Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: belushi018 on July 01, 2009, 10:40:18 AM

Title: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: belushi018 on July 01, 2009, 10:40:18 AM
I could swear the credited response for the following question (from PrepTest 2) is wrong.
"There is little point in looking to artists for insights into political issues.  Most of them hold political views that are less insightful than those of any reasonably well-educated person who is not an artist.  Indeed, when taken as a whole, the statements made by artists, including those considered to be great, indicate that artistic talen and political insight are rarely found together."

Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

I did not find any answer particularly appealing, but I do feel like the credited response was clearly wrong.  The answer is

"Some artists are no less politically insightful than some reasonably well-educated persons who are not artists."

The stimulus says, essentially, that most artists have less insightful political views than well-educated non-artists.  However, most does not preclude the possibility of all (since the concept of all contains the concept of most), and for this reason, I don't see how we can infer that some artists are no less politically insightful than non artists.  This is possible, but not necessarily the case.

Does anyone have any input on this?
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: belushi018 on July 01, 2009, 03:57:11 PM
Really??  57 views and nobody has any thoughts on this?
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: visualverificationfailure on July 01, 2009, 07:07:00 PM
I had a student that called them up and demanded they check an answer. They were not amused. Sometimes a bad answer looks better the next day.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: contrarian on July 01, 2009, 07:09:27 PM
I could swear the credited response for the following question (from PrepTest 2) is wrong.
"There is little point in looking to artists for insights into political issues.  Most of them hold political views that are less insightful than those of any reasonably well-educated person who is not an artist.  Indeed, when taken as a whole, the statements made by artists, including those considered to be great, indicate that artistic talen and political insight are rarely found together."

Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

I did not find any answer particularly appealing, but I do feel like the credited response was clearly wrong.  The answer is

"Some artists are no less politically insightful than some reasonably well-educated persons who are not artists."

The stimulus says, essentially, that most artists have less insightful political views than well-educated non-artists.  However, most does not preclude the possibility of all (since the concept of all contains the concept of most), and for this reason, I don't see how we can infer that some artists are no less politically insightful than non artists.  This is possible, but not necessarily the case.

Does anyone have any input on this?

I do believe that for purposes of the LSAT, most does not imply the possibility of all.  It means the greatest of multiple amounts, therefore there has to be some that are not in the most category.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: belushi018 on July 01, 2009, 07:51:12 PM
Contrarian,
  I would have agreed with you.  However, the Powerscore Logical Reasoning Bible (one of the most definitive prep books out there) clearly disagrees.  Page 315 breaks down what they call "The Logic Ladder."  This is what they say:
"if a statement is made that 'all waiters like wine,' then you automatically know that 'most waiters like wine,' and 'some waiters like wine.'  The same is true for most relationships, but to a more limited extent.  If 'most waiters like wine,' then you automatically know that 'some waiters like wine.'  But because most is below all on the Logic Ladder, you do not know with certainty that 'all waiters like wine' (it is possibly true, but not certain)"
All of that was a quote from powerscore.  The very last part--"it is possibly true, but not certain--is what I'm talking about.  If we say "Most artists know less about politics than not artists," according to Powerscore, it's still possible that "all artists know less about politics than non artists," and, if that's the case, we can't infer that some artists know as much as non artists about politics. 
So, it seems to me that either Powerscore is wrong, or the test is wrong.  Since this is from Preptest 2, I'm tempted to believe the latter is the case.  Thoughts?


I could swear the credited response for the following question (from PrepTest 2) is wrong.
"There is little point in looking to artists for insights into political issues.  Most of them hold political views that are less insightful than those of any reasonably well-educated person who is not an artist.  Indeed, when taken as a whole, the statements made by artists, including those considered to be great, indicate that artistic talen and political insight are rarely found together."

Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

I did not find any answer particularly appealing, but I do feel like the credited response was clearly wrong.  The answer is

"Some artists are no less politically insightful than some reasonably well-educated persons who are not artists."

The stimulus says, essentially, that most artists have less insightful political views than well-educated non-artists.  However, most does not preclude the possibility of all (since the concept of all contains the concept of most), and for this reason, I don't see how we can infer that some artists are no less politically insightful than non artists.  This is possible, but not necessarily the case.

Does anyone have any input on this?

I do believe that for purposes of the LSAT, most does not imply the possibility of all.  It means the greatest of multiple amounts, therefore there has to be some that are not in the most category.






fff













Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: MauveAvenger on July 01, 2009, 08:30:23 PM
"There is little point in looking to artists for insights into political issues.  Most of them hold political views that are less insightful than those of any reasonably well-educated person who is not an artist.  Indeed, when taken as a whole, the statements made by artists, including those considered to be great, indicate that artistic talen and political insight are rarely found together."


