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ohthatpatrick
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Q15 - Columnist: Many car manufacturers trumpet

by ohthatpatrick Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:24 pm

Question Type:
Flaw

Stimulus Breakdown:
Conclusion: Manufacturers probably inflate their fuel economy numbers (i.e. how many miles per gallon you're supposed to get under normal driving conditions)
Evidence: For all three cars I've owned, I've never gotten the fuel economy advertised.

Answer Anticipation:
If we accepted that auto manufacturers' fuel economy numbers were INCORRECT, then we could argue with the author's speculative explanation that the reason for incorrect numbers is that auto manufacturers are inflating them. We could consider alternative explanations for why fuel economy numbers are inaccurate.

However, there's no need for us to accept that the fuel economy numbers are incorrect. Maybe it's just that this dude drives his car under less-than-ideal fuel economy conditions. Maybe he's in a lot of traffic, pulling freight up the hill, accelerating as fast as he can from red lights, etc. This guy failed to establish that he drives under normal driving conditions.

Correct Answer:
A

Answer Choice Analysis:
(A) Yes, although I would never have picked this on a first pass. The sample size is only 3 cars, which is a very small sample.

(B) The author didn't need to assume this extreme claim, that driving conditions are the SAME in EVERY region.

(C) The author doesn't overlook this possibility; he seems to directly confront the possibility that the cited numbers are biased and unreliable.

(D) There is no discussion of "minimum fuel efficiency standards", so the author didn't need to assume anything about this.

(E) This is the famous flaw called Equivocation. The author uses fuel economy in the same sense both times.

Takeaway/Pattern: For me, this was a good example of "I had a valid reaction to the argument, but it wasn't the reaction LSAT was rewarding here". We have to stay flexible when we evaluate answers, especially in the Hot Zone of LR, because often they are coming at the argument from a different angle from the one we considered. I always ask myself for each Flaw answer choice, "1. Is this accurate? (in this case, B/C/D/E all failed this first check) and 2. Does this really matter to the logical move the author made?"

#officialexplanation
 
AyakiK696
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Re: Q15 - Columnist: Many car manufacturers trumpet

by AyakiK696 Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:13 pm

Would answer choice B be correct if it said "presumes that the driver isn't driving under atypical driving conditions"?
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Re: Q15 - Columnist: Many car manufacturers trumpet

by ohthatpatrick Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:57 pm

For sure.

When I was having reactions such as these in the ANSWER ANTICIPATION section ...

However, there's no need for us to accept that the fuel economy numbers are incorrect. Maybe it's just that this dude drives his car under less-than-ideal fuel economy conditions. Maybe he's in a lot of traffic, pulling freight up the hill, accelerating as fast as he can from red lights, etc. This guy failed to establish that he drives under normal driving conditions.

... I was saying "well ... we're certainly assuming that he was driving under normal conditions".
 
DPCTE4325
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Re: Q15 - Columnist: Many car manufacturers trumpet

by DPCTE4325 Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:36 am

ohthatpatrick wrote:For sure.

When I was having reactions such as these in the ANSWER ANTICIPATION section ...

However, there's no need for us to accept that the fuel economy numbers are incorrect. Maybe it's just that this dude drives his car under less-than-ideal fuel economy conditions. Maybe he's in a lot of traffic, pulling freight up the hill, accelerating as fast as he can from red lights, etc. This guy failed to establish that he drives under normal driving conditions.

... I was saying "well ... we're certainly assuming that he was driving under normal conditions".


Hi Patrick,

I improved my LR score tremendously upon reading your advice for arguing the anti-conclusion. I typically get most flaw/weaken/NA questions correct via this method. I have two questions.

1) How can we apply the anti-conclusion method to flaw questions like this? Where the answer choices aren't plain-text examples, but are rather general flaw categories.

2) Are there scenarios where you would recommend that I NOT use the anti-conclusion for those question types I mentioned above?

Thank you so much!