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#24 - Most of the employees of the Compujack Corporation are

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Complete Question Explanation

Parallel Flaw. The correct answer choice is (A)

In this example, the author draws an invalid conclusion; the argument can be simplified as follows (and re-ordered for clarity):

Most (over half) of the programmers in the world are well paid.
Most (over half) of CJ’s employees are programmers, so at least one of them must be well-paid.
The problem is this: even though over half of the programmers in the world are well-paid, that leaves a possible 49% of all programmers who are not well-paid, and all of the CJ programmers might be part of that poorly-paid group.

Since the stimulus is followed by a Parallel Flaw question, the correct answer choice will be the one that reflects invalid reasoning analogous to that of the stimulus; we are looking for an invalid comparison between the majorities of two different populations.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice, as the flawed reasoning in this choice perfectly parallels that found in the stimulus:

Most (over half) of the gardeners in the world are very patient.
Most (over half) of Molly’s classmates are gardeners, so at least one of them must be very patient.
The problem here, just like the one in the stimulus, is this: even though over half the gardeners in the world are very patient, that leaves a possible 49% of all gardeners who are not very patient, and all of the students in Molly’s class might be part of that group.

Answer choice (B): The word “could” allows this answer choice to be quickly ruled out. Nothing in the stimulus indicates mere possibility; the author specifically mentions majorities.

Answer choice (C): This choice comes close to the correct structure, but it still falls short. The subtle difference between the structure of this answer choice and that of the stimulus is that the stimulus’ faulty conclusion referred to the entire smaller population, Compujack employees, while this answer choice narrows things down to the majority within the smaller population, Molly’s classmates who garden. Answer choice (A) correctly matches because the conclusion was about all of Molly’s classmates. This answer choice’s deviation is harder to spot, but we should discard it as emphatically as any other Loser.

Answer choice (D): We should be able to see that this answer choice presents too many elements to be correct. The author of the stimulus is concerned with Compujack computer programmers, all Compujack employees, and all computer programmers. There are three elements. This answer choice discusses Molly’s gardening classmates, all of Molly’s classmates, all gardeners, and all of Molly’s female gardening classmates. There is no way that this answer choice can line up with the stimulus in terms of structure. Whenever we see a discrepancy in the number of moving parts, we can discard the answer choice immediately.

Answer choice (E): We have already considered the stimulus as well as four answer choices. Hopefully, we can see just how different this final answer choice is. This reasoning is actually valid because two majorities within the same population would have to overlap at some point. Since valid reasoning can never perfectly parallel invalid reasoning, this choice can be quickly eliminated.
ay514
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Hello,

I'm having a really hard time seeing how the answer is choice A.
I really feel like choice B is more parallel to the premise. What am I missing here? I reviewed this problem many times and still can't seem to figure it out! Thank you!!
Dave Killoran
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Reduced down to abstraction, the stimulus appears as:

Premises: A --m--> B --m--> C
Conclusion: A some C

Answer choice (A) has an identical form:

Molly Classmate --m--> Gardener --m--> Patience
Conclusion: Molly Classmate some Patience

Answer choice (B) is very similar, but the reasoning here is actually valid, not invalid. Look at the conclusion in the stimulus ( "must") versus the conclusion in (B) ("could"). Because the conclusions aren't similar (and because (B) contains valid reasoning, not invalid like the stimulus, answer choice (B) can be eliminated.

Please let me know if that makes sense. Thanks!
Dave Killoran
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aslayton1
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Could someone please walk me through this question? I find it extremely confusing.

Thanks!
Steve Stein
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Thanks for your question. In that example, the author draws an invalid conclusion; the argument can be broken down as follows (re-ordered for clarity):

Most (over half) of the programmers in the world are well paid.
Most (over half) of CJ’s employees are programmers, so at least one of them must be well-paid.

The problem is this: even though over half of the programmers in the world are well-paid, that leaves a possible 49% of all programmers who are not well-paid, and all of the CJ programmers might be part of that poorly-paid group.

Since the stimulus is followed by a Parallel Flaw question, the correct answer choice will display analogously invalid reasoning. Correct answer choice (A) provides exactly that:

Most (over half) of the gardeners in the world are very patient.
Most (over half) of Molly’s classmates are gardeners, so at least one of them must be very patient.

The problem, again, is this: even though over half the gardeners in the world are very patient, that leaves a possible 49% of all gardeners who are not very patient, and all of the students in Molly’s class might be part of that group.

Let me know whether that's helpful--thanks!

~Steve
Steve Stein
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aslayton1
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Extremely helpful! Thanks so much.