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# Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared

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Intern
Joined: 09 Sep 2013
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Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared  [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2014, 10:03
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90% (01:20) correct 10% (01:28) wrong based on 307 sessions

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Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared to last year, local law enforcement agencies have responded to 17 percent more calls involving violent crimes, showing that the average citizen of this town is more likely than ever to become a victim of a violent crime. Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

A. The town’s overall crime rate appears to have risen slightly this year compared to the same period last year.

B. In general, persons under the age of 65 are less likely to be victims of violent crimes than persons over the age of 65.

C. As a result of the town’s community outreach programs, more people than ever are willing to report violent crimes to the proper authorities.

D. In response to worries about violent crime, the town has recently opened a community center providing supervised activities for teenagers.

E. Community officials have shown that a relatively small number of repeat offenders commit the majority of violent crimes in the town.

Why is the answer not E ?
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 219
Re: Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared  [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2014, 12:12
1
1
Hi there! I think I can help here.

nfr007 wrote:
Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared to last year, local law enforcement agencies
have responded to 17 percent more calls involving violent crimes, showing that the average citizen of this town is
more likely than ever to become a victim of a violent crime.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

E. Community officials have shown that a relatively small number of repeat offenders commit the majority of violent crimes in the town.

Why is the answer not E ?

First let's take a look at the argument and identify the conclusion and premises.

Conclusion: average person more likely to be a victim of violent crime
Premise: police responded to 17% more calls related to violent crime

Now we have to find a reason to doubt the conclusion. We need to think about why the average person is NOT at risk of a violent crime. One thing that stands out is that we are given a percent and have not idea what the actually values are, like the towns population and violent crimes this year and last year. But I am straying from your question.

Why is it not E? Well, E does takes some steps towards weakening the argument since we are told about the people who commit the crimes, but ultimately, it does not provide any evidence for why people in the town might be safe from violent crime. Answer choice E only tells us about the people commit the crimes—not why crimes might not happen to the average citizen.

On the other hand, answer choice C provides a reason for why there has been an increase in reported crimes, but not necessarily an increase in crime. This provides evidence that people are not less safe now, but that people are reporting these crimes more.

Does this make sense?

I hope it helps!
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Re: Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared  [#permalink]

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23 Feb 2015, 11:08
nfr007 wrote:
Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared to last year, local law enforcement agencies
have responded to 17 percent more calls involving violent crimes, showing that the average citizen of this town is
more likely than ever to become a victim of a violent crime. Which one of the following, if true, most seriously
weakens the argument?
A. The town’s overall crime rate appears to have risen slightly this year compared to the same period last year.
B. In general, persons under the age of 65 are less likely to be victims of violent crimes than persons over the age of
65.
C. As a result of the town’s community outreach programs, more people than ever are willing to report violent crimes
to the proper authorities.
D. In response to worries about violent crime, the town has recently opened a community center providing supervised
activities for teenagers.
E. Community officials have shown that a relatively small number of repeat offenders commit the majority of violent
crimes in the town.

Why is the answer not E ?

This is a cause and effect question.
According to author,

cause : violent crime is increasing
effect : police is receiving more calls.

we can easily show that police may b receiving calls because of some other reasons.Answer C clearly states that.
Manager
Joined: 27 Aug 2014
Posts: 67
Re: Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared  [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2017, 09:21
KevinRocci wrote:
Hi there! I think I can help here.

nfr007 wrote:
Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared to last year, local law enforcement agencies
have responded to 17 percent more calls involving violent crimes, showing that the average citizen of this town is
more likely than ever to become a victim of a violent crime.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

E. Community officials have shown that a relatively small number of repeat offenders commit the majority of violent crimes in the town.

Why is the answer not E ?

First let's take a look at the argument and identify the conclusion and premises.

Conclusion: average person more likely to be a victim of violent crime
Premise: police responded to 17% more calls related to violent crime

Now we have to find a reason to doubt the conclusion. We need to think about why the average person is NOT at risk of a violent crime. One thing that stands out is that we are given a percent and have not idea what the actually values are, like the towns population and violent crimes this year and last year. But I am straying from your question.

Why is it not E? Well, E does takes some steps towards weakening the argument since we are told about the people who commit the crimes, but ultimately, it does not provide any evidence for why people in the town might be safe from violent crime. Answer choice E only tells us about the people commit the crimes—not why crimes might not happen to the average citizen.

On the other hand, answer choice C provides a reason for why there has been an increase in reported crimes, but not necessarily an increase in crime. This provides evidence that people are not less safe now, but that people are reporting these crimes more.

Does this make sense?

I hope it helps!

Hi Kevin

I have a long standing doubt regarding such questions. LSAT book identifies this question as a causality type. How? I believe in causality type arguments, the causation must be explicitly mentioned in the conclusion. Here it is not. So why should I even think of an alternate cause as a weakener? Why cant I just negate the conclusion here? Can you pls tell me how to identify causal arguments and when to think of an alternate cause as a weakener?
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Re: Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared  [#permalink]

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24 Mar 2018, 21:33
1
GMATNinja VeritasPrepKarishma

Conclusion: Average citizen is more likely to become a victim of VIOLENT crimes.

(y)? Because police have found that that there is 17% increase in violent calls reported by people

Please verify my PoE for (E) and (C) ?
.
Quote:
E. Community officials have shown that a relatively small number of repeat offenders commit the majority of violent
crimes in the town

I do not know anything about OTHER offenders. What if they committed more crimes now?
If at all, only small numbers of repeat offenders commit most of crimes how does it matter to help say: Average citizen is as likely or less likely to become its victim than before?

Quote:
C. As a result of the town’s community outreach programs, more people than ever are willing to report violent crimes
to the proper authorities.

Yes, this gives me ALTERNATE cause. Earlier people would have been a victim of violent crimes, but NOW they have more courage to report the same because of community outreach programs. Even is SAME violent crimes took place in past and present, we can say confidently that REPORTING to violent crimes is more presently.
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Re: Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared  [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2019, 13:44
1
The official explanation is below:

Literally, the author believes that there are more violent crimes and therefore the police are responding to more violent crime calls.
The question asks you to weaken the argument, and the correct answer falls into one of the five basic methods for weakening a causal argument.

Answer Choice (A): This is an opposite answer that strengthens the argument.

Answer Choice (B): Because the argument is about "the average citizen of this town," information about victims of a certain age is not relevant.

Answer Choice (C): This is the correct answer. By showing that people are more willing to report crimes (and thus call them in for response), an alternate cause for the rise in the number of calls is given.

Answer Choice (D): This answer only addresses an effect of the concern over crime, and does not address the causal relationship that underlies the argument.

Answer Choice (E): This answer does not address a possible rise in crime or the reasons for the rise in responses to calls involving violent crime.

Re: Violent crime in this town is a becoming a serious problem. Compared   [#permalink] 26 Sep 2019, 13:44
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