September 1, 2016 at 9:30 am #2648
First, I want to say that I’m almost finished with the LSAT Trainer. It has been a fantastic help, and I’m noticing huge improvements as I drill the practice tests. Thank you so much Mr. Kim for creating this resource!
Along with drilling practice tests, I still like to go back and do drills from the book as daily warm ups. Today, I redid the “One Argument & Ten Answers” drill from Chp. 20 (Pg. 285). I ran into two issues that I didn’t think about before. For set A, I’m having trouble seeing why I does not strengthen the argument. If I is a sufficient assumption that validates the argument, why would it not also strengthen it?
For set B, I see how H and I are very weak (“often” and “can cause”), but they still seem like potential weakeners. They remind me of choices B and E the example problem 28.1.23. If H and I are true, they suggest that anxiety and depression may/can cause changes in sleep. Not the other way around, like the argument suggests (sleep does not impact anxiety / depression).
Has anyone else had similar problems on these? Thanks for any help!
P.S. On a side note, have you ever considered creating an additional book of drill problems and explanations? The drills and non-LSAT practice questions in the Trainer have been a tremendous help. I’d buy extra drills created by you in a heartbeat. They’re so helpful, in fact, I’d even contribute to a crowdfunding campaign if you wanted to purse that.
September 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm #2651Mike KimKeymaster
Hey John —
Glad to hear that you’ve found the Trainer useful thus far and thanks so much for the comments — it’s awfully nice of you to say and I appreciate it —
In terms of the your first question (about I) — that is a typo, and you are absolutely correct to say that an answer that is sufficient should of course strengthen.
I’m so terribly sorry about that — I honestly can’t remember the last time someone has found an error of significance like that, and I can’t believe it’s lasted until now without any other student noticing and mentioning it — I used to, when the book first came out, offer a $10 Amazon gift card reward if anyone found an error — if you don’t mind, I’d love to send you one now for your troubles — just message me the email address you want it sent to — sorry again, and thanks for letting me know — I’ll fix it immediately.
In terms of Set B — the issue is a very subtle and sneaky one — notice that the conclusion itself is about correlation, not causation.
The author is not making a claim about sleeping concerns causing anxiety and depression as opposed to anxiety and depression causing sleeping issues, etc., but rather about whether there is a correlation between amount of sleep and anxiety and depression in the first place —
Neither H nor I have a direct impact on that correlative conclusion.
To illustrate with an analogous situation, imagine the following argument (please forgive any small wording issues):
“Research has shown that adults in the top 1% in terms of total wealth and adults in the lowest 1% in terms of total wealth work, on average, about the same number of hours per week. This shows that there is minimal correlation between the amount that one works and the amount of wealth one builds up.”
So what’s wrong with this argument? Those extremes aren’t enough to show that there isn’t actually any correlation —
Maybe the super-rich don’t need to work and the super-poor can’t work, but that’s beside the point — the important thing is that —
Maybe for the other 98% of people in between those two extremes, there is a very strong correlation between the amount of hours worked and the amount of wealth accumulated.
Now, notice that in this analogy, whether having more wealth causes those in the 98% to work more (or less), or working more causes one to have more wealth (or less), doesn’t impact the argument reasoning one way or the other —
Either way, the argument hinges on whether the correlation exists or it doesn’t, and that’s the same situation we have in Set B.
Hope that helps clear things up and let me know if you have any follow-up q’s —
September 2, 2016 at 10:22 am #2653
Hello Mr. Kim,
Thank you so much for your response and for clearing that up! I really appreciate your response and support.
I think I better understand set B after your explanation. Here is how I understand it:
The argument is about whether a correlation exists between sleep and anxiety/depression based on the top and bottom 5% of sleep. Depression and / or anxiety potentially causing changes in sleeping behavior does not have a direct impact on whether the top/bottom 5% is enough to make that correlation. Is that correct?
September 2, 2016 at 10:36 am #2654Mike KimKeymaster
Hey John (please call me Mike) — that’s absolutely right — what makes it sneaky is that 9 out of 10 similar questions will be about how correlation relates to causal claims, but this happens to be about the correlation itself —
Glad to be use and I’ll be here if you need anything else —
And by the way also great to hear that you’ve found the drills useful — I do plan on putting up some additional free ones up on this site (there are going to be a lot of new resources added here over the next few months) — let me know if there are any particular ones you might prefer — in the meantime, one other resource you may want to check out is the Manhattan LSAT Arcade — I created that, and though it turned out very different than I had imagined it, I still think it can be useful for students who want to train and develop habits —
Have a great weekend and let me know if you need anything else — Mike
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