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Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was

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Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 03 Mar 2018, 18:36
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Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was born relative to the births of siblings, have not been detected in studies of adult personality that use standard personality tests. However, they have been detected in birth-order studies that are based on parents' and siblings' reports of the subjects' personalities. All of these birth-order studies, taken together, show that birth order has no lasting effect on personality; instead, birth order affects merely how a sibling's behavior is perceived.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the psychologist's argument?

(A) Standard personality tests will detect at least some birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist.
(B) The behavior patterns people display when they are with family are significantly different from those they display otherwise.
(C) Parents' and siblings' perceptions of a person's personality tend not to change between that person's early childhood and adulthood.
(D) Standard personality tests have detected significant birth-order effects in some studies of young children's personalities.
(E) Parents and siblings have accurate perceptions of the behavior patterns of other family members.

Source: LSAT

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Originally posted by Akela on 01 Mar 2018, 08:36.
Last edited by generis on 03 Mar 2018, 18:36, edited 2 times in total.
Edited the question
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Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2018, 19:56
1
Akela wrote:
Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was born relative to the births of siblings, have not been detected in studies of adult personality that use standard personality tests. However, they have been detected in birth-order studies that are based on parents' and siblings' reports of the subjects' personalities. All of these birth-order studies, taken together, show that birth order has no lasting effect on personality; instead, birth order affects merely how a sibling's behavior is perceived.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the psychologist's argument?

(A) Standard personality tests will detect at least some birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist.
(B) The behavior patterns people display when they are with family are significantly different from those they display otherwise.
(C) Parents' and siblings' perceptions of a person's personality tend not to change between that person's early childhood and adulthood.
(D) Standard personality tests have detected significant birth-order effects in some studies of young children's personalities.
(E) Parents and siblings have accurate perceptions of the behavior patterns of other family members.

Source: LSAT

This question contains an excellent heads up: the word "alleged."

"Alleged" is a descriptor for results of studies,
results this person rejects.

Alleged / studies / results -- start thinking about evidence. Hers.

Strong conclusion: 1) birth order has no effect on personality
2) studies that suggest otherwise show only that a sibling's perception changes over time.

Some comments on and highlights of the logic:

1) Standard personality tests have not detected [what others have alleged to be] birth order effects on personality.

2) HOWEVER [in contrast to standard tests], birth order effects on personality have been found in tests that are based [only] on family members' reports of a subject's personality.

3) "All of these OTHER" [non-standard] birth order tests cumulatively demonstrate two things:
i) "birth order has no lasting effect on personality; and
ii) birth order affects MERELY how a sibling's behavior is perceived."

What must the psychologist be assuming here?

Studies that DO suggest birth-order effects on personality are not good.
"Alleged," coupled with the last sentence's "merely."
gives you insight into her view of the opposition's evidence.

Birth-order studies are both
different from standard studies and seriously flawed.

Think immediately: if their evidence is flawed, what makes her evidence good?
What IS her evidence?

Her evidence comes from standard personality tests.
Results of these tests: no birth-order effects on personality have been detected.
She assumes the results are accurate. She assumes the tests are good.

These standard studies on which this psychologist relies had better be bulletproof.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the psychologist's argument?

(A) Standard personality tests will detect at least some birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist.

CORRECT. If you like the negation test, it will work here beautifully.

(In fact, get ready for double negatives, whose use I cannot avoid)

In order to rely on the results of standard personality tests, she must assume that the tests can detect what she claims does not exist.

More specifically, she must assume that the tests CAN catch at least some birth-order effects on personality.

If standard personality tests CANNOT detect at least some birth-order effects, that failure (no results that show birth-order effects on personality) is evidence of nothing.

That failure to detect is not evidence of "zero birth-order effects on personality."

The absence of detection by standard tests DOES NOT PROVE the non-existence of birth-order effects on personalty.
Logic:
Person A says:
Bs do not exist.
Person A uses test T.
If Bs exist, test T can find Bs.
Test T never finds any Bs.
Person A says: "See? I told you. Bs do not exist."

