LSAT Logical Reasoning : Determining which answer most helps to resolve the paradox

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for LSAT Logical Reasoning

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Determining Which Answer Most Helps To Resolve The Paradox

TV networks believe that football broadcasts provide greater opportunity for profit than any other sport. This belief persists despite the fact that professional baseball leagues have increased their revenue by fifty percent over the last ten years while professional football leagues have increased revenue by only fifteen percent over that time.  

Which of the following statements, if true, would most help to reconcile the TV networks' beliefs with the statistics cited?

Possible Answers:

In the last ten years, football has gained more TV revenue than baseball despite baseball leagues gaining more revenue for their respective league.

Many TV networks purchase broadcasting rights to only one sport

Football and baseball leagues attract different types of advertisers

Baseball leagues have significantly longer seasons than football leagues

Baseball has been popular for many years while football's increase in popularity has come primarily in the last thirty years

Correct answer:

In the last ten years, football has gained more TV revenue than baseball despite baseball leagues gaining more revenue for their respective league.

Explanation:

The TV networks' conclusions may be justified even though baseball leagues have increased revenues more than football leagues.  The revenue from TV broadcasting is of more direct relevance to the revenue of TV networks.

Example Question #2 : Determining Which Answer Most Helps To Resolve The Paradox

Under the modern model for music distribution, musicians sell the right to broadcast their music to companies who give listeners affordable access to large quantities of music.  Some musicians who have been selling their music for many years are displeased with the new model and have seen decreased revenue.  Yet, musicians as a whole are making more money under the new model than they were previously.

Which of the following, if true, would most help to reconcile the apparent conflict?

Possible Answers:

The old model could be used now and would generate more revenue than the new model

Some musicians want to make more money than they made under the old model

The new model is not generating as much revenue as it could be generating

A greater number of musicians sell music now than under the old model

Music producers charge higher fees now, leaving less revenue for musicians

Correct answer:

A greater number of musicians sell music now than under the old model

Explanation:

The paradox in the passage is that some musicians generate less revenue now than they did under the old model while, on the whole, musicians earn more revenue than previously.  If there are more musicians than under the old model, revenues could increase for the industry as a whole while decreasing for certain musicians. This is not the only information that could explain the paradox, but it does so better than any of the other answers given here.

Example Question #3 : Determining Which Answer Most Helps To Resolve The Paradox

Recent evidence has conclusively shown that cholesterol levels do not correlate with human lifespan. Despite this new evidence, doctors still advise patients with high cholesterol to take medication and engage in physical activity to reduce cholesterol levels.

Which of the following, if true, would most help resolve this discrepancy?

Possible Answers:

Engaging in extensive physical exercise can stress the human heart.

Many doctors receive large gifts from pharmaceutical companies.

Most medications that doctors prescribe to reduce cholesterol levels are clinically proven to be effective.

High cholesterol levels are proven be correlated with hypertension disorders.

Low levels of cholesterol are proven to increase quality of life.

Correct answer:

Low levels of cholesterol are proven to increase quality of life.

Explanation:

The correct answer helps explain why doctors would advise their patients to reduce their cholestrol levels even if it would not increase their longevity.

Example Question #4 : Resolve The Paradox

Over the past ten years, insurance premiums have increased, resulting in a large decrease in insurance enrollment across the country. Insurance company revenues, however, have progressively increased in each of the ten years during this period, and industry analysts predict further increases in years to come.

 

Which one of the following, if true, offers the best explanation for the situation described above?

Possible Answers:

Most insurance companies raise their premiums every three years.

The rise of concierge medicine exceeds the number of those enrolling in traditional insurance in most high-income areas.

More individuals are seeking a subsidy for their health care.

Insurance companies donate substantial sums of money to political campaigns.

The decrease in the number of people enrolling for health insurance over the past ten years has been more than offset by the increases in insurance premiums.

Correct answer:

The decrease in the number of people enrolling for health insurance over the past ten years has been more than offset by the increases in insurance premiums.

Explanation:

Here, the author describes two simultaneous trends that, at first blush, seem to contradict one another. Insurance premiums have increased, which have led to a decrease in insurance enrollment. This first part is logical. However, interestingly, revenues for insurance companies have continued to rise despite the decreased enrollment. The correct answer choice must provide additional revenue that compensates for the decrease in revenue from decreased enrollment. Only the answer choice: “The decrease in the number of people enrolling for health insurance over the past ten years has been more than offset by the increases in insurance premiums” provides this increased revenue that would explain this phenomenon.

Example Question #4 : Determining Which Answer Most Helps To Resolve The Paradox

During his second semester of college, Tom enrolled in tutoring sessions to help him improve his grades. However, his GPA for his second semester was worse than his GPA for his first semester. 

Each of the following, if true, helps to explain why Tom's GPA worsened, EXCEPT:

Possible Answers:

Tom took much more difficult courses his second semester than he did during his first semester. 

The tutoring sessions that Tom enrolled in were counterproductive because the tutor taught him incorrect information. 

Tom's school initiated a new academic policy his second semester, which required all professors to base their grading on a curve. 

Tom experienced a personal crisis during his second semester that distracted him from school. 

The tutoring sessions took more time than Tom had realized they would take. 

Correct answer:

The tutoring sessions took more time than Tom had realized they would take. 

Explanation:

The correct answer is:

The tutoring sessions took more time than Tom had realized they would take. 

This does not resolve the paradox, because even if the tutoring sessions took more time than Tom realized they would required, this does not necessarily mean that he did not have the time to utilize them. All the other answer choices do in fact resolve the paradox because they shed light on why Tom's GPA would have worsened. 

