LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

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

 lynche14
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: Nov 17, 2014
|
#17426
I am lost on why C is correct. Maybe I am a novice on soluble narcotics, but I just need some clarification. A, B, D, and E all have no effect on the conclusion that Akabe's don't drink more tea at dawn because the caffeine would disrupt their surefootedness which their daily work requires. But C also seems to fit into that category to me so I must be missing something drastic. :hmm:
 Nikki Siclunov
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 1365
  • Joined: Aug 02, 2011
|
#17436
Hi lynche14,

Thanks for your question! To weaken this conclusion, we need to identify an alternative reason why the Akabe people aren't drinking as much tea at dawn. The anthropologists think it's because of the high concentration of caffeine in the tea, which would destroy the Akabe people's surefootedness. Fine, but what if the tea contains soluble narcotics, as answer choice (C) suggests? This immediately provides evidence for an alternative explanation: they don't drink as much tea in the early morning because they don't want to go back to sleep :)

Admittedly, answer choice (C) does not destroy the conclusion, as we have no idea which chemical - the caffeine or the narcotic - is stronger than the other, so the overall effect of the tea is still unknown. It's still possible that they don't drink as much of it in the morning because it might make them shaky. That said, answer choice (C) makes an alternative explanation of their behavior quite plausible, which is why it weakens the conclusion.

Hope this helps! Let me know.
 Oakenshield
  • Posts: 19
  • Joined: Jul 08, 2016
|
#26949
So if an alternative explanation (a reasonable one) can be provided, the explanation related to caffeine can be weakened? ...I don't think so. I think this question is too weird.
 Oakenshield
  • Posts: 19
  • Joined: Jul 08, 2016
|
#26950
I think if such a reasonable alternative explanation is incompatible with the former one (contradict with each other), it can be weakened. But if not, as you said, it is still possible that they don't drink as much of it in the morning because it might make them shaky, I don't think the explanation regard to caffeine will be weakened.
 Jonathan Evans
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 676
  • Joined: Jun 09, 2016
|
#27005
Oakenshield,

This is a difficult question, but it is one for which prephrasing and knowing what to expect from a credited response will greatly assist in choosing the correct answer. It is very helpful to have a somewhat abstract understanding of arguments' structures and flaws and to be able to describe stimuli in these somewhat dispassionate terms.

For instance, in this stimulus, we encounter causal reasoning, a purported relationship between (1) drinking less tea to (2) avoid too much caffeine to (3) maintain surefootedness. Since you need to weaken this conclusion, your job is to break this connection. Before you approach the answer choices, determine how you would break this chain. In this situation, you can definitely prephrase or anticipate that you will want an alternative explanation or cause for why the Akabe drink little tea in the morning. You do not know what the alternate cause is, but you know to look for one.

A, B, D, and E give us no other cause. As much as you may not like C, it does provide a possible alternative explanation, some other property of the tea leaves, that might cause the Akabe to avoid excessive morning consumption. You do not have to like the credited response, but faced with four alternatives that are irrelevant and instructed to choose what "most seriously calls into question" an argument, C is the best answer.

Please let me know if I may provide further explanation.
 LSAT2018
  • Posts: 243
  • Joined: Jan 10, 2018
|
#63157
Nikki Siclunov wrote:Hi lynche14,

Thanks for your question! To weaken this conclusion, we need to identify an alternative reason why the Akabe people aren't drinking as much tea at dawn. The anthropologists think it's because of the high concentration of caffeine in the tea, which would destroy the Akabe people's surefootedness. Fine, but what if the tea contains soluble narcotics, as answer choice (C) suggests? This immediately provides evidence for an alternative explanation: they don't drink as much tea in the early morning because they don't want to go back to sleep :)
I thought that narcotics make you sleepy and they make you less surefooted? Doesn't (C) weaken the argument by providing another explanation instead of caffeine?
Am I misunderstanding this explanation?
 Jay Donnell
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 142
  • Joined: Jan 09, 2019
|
#63197
Hi lsat2018!

I'm not sure what the confusion is behind your post, it looks like you do have the correct understanding of the way in which (C) weakens the argument by means of introducing an alternative cause.

Perhaps the reason (read: cause) why the Akabe don't drink too much of this tea in the morning is not at all due to the high levels of caffeine in the leaves, but rather that the leaves provide a soluble narcotic. The 'soluble' aspect means that the mind-altering abilities kick in when mixed with water, which of course would happen during the process of making tea.

Also, a narcotic doesn't necessarily imply that it puts you to sleep, as the term has shifted meaning to refer to any number of (typically illegal) drugs that can greatly affect mood or behavior. But whether its the kind of narcotic that does induce sleep or a type that leads to psychedelic hallucinations, either way it doesn't seem like a smart thing to ingest in large amounts in the morning before an intense work day. This presents an alternative to the caffeine explanation, and is precisely why (C) is the correct response.

Now remember, caffeine can be your friend on LSAT day (to a point!), but it's best you don't follow the Akabe's lead: stay away from the narcotics!

(This last message was brought to you by McGruff the Crime Dog, and I apologize for any non-80s babies who miss that reference :-? 8-) )
 Katya W
  • Posts: 42
  • Joined: Dec 03, 2019
|
#83104
I can see why C is correct, but I chose B because I thought it showed that them drinking this tea had nothing to do with the caffeine or their surefootedness and their daily tasks, since they drank it at night too. Could someone please offer their thoughts on my thinking? Thank you!
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 3694
  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
|
#83975
The reason that B doesn't weaken the argument is because at night, "after their day’s work is done," they might not need to be surefooted anymore! The author's argument was they drink just a little in the morning so that they don't end up too caffeinated to get their work done. Drinking it at night might not make much sense to us, as it might mess with their sleep that night, but it doesn't do anything to weaken the claim that they are restricting their morning intake in order to be able to function well during the workday. Think of answer B as being about Happy Hour - it's okay to start drinking something that might make your job harder because you're done for the day!

Get the most out of your LSAT Prep Plus subscription.

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