We discover that Test T is not designed to find Bs.
Test T is INCAPABLE of finding Bs.
The claim "Bs do not exist" is based on nothing.


If A is false, the argument collapses.

(B) The behavior patterns people display when they are with family are significantly different from those they display otherwise. INCORRECT.

This paragraph says nothing about human behavior patterns around family members.
The subject of this argument is whether or not birth order has an effect on personality.

(C) Parents' and siblings' perceptions of a person's personality tend not to change between that person's early childhood and adulthood. INCORRECT.

First, to the extent that the subject of the argument includes change over time, the subject is an individual
("no LASTING effect on [an individual's] personality").
Second, the stability of familial perceptions is not the issue.
The issue is birth order and its effect on personality.

(D) Standard personality tests have detected significant birth-order effects in some studies of young children's personalities. INCORRECT.

Toss this answer when you see these words: young children's personalities.
Her subject is the adult personality
(she uses the word "adult," and does not mention children).
If there were ever birth order effects on personality prior to adulthood,
such effects are not "lasting."

(E) Parents and siblings have accurate perceptions of the behavior patterns of other family members. INCORRECT

Whether family members' perceptions are accurate
is not pertinent to her argument about the subject of
birth order and personality.

Answer A.
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Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2018, 22:06
GMATNinja generis VeritasPrepKarishma GMATNinjatwo

Is not conclusion talking about BIRTH ORDER studies and option (A) talking about standard personality tests ?

My first evidence is about personality tests conducted on ONLY adults and second evidence is about BIRTH ORDER tests which are conducted on PARENTS + SIBLINGS.

Finally the conclusion talks only about results of BIRTH ORDER tests. How do I interpret if these
include standard personality tests. How do I link both evidences to conclusion?

Quote:
(A) Standard personality tests will detect at least some birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist

Option A when NEGATED says:

Standard personality tests will detect NONE of birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist.

Ok, cool. but what is my conclusion about: Birth order studies, not personality tests.

If I perform PoE on remaining choices:

Quote:
(B) The behavior patterns people display when they are with family are significantly different from those they display otherwise.

BEHAVIOR PATTERNS is not discussed in argument, reject this.

Quote:
(C) Parents' and siblings' perceptions of a person's personality tend not to change between that person's early childhood and adulthood.

PERCEPTIONS - This is nowhere mentioned in argument, rejected.

Quote:
(D) Standard personality tests have detected significant birth-order effects in some studies of young children's personalities.

SOME STUDIES , CHILDREN's PERSONALITIES - Nope , argument is about parents and siblings not children. Rejected.

Quote:
(E) Parents and siblings have accurate perceptions of the behavior patterns of other family members.

Whether accurate perception between parents and siblings is present or absent is not my scope of argument.
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Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2018, 03:23
Akela wrote:
Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was born relative to the births of siblings, have not been detected in studies of adult personality that use standard personality tests. However, they have been detected in birth-order studies that are based on parents' and siblings' reports of the subjects' personalities. All of these birth-order studies, taken together, show that birth order has no lasting effect on personality; instead, birth order affects merely how a sibling's behavior is perceived.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the psychologist's argument?

(A) Standard personality tests will detect at least some birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist. CORRECT.

adkikani , while I applaud you for taking this question on,
this correct answer is really hard to understand by itself.
The layers are subtle.
We have to think and speak in the context of negation.
Proposition X is equivalent to its double negation.
Proposition X is equivalent to (not)(not) X. :dazed

You found the answer through POE.
I understand that you want to get a firm handle on Option A.
You are frequently headed in the right general direction.
You simply make some wrong turns.
In this particular question's context,
explaining the correct turns
actually gets harder when an answer is partly correct.
Quote:
Ok, cool. but what is my conclusion about: Birth order studies, not personality tests.