Example Question #6 : Resolve The Paradox

It is time to face the fact that public libraries throughout the country should be converted to fitness facilities. The country's citizens are progressively becoming less healthy and must have access to fitness facilities in order to improve health.  Meanwhile, public libraries take up space but do not provide value to the public. The best course of action is clear.

The author of the passage is most likely to agree with which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Public libraries have not served a valuable purpose in the past

Access to fitness facilities is necessary for citizens to improve health

It is possible for citizens to improve health without increased access to fitness facilities

Public libraries have caused the country's citizens to be unhealthy

Public libraries have provided value to the public in the past

Correct answer:

Access to fitness facilities is necessary for citizens to improve health

Explanation:

The author does not make a judgment about the historic value provided by public libraries, leaving that question open.  The author does state, however, that citizens "must have access to fitness facilities in order to improve health."  Thus, the author apparently holds the view that access to fitness facilities is necessary for improved health.

Example Question #6 : Resolve The Paradox

Smoking cigarettes continues to be a common practice despite countless studies demonstrating that the habit causes deadly diseases. The government has attempted to reduce the number of smokers with advertising campaigns that explain the consequences of smoking, but the campaigns have been ineffective because the habit continues to be as prevalent as it was previous to the campaigns. The government should try one or more of the many alternatives to advertising. For instance, the government could raise the tax on cigarettes to the extent that smoking is prohibitively expensive.

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

Possible Answers:

When taxes on products increase, people are often willing to pay the increased cost to maintain a habit

The vast majority of government advertising campaigns are effective

Advertising campaigns are generally successful only many years after being implemented; the government's campaign has been in effect for one year

There are various, prevalent habits that cause deadly diseases

At the time when most cigarette smokers began smoking, the effects of smoking were unknown

Correct answer:

Advertising campaigns are generally successful only many years after being implemented; the government's campaign has been in effect for one year

Explanation:

A key premise of the argument is that the government's advertising campaign has been unsuccessful because smoking is as prevalent as it was prior to the campaign.  The campaign may still be successful, however, if campaigns are generally successful only after many years.  The new information would undermine a fundamental premise of the argument.

Example Question #7 : Resolve The Paradox

Eye surgery has become a viable alternative to wearing glasses. There have been questions about long term effectiveness for many years, but the doubt seems to be disappearing. Few people have reported negative effects even years after surgery and many people say their improved vision has lasted. We should see the demand for eye surgery increasing drastically as a result of doubts being dispelled. Yet, the number of people obtaining eye surgeries remains relatively constant.

Which of the following most helps to explain the paradox?

Possible Answers:

Eye surgery is more popular in some locations than in others

There are many negative effects from eye surgery even though most people now believe that there are none

Previous doubts about eye surgery effectiveness were unreasonable

Some people have experienced negative effects from eye surgery

Most people who decide to not have eye surgery, do so because of the high cost

Correct answer:

Most people who decide to not have eye surgery, do so because of the high cost

Explanation:

If most people do not have eye surgery because of the cost, then dispelling concerns about effectiveness may not lead to more eye surgeries.

Example Question #8 : Resolve The Paradox

Two years ago, the state legislature significantly increased the fines for distracted driving offenses in an attempt to reduce traffic accidents.  The legislature also made such offenses more severe with regard to possible driver license suspensions, and publicized the new penalties on highway signs and television commercials.  Yet recent studies show that since the changes, the number of tickets for distracted driving has actually increased statewide.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent discrepancy in the passage above?

Possible Answers:

Some drivers in the state are still unaware of the changes to the distracted driving laws.

Car manufacturers have recently added some safety features, such as additional lights or audible signals, to warn drivers who are veering out of traffic lanes.

The state has experienced a significant population boom over the past two years.

The increase in distracted driving tickets within the state is a statistically significant increase.

Speed limits in many parts of the state have increased over the past two years.

Correct answer:

The state has experienced a significant population boom over the past two years.

Explanation:

The correct answer choice resolves the discrepancy by explaining that an overall population increase could increase the total number of tickets despite the deterring effects of the legislative change.  Note that it is the total number of tickets, not the average tickets per person, that has increased.  The only other answer choice that comes close to explaining the discrepancy is that some drivers are unaware of the changes.  However, this answer choice is weak, as it only applies to “some” drivers; more importantly, it does not explain why the total number of tickets has increased rather than stayed the same.  The other answer choices are not useful in explaining the discrepancy.

Example Question #9 : Resolve The Paradox

Recent polls of admissions officers at colleges have shown that when evaluating student applications, volunteering is valued less than taking on leadership roles in student organizations. However, despite having this information, some high school counselors encourage students to spend time volunteering over taking on leadership roles in student organizations. 

Which of the following, if true, resolves this discrepancy?

Possible Answers:

High school counselors tend to disagree with the admissions criteria at colleges. 

Roles in student leadership are limited, and so not every student can obtain such a position. Volunteer work, however, can be completed by anyone. 

Some high school counselors believe that the personal development that can result form volunteering is more important than the competitive edge that a leadership role can earn a student applying for college. 

Volunteer work is something that a person can engage in at any stage of life, while leadership positions in student organizations are isolated to a particular place and time. 

Admissions officers consider many different types of criteria when they evaluate student applications. 

Correct answer:

Some high school counselors believe that the personal development that can result form volunteering is more important than the competitive edge that a leadership role can earn a student applying for college. 

Explanation:

The correct answer is:

Some high school counselors believe that the personal development that can result form volunteering is more important than the competitive edge that a leadership role can earn a student applying for college. 

In order to justify why a high school counselor might favor volunteering over student leadership roles, it is important to show that there is an incentive more powerful than helping a student gain an edge for getting into college. This is the only answer choice that provides such an incentive. Therefore, it is the correct choice. 

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