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Atticus Finch
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Q25 - The more demand there is for something

by ohthatpatrick Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:17 pm

Question Type:
Necessary Assumption

Stimulus Breakdown:
Conclusion: Used cars less than 10 years old are usually easier to sell than those 10 yrs or older.
Evidence: Things in more demand are easier to sell. Used cars less than 10 yrs old are in demand by junkyards, but cars 10 yrs or older are not in demand by junkyards.

Answer Anticipation:
Why is the author only talking about demand, as it relates to junkyards? Don't we need to assess how much demand there is for cars younger than 10 vs. older than 10 based on other possible segments of the buying population?
The author seems to assume that other types of buyers don't matter, or that the preferences of junkyards are representative of the preferences of buyers in general.

Correct Answer:

Answer Choice Analysis:
(A) TOO EXTREME: "not influenced by ANY other factors". The author's conclusion is hedged … it says "generally easier", so he doesn't necessarily believe that demand is the only variable that matters.

(B) TOO EXTREME: "ALL" used cars are sold? Please.

(C) TOO EXTREME: "In general" this is true? The author might think that the older a baseball card is, the easier it is to sell.

(D) This argument isn't about determining a selling price. It's about how easy they are to sell.

(E) YES! This addresses our central concern of "why are you only telling me about the demand for cars, as it relates to junkyards?" The author's evidence is about the demand for the parts of newer cars vs. older cars. The author's conclusion is about the overall salability of these cars. So the author must be assuming that her conclusion is largely a function of her evidence.

Takeaway/Pattern: If we negate (E), and we learn that the salability of the older cars is NOT importantly connected to demand for their parts, then it's easy to argue against this author's conclusion. We would say that older cars are highly sellable given that they have much lower price tags, so frugal car buyers are excited to buy them AND USE THEM.

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Vinny Gambini
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Re: Q25 - The more demand there is for something

by MingL143 Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:16 pm

What do you categorize the argument? Conditional or Correlation & Causation? The reason that I asked is that it sets a different mentality to work on a necessary assumption. If it is first one, I will just anticipate an answer and look for the missing link (or new info); If it is the latter one, I will think of an objection to the argument and find an answer and negate it.
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Atticus Finch
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Re: Q25 - The more demand there is for something

by ohthatpatrick Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:44 pm

I know a lot of LSAT minds are keen to break down everything into the holy trilogy of Conditional, Comparative, or Causal, but I truthfully don't think in those terms.

I just try to notice missing links / term shifts, and if I find one then I have a strong suspicion that the problem is testing THAT related assumption.

If not, I pretend to be Opposing Counsel and think about how I would argue the anti-conclusion.

And often I have to do both because I'm not sure which direction the answers will go.

This argument has all three of the holy trilogy:

if more demand, then easier to sell
if used car less than 10 yrs old, then junkyard will buy it

a potential to resell the parts is what causes junkyards to buy these used cars
a lack of potential to resell the parts of older cars is what causes junkyards not to buy older cars

Used cars under 10 yrs are easier to sell than are used cars over 10 yrs.

If you were studying this argument for missing links, you would start from the conclusion: X is easier to sell than Y.

What do I know about X?
What do I know about Y?
Do I have a rule/law that says "if such-and-such, then easier to sell".

I know that
"if more demand, then easier to sell"
so the author is apparently assuming that there's more demand for X than for Y.

What do we know about X and Y?
Junkyards have more demand for X than they do for Y.

So what's a missing bridge idea?
"If junkyards have more demand for something, then there's more demand (overall) for that thing"

Would that prephrase help us select (E)? Probably not, but it is accurate.
Saying that "demand for older cars is largely about demand for parts" is related to the idea of "If junkyards don't want it, then there's little demand for it".

If I were reading the argument looking for potential objections, then I start from the anti-conclusion: Older used cars are usually easier to sell than newer used cars.

What premises would I have to argue my way around?
Older used cars would usually not be bought by a junkyard, whereas newer used cars would.

Okay, so in order to make an objection, I need to think, "GIVEN THAT junkyards are way less likely to buy older used cars than newer used cars, HOW COULD I ARGUE that older used cars are easier to sell than newer used cars?"

Once I frame that idea, I would think, "What if someone besides a junkyard wants this older used car? Maybe these older cars aren't as popular to a junkyard, because a junkyard's priority is disassembling the car and making money of its parts. But maybe older used cars are more popular when it comes to selling them to other people, because people often want the cheapest car they can buy. A 1995 Honda Civic might not be worth much to a junkyard, but if an 18 year old can buy it for $1000 and start driving, that would be easier to sell than a 2009 Honda Civic that might sell for $9000."

Would that put me in a good position to like (E)? Yeah, probably.

Since I've already thought through the lens of "what would make older cars EASIER to sell", my brain realized that they would be much cheaper to buy. So anyone looking to buy a used car for the sake of driving it would potentially be more likely to buy my cheaper 11 year old used car than to buy my much more expensive 5 year old used car.

Hope this helps.