I cannot follow your thoughts very well here.
Is this a question (what is . . .)? Or an assertion?

If you are asserting that the conclusion is ONLY about
birth order studies, not personality tests, that assertion is not correct.

The conclusion includes this argument:
Standard personality tests ==>
results show NO evidence of birth-order effects on personality ==>
there are NO birth-order effects on personality
Quote:
Is not conclusion talking about BIRTH ORDER studies and option (A) talking about standard personality tests ?

No. The first part of the conclusion and option A
are talking about exactly the same thing: standard personality tests.
In the prompt, standard personality tests show that
birth order does not affect personality.

Option A's subject is: standard personality tests.

What gives her evidence for the first part of the conclusion?
Standard personality tests.


Argument 1 in conclusion depends on Evidence 1.
Argument 2 in conclusion interprets Evidence 2 (Evidence 2 is poor and irrelevant).


The second part of the conclusion dismisses studies that contradict the first conclusion;
those not-standard (weird) studies do NOT prove that birth order affects personality.
Quote:
My first evidence is about personality tests conducted on ONLY adults and second evidence is about BIRTH ORDER tests which are conducted on PARENTS + SIBLINGS.

No. Not accurate.
Correct, the first evidence is indeed only
from standard personality tests conducted only on adults.
This evidence supports her conclusion.
For her, that supporting evidence is good news.
For the reader, that supporting evidence should be the thing to focus on.
These words suggest that study evidence is very important: alleged, study, results

The second "evidence" is evidence from other, different, NON standard studies.
The psychologists thinks these other studies are bad.
She calls the researchers' claims "alleged."
That is a synonym for unproven.

These bad studies do not prove much.
They do not prove that birth order has effect on personality.

These studies prove MERELY (only) that
birth order affects how a sibling's behavior is perceived.

What makes these other studies especially bad?
These studies are especially bad because
they interview family members for perceptions about the subject's personality.
Family members' perceptions are not reliable.
Family members' perceptions do not prove that birth order affects personality.
(These other NON-standard studies are wrong.)
Quote:
Option A when NEGATED says:
Standard personality tests will detect NONE of birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist.


Let's say: IF birth order has an effect on personality, we will call that B, for birth order = effect on personality.*
Here is the logic, with the negation.

Psychologist A says,
Bs do not exist.
Psychologist A uses test T.
If Bs exist, test T can find Bs.
Test T never finds any Bs.
Person A says: "See? I told you. Bs do not exist."

Quote:
Option A when NEGATED says:

Standard personality tests will detect NONE of birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist.

Or:
Even if Bs exist, Test T will detect ZERO Bs.
If Bs exist, Test T will detect NONE of those Bs.

Test T is INCAPABLE of finding Bs.
The claim "Bs do not exist" is based on nothing.
If her test cannot detect Bs, it can neither prove nor disprove the existence of Bs,
and her argument is dead.

Quote:
Finally the conclusion talks only about results of BIRTH ORDER tests. How do I interpret if these
include standard personality tests. How do I link both evidences to conclusion?

Highlighted part: No.

Per above,
Conclusion/Argument 1 <-> Evidence 1
Conclusion/Argument 2 <-> Evidence 2
Conclusion 1 and Conclusion 2 are different.
1 is her main conclusion. 2 is her interpretation of studies that challenge her conclusion.
The linkage between conclusions ("arguments") and evidence is different, too, for the two "sets."

The conclusion talks about two different things.
Birth order is something that happens.
Children are born: eldest, middle, youngest.
Birth order TESTS are not the same thing as BIRTH ORDER.

The first conclusion is "Birth order has no effect on personality."

That claim is based on evidence DIFFERENT FROM birth-order studies.
Her argument requires this different evidence.
This different evidence is not based on very specific birth-order studies,
although this different evidence, according to her, does produce facts about birth order.
This supporting evidence is . . . what?

See my post above.
I think you can take it from here.

