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# A recent survey showed that 50 percent of people polled

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Senior Manager
Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Posts: 381

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A recent survey showed that 50 percent of people polled [#permalink]

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03 May 2006, 14:07
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25% (00:05) correct 75% (01:41) wrong based on 19 sessions

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A recent survey showed that 50 percent of people polled believe that elected officials should resign if indicted for a crime, whereas 35 percent believe that elected officials should resign only if they are convicted of a crime. Therefore, more people believe that elected officials should resign if indicted than believe that they should resign if convicted.

The reasoning above is flawed because it

(A) draws a conclusion about the population in general based only on a sample of that population

(B) confuses a sufficient condition with a required condition

(C) is based on an ambiguity of one of its terms

(D) draws a conclusion about a specific belief based on responses to
queries about two different specific beliefs

(E) contains premises that cannot all be true

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Intern
Joined: 29 Jun 2013
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Re: A recent survey showed that 50 percent of people polled [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2013, 18:45
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B is the correct answer, but not for the reasons outlined above.

This is a question from the June 1997 LSAT. This is the last question within section II of the exam. This was, for me, a difficult question, but after diagramming the argument out, it was fairly easy to identify the flaw within the reasoning.

The stimulus states:

"A recent survey showed that 50 percent of people polled believe that elected officials should resign if indicted for a crime, whereas 35 percent believe that elected officials should resign only if they are convicted of a crime. Therefore, more people believe that elected officials should resign if indicted than believe that they should resign if convicted."

Words like "if" and "only if" help to set off sufficient and necessary conditions within conditional reasoning. In this case, the first sentence states "A recent survey showed that 50 percent of people polled believe that elected officials should resign if indicted for a crime" (the "if" sets off a sufficient condition). Rearranging this statement, we can see that "if indicted for a crime (I), then that elected official should resign (R)"

When diagrammed, the statements above should look similar to this:

I--->R

The second sentence states that "35 percent believe that elected officials should resign (R) only if they are convicted of a crime (C)."

The phrase "only if" sets off a necessary condition. The diagram of this statement should look as follows:

R--->C

The conclusion of the argument says "Therefore, more people believe that elected officials should resign if indicted than believe that they should resign if convicted."

This (flawed) conditional statement would be diagrammed as follows:

Therefore, more people believe that I--->R than believe C--->R; or more simply I--->R, C--->R

The sufficient and necessary (required) conditions have been confused. A sound conclusion based on these statements would read:

"Therefore, more people believe that elected officials should resign if indicted than believe that they should resign only if convicted."

The correct diagram of these statements would look like this:

I--->R, R--->C

In short, the conclusion confuses a sufficient condition with a necessary (required) condition, as reflected in answer choice B.

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VP
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03 May 2006, 14:52
Clear A!

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Senior Manager
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03 May 2006, 15:55
I was also inclined to A... though OA is B...Don't know why?

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Intern
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03 May 2006, 17:10
My guess was B...
For a conviction of a crime it is necessary for a person to be indicted for the crime. So of the 50% who believe an indictment is reason enough to resign 35% believe the person needs to be convicted in order to resign.
so 50-35=15% only believe an indictment is the only pre requisite for resignation.
Here the premise is in order for a person to be convicted an indictment is a required condition which is 35% of the people sampled and only 15% believe only an indictment is necessary which is the sufficient condition.

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Senior Manager
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03 May 2006, 17:51
Darrenbatty,thanks for the wonderful expanation!!

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VP
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Location: India

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03 May 2006, 19:29
darrenbatty wrote:
My guess was B...
For a conviction of a crime it is necessary for a person to be indicted for the crime. So of the 50% who believe an indictment is reason enough to resign 35% believe the person needs to be convicted in order to resign.
so 50-35=15% only believe an indictment is the only pre requisite for resignation.
Here the premise is in order for a person to be convicted an indictment is a required condition which is 35% of the people sampled and only 15% believe only an indictment is necessary which is the sufficient condition.

Wow. Awesome explaination man...

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Senior Manager
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03 May 2006, 21:13
thanks for explaination.

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03 May 2006, 21:13
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# A recent survey showed that 50 percent of people polled

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