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Complete Question Explanation

Question #2: Parallel Flaw. The correct answer choice is (B).

Unlike Saint Bernards, Labrador retrievers bark a lot. So, if you cross a Lab with a Saint Bernard you’ll get a moderate barker. Uhm... sure! :-)

Just because you mixed two elements with opposite characteristics doesn’t mean that you will obtain a product that has both of these characteristics in equal measure (or, in this case, the average of these characteristics). Mixing Pine-Sol with bleach will not give you a moderately strong cleaner that also bleaches moderately well. (You’ll end up with a highly toxic chlorine gas instead). Think of this as a variation on the Error of Composition.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice fails the Premise Test. The premises in the original argument appealed to all dogs of either breed. By contrast, the second premise of this argument appeals only to some students. This difference is sufficient to eliminate answer choice (A) from consideration.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. Just like in the original argument, we have two entities with opposing properties (toxic or not). Mixing the two entities allegedly results in a product that is “moderately toxic,” just like Rosa’s dogs are allegedly “moderate barkers.”

Answer choice (C): This answer choice is incorrect, because it contains valid reasoning: if all students at Hanson live in Green County and all students at Edwards live in Winn County, then it logically follows that some members of the Perry family go to Hanson, and some go to Edwards. Furthermore, this answer choice also fails to Match the Conclusion, because the conclusion in the stimulus is about the mixture of two things, not about the individual elements that comprise that mixture.

Answer choice (D): Just like answer choice (C), this one contains valid reasoning. If Bob has worked as both a trasncriptionist and as an engineer, then it logically follows that he knows both shorthand and calculus.

Answer choice (E): This may seem like an attractive answer choice, because the closet mixes two elements with opposite characteristics. However, unlike the original argument, this one does not conclude that the closet will have the average of these characteristics. For answer choice (E) to be correct, the conclusion should have stated that the dresses in this closet are just about average in quality. Furthermore, this argument contains a Mistaken Reversal: just because all of Kenisha’s dresses are well made doesn’t mean that a well-made dress necessarily belongs to Kenisha. Same thing with Connie. The original argument does not exhibit a conditional reasoning flaw.
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 Dave Killoran
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This problem was covered in detail in Episode 4 of the PowerScore LSAT PodCast, entitled How to Solve Parallel Reasoning Questions. The explanation can be found at the 54:11 mark here:

PowerScore Blog, with full timing notes


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