Just please know that there are very few cut-and-dried formulas for the LSAT.
What works on CR may or may not work on LR.
Sure, many of the tools will help.

There is often an "extra step," sort of like what happens in SC.
In SC, often you have to step back and consider the meaning of the sentence as a whole.
In LR, often you have to step back and consider the argument, its meaning,
but most important in assumptions: the argument or conclusion's weak spot.

If you have practiced CR (I mean "you" in the generic sense),
just know you are smart, these questions are hard,
and you have to switch your focus sometimes.

If the answer eludes you, try stepping back a little.
You understand much more than you realize.

The LSAT folks are counting on your confusion.
Don't give them the pleasure.
Switch your focus from process (rules you have learned)
to substance (this argument, which means X, assumes . . . WHAT?)

I mentioned that, having taken the LSAT and graduated from law school,
these LR questions strike me as different from CR.
The stats here show that much.

*Here is an example: though studies vary, some common patterns emerge about birth order and personality. Eldest children (or those who assume the role of eldest children) tend toward leadership and self-discipline. Youngest children tend "to be manipulative, social, outgoing, great at sales." Huffington Post, short science article on birth order and personality.
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that within me there lay an invincible summer.

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Re: Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 22:46
generis wrote:
Akela wrote:
Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was born relative to the births of siblings, have not been detected in studies of adult personality that use standard personality tests. However, they have been detected in birth-order studies that are based on parents' and siblings' reports of the subjects' personalities. All of these birth-order studies, taken together, show that birth order has no lasting effect on personality; instead, birth order affects merely how a sibling's behavior is perceived.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the psychologist's argument?

(A) Standard personality tests will detect at least some birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist. CORRECT.

adkikani , while I applaud you for taking this question on,
this correct answer is really hard to understand by itself.
The layers are subtle.
We have to think and speak in the context of negation.
Proposition X is equivalent to its double negation.
Proposition X is equivalent to (not)(not) X. :dazed

You found the answer through POE.
I understand that you want to get a firm handle on Option A.
You are frequently headed in the right general direction.
You simply make some wrong turns.
In this particular question's context,
explaining the correct turns
actually gets harder when an answer is partly correct.
Quote:
Ok, cool. but what is my conclusion about: Birth order studies, not personality tests.

I cannot follow your thoughts very well here.
Is this a question (what is . . .)? Or an assertion?

If you are asserting that the conclusion is ONLY about
birth order studies, not personality tests, that assertion is not correct.

The conclusion includes this argument:
Standard personality tests ==>
results show NO evidence of birth-order effects on personality ==>
there are NO birth-order effects on personality
Quote:
Is not conclusion talking about BIRTH ORDER studies and option (A) talking about standard personality tests ?

No. The first part of the conclusion and option A
are talking about exactly the same thing: standard personality tests.
In the prompt, standard personality tests show that
birth order does not affect personality.

Option A's subject is: standard personality tests.

What gives her evidence for the first part of the conclusion?
Standard personality tests.


Argument 1 in conclusion depends on Evidence 1.
Argument 2 in conclusion interprets Evidence 2 (Evidence 2 is poor and irrelevant).


The second part of the conclusion dismisses studies that contradict the first conclusion;
those not-standard (weird) studies do NOT prove that birth order affects personality.
Quote:
My first evidence is about personality tests conducted on ONLY adults and second evidence is about BIRTH ORDER tests which are conducted on PARENTS + SIBLINGS.

No. Not accurate.
Correct, the first evidence is indeed only
from standard personality tests conducted only on adults.
This evidence supports her conclusion.
For her, that supporting evidence is good news.
For the reader, that supporting evidence should be the thing to focus on.
These words suggest that study evidence is very important: alleged, study, results

The second "evidence" is evidence from other, different, NON standard studies.
The psychologists thinks these other studies are bad.
She calls the researchers' claims "alleged."
That is a synonym for unproven.