"Most" could mean anything from 51%-99%. It means the majority are less insightful. So, SOME (anywhere from 1%-49%) are NOT less insightful. Which means they are as insightful as reasonably well educated people. It's hard to differentiate between everyday, colloquial vocabulary and what a word literally means, but you have to on the LSAT. Both words are very very vague, so you have to take their direct meaning. While we may think "some" means a lot, in actually it could mean any number, however small. The answer that LSAC has is technically (and literally) correct.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: eyeoftheligrr on July 01, 2009, 08:44:02 PM
My understanding of "most," as used on the LSAT, is 51-100%.  (Colloquially I understand most to mean 51-99%)  My 51-100% interpretation is based on Powerscore's "logic ladder."  As you point out, Belushi and Penn, the stimulus in question is incompatible with this interpretation of "most." 

So... has anyone contacted Powerscore about this?  Maybe they can get a response from LSAC.  Perhaps what LSAC means by "most" has shifted over time.. ?
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: contrarian on July 01, 2009, 10:56:02 PM
Note the last line, artistic talent and political insight are rarely found together.  Therefore some people with artistic talent have political insight.  Therefore, it would indicate that most is in fact not all.

Contrarian,
  I would have agreed with you.  However, the Powerscore Logical Reasoning Bible (one of the most definitive prep books out there) clearly disagrees.  Page 315 breaks down what they call "The Logic Ladder."  This is what they say:
"if a statement is made that 'all waiters like wine,' then you automatically know that 'most waiters like wine,' and 'some waiters like wine.'  The same is true for most relationships, but to a more limited extent.  If 'most waiters like wine,' then you automatically know that 'some waiters like wine.'  But because most is below all on the Logic Ladder, you do not know with certainty that 'all waiters like wine' (it is possibly true, but not certain)"
All of that was a quote from powerscore.  The very last part--"it is possibly true, but not certain--is what I'm talking about.  If we say "Most artists know less about politics than not artists," according to Powerscore, it's still possible that "all artists know less about politics than non artists," and, if that's the case, we can't infer that some artists know as much as non artists about politics. 
So, it seems to me that either Powerscore is wrong, or the test is wrong.  Since this is from Preptest 2, I'm tempted to believe the latter is the case.  Thoughts?

Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: r6_philly on July 01, 2009, 11:13:49 PM
I am a science/math major and I like to visualize things. lets plot a simple graph based on the premise given. Lets us A to represent the artist population and W for Well-educated non-artist persons. Then suppose the degree of insightfulness is on a increasing scale from the left to the right.

So most artist are less insightful -> some of the A's (5) are NOT LESS THAN W's -> it overlaps the lower fence of the W's
Then the rest of the W's are greater than all the A's.
Now look at the graph: the 5 A's are NOT LESS THAN at least 5 of the W's -> "Some A's are NOT LESS THAN some W's.

This graph fits all the conditions spelled out. The LSAC answer is correct no matter what the  numerical definition of "Most" or some is. The overlap can be 1% or 49%. Remember they inferred that at least some are NO LESS THAN, they didnt say "MORE THAN". You cannot prove that the overlap A's are LESS THAN, so they must be NOT LESS THAN.

Artists: AAAAAAAAAAAAAA
WENonAs:                      WWWWWWWWWWWWWWW 
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: gzl on July 02, 2009, 02:15:29 AM
I could swear the credited response for the following question (from PrepTest 2) is wrong.
"There is little point in looking to artists for insights into political issues.  Most of them hold political views that are less insightful than those of any reasonably well-educated person who is not an artist.  Indeed, when taken as a whole, the statements made by artists, including those considered to be great, indicate that artistic talen and political insight are rarely found together."

Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

I did not find any answer particularly appealing, but I do feel like the credited response was clearly wrong.  The answer is

"Some artists are no less politically insightful than some reasonably well-educated persons who are not artists."

The stimulus says, essentially, that most artists have less insightful political views than well-educated non-artists.  However, most does not preclude the possibility of all (since the concept of all contains the concept of most), and for this reason, I don't see how we can infer that some artists are no less politically insightful than non artists.  This is possible, but not necessarily the case.

Does anyone have any input on this?

I'd say you are right, if all you're looking at is "most."  The last line, I think, is intended to limit the scope of "most" to "most but not all," with "rarely" meaning the set has *some* members.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: gzl on July 02, 2009, 02:21:11 AM
I am a science/math major and I like to visualize things. lets plot a simple graph based on the premise given. Lets us A to represent the artist population and W for Well-educated non-artist persons. Then suppose the degree of insightfulness is on a increasing scale from the left to the right.

So most artist are less insightful -> some of the A's (5) are NOT LESS THAN W's -> it overlaps the lower fence of the W's
Then the rest of the W's are greater than all the A's.
Now look at the graph: the 5 A's are NOT LESS THAN at least 5 of the W's -> "Some A's are NOT LESS THAN some W's.

