LSAT Logical Reasoning : Determining which answer most strengthens the argument

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for LSAT Logical Reasoning

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Example Questions

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Example Question #31 : Lsat Logical Reasoning

It is immoral for a government to enter a war unless its own citizens have been attacked. To avoid taking immoral action, governments should receive international approval before entering a war in another country, no matter the cost.

Which of the following, if true, provides the most support for the argument?

Possible Answers:

Governments often save lives by entering wars in other countries

Some governments have caused international turmoil by entering wars without international approval

A government will not receive international approval to join a war when its citizens have not been attacked

There is usually international approval for a government that goes to war after its citizens are attacked

Governments increase casualties by joining wars in other countries

Correct answer:

A government will not receive international approval to join a war when its citizens have not been attacked

Explanation:

An apparent weakness of the argument is that a government might receive international approval for going to war even when its citizens have not been attacked. If a government could never receive international approval for such a war, then this would no longer be a weakness.

Example Question #32 : Lsat Logical Reasoning

When car manufacturers place a high priority on generating large profits, they neglect their responsibility to make safe cars. Those manufacturers with the highest profits also make the most unsafe cars. Car manufacturers should be less concerned with generating large profits in order to improve car safety.

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

Possible Answers:

When car manufacturers reduce their priority on generating large profits, their profits actually increase

All car manufacturers expend approximately the same resources on car safety

Car safety can be improved with little effort on the part of car manufacturers

The car manufacturers with the highest profits also place a high priority on generating large profits

Car manufacturers that make the safest cars also give large amounts of money to charities

Correct answer:

The car manufacturers with the highest profits also place a high priority on generating large profits

Explanation:

The argument states that manufacturers with the highest profits also make the most unsafe cars.  This is only supporting evidence, however, if manufacturers with the highest profits also place the highest priority on profits.

Example Question #1 : Strengthen/Support

Common perceptions aside, people are safer from crime in urban areas than in rural areas. The reason for this is that there are more people available to prevent crimes in urban areas and police can respond more quickly than in rural areas. For instance, a person who yells for help after being robbed is more likely to be heard in an urban area. It is also likely that a police officer will arrive more quickly because there are more of them in urban areas.

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

Possible Answers:

Crime rates are similar in both urban and rural areas

A higher percentage of crimes take place on the streets in urban areas than in rural areas

People in urban areas are less likely to respond to a yell for help than in rural areas

On average, police respond to urban crime scenes twice as fast as rural crime scenes

Crimes in rural areas tend to be less dangerous than in urban areas, although the overall number of crimes is comparable

Correct answer:

On average, police respond to urban crime scenes twice as fast as rural crime scenes

Explanation:

The fact that police officers respond more quickly in urban areas than in rural areas directly supports a central premise of the argument and, ultimately, the conclusion. Several of the incorrect answers appear to provide some support for the ultimate conclusion, but they do not provide support for the particular reasoning of the argument.

Example Question #4 : Determining Which Answer Most Strengthens The Argument

The Democratic Party, despite being more popular than the Republicans in a recent national poll, will not retake the House of Representatives this upcoming election. This poll does not account for the fact that most incumbent Republicans poll much higher than the rest of their party, the Democratic Party does not have eligible candidates to challenge most seats, nor that recent changes in election laws give the better-funded Republican Party the opportunity to flood television with attack advertisements.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument made in the passage above?

Possible Answers:

The election is over twelve months away.

Attack advertisements do not disgust voters, making them more likely to vote for another party.

Many members of the Republican Party Caucus in the House of Representatives voted to cut social security benefits.

National polls tend to understate the Democratic Party's advantages.

Incumbents cannot fundraise as effectively when their party’s national reputation is under attack.

Correct answer:

Attack advertisements do not disgust voters, making them more likely to vote for another party.

Explanation:

This answer defends the conclusion from the argument that the attack advertisements the Republicans will use will push voters away. The other four answers either contain irrelevant information or evidence that actually harms the conclusion.

Example Question #1 : Strengthen/Support

Scholar: Journalists tend to be low-paid workers struggling to meet deadlines. Their editors tend to care less about the accuracy of the story and more about whether the story will sell. It follows that readers should be skeptical of the accuracy of most newspaper articles they read.

Each of the following helps strengthen the argument in the passage above EXCEPT:

Possible Answers:

Many readers feel like they are not being given the whole story when they read newspaper articles.

Time pressure incentivizes journalists to cut corners and exclude certain facts they could not research in time.

Lower paid professions tend to attract less qualified people who do not have the necessary background to effectively research a complex issue.

Pressure from editors affects the way journalists produce their articles.

Articles that are most popular with readers tend to be sensationalist and lack accuracy.

Correct answer:

Many readers feel like they are not being given the whole story when they read newspaper articles.

Explanation:

The correct answer does nothing to strengthen the argument presented in the stimulus. The fact that readers do not feel they are getting the whole story does not mean that readers should not trust the newspaper articles they read. This answer only speaks to how readers feel, not the objective reality of whether the newspaper articles are accurate.

Example Question #2 : Determining Which Answer Most Strengthens The Argument

Even though Cindy tends to not lie, she decided that she would tell her friend Marvin that his performance went well, even though it had not, to cheer him up.

Which one of the following principles justifies Cindy’s behavior?