These bad studies do not prove much.
They do not prove that birth order has effect on personality.

These studies prove MERELY (only) that
birth order affects how a sibling's behavior is perceived.

What makes these other studies especially bad?
These studies are especially bad because
they interview family members for perceptions about the subject's personality.
Family members' perceptions are not reliable.
Family members' perceptions do not prove that birth order affects personality.
(These other NON-standard studies are wrong.)
Quote:
Option A when NEGATED says:
Standard personality tests will detect NONE of birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist.


Let's say: IF birth order has an effect on personality, we will call that B, for birth order = effect on personality.*
Here is the logic, with the negation.

Psychologist A says,
Bs do not exist.
Psychologist A uses test T.
If Bs exist, test T can find Bs.
Test T never finds any Bs.
Person A says: "See? I told you. Bs do not exist."

Quote:
Option A when NEGATED says:

Standard personality tests will detect NONE of birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist.

Or:
Even if Bs exist, Test T will detect ZERO Bs.
If Bs exist, Test T will detect NONE of those Bs.

Test T is INCAPABLE of finding Bs.
The claim "Bs do not exist" is based on nothing.
If her test cannot detect Bs, it can neither prove nor disprove the existence of Bs,
and her argument is dead.

Quote:
Finally the conclusion talks only about results of BIRTH ORDER tests. How do I interpret if these
include standard personality tests. How do I link both evidences to conclusion?

Highlighted part: No.

Per above,
Conclusion/Argument 1 <-> Evidence 1
Conclusion/Argument 2 <-> Evidence 2
Conclusion 1 and Conclusion 2 are different.
1 is her main conclusion. 2 is her interpretation of studies that challenge her conclusion.
The linkage between conclusions ("arguments") and evidence is different, too, for the two "sets."

The conclusion talks about two different things.
Birth order is something that happens.
Children are born: eldest, middle, youngest.
Birth order TESTS are not the same thing as BIRTH ORDER.

The first conclusion is "Birth order has no effect on personality."

That claim is based on evidence DIFFERENT FROM birth-order studies.
Her argument requires this different evidence.
This different evidence is not based on very specific birth-order studies,
although this different evidence, according to her, does produce facts about birth order.
This supporting evidence is . . . what?

See my post above.
I think you can take it from here.

Just please know that there are very few cut-and-dried formulas for the LSAT.
What works on CR may or may not work on LR.
Sure, many of the tools will help.

There is often an "extra step," sort of like what happens in SC.
In SC, often you have to step back and consider the meaning of the sentence as a whole.
In LR, often you have to step back and consider the argument, its meaning,
but most important in assumptions: the argument or conclusion's weak spot.

If you have practiced CR (I mean "you" in the generic sense),
just know you are smart, these questions are hard,
and you have to switch your focus sometimes.

If the answer eludes you, try stepping back a little.
You understand much more than you realize.

The LSAT folks are counting on your confusion.
Don't give them the pleasure.
Switch your focus from process (rules you have learned)
to substance (this argument, which means X, assumes . . . WHAT?)

I mentioned that, having taken the LSAT and graduated from law school,
these LR questions strike me as different from CR.
The stats here show that much.

*Here is an example: though studies vary, some common patterns emerge about birth order and personality. Eldest children (or those who assume the role of eldest children) tend toward leadership and self-discipline. Youngest children tend "to be manipulative, social, outgoing, great at sales." Huffington Post, short science article on birth order and personality.

Wow, thank you generis for taking on such a difficult post!

adkikani, let us know if you are still confused, and we'll try to help!
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Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2018, 13:44
2
Hello generis, Please point out any wrong in my explanation below. I too arrived at A.

Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was born relative to the births of siblings, have not been detected in studies of adult personality that use standard personality tests. However, they have been detected in birth-order studies that are based on parents' and siblings' reports of the subjects' personalities. All of these birth-order studies, taken together, show that birth order has no lasting effect on personality; instead, birth order affects merely how a sibling's behavior is perceived.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the psychologist's argument?

