeed propaganda and not education. Since propaganda
always attempts to influence behavior by repeating simplistic slogans and education never uses this
method, and the conclusion states that health education is propaganda, the correct answer choice must
show that health education attempts to influence behavior by repeating simplistic slogans.
Answer choice (A): If health education usually “does not leave it up to the individual to decide how
to act on information,” then it is clearly unlike education. However, this does not conclusively prove
that health education is propaganda, since it is entirely possible that health education could be neither
education nor propaganda.
Answer choice (B): As discussed previously, proving that health education is unlike education is
not sufficient for the conclusion to be logically drawn. The answer choice does not prove that health
education must be propaganda.
Answer choice (C): This is an Opposite Answer. If health education does not involve the repetition of
simplistic slogans, then it is clearly not propaganda. It may be education or it may be something else
Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. If health education attempts to influence
behavior solely by repeating simplistic slogans, then the conclusion that health education is propaganda
can be logically drawn.
Answer choice (E): This answer choice could be appealing since it seems to agree with one of the
premises in the stimulus (“propaganda is much more successful than education”). However, just because
propaganda is much more successful than education, it cannot be logically concluded that propaganda
is very successful. Do not confuse relative and absolute statements. Further, this answer choice does
nothing to prove that health education is propaganda, which is the ultimate goal in a Justify the
#18 - Editorial: It is clear that what is called "health
I'm having a hard time figuring out why choice D is a better answer than choice B. I feel like both answers are valid assumptions but choice B seems to hit the definition of "propaganda more directly. Any help would be great. Thank you!!
First, this is not an Assumption question stem, but a Justify the Conclusion stem: your job is to identify an answer which, if established, would make the conclusion logically valid.
Second, if "health education" does not offer information in all its complexity, then the only thing you can conclude is that "health education" is not really education (since education influences behavior by offering information in all its complexity - lines 7-9). However, your job is to establish not simply that "health education" is not education, but that it is propaganda, which is the conclusion in the first sentence of the stimulus. For "health education" to be propaganda, you need to define it as such. Since propaganda is defined as "an attempt to influence behavior through the repetition of simplistic slogans," this definition of "health education" will serve to equate the two, making the conclusion properly drawn.
Hope this helps!
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Yes, it does! Thank you!!
I was confused with this question because I diagrammed it as
p: propaganda -> simple slogan
conclusion: health education -> propaganda
D, which says Health ed - > slogan wouldn’t bridge the gap between the two sentences. Help?
Answer D might be diagrammed "Health ed just repeating simple slogans", yes. As for propaganda, though, one could argue that it has a sort of "biconditional" relationship with "just repeating simple slogans", since the arrow could go either way, and thus both ways:
propaganda just repeating simple slogans
, in the context of the whole passage, including the use of the words "nothing but" rather than the more typical "only". So if health ed. is just repeating slogans, it counts as propaganda.
There may be other ways to think about this problem, but the way just described may be a reasonable one.
Hope this helps,
Thank you for your response. I was confused whether the relationship could be bi-conditional because the relationship seemed ambiguous but I thought it was more appropriate to say propaganda -> repeat slogans because I thought that "nothing but" indicated a definition of propaganda.
Therefore, I interpreted the sentence as "propaganda repeats slogans" and diagrammed it as such. Furthermore, I wasn't sure whether I could say with certainty that all "repetition of slogans" could be interpreted as "propaganda" so I didn't diagram it as a biconditional. Could you tell me where my reasoning went wrong?
Hi, LSAT 2016,
Good question. Briefly, given a definition of what propaganda is, anything that fits the definition counts as propaganda, and propaganda is whatever satisfies its definition. For this reason, the conditional is "bidirectional;" logically this is called "material equivalence" and is symbolized thus: . You can read this as "if and only if" ... if that helps
Here is a complete symbolic breakdown of this question:
"health education" usually propaganda & usually not education
propaganda attempt to influence behavior by repetition of simplistic slogans
education attempt to influence behavior by offering information in all its complexity
Now to the answers. Clearly, if we have something that tells us that "health education" usually fits the definition of propaganda, we're done. That's what answer choice D does.
Answer choice A tells us "health education" is not education. Not good enough.
Answer choice B tells us "health education" is not education. Not good enough.
Answer choice C tells us "health education" is not propaganda. Opposite.
Answer choice E tells us "health education" might be propaganda, but really tells us nothing at all. No good.
I hope this helps!
Thank you for your detailed explanation! However, using a biconditional arrow between an object and it's definition is only limited to this question, right? For example, I remember asking a LR diagramming question and was told to diagram the sentence "a brown dwarf has no nuclear furnace" as BD -> ~NF because it's the definition. However, with your advice, I would have to diagram it as BD <-> ~NF which wouldn't necessarily be true.
First, for consistency, always follow your instructor's instructions. However, what you just described is not a definition, it is a typical left-right single arrow conditional (a "material conditional" not a "material equivalence"). That is,
brown dwarf ~nuclear furnace
*~nuclear furnace brown dwarf (it could be anything, a gas giant, a neutron star, a white dwarf, you get the idea)
For simplicity sake, the bidirectional arrow is a shorthand for "if and only if"
In other words both conditions are necessary and sufficient for each other. For the purpose of this problem, if you don't use a bidirectional arrow, you would write two conditionals for the definition of "propaganda" (since we are trying to construct a conditional that connects the sufficient "if" "health education" with the necessary "then" "propaganda", the definition of "education" is immaterial to this problem and you can skip diagramming the "education" definition)
It would look like this:
propaganda attempt to influence behavior by repetition of simplistic slogans
attempt to influence behavior by repetition of simplistic slogans propaganda
Do you see how this is different from the brown dwarf example? The brown dwarf example is not a definition. Brown dwarf implies no nuclear furnace but not vice versa.
For a definition in which both values are necessary and sufficient for each other, you need to write conditionals going both directions. I find the double arrow symbol useful for this purpose, but absent that, writing two conditionals (as above) is essential to accurately symbolizing this problem.
Your scratch work might look like this:
HE usually P
In the answer choices, you are looking for HE IBwSS, which is choice D.
So to sum up, either bidirectional arrow or write two conditionals for true definitions ("if and only if" statements).
I hope this helps. Please follow up if you have further questions.