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General questions relating to LSAT Logical Reasoning.
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 CleveLind
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  • Joined: Dec 27, 2023
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#104545
I'm seeking clarification regarding the approach to canceling out answer choices with "negative" wording in logical reasoning assumption questions. I'm specifically interested in understanding how phrases such as "there are no" or "this does not" can impact assumption questions. Additionally, I would appreciate any tips or strategies for effectively solving assumption questions that involve negative wording.
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 Jeff Wren
PowerScore Staff
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#104564
Hi Cleveland,

First, just to clarify, are you specifically asking about negative words in the answer choices for assumption questions?

Negative words often appear in assumption answer choices, especially in Defender Assumptions. The idea of Defender Assumptions is that they take a statement that would hurt the argument and defend against that attack by assuming that harmful statement is not true.

Here is a sample argument:

This group of people have smoked cigarettes and they now have lung cancer, therefore smoking caused their lung cancer.

A statement that said that "air pollution actually caused their lung cancer" would weaken this argument by providing an alternate cause for their lung cancer, so a Defender Assumption would be "Air pollution did not cause their lung cancer."

When using the Assumption Negation Technique, you would remove the word "not" from this answer to negate it. The remaining statement, "Air pollution did cause their lung cancer" would destroy the argument be removing a necessary assumption of the argument.

To look at a few other examples:

For the statement "There are no solutions to this problem," you would negate it by removing the word "no" or by changing "no" to "some" or "at least one." The logical opposite of "none" is "some," which means at least one.

For the statement "This does not guarantee success," you would negate it by removing the word "not."

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