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 Administrator
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#36720
Complete Question Explanation

Resolve the ParadoxX, #%. The correct answer choice is (D)

The relative ease of this question underscores the importance of keeping a good pace throughout any
Logical Reasoning section, even if this means initially skipping some of the more challenging or
time-consuming questions. Remember: each question is worth one point, regardless of how difficult
it is. Many students who took the December 2010 exam wasted valuable time on questions 16 and
18 in this section, which prevented them from finishing before the time was up. The point, of course,
is not to automatically “skip” difficult questions, but to know “when to say when.” If you end up
spending too much time on a particular question, chances are that you either misunderstood a critical
idea in the stimulus, or you did not obtain a clear prephrase of the correct answer. Your best course of
action may be to leave that question for later as and move on. Remember—if you keep a good pace,
you can always return to the questions you skipped. More often than not, a second look is a lot more
productive than the first.

In this stimulus, the sociologist describes a study in which people older than 65 were more likely to
be malnourished to be poor, whereas among those younger than 65, the opposite was true:
  • Older than 65: ..... % Malnourished > % Poor
    Younger than 65: ..... % Poor > % Malnourished
To explain the discrepant results, look for critical differences between the two age groups. After all,
since the stimulus contains a discrepancy where two items are said to be different, an answer choice
implying that they are similar will not explain it. The stimulus is followed by a ResolveX question,
which means that among the five answer choices, the four incorrect answer choices will provide a
resolution to the paradox, and the one correct choice will not provide a resolution.

Answer choice (A): If doctors are less likely to correctly diagnose and treat malnutrition in
their patients who are over 65 than in their younger patients, this would explain why there is a
relatively high percentage of malnourished people over 65. Because this answer choice resolves the
discrepancy between the two age groups, it is incorrect.

Answer choice (B): If people over 65 are more likely to take medications that increase their need
for certain nutrients than are people 65 or younger, it is reasonable to expect that those over 65 have
a higher chance of not receiving the nutrients they need. Since this would explain why a greater
proportion of them are malnourished in comparison to the younger population, this answer choice is
incorrect.

Answer choice (C): If people over 65 are more likely to suffer from loss of appetite due to
medication than are people 65 or younger, those over 65 would have a higher risk of malnutrition
compared to those 65 or younger. This answer choice explains the discrepancy in the proportion of
malnourished vs. poor people in each age group, and is therefore incorrect.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. If people 65 or younger are just as likely
to be poor as are people over 65, this implies that the two groups are similar in at least one critical
respect—their likelihood of falling below the government poverty standards. As mentioned earlier,since the findings of the study indicate that the two groups are different, an answer choice implying
that they are similar will not explain the discrepancy, and is therefore correct.

Answer choice (E): If people 65 or younger are less likely to have medical conditions that interfere
with their digestion than are people over 65, this would explain why those 65 or younger are less
likely to become malnourished. Since this answer choice helps resolve the discrepant findings of the
study cited by the sociologist, it is incorrect.
 Applesaid
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#12516
hello!

This is another #% question that I run into trouble with. Again I cannot see the weakness in the stimulus itself so hard to answer!

Wonder what are the crucial elements when I see a #% question? Can anyone help me with this punchline? Thanks
 Jacques Lamothe
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#12576
Hey Applesaid,

When approaching a #% question, one of the most important things to do is to identify what numbers or percentages the conclusion is talking about. This question's stimulus is pretty complex. It observes that the percentage of people over the age of 65 who are malnourished (25%) is higher than the percentage of people over the age of 65 who are below the poverty line (12%).

The stimulus than compares these percentages to the percentages of malnourishment and poverty found in persons under the age of 65. While we're not given those numbers explicitly. We do know that the percentage of people under 65 who are malnourished is lower than the percentage of people under 65 who are under the poverty line.

The question asks you to explain these findings, so you are not really looking for a weakness in the stimulus. This is much more like a Resolve the Paradox question.

Answer choices A, B, and C all explain why people over age 65 are more likely to be malnourished than people under 65. Answer choice E does functionally the same thing by explaining why people under age 65 are less likely to be malnourished than those over age 65. The only answer choice that does not help explain the findings is (D).

Answer choice (D) tells us that the percentage of people under age 65 who are below the poverty line is no different from the percentage of people over age 65 who are below the poverty line. So we now know that the percentage of people under age 65 who are in poverty is 12%, but this does not explain why lower than 12% of people under age 65 are malnourished, while 25% of people over age 65 are malnourished. So all answer choice (D) does is give us a bit more information about the stimulus information. It does not explain the findings.

I hope that makes sense and helps. #% questions can be some of the hardest. Don't hesitate to go back and review that lesson if they are consistently difficult for you. Make sure you know exactly what the question is asking you to do and always pay careful attention to which percentages and numbers are being given in the stimulus. If you don't read closely, it is very easy to make a mistake. I'm sure with some more practice, these will become much easier for you :)

Jacques
 ddion8206
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#20830
Powerscore,

Could some explain the answers for DEC 2010 LR2 26 for me? It seems that the harder questions appear later in the section which is hurting my LR Score, any strategies to deal with the harder problems? Any help will be greatly appreciated! Please! Thank you!

Best,
Daniel Dion
 David Boyle
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#20843
ddion8206 wrote:Powerscore,

Could some explain the answers for DEC 2010 LR2 26 for me? It seems that the harder questions appear later in the section which is hurting my LR Score, any strategies to deal with the harder problems? Any help will be greatly appreciated! Please! Thank you!

Best,
Daniel Dion
Hello ddion8206,

As for harder questions coming later, the LSAT often does that. Pacing is a useful strategy: say, try to get the first ten questions, which are often easier, done in ten minutes, so that you have more time to do the harder ones.
As for the specific question you're asking about: if you could clarify about what you are looking for, that would be helpful, for this question and for all the other questions where you ask the exact same thing. For each question: how did you understand the argument in the stimulus? Did you make a suitable prephrase? Did you use any confirmatory test to distinguish between right and wrong answers? And anything else that we should know about the work that you did in each of the questions, so that we know exactly what you are looking for so that we can help you better. Thanks!

Hope this helps,
David
 YOLOmom
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#64587
I find this question to be very confusing.

Let's look at answer choice A for example, though I have similar issues with the other answers.

I definitely understand how A helps explain why people over the age of 65 are more likely to be malnourished than people under 65.

But I have a hard time connecting that back to the information in the stimulus. Meaning, does the stimulus actually say that people over the age of 65 are more malnourished than people under 65?

We know from the stimulus that 25%+ of 65+ are malnourished. We don't know what percentage of people below 65 are malnourished though, just that it's lower than current under 65 poverty level. So doesn't that mean the rates for under 65 could be 45% malnourished (as long as poverty rate is something higher, like 65%)?
 James Finch
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#64624
Hi YOLO Mom,

The paradox created by the stimulus is that there are twice as many people over-65 who are malnourished than are in poverty, while for those younger more live in poverty than are malnourished (meaning all those malnourished could potentially be living in poverty, suggesting a potential causal relationship). There is an assumption of poverty causing malnutrition, which raises the question of why so many more over-65s are malnourished than impoverished--more than half of the malnutrition in that group must be caused by something other than poverty, whereas the under-65s don't have this problem, as all of their malnutrition could be explained by poverty. The easiest way to help explain the discrepancy in the over-65s is to create an alternate cause, as (A) does, for the appearance and/or persistence of malnutrition. Note that all of this is relative between the rates of poverty and malnutrition in the two groups; we know nothing about absolute rates as we have no idea if the sample used for the survey is representative, and we don't even know the exact proportions for the under-65s.

Hope this clears things up!

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