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# Shell game - watch it!

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Director
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Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2010, 11:24
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I couldn't find very helpful answers. So reopening the question! Will appreciate if you will provide reasoning along with the answers.

Newspaper editorial:
In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the governor is getting tough on criminals and making prison conditions harsher. Part of this effort has been to deny inmates the access they formerly had to college-level courses. However, this action is clearly counter to the governor’s ultimate goal, since after being released form prison, inmates who had taken such courses committed far fewer crimes overall than other inmates.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
* Not being able to take college-level courses while in prison is unlikely to deter anyone from a crime that he or she might otherwise have committed.
* Former inmates are no more likely to commit crimes than are members of the general population.
* The group of inmates who chose to take college-level courses were not already less likely than other inmates to commit crimes after being released.
* Taking high school level courses in prison has less effect on an inmate’s subsequent behavior than taking college-level courses does.
* The governor’s ultimate goal actually is to gain popularity by convincing people that something effective is being done about crime.
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2010, 15:58
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I would say C. If the group of people signing up for these courses were already less likely to commit crimes after being released, then the argument that removing these courses will cause more crime afterward falls apart. The assumption that the difference between groups comes as a result of the action and is not already there before is necessary to claim the action had any impact
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2010, 18:03
I am also leaning towards C. If the inmates who took college classes were already determined to not commit crimes when released, then its not the classes that helps establish the ultimate goal
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2010, 19:05
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nusmavrik wrote:
I couldn't find very helpful answers. So reopening the question! Will appreciate if you will provide reasoning along with the answers.

Newspaper editorial:
In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the governor is getting tough on criminals and making prison conditions harsher. Part of this effort has been to deny inmates the access they formerly had to college-level courses. However, this action is clearly counter to the governor’s ultimate goal, since after being released form prison, inmates who had taken such courses committed far fewer crimes overall than other inmates.

Conclusion : This action is clearly counter to the governor's ultimate goal

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
* Not being able to take college-level courses while in prison is unlikely to deter anyone from a crime that he or she might otherwise have committed. It means taking college-level courses while in prison deters one from committing crime, which does support the conclusion. We can keep this aside while we go over the other options.
* Former inmates are no more likely to commit crimes than are members of the general population. Out of scope
* The group of inmates who chose to take college-level courses were not already less likely than other inmates to commit crimes after being released. This means that the group was as likely to commit the crimes as the others who had not taken the courses. This contradicts the conclusion as the argument tells us that the inmates who actually took the courses committed far fewer crimes
* Taking high school level courses in prison has less effect on an inmate’s subsequent behavior than taking college-level courses does. Out of scope
* The governor’s ultimate goal actually is to gain popularity by convincing people that something effective is being done about crime.Out of scope

The words(anyone etc) in A are strong and look a little extreme and thus act as a red herring. However, going over the other options does show us that A is indeed correct(hope it is ).

IMO A.

Hope it helps,
meshtrap
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2010, 19:25
IMO A. Nice explaination by meshtrap
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2010, 21:32
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A is definitely wrong

f the presence/absence of college courses will NOT DETER crime, then that is essentially saying that it has no effect.
therefore, since there's no effect, this action will NOT be "counter to the governor's ultimate goal".

the argument depends upon the assumption that eliminating college-level courses will have an effect on inmates' rates of recidivism ("counter to the governor's ultimate goal"). in other words, the argument is assuming that the college-level courses CAUSE differences in the inmates' behavior.

if you're going to argue that X causes Y, one necessary precondition (assumption) is that Y DOESN'T cause X.
this is precisely what is asserted in (c), which should be the correct answer.
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2010, 22:18
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I like the reasoning given by Michmax3 and gurpreet07. OA is C

Two ways to look at the problem :

1) The assumption that the difference between groups comes as a result of the action and is not already there before is necessary to claim the action had any impact

2) if you're going to argue that X causes Y, one necessary precondition (assumption) is that Y DOESN'T cause X. this is precisely what is asserted in (c), which should be the correct answer.

Second one is a hurricane. But I think few people will visualize this. Awesome guys Gave kudos !
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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30 Jul 2010, 07:48
yep, easy C...
if those who had previously took these courses were already less likely to commit other crimes, than the whole process doesn't make any sense. they didn't get converted because of the courses but the complete self-displine
it's like playing basketball. some say that taller kids are better at basketbal whereas to some its because most of the time, taller people are more inclined to play.
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2010, 13:52
C.......for me reasoning on the lines as gurpreet07
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2010, 09:49
It has to be C
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2010, 20:18
C it is, tough one.
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2010, 02:53
C for me too
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2011, 23:21
The answer is C.
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2011, 23:25
An easy C.
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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19 Apr 2011, 09:34
Relatively easy question..got "C" in 1:54
See explanations next to the options
nusmavrik wrote:
I couldn't find very helpful answers. So reopening the question! Will appreciate if you will provide reasoning along with the answers.

Newspaper editorial:
In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the governor is getting tough on criminals and making prison conditions harsher. Part of this effort has been to deny inmates the access they formerly had to college-level courses. However, this action is clearly counter to the governor’s ultimate goal, since after being released form prison, inmates who had taken such courses committed far fewer crimes overall than other inmates.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
* Not being able to take college-level courses while in prison is unlikely to deter anyone from a crime that he or she might otherwise have committed.This option strengthens governor's conclusion(decision) of not allowing inmates to access college-level courses, the conclusion with which argument is not in agreement.
* Former inmates are no more likely to commit crimes than are members of the general population.Out of scope
* The group of inmates who chose to take college-level courses were not already less likely than other inmates to commit crimes after being released.It removes a condition which if true will weaken the argument, thus best choice among all.
* Taking high school level courses in prison has less effect on an inmate’s subsequent behavior than taking college-level courses does."Effect of high school level courses??Unrelated to the argument!"
* The governor’s ultimate goal actually is to gain popularity by convincing people that something effective is being done about crime."Out of scope"

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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2011, 04:57
'The assumption that the difference between groups comes as a result of the action and is not already there before is necessary to claim the action had any impact'

C hence.
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2012, 06:44
Straight C.

Another example of a cause-and-effect fallacy type question.

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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2015, 12:32
Anyone can clearify premises and comclusion. I don't understand.
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Re: Shell game - watch it! [#permalink]

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30 Apr 2015, 08:59
I went with C. I did not go with A because:
(A) Not being able to take college-level courses while in prison is unlikely to deter anyone from a crime that he or she might otherwise have committed.
- No CL C = unlikely to stop already decided criminal.

I find this sentence quite odd. It says that no courses is unlikely to 'stop future crimes'. It doesn't say anything about if courses actually do the opposite, maybe none of the two options has any effect what so ever on future crime rates? If that's the case it is not needed to support the conclusion.
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Re: Shell game - watch it!   [#permalink] 30 Apr 2015, 08:59
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