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Atticus Finch
Atticus Finch
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Re: Q12 - Researcher: A number of studies

by ohthatpatrick Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:25 pm

Right, the anti-conclusion mindset isn't useful here because this is one of the 0.1% of questions that just cheapen the value of the premise.

I would have been thinking, when I read this ...
GIVEN THAT everyone had similar improvement, despite different therapies
HOW CAN I SAY what made them better was NOT a common denominator?

I would have to argue that it's possible/plausible/probable that a bunch of different therapies would have similar measures of initial improvement.

Maybe taking to a therapist / being hypnotized / acupuncture / drawing pictures / smelling candles / etc. all lead to about X units of improvement in the short-term.

That would allow me to say, "just because they had similar improvement doesn't mean that the improvement came from a similar causal source".

And, since wordplay is not beyond LSAT, a "similar level of improvement" could be "zero improvement".

In that case, one wouldn't want to draw a conclusion like "any improvement is the result of a common denominator". A more apt conclusion would be, "none of these different methods yields much short term improvement".

So it would take a flexible read to interpret (A) and see that it's damaging to the author's case.

Ultimately, the idea of the anti-conclusion is just the metaphor for the Defense Attorney. The author of these LSAT arguments is prosecuting a case, marshaling evidence in favor of proving the verdict in the conclusion.

The defense doesn't need to prove the opposite of the verdict; she only needs to show that the prosecution hasn't proven his verdict.

Arguing from the point of view of the anti-conclusion is a mindset that helps you feel whether an idea is helpful to the Prosecution, helpful to you the Defense, or irrelevant.

You don't need to think of it as "I must prove a refutation of the conclusion".
Just think, "How do I create some doubt about the case this author is arguing?"

Mrs. Jackson says she saw Tommy at the scene of the crime. Thus, Tommy committed the crime.

Even though he was at the scene of the crime, I could still create doubt about whether Tommy committed the crime.

Mrs. Jackson has terrible cataracts and wouldn't be able to see someone as far away as Tommy was.

Both of those serve our purposes as the defense attorney, trying to weaken the prosecution's case.