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 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 3676
  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
A Weaken answer only has to raise doubts about the conclusion, gavelgirl, and does not have to absolutely destroy the argument or disprove the conclusion. Here, the ad concludes that the product is the best tasting ("tops for taste"). The survey results are offered as the proof (the evidence, or premise). To weaken that argument, we only need to raise doubts about whether those survey results prove that conclusion or not.

Certainly an answer that questioned the reliability of the sample group would do that, but that's not the only way to do it. We could also accept an answer that shows problems with the construction of the survey (maybe the questions asked were biased or suggestive in some way). And we can accept an answer that shows problems with the answers given (maybe people lied in their responses?) And we can also accept an answer that points out a possible problem with the manner in which the results have been interpreted, which is what we get in answer D. All we know from the survey is that 70% of respondents prefer Northwoods, but we don't know WHY they prefer it. The author thinks it must be due to taste, but if the cause of their preference is something else, like the price or the color or the shape of the bottle, that would raise doubts about the conclusion. And doubt is all we need!

You asked:
Can't an extremely discounted price be a reason as to why people prefer it?
The answer is yes, that can be the reason for the preference, and that is exactly why that answer weakens the claim that the syrup must be the best tasting! It gives us another reason - an alternate cause - for their stated preference!

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