LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

Get expert LSAT preparation and law school admissions advice from PowerScore Test Preparation.

 Jeremy Press
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 1000
  • Joined: Jun 12, 2017
Hi Spikes,

The negation of answer choice (C) isn't suggesting a possible alternative cause. Rather, it's suggesting a possible alternative outcome of the causal chain. The possibility of an alternative outcome (in some other situation) doesn't shed light on what caused this specific outcome (in the situation that the stimulus argues about).

Put differently, what we learn in the stimulus is that (A) Gov't Policies led to (B) Increased Demand, which led to (C) Increased Price.

The negation of answer choice C is saying that it could be the case (in another circumstance) that (B) would not lead to (C) (that higher demand might not lead to higher price). That possibility doesn't damage this argument, because we already know from the premises that in this particular circumstance increased demand DID lead to an increased price. So the negation of answer choice C is irrelevant, and the answer is therefore not necessary to the conclusion.

I hope this helps!
User avatar
  • Posts: 75
  • Joined: Sep 18, 2022
I am really really struggling with this question. For answer choice (A), please forgive me for being blunt, but who cares if the government can bare the responsibility for what it indirectly causes? That doesn't mean they wont do it. The stimulus is saying that they caused the increase in gas prices because they increased the customer demand. I honestly didn't know what the correct answer choice should be but i ruled out (A) almost immediately because it seemed to be irrelevant.

Any chance you can help here?
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 5150
  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
The conclusion is that the gov't is responsible for higher gas prices, based on a premise that their policies caused increased demand, and that increase in demand caused prices to rise. It has nothing to do with what they gov't will or will not do, just about what actually happened.

Answer A is correct because the author has to believe that it is possible to be responsible for things you do not directly cause. The government did not raise gas prices; they caused those higher prices indirectly as a result of policies that caused higher demand.

Try the negation technique on answer A: what if they cannot be responsible for things they indirectly cause? Then how could we hold them responsible for the higher gas prices, since they only caused them indirectly? The only thing they directly caused is higher demand!
User avatar
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: Jan 12, 2024

Just want to double-check on my understanding of why (C) is incorrect. The logical negation of C will be that increased demand does not necessarily lead to an increase in price, which will normally attack the causal relations of 'increased demand causing increased price' (as the author usually treats this as absolute causal relations); but in this case, this causal relations is not what author is trying to argue, but rather, it is presented as facts.

Had the author assumed the causal relations, (C) might be the assumption. It is like saying if the stimulus is arguing for A causes B (in absolute terms), then a necessary assumption will be A leads to B.

Am I understanding this correctly?

Thank you
 Robert Carroll
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 1768
  • Joined: Dec 06, 2013

Spot on. There's no assumption about demand causing a price increase - it's in an explicitly-stated premise already. The argument needs no assumption about what it put into a premise.

Robert Carroll

Get the most out of your LSAT Prep Plus subscription.

Analyze and track your performance with our Testing and Analytics Package.