to the top

#13 - The dean of computing must be respected by the

Administrator
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 6662
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:19 pm
Points: 3,335

Complete Question Explanation

Assumption. The correct answer choice is (E)

This Stimulus contains several factual statements regarding the qualifications of the dean of computing and finishes with a conclusion that the new dean will come from one of the professors of the computer science department. The first statement is that the new dean must be respected by the academic staff and he or she must be competent to oversee the use of computers on campus. Secondly, in order to be a respected dean, the dean must have a doctoral degree. Thirdly, in order to be competent to oversee computers, the new dean must really know something about computers. Finally, it has been decided that the new dean must come from the current university staff.

If you want to approach this Stimulus as if it were a SufNec, that can also be done. The Stimulus contains several conditional reasoning statements.

    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... respected by academics
    Dean of computing ..... :arrow: ..... ..... and
    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... competent to oversee use of computers on campus

(If you are going to be dean of computing, you must be respected by academics and you must be competent to oversee use of computers on campus)

    Respected Deans ..... :arrow: ..... Doctoral degree

(if you are going to be a dean who is respected by academics, you must possess a doctoral degree)

    Oversee use of computers on campus ..... :arrow: ..... someone who really knows computers

(if you are going to oversee the use of computers on campus, you must be someone who really knows computers)

    Dean of computing ..... :arrow: ..... must be on university’s staff

(if you are going to be dean of computing, you must be on the university’s staff)

    Conclusion: Dean ..... :arrow: ..... must be a professor in university’s computer science dept.

(if you are going to be dean, you must be a professor in the university’s computer science department)

Combining these statements, we can state:

    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... Doctoral degree
    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... and
    Dean ..... :arrow: ..... ..... someone who really knows computers
    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... and
    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... must be on university’s staff

(if you want to be dean, you must have a doctoral degree and you must be someone who really knows computers and you must be on the university’s staff)

The conclusion states that the new dean of computing will have to be a professor from the university’s computer science department.

The Question Stem reveals that this is an Assumption type question. When you have a SufNec Stimulus and an Assumption question, you are looking for something that is “necessary.”

In pre-forming the answer to this question, we know the new dean of computing will have to have a doctoral degree, currently serve on the university’s staff, and be someone who really knows computers. The conclusion that the new dean must be a current professor in the university’s computer science department tells us that the only folks who meet the three qualifications (doctoral degree, really knows computers, and currently on university’s staff) are professors in the computer science department.

Answer Choice (A): This answer states that academics respect only people with doctoral degrees:

    Respected by academics ..... :arrow: ..... doctoral degree

This answer has two problems: first, it improperly equates "people" with "deans". The stimulus told us that the only deans respected by academics are those with doctoral degrees, but that does not require that academics respect only those people who have such degrees, as they might respect someone who is not a dean and does not have such a degree. Second, this answer makes no connection to the new element in the conclusion, that of the computer science department. Our assumption must connect the premises to that new idea.

Answer Choice (B): This answer states that all of the university’s professors have obtained doctoral degrees. This is not necessary for the conclusion; it’s not even necessary that all of the professors of computer science have doctoral degrees. All that is necessary is that the dean has a doctoral degree in order that he will be respected by the academics. Applying the Assumption Negation technique to this Answer Choice gives us the following: All of the university’s professors have not obtained doctoral degrees. This negated assumption does not destroy the conclusion, and therefore should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (C): This answer is attractive. Applying the Assumption Negation technique gives us “At this university, not every professor who holds a doctoral degree in computer science really knows about computers.” This does not destroy the conclusion, and therefore it is not the correct Answer Choice and should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (D): This answer states that all academics that hold doctoral degrees are respected by their academic colleagues:

    Doctoral degree ..... :arrow: ..... respected by academics
This is close to a Mistaken Reversal of one of the initial statements, but it is broader than what is included there. It is not necessary for the stated conclusion in the Stimulus and therefore should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. This answer choice states that among the university staffers (a requirement for the new dean) with doctoral degrees (another requirement for the new dean), only those in the computer science department (part of the conclusion) really know computers (yet another requirement for the new dean). This answer choice ties the requirements of the dean’s job with the conclusion that the new dean will have to come from the computer science department. To confirm this answer choice, we must apply the Assumption Negation technique. Negating Answer Choice (E) yields “among this university’s staff members with doctoral degrees, those in the computer science department do not really know computers.” Since the conclusion states that the new dean will have to come from the computer science department and because the new dean must really know computers, this negated assumption would destroy the conclusion. Therefore, it must be the correct answer choice.
scharles35
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:37 pm
Points: 0

I am pretty good at assumption questions I get how to attack them but this one had me re-reading the question and answer choices a couple of times. A lot of the answer choices seemed like they would answer the question I had picked the answer choice (B) but i know the correct answer choice is (E) can someone please explain?
Nikki Siclunov
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 1383
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:31 am
Points: 1,208

Hi scharles35,

Thanks for your question! The stimulus appears dense indeed, in part because the argument is driven entirely by conditional reasoning. But this is the beauty of it: a formulaic approach to such an argument can reveal a suitable prephrase.