--The conclusion of the argument is that birth order has no effect instead it merely impacts how a sibling's behavior is perceived. The author reaches the conclusion on the basis of 2 tests: personality (that states birth order has no effect) and sibling (that states birth order has effect). When all the tests are taken together the author reaches earlier mentioned flashy conclusion. Now since the author thinks in the direction of personality test we must focus on that.

(A) Standard personality tests will detect at least some birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist. --Absolutely matches with our para phrase.
(B) The behavior patterns people display when they are with family are significantly different from those they display otherwise. --Even if the pattern are different the tests would be accurate measure of birth order effects. Thus, we can't reach the "flashy" conclusion based on this option.
(C) Parents' and siblings' perceptions of a person's personality tend not to change between that person's early childhood and adulthood. --First, we are talking strictly about adults. Second, argument is about "behaviour" and not "personality".
(D) Standard personality tests have detected significant birth-order effects in some studies of young children's personalities. --some young children are out of scope
(E) Parents and siblings have accurate perceptions of the behavior patterns of other family members. -- If this statement were true it would weaken the conclusion because it would contardict the personality test's validity.
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Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2018, 00:14
1
gmatexam439 wrote:
Hello generis, Please point out any wrong in my explanation below. I too arrived at A.

Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was born relative to the births of siblings, have not been detected in studies of adult personality that use standard personality tests. However, they have been detected in birth-order studies that are based on parents' and siblings' reports of the subjects' personalities. All of these birth-order studies, taken together, show that birth order has no lasting effect on personality; instead, birth order affects merely how a sibling's behavior is perceived.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the psychologist's argument?

--The conclusion of the argument is that birth order has no effect [on adult personality instead it merely impacts how a sibling's behavior is perceived. The author reaches the conclusion on the basis of 2 tests: standard personality (that states birth order has no effect) and non-standard sibling (that states birth order has effect). When all the non-standard sibling tests are taken together the author reaches earlier mentioned flashy conclusion. Now since the author thinks in the direction of personality test we must focus on that.

(A) Standard personality tests will detect at least some birth-order effects on personality, if those effects exist. --Absolutely matches with our para phrase.
Yes. The subject matches. With POE, that is enough.
If you can, take it just a little further.
Explain the logical linkage. You nailed the summary. You took a substantive approach: what is the content of this argument?
The tests upon which she relies MUST be able to detect birth order effects on personality.
If her tests are not designed to find birth-order effects on personality, if they are not capable of finding birth-order effects on personality -- well, no surprise when the tests do not find any.
Her evidence is the standard personality test, which, as you note, has not detected birth order effects on personality.
If that test is flawed, her argument is dead.
This assumption is 100% necessary.


(B) The behavior patterns people display when they are with family are significantly different from those they display otherwise. --Even if the pattern are different the [standard personality] tests would be accurate measure of birth order effects. Thus, we can't reach the "flashy" conclusion based on this option. True -- different patterns are irrelevant to a standard personality test's results.

(C) Parents' and siblings' perceptions of a person's personality tend not to change between that person's early childhood and adulthood. --First, we are talking strictly about adults. Second, argument is about "behaviour" and not "personality". The second sentence is the only place I think you might be confused. That, or the sentence was meant for answer B. The subject of this answer and the subject of the prompt are the same: personality. I cannot see anything about behavior in Option C. Maybe I am missing something? In any event, you caught that the psychologist stresses that the subject matter is adults.

(D) Standard personality tests have detected significant birth-order effects in some studies of young children's personalities. --some young children are out of scope. In addition to being irrelevant to the psychologist's arguments about adults, she certainly would not be relying on such an assumption. In fact, she explains this possibility away. She says there are no "LASTING" effects.

