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Complete Question Explanation

Question #21: Flaw. The correct answer choice is (A).

The driver observes that minivans have lower accident rates compared to sports cars, i.e. that low accidents and minivans correlate. On the basis of this correlation, he concludes that by switching to a minivan, he would lower his accident rate. This conclusion is causal, as it depends on the implicit assumption that minivans cause a decrease in one's risk of getting into an accident:
  • ..... ..... Cause ..... ..... ..... ..... Effect

    ..... ..... Minivans ..... :arrow: ..... Lower accident rate
This line of reasoning confuses correlation with causation. Just because minivans have lower accident rates in general doesn't mean a reckless driver can lower his or her risk by switching to a minivan. Maybe the reason why minivans have lower accident rates is because they are driven by more careful drivers in the first place. This prephrase immediately agrees with answer choice (A).

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. See explanation above.

Answer choice (B): The statistical sample is not necessarily too narrow. Both the sample and the conclusion are about the same types of cars.

Answer choice (C) is attractive, but incorrect. Minivans most definitely have lower accident rates: this is not a matter of likelihood, but a matter of certainty. The author's' mistake is the assumption that he can benefit from these lower accident rates by driving a minivan.

Answer choice (D) is incorrect, because there is no Mistaken Reversal here. This would be like saying:
All minivans have lower accident rates compared to other cars. I've never had an accident, so I must be driving a minivan.
Answer choice (E) is incorrect, because the author "has done his research." There is no reason to question the reliability of his sources.
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I answered D, and I was wondering how A was the correct answer and if someone could explain why?


 Nikki Siclunov
PowerScore Staff
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Thanks for your question. Generally speaking, we need a bit more input from you before we delve into a discussion of a particular LR question. Ultimately, it won't be us who are taking the test; it's you! Our goal is to help you understand what's going on, which is why you first need to do the following:
  • 1. Describe your approach to the stimulus. Did you understand the argument, if any, from a structural standpoint? What is the conclusion, and what evidence is the author using in support of that conclusion?

    2. Did you prephrase an answer to the question in the stem? If so, what was your prephrase?

    3. What exactly made the two answer choices you have listed particularly attractive? Did you use any question type-specific test (e.g. Assumption Negation Technique) to differentiate between them?

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