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# Criminologist: Some legislators advocate mandating a

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SVP
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Updated on: 27 Mar 2018, 11:12
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Criminologist: Some legislators advocate mandating a sentence of life in prison for anyone who, having twice served sentences for serious crimes, is subsequently convicted of a third serious crime. These legislators argue that such a policy would reduce crime dramatically, since it would take people with a proven tendency to commit crimes off the streets permanently. What this reasoning overlooks, however, is that people old enough to have served two prison sentences for serious crimes rarely commit more than one subsequent crime. Filling our prisons with such individuals would have exactly the opposite of the desired effect, since it would limit our ability to incarcerate younger criminals, who commit a far greater proportion of serious crimes.

In the argument as a whole, the two boldfaced portions play which of the following roles?
A. The first is a conclusion that the argument as a whole seeks to refute; the second is a claim that has been advanced in support of that conclusion.
B. The first is a conclusion that the argument as a whole seeks to refute; the second is the main conclusion of the argument.
C. The first is the main conclusion of the argument; the second is an objection that has been raised against that conclusion.
D. The first is the main conclusion of the argument; the second is a prediction made on the basis of that conclusion.
E. The first is a generalization about the likely effect of a policy under consideration in the argument; the second points out a group of exceptional cases to which that generalization does not apply.

Originally posted by nakib77 on 22 Oct 2005, 05:48.
Last edited by Vyshak on 27 Mar 2018, 11:12, edited 2 times in total.
OA updated
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22 Oct 2005, 07:00
I go for E for the following reasons...

A and B are out, since the two BF parts are opposed to each other as indicated by the word "however" in the middle of the stem.

C and D look very tempting at first glance, but the first BF is not correct. The criminologist addresses an argument made by legislators. So the main conclusion must be something, stated by the criminologist. The first BF clearly is a conclusion stated by the legislators. Hence, not a conclusion of the whole argument given by the criminologist.

E sounds most reasonable to me

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22 Oct 2005, 11:09
B

E's 'exceptional cases' are not really exceptional. Most people
who have commited two serious crimes and served time for it
are not young.
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22 Oct 2005, 12:18
1
B...

E is out cause it sounds extreme anyway....
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23 Oct 2005, 11:07
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1
B should be the correct answer. The first sentence is not an actual conclusion, but a point that the author want to refute. The sencond sentence is that main conclusio of the argument.
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23 Oct 2005, 14:07
again automan you got it dead right.... OA is B.
Thanks.
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10 Sep 2015, 04:14
I am just curious to know why the second bold faced sentence is the main conclusion,this sentence is just talking about the Old age person but main conclusion should take both younger as well as older people not just one as specific
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09 Oct 2015, 00:43
Hi, there is fight between A and D , but i will go with D.

A:- Refute - Author doesn't seems to disprove anything, he is just adding few more info which is overlooked.
B:- Second bold doesn't seems to be main conclusion. There is only one conclusion which is first bold face.
C:-Looks good ; but author never made any objection. Second Bold face starting with "Reasoning, overlooks, However", it means something fails to notice.
E :- Seems to be extreme.

Please comment, whether i am wrong or right

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09 Oct 2015, 23:29
nakib77 wrote:
Q30:
Criminologist: Some legislators advocate mandating a sentence of life in prison for anyone who, having twice served sentences for serious crimes, is subsequently convicted of a third serious crime. These legislators argue that such a policy would reduce crime dramatically, since it would take people with a proven tendency to commit crimes off the streets permanently. What this reasoning overlooks, however, is that people old enough to have served two prison sentences for serious crimes rarely commit more than one subsequent crime. Filling our prisons with such individuals would have exactly the opposite of the desired effect, since it would limit our ability to incarcerate younger criminals, who commit a far greater proportion of serious crimes.

In the argument as a whole, the two boldfaced portions play which of the following roles?
A. The first is a conclusion that the argument as a whole seeks to refute; the second is a claim that has been advanced in support of that conclusion.
B. The first is a conclusion that the argument as a whole seeks to refute; the second is the main conclusion of the argument.
C. The first is the main conclusion of the argument; the second is an objection that has been raised against that conclusion.
D. The first is the main conclusion of the argument; the second is a prediction made on the basis of that conclusion.
E. The first is a generalization about the likely effect of a policy under consideration in the argument; the second points out a group of exceptional cases to which that generalization does not apply.

Bold questions are my weakness. As in I get some right, some wrong. Probably because the manner in which they are worded. Anyway took a shot at this one.