When simplified, the premises can be represented as follows:

Dean of computing :arrow: Respected AND Competent

Respected :arrow: PhD

Competent :arrow: Know computers

Dean of computing :arrow: University staff


The conclusion states that the dean must be a professor from the CS department:

Dean of computing :arrow: professor from the computer science department


The moment I saw that conclusion, I knew I had to link the "rogue" element in it (where did the "computer science department" come from?) to the rest of the argument. Remember: assumptions are statements on which the conclusion depends, i.e. something that must be true or else the conclusion does not follow. Here, the argument assumes that there is some connection between being a professor in the computer science department and the qualifications that must be met by the dean of computing. A quick scan through the five answer choices reveals that none - except for answer choice (E) - ties these loose ends together. In fact, the phrase "computer science department" is only mentioned in answer choice (E), which makes it an easy choice.

Now, there is another (perhaps more logically sound) way to approach this question: formulate a suitable prephrase! The premises, when combined, show that the dean of computing must have all three of the following qualifications:

Dean of computing :arrow: PhD + Know computers + University staff


The conclusion claims that s/he must come from the computer science department:

Dean of computing :arrow: CS department


What's the missing link? Well, the author obviously assumes that only members of the CS department have all three of the qualifications listed in the premises. Answer choice (E) matches this prephrase. How do we prove that (E) contains a proper assumption? Negate it! If the logical opposite of answer choice (E) weakens the conclusion (and it does), then answer choice (E) contains an assumption upon which the conclusion depends. This is the essence of the Assumption Negation Technique (ANT).

To wrap up, there is an easy way to do this question (keyword matching), and then there is the harder way (formulate a suitable prephrase, find an answer choice that agrees with it, and prove it using the ANT). I'm loathe to recommend the easy way out of it, because it won't always work: imagine if every answer choice mentioned something about the computer science department! You must understand the conceptual task at hand, and know the logically correct approach to such a question. That said, if you notice an easy way out - go for it!

Make sense? Let me know!
Nikki Siclunov
PowerScore Test Preparation
scharles35
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:37 pm
Points: 0

It did thank you kinda forgot that assumption question bring in "new" elements that probably would have helped me answer the question
PositiveThinker
LSAT Leader
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:02 pm
Points: 49

Administrator wrote:Complete Question Explanation

Assumption. The correct answer choice is (E)

This Stimulus contains several factual statements regarding the qualifications of the dean of computing and finishes with a conclusion that the new dean will come from one of the professors of the computer science department. The first statement is that the new dean must be respected by the academic staff and he or she must be competent to oversee the use of computers on campus. Secondly, in order to be a respected dean, the dean must have a doctoral degree. Thirdly, in order to be competent to oversee computers, the new dean must really know something about computers. Finally, it has been decided that the new dean must come from the current university staff.

If you want to approach this Stimulus as if it were a SufNec, that can also be done. The Stimulus contains several conditional reasoning statements.

    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... respected by academics
    Dean of computing ..... :arrow: ..... ..... and
    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... competent to oversee use of computers on campus

(If you are going to be dean of computing, you must be respected by academics and you must be competent to oversee use of computers on campus)

    Respected Deans ..... :arrow: ..... Doctoral degree

(if you are going to be a dean who is respected by academics, you must possess a doctoral degree)

    Oversee use of computers on campus ..... :arrow: ..... someone who really knows computers

(if you are going to oversee the use of computers on campus, you must be someone who really knows computers)

    Dean of computing ..... :arrow: ..... must be on university’s staff

(if you are going to be dean of computing, you must be on the university’s staff)

    Conclusion: Dean ..... :arrow: ..... must be a professor in university’s computer science dept.

(if you are going to be dean, you must be a professor in the university’s computer science department)

Combining these statements, we can state:

    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... Doctoral degree
    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... and
    Dean ..... :arrow: ..... ..... someone who really knows computers
    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... and
    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... must be on university’s staff

(if you want to be dean, you must have a doctoral degree and you must be someone who really knows computers and you must be on the university’s staff)

The conclusion states that the new dean of computing will have to be a professor from the university’s computer science department.

The Question Stem reveals that this is an Assumption type question. When you have a SufNec Stimulus and an Assumption question, you are looking for something that is “necessary.”

In pre-forming the answer to this question, we know the new dean of computing will have to have a doctoral degree, currently serve on the university’s staff, and be someone who really knows computers. The conclusion that the new dean must be a current professor in the university’s computer science department tells us that the only folks who meet the three qualifications (doctoral degree, really knows computers, and currently on university’s staff) are professors in the computer science department.