Possible Answers:

Telling a lie to a friend is morally justified under some circumstances as long as you eventually tell them the truth.

Telling a lie is never morally justified.

Telling a lie can only be morally justified if it is to a friend and for the purpose of preventing them from being harmed.

Telling a lie, as long as it is to a friend and for the purpose of cheering him or her up, is morally justified.

Telling a lie to a friend is never morally justified.

Correct answer:

Telling a lie, as long as it is to a friend and for the purpose of cheering him or her up, is morally justified.

Explanation:

Only the correct answer is a principle that justifies the stimulus. The rest of the answers do not line up with the stimulus.

Example Question #2 : Strengthen/Support

Professional football teams should more often select new players from colleges with uncompetitive football teams.  Most professional teams target players from competitive college teams, leaving few competitors for teams who select from less competitive colleges.  Those who take a different view incorrectly believe that there are few talented players at uncompetitive colleges.  The reality is that even very uncompetitive teams may have exceptionally talented individual players.

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

Possible Answers:

An increasing number of professional teams select players from uncompetitive college teams

Though there are more often talented players on competitive college teams, they are also on uncompetitive teams

Professional teams compete with each other to select players from competitive college teams but not from uncompetitive teams

Most professional football teams evaluate the talent of players on both competitive and uncompetitive college teams

Some uncompetitive college teams become competitive teams

Correct answer:

Professional teams compete with each other to select players from competitive college teams but not from uncompetitive teams

Explanation:

The argument claims that professional teams should select players from uncompetitive college teams but only asserts one advantage to doing so: less competition from other professional teams.  The argument is thus strengthened if professional teams are less likely to compete for players from uncompetitive teams.

Example Question #5 : Strengthen/Support

In Southern California, a small newspaper company has doubled its sales of newspapers this quarter, compared to the previous quarter. However, it is bringing in significantly less revenue. 

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

Possible Answers:

Given the accessibility that the general public has to newspapers online, the need for physical newspapers has diminished. 

The increased sales were not enough to help the company to generate more revenue. 

Although newspaper sales increased, there were reports of low customer satisfaction. 

The newspaper company has lowered the prices of the paper in order sell more; however, the increase in sales does not offset the lower price point. 

Key members of the executive leadership quit from the company. 

Correct answer:

The newspaper company has lowered the prices of the paper in order sell more; however, the increase in sales does not offset the lower price point. 

Explanation:

The correct answer is:

The newspaper company has lowered the prices of the paper in order sell more; however, the increase in sales does not offset the lower price point. 

This is because lowering the price of a product will only increase revenue if a sufficient amount of the product is sold. If the newspaper company did not sell enough of its product, then it follows that revenue would decrease. 

Example Question #6 : Strengthen/Support

Contrary to what many people believe, living in the city provides for a healthier lifestyle than living in the suburbs. This is due in large part to the fact that people who live in the city are often encouraged to walk more than people living in the suburbs. 

Which of the following, if true, best supports the argument?

Possible Answers:

Food in cities tends to be healthier than food in the suburbs. 

Walking has been shown to be beneficial to a person's cardiovascular health. 

Due to the higher frequency of traffic collisions in suburban areas than in cities, it is safer to live in cities. 

While there is more air pollution in the city, there are also more measures taken to purify the air that is circulated indoors. 

Suburban areas tend to experience more crime than cities. 

Correct answer:

Walking has been shown to be beneficial to a person's cardiovascular health. 

Explanation:

The argument hinges on the fact that cities are healthier than suburban areas due to the fact that people walk more. Therefore, information that would strengthen this argument would support the fact that walking is in fact healthy. Therefore, the answer is:

Walking has been shown to be beneficial to a person's cardiovascular health. 

Example Question #4 : Strengthen/Support

Psychologist: Intelligence cannot be adequately captured by a single number, such as an IQ score. There are different types of intelligence, including social, emotional, and kinesthetic. Indeed, these forms of intelligence may be even more important than IQ when it comes to everyday functioning and life satisfaction. Humans face different types of challenges, many of which cannot be expressed or measured in a standardized test. It is, therefore, likely that IQ scores are overvalued in our society, and should be de-emphasized.

Which one of the following, if true, lends the most support to the psychologist’s argument?

Possible Answers:

Most adults in our society have never taken an IQ test and do not know what their IQ score is.

Some psychologists have devised testing regimes to measure social and kinesthetic intelligence, which involve hands-on assessments rather than the usual standardized testing format.

Some scientists have criticized IQ scores for being unreliable over time, due to the possibility of test takers being able to “study” for them by focusing on specific mathematical and verbal subjects between assessments.

Studies have shown that persons with high IQ scores tend to succeed more in white collar rather than blue collar jobs.

One longitudinal study found that participants, who were statistically indistinguishable with regard to their IQ scores, reported being happier and more financially successful when they were skilled at managing their social and family relationships.

Correct answer:

One longitudinal study found that participants, who were statistically indistinguishable with regard to their IQ scores, reported being happier and more financially successful when they were skilled at managing their social and family relationships.

Explanation:

The key phrases in the psychologist’s conclusion are “everyday functioning and life satisfaction.” A study which shows that skills not measured by IQ (relationship management) may lead to greater happiness and financial success is strong evidence of an IQ score’s limitations.

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