Understanding what each line does is imperative. Sometimes a fact can be mistaken for a suggestion or opinion. Those ones are tricky and I falter in them sometimes.

A. The first is a conclusion that the argument as a whole seeks to refute; the second is a claim that has been advanced in support of that conclusion. The first part is right. The passage does refute this conclusion. But the second part is wrong. It is not in support of the 1st conclusion.
B. The first is a conclusion that the argument as a whole seeks to refute; the second is the main conclusion of the argument. This one is right. First is a conclusion that the argument as a whole refutes. Second is the main conclusion
C. The first is the main conclusion of the argument; the second is an objection that has been raised against that conclusion. The 1st part is wrong. It isn't the main argument. Second part also wrong, objection has been raised, but second boldface is the conclusion in support of the objection to the 1st conclusion
D. The first is the main conclusion of the argument; the second is a prediction made on the basis of that conclusion. 1st part wrong. Second is NOT a prediction at all on the basis of 1st conclusion
E. The first is a generalization about the likely effect of a policy under consideration in the argument; the second points out a group of exceptional cases to which that generalization does not apply The first isn't a generalisation. The people think the first boldface is true and hence it is the conclusion (intermediate). Second does not mention Cases.
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13 Jan 2019, 10:15
@GMATNinja:-How do u identify what is the main conclusion? I somehow chose C as the answer thinking it attacks the first statement, which is a conclusion.
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27 May 2019, 13:55
Manat wrote:
@GMATNinja:-How do u identify what is the main conclusion? I somehow chose C as the answer thinking it attacks the first statement, which is a conclusion.

Manat You need to remember that the individual "speaking" is the criminologist. (C) is the conclusion of the legislator, not the criminologist...therefore, it can't be the conclusion.

Criminologist: Some legislators advocate mandating a sentence of life in prison for anyone who, having twice served sentences for serious crimes, is subsequently convicted of a third serious crime. These legislators argue that such a policy would reduce crime dramatically, since it would take people with a proven tendency to commit crimes off the streets permanently. What this reasoning overlooks, however, is that people old enough to have served two prison sentences for serious crimes rarely commit more than one subsequent crime. Filling our prisons with such individuals would have exactly the opposite of the desired effect, since it would limit our ability to incarcerate younger criminals, who commit a far greater proportion of serious crimes.

Notes

(Opposite View) L: if 3rd serious crime —> mandate life sentence
(Opposing View) L: life sentence take ppl off streets —> lower crime
(Premise) C: old people unlikely commit 3rd crime
(Premise) C: younger commit more crime
(Conclusion) C: filling prison w/ old(er) people will NOT lower crime

Analysis & Pre-Think
There’s actually two conclusions here but only one is the criminologist’s conclusion. The criminologist first shares some context regarding what the legislators’ policy advocates, which is to require that all individual who commit a third senior crime to be sentenced for life. He then tells us the legislators (falsely) conclude that their policy would lower crime.

After sharing the opposing viewpoint, the criminologist then disagrees (“what this reasoning overlooks”) with the aforementioned conclusion. His disagreement is supported by his claim that people who already served two sentences are highly unlikely to commit another crime. Because of this claim, he concludes that the legislators are wrong (“opposite of the desired effect”) because “younger criminals […tend to] commit” more serious crimes.

So from our notes above, we can see that the first bold-face is the legislator’s conclusion and the second is the criminologist’s conclusion. When we think about these two statements in relation to each other, we can note that they are opposing view points. Let’s see what our choices give us.

In the argument as a whole, the two boldfaced portions play which of the following roles?

A. The first is a conclusion that the argument as a whole seeks to refute; the second is a claim that has been advanced in support of that conclusion.
Ah, the classic “half-right” answer. The first half is gold. The second half says that the criminologist’s conclusion is a “claim” (which it is….?) but then says the “claim” is advanced to support “that conclusion.” In this case, “that” refers to the legislator’s conclusion. The criminologist DOES NOT support the legislator’s at all.

B. The first is a conclusion that the argument as a whole seeks to refute; the second is the main conclusion of the argument.
Here we go! This matches our pre-thinking process.

C. The first is the main conclusion of the argument; the second is an objection that has been raised against that conclusion.
No, the first is the legislator’s conclusion.

D. The first is the main conclusion of the argument; the second is a prediction made on the basis of that conclusion.
Same as (C).

E. The first is a generalization about the likely effect of a policy under consideration in the argument; the second points out a group of exceptional cases to which that generalization does not apply.
Is the first a generalization under consideration? Hm, I guess. How about the second? The second definitely does not point out a group of “exceptional cases”….

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