Answer Choice (A): This answer states that academics respect only people with doctoral degrees:

    Doctoral degree ..... :arrow: ..... respected by academics

This is a Mistaken Reversal of what was provided in the Stimulus. It is not a necessary assumption for the conclusion and therefore should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (B): This answer states that all of the university’s professors have obtained doctoral degrees. This is not necessary for the conclusion; it’s not even necessary that all of the professors of computer science have doctoral degrees. All that is necessary is that the dean has a doctoral degree in order that he will be respected by the academics. Applying the Assumption Negation technique to this Answer Choice gives us the following: All of the university’s professors have not obtained doctoral degrees. This negated assumption does not destroy the conclusion, and therefore should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (C): This answer is attractive. Applying the Assumption Negation technique gives us “At this university, not every professor who holds a doctoral degree in computer science really knows about computers.” This does not destroy the conclusion, and therefore it is not the correct Answer Choice and should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (D): This answer states that all academics that hold doctoral degrees are respected by their academic colleagues:

    Doctoral degree ..... :arrow: ..... respected by academics
This is close to a Mistaken Reversal of one of the initial statements, but it is broader than what is included there. It is not necessary for the stated conclusion in the Stimulus and therefore should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. This answer choice states that among the university staffers (a requirement for the new dean) with doctoral degrees (another requirement for the new dean), only those in the computer science department (part of the conclusion) really know computers (yet another requirement for the new dean). This answer choice ties the requirements of the dean’s job with the conclusion that the new dean will have to come from the computer science department. To confirm this answer choice, we must apply the Assumption Negation technique. Negating Answer Choice (E) yields “among this university’s staff members with doctoral degrees, those in the computer science department do not really know computers.” Since the conclusion states that the new dean will have to come from the computer science department and because the new dean must really know computers, this negated assumption would destroy the conclusion. Therefore, it must be the correct answer choice.



How is answer choice A a mistaken reversal? I marked as incorrect because it was a restated premise and i got the answer right anyway. But "academics respect only people who hold doctorates degrees"..

"only" introduces necessary. so shouldn't it be
Academics respect -----> Doctorates degrees?
AthenaDalton
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 3:54 pm
Points: 292
Location: Chicago, IL

Hi PositiveThinker,

Answer choice (A) states that:

"Academics respect only people who hold doctoral degrees"

while the stimulus states that,

"The only deans whom academics respect are those who hold doctoral degrees."

Answer choice (A) incorrectly swaps information about academics only respecting deans with doctorates to academics only respecting people with doctorates, in general. It's an incorrect interpretation of the premises in the argument and can be eliminated on that basis.

Hope this helps!

Athena Dalton
PositiveThinker
LSAT Leader
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:02 pm
Points: 49

AthenaDalton wrote:Hi PositiveThinker,

Answer choice (A) states that:

"Academics respect only people who hold doctoral degrees"

while the stimulus states that,

"The only deans whom academics respect are those who hold doctoral degrees."

Answer choice (A) incorrectly swaps information about academics only respecting deans with doctorates to academics only respecting people with doctorates, in general. It's an incorrect interpretation of the premises in the argument and can be eliminated on that basis.

Hope this helps!

Athena




Ahhh the good old "the only" vs "only" in indicating sufficient and necessary. I was lucky the LSAT makers didn't expose me for that oversight.
EL16
LSAT Leader
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:21 am
Points: 46

[quote="Administrator"]Complete Question Explanation

Answer Choice (A): This answer states that academics respect only people with doctoral degrees:

    Doctoral degree ..... :arrow: ..... respected by academics

This is a Mistaken Reversal of what was provided in the Stimulus. It is not a necessary assumption for the conclusion and therefore should be eliminated.


Hi,

Looking at the Administrators description of answer choice A above, could someone please confirm whether or not that diagramming is correct? I had diagrammed answer choice A as: respected by academics :arrow: doctoral degree

But it seems that the administrator post has this the other way around and marked this answer choice as a mistaken reversal. What are the key words in answer choice A that indicate that "respected by academics" is a necessary condition and that "doctoral degree" is a sufficient condition?

Thanks,
Elana
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 2573
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm
Points: 2,387

Good catch, Elana, and thank you for pointing that out! We've fixed it in the official explanation.
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LSATadam
Blueballoon5%
LSAT Master
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:22 am
Points: 127

Administrator wrote:Answer Choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. This answer choice states that among the university staffers (a requirement for the new dean) with doctoral degrees (another requirement for the new dean), only those in the computer science department (part of the conclusion) really know computers (yet another requirement for the new dean). This answer choice ties the requirements of the dean’s job with the conclusion that the new dean will have to come from the computer science department. To confirm this answer choice, we must apply the Assumption Negation technique. Negating Answer Choice (E) yields “among this university’s staff members with doctoral degrees, those in the computer science department do not really know computers.” Since the conclusion states that the new dean will have to come from the computer science department and because the new dean must really know computers, this negated assumption would destroy the conclusion. Therefore, it must be the correct answer choice.


Hello! Could someone help me with the Assumption Negation technique. When using this technique for answer choice E, I got a different sentence than the one in the explanation (above). When negating the necessary condition for answer choice E, I got something like, "... those in the computer science department are NOT the only ones who really know about computers." In other words, other departments could know about computers too.

Please help me! thank you!