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 : Identifying Causal Flaws

After replacing her old air conditioner with a new, energy-efficient unit, Paula’s electric bills increased.

Each of the following, if true, contributes to an explanation of the increase mentioned above EXCEPT:

Possible Answers:

Following the installation of her new air conditioner, Paula's neighborhood experienced a prolonged and severe heat wave, requiring heavy use of the new unit.

Paula installed an electricity-intensive indoor tanning bed after she replaced her air conitioning unit.

Soon after the new air conditioner was installed, Paula adopted a child, doubling the size of her household.

The new air conditioner uses a smaller share of the electricity used by Paula’s home than did the old unit.

Paula's electricity costs increased by 15 cents per kilowatt hour after she replaced her air conditioner.

Correct answer:

The new air conditioner uses a smaller share of the electricity used by Paula’s home than did the old unit.

Explanation:

The correct answer here is the one that does not explain the apparent paradox. That the new unit uses a smaller share of total electricity is consistent with its being more energy efficient. It does not explain how her electric bills could have gone up despite her installation of the more effeicient unit; all other answers provide possible resolutions of such apparent paradox.

Example Question #11 : Determining Which Answer Most Helps To Resolve The Paradox

A computer technician notices several bugs in a computer indicating that the computer has one or more viruses. The computer technician scans the computer for viruses. After discovering several viruses in the system, the technician runs anti-virus software. When the software is finished, the technician confirms that all viruses have been deleted but that the bugs in the computer are still present.

Which of the following statements does NOT resolve the paradox described above?

Possible Answers:

The bugs were not caused by the viruses, but by a problem with the operating system.

The viruses were deleted but the bugs could not be fixed by the anti-virus software.

After the viruses were deleted the computer became infected with several new viruses.

What the technician believed to be bugs were actually not bugs.

There were several viruses not initially detected by the anti-virus software.

Correct answer:

There were several viruses not initially detected by the anti-virus software.

Explanation:

Whether or not several viruses were initially detected by the anti-virus software does not matter because it is clearly stated that all viruses were deleted. In fact, even if several viruses were not initially detected, they would still have been deleted by the anti-virus software.

Example Question #11 : Determining Which Answer Most Helps To Resolve The Paradox

A child sells lemonade by the road. The child put ice in the lemonade. When lemonade has ice in it, lemonade is cool to drink and refreshing. On hot days, pedestrians and motorists will only drink cool and refreshing beverages. But the child sells more lemonade on cold days than on hot days.

Which of the following best resolves the above paradox?

Possible Answers:

On hot days, the pedestrians do not travel very far.

On hot days, the ice melts.

On cool days, the child stays out longer.

On cool days, there are more motorists than pedestrians.

Motorists and pedestrians will usually buy lemonade.

Correct answer:

On hot days, the ice melts.

Explanation:

If the ice melts the lemonade will not be made cool and refreshing. Because pedestrians and motorists will only drink beverages that are cool and refreshing on hot days, the child will not sell any lemonade on hot days because the lemonade will not be cool and refreshing.

Example Question #12 : Determining Which Answer Most Helps To Resolve The Paradox

Apartment buildings are better at withstanding tornadoes than mobile homes are, because they are anchored more solidly to the ground by their foundations.  In a recent tornado, however, an apartment building was destroyed, while the mobile homes in the adjacent lots were not damaged.  

Which of the following, if true, best explains the aftermath of the tornado described above?

Possible Answers:

The residents of the mobile homes all evacuated while the residents of the apartment buildings did not.

The roof of the apartment buildings had already been damaged by an ice storm in late winter.

All structures are somewhat vulnerable to tornadoes.

The apartment buildings were newer than the mobile homes.

There are more apartment buildings than mobile homes in tornado-prone areas. 

Correct answer:

The roof of the apartment buildings had already been damaged by an ice storm in late winter.

Explanation:

The relative number of each type of structure in a given area does not explain why one was damaged and another was not (the question did not say that MORE apartments were damaged than mobile homes). The question also did not say anything about the occupants inside the homes, and whether or not occupants are in the home does not determine whether or not the homes themselves are damaged.  The fact that all buildings are somewhat vulnerable does not explain the difference in damage. The only answer choice that explains the unexpected difference is the one that implies that the structure that is typically supposed to be stronger was somehow weakened in a previous event.

Example Question #12 : Determining Which Answer Most Helps To Resolve The Paradox

There were few people who actually understood what the professor was lecturing about, but none of his students challenged the statements. Instead, they all decided to trudge through their reading and assignments in hopes those would make the subject clear.