(E) Parents and siblings have accurate perceptions of the behavior patterns of other family members. -- If this statement were true it would weaken the conclusion because it would contardict the personality test's validity. Very close. If this statement were true, it might challenge the standard personality test's results. We don't know. The problem is the subject matter. Family members have accurate perceptions of BEHAVIOR patterns -- and, simultaneously, they might know nothing about the content of someone's personality. In any event, you are correct. This option looks as if it supports the non-standard tests. She would not be relying on it.

gmatexam439
Nicely done!

What I like best about this answer: it is not formulaic.

You tracked on the subject of the argument. You figured out the logical connections.
You explained the connection among arguments, evidence, and conclusions without jargon as shorthand; the latter sometimes seems more like an assertion than an explanation if issues are complex.

There really are no affirmative formulas, no catchy rules, to explain why answer A is correct.
You described the context, the arguments, the conclusions, and the evidence in your own words.
You nailed it on that front.

I have inserted a few words here and there, just suggestions.
Your paraphrase is superb.
You realized that this question presents a "flashy" conclusion.
I assume you mean something such as: bold, hyperbolic, immoderate, or over the top.

Yes, her claims will be difficult to sustain.
Watch her language and her method as she discredits her opponents.

I caught one tiny mistake in the paraphrase, and it may be just phrasing:
the standard personality tests are not part of the groups of tests "taken all together" from which she draws her second (and third, really) conclusions.
ONLY what you call the "sibling" tests are included in the last two parts of her conclusion.

She very nearly mocks the sibling tests.
The last two parts of this three part conclusion are somewhat subtle.

In effect, she argues that:
The sibling studies are not designed to show effects of birth order on personality.
The sibling studies test the wrong people.
Because they test the wrong people, these non-standard (sibling) studies
1) cannot and do not prove there are birth-order effects on personality, and
2) deliver some fairly useless information about birth order and siblings' perceptions.

She notes that the non-standard tests show NO lasting effects of birth order on personality.
She implies, almost scornfully, that
the bad tests ARE NOT DESIGNED to show such effects because they target the wrong people.
[BIG HINT. Are HER tests DESIGNED to show such effects?]

When she writes "merely," she hints is a flaw in the methodology of non-standard studies.

It's as if she were saying, "DUH. If you study the perceptions of siblings:
1) you are likely to find, if anything at all, a few fairly obvious and irrelevant conclusions about siblings; and
2) you are not likely to find birth-order effects on personality, because you have no independent corroboration of personality at issue.
You don't talk to the most important person!
You have no idea what her personality IS, let alone whether or not her personality was affected by her birth order."

Answer A says, "DUH. If you use a test that cannot detect the effects of birth order on personality, it will not detect the effect of birth order on personality.
The opposite is also true.
If your test can detect the effects of birth order on personality, and detects no effects, that is proof: there are no birth-order effects on personality."

Answer A's logic is consistent with the logic she uses to criticize non-standard sibling tests.
Answer A defends HER test's methodology and design.
I think that is what you mean when you say that Answer A "matches the paraphrase."
This assumption MUST be true for her argument to hold.

This answer shows excellent grasp of the most important thing: the substance of the argument.
LR is not mechanical. Rules ("out of scope," "too strong," e.g.) will help --
but in the end, you have to understand what the argument means, and what evidence or assumptions it rests upon.
One way to demonstrate such understanding is to write, as here, a paraphrase of the argument. A pleasure to review. Thanks. :-)
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Re: Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2018, 08:25
generis,

Hello generis. Thank you for taking out time and reviewing in detail. I had certainly overlooked a few things such as in option C "lasting" should have been a better way to put forward the detrimental part of the argument. Certainly what you wrote in option A makes complete sense.

Sorry, I didn't mean only non standard tests in the paraphrase. Thank you for pointing out that mistake. But I suppose this glitch didn't impact the analysis because the author was afterall trying to demean the non standard tests.

Thank you once again. :)
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Re: Psychologist: Birth-order effects, the alleged effects of when one was &nbs [#permalink] 08 Mar 2018, 08:25
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