Which of the following statements best resolves the paradox presented above?

Possible Answers:

The professor is much smarter than his students when it comes to the subject matter.

The students are not able to understand the material because it is above their intellectual capabilities.

The textbook for the class presents the material in a much clearer manner than the professor.

The students are not capable of understanding anything the professor explains.

The professor does not actually understand the course's subject matter well enough to explain it to his students.

Correct answer:

The textbook for the class presents the material in a much clearer manner than the professor.

Explanation:

The professor's lecture is stated as being incomprehensible to his students, but that they are hopeful that the subject matter can be made clear through the textbook. This paradox, that the students think they can understand the material although not understanding the specific lecture, can be resolved by the fact that the textbook will explain the material in a much clearer manner than the professor.

Example Question #13 : Determining Which Answer Most Helps To Resolve The Paradox

The owner of a local convenience store wants to increase store revenue. Soft-serve ice cream machines provide a cheap snack for customers on a hot day and also produce ice cream at a low production cost. The owner of the local convenience store installs a soft-serve ice cream machine to increase revenue. After the soft-serve ice cream machine is installed, the revenue of the store goes down.

Which of the following best explains the drop in revenue?

Possible Answers:

Customers started buying the cheap ice cream instead of more expensive snacks.

Due to the high maintenance costs of the ice cream machine, the store’s expenses went up.

The ice cream machine brought in more customers, but all customers started spending less in the the store.

The ice cream is sold at such a low price it’s relative impact on the revenue of the business is negligible.

Parents only bought the ice cream for their children on hot days.

Correct answer:

Customers started buying the cheap ice cream instead of more expensive snacks.

Explanation:

If the customers start buying cheap snacks instead of expensive snacks, that could explain the drop in revanue. If the icecream brings in more customers and if those customers spend less there is the possibility that it could increase revenue. Maintenance costs are expenses not revenue. Finally, be careful to avoid answers that are not relevant to the question or that do not make sense, such as the ‘relative impact’ answer.

Example Question #14 : Determining Which Answer Most Helps To Resolve The Paradox

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is one of the primary ways that economists determine the health of an economy. Unfortunately, GDP is very difficult to calculate and many economists realize that official GDP reports are inaccurate. Despite this, many economists feel that they can accurately gauge the health of an economy.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps resolve the apparent contradiction in the paragraph above?

Possible Answers:

Official GDP reports include a disclaimer that explains that the report may have flaws.

GDP can be calculated using very simple sets of data.

There is another accurate metric that economists can use to gauge the health of an economy.

The government, which reports GDP, has an incentive to overstate the data to make the economy look healthier than it is.

Several preeminent economists have concluded that it is impossible to accurately gauge the health of an economy.

Correct answer:

There is another accurate metric that economists can use to gauge the health of an economy.

Explanation:

We are looking for an answer that helps explain why economists feel like they can accurately gauge the health of the economy despite the fact that they think their primary means of doing so may have flaws. The correct answer helps resolve this paradox by showing that there could be another metric that economists use to help gauge the health of the economy. The other answers either are irrelevant or make the paradox harder to explain.

Example Question #14 : Determining Which Answer Most Helps To Resolve The Paradox

Much of the recent scholarship surrounding counter-terrorism studies has fallen under heavy criticism for its ambiguous use of labels, its lack of interviews with actual terrorists, and its inability to create reproducible results. Despite these shortcomings, Dr. Jane Waxman, a Professor of terrorism studies, has concluded that these counter-terrorism studies are very useful.

Which of the following, if true, would help explain the apparent discrepancy between the Professor’s conclusion and the problems surrounding recent scholarship on counter-terrorism?

Possible Answers:

Many of the problems that the recent scholarship points out have existed for a while.

Dr. Waxman has emphasized in the past her support for the field of counter-terrorism studies.

Having concrete examples of poor scholarship can help others in the field avoid those same mistakes.

Several other professors agree with Dr. Waxman.

Many other disciplines have similar problems to counter-terrorism studies.

Correct answer:

Having concrete examples of poor scholarship can help others in the field avoid those same mistakes.

Explanation:

We are looking for an answer that helps explain why Dr. Waxman finds the existing counter-terrorism scholarship useful in spite of its weaknesses. The correct answer does this by showing that the weak scholarship can be useful to future scholars. The rest of the answers do not help resolve the paradox.

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