This graph fits all the conditions spelled out. The LSAC answer is correct no matter what the  numerical definition of "Most" or some is. The overlap can be 1% or 49%. Remember they inferred that at least some are NO LESS THAN, they didnt say "MORE THAN". You cannot prove that the overlap A's are LESS THAN, so they must be NOT LESS THAN.

Artists: AAAAAAAAAAAAAA
WENonAs:                      WWWWWWWWWWWWWWW 

But if you don't interpret the "rarely" of the last line to mean that there are some members in the set described, a graph showing NO overlap would also fit the conditions.  The overlap can be 0%, too.  "Most people are mortal" is a true statement, even if the statement "all people are mortal" is also true.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: Ninja1 on July 02, 2009, 03:35:53 AM
LSAC is right for the reasons already covered. Most does not equal all, and so some artists, even if only a very small number, will be at least as well spoken on politics as the book learned, even if artists as a whole suck.

Thank god the LSAT has nothing to do with law school, I'd have quit by now.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: belushi018 on July 02, 2009, 07:20:21 AM
The bottom line is that what Powerscore says and what the question says the answer is are not compatible.  They're just not.  Most does not necessarily include all, so correct, we cannot deduce that there are NOT some artists who know more about politics than well-educated non-artists.  That said, because MOST is a subset of all, it is POSSIBLE that aALL artists know less than well-educated artists--we simply can't know from the stimulus.  Because we can't know, we can't assume that SOME artists are no less politically insightful.  It could be that all of them are less politically insightful!  If all of them are less politically insightful, we could still say that MOST of them are less politically insightful--as the stimulus does.
In response to those of you who suggested that the final sentence effectively suggests they're talking about "most but not all" instead of just "most," I think that is clearly not the case.  Let's look at the sentence, Contrarian.  You wrote:
"artistic talent and political insight are rarely found together.  Therefore some people with artistic talent have political insight.  Therefore, it would indicate that most is in fact not all."  But the sentence "artistic talent and political insight are rarely found together," even if it does suggest that they are, in fact, sometimes found together, says nothing about the LEVEL of political insight relative to well-educated non-artists.  So while some artists may have political insight, we cannot assume that they have "no less political insight" than well educated non-artists.

For those of you who continue to suggest that most is 51%-99%, although I think this is the case in conventional use, according to Powerscore, it is clearly NOT the case in LSAT usage.  They are very explicit about it.  Therefore, either Powerscore is wrong, the answer is wrong, or the test has evolved.  Eyeoftheligrr is the only one who seems to have caught my drift here.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: belushi018 on July 02, 2009, 11:58:10 AM
Now, we're talking.  That makes sense.  Powerscore is wrong.  All I was saying was that what Powerscore said was incompatible with LSAC's credited response.  Now I know that I can't trust them 100%.  This particular case does make me wonder, however, what their purpose in provide "The Logic Ladder" is.  Does it normally shed some valuable insight, despite the fact that, in this particular situation, it was more harmful than helpful?  All I know is that I got this questions wrong 100% because of what Powerscore had written.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: just some guy on July 02, 2009, 12:32:52 PM
If you're familiar with your full length Powerscore materials, this question is covered in Lesson 12. It's in the "flawed collection" (outlier questions that contradict logic used in all other LSAT Qs.) It's the LSAT, dooder, every few years you're going to get a question that doesn't make much sense. And, of course, one or two questions wrong won't keep you from a 180, just ask Robin.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: gzl on July 02, 2009, 01:21:34 PM
Now, we're talking.  That makes sense.  Powerscore is wrong.  All I was saying was that what Powerscore said was incompatible with LSAC's credited response.  Now I know that I can't trust them 100%.  This particular case does make me wonder, however, what their purpose in provide "The Logic Ladder" is.  Does it normally shed some valuable insight, despite the fact that, in this particular situation, it was more harmful than helpful?  All I know is that I got this questions wrong 100% because of what Powerscore had written.

Actually, no matter what people are trying to say with as much authority as they can muster in their voice, Powerscore isn't wrong in this case.  "Most" can include conditions that entail "all."  Like I said above "Most people are Mortal" is true even in a world where "All people are Mortal." The last sentence in this particular question limits it so as not to include the possibility of "all," however.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: Ninja1 on July 02, 2009, 03:37:35 PM
Now, we're talking.  That makes sense.  Powerscore is wrong.  All I was saying was that what Powerscore said was incompatible with LSAC's credited response.  Now I know that I can't trust them 100%.  This particular case does make me wonder, however, what their purpose in provide "The Logic Ladder" is.  Does it normally shed some valuable insight, despite the fact that, in this particular situation, it was more harmful than helpful?  All I know is that I got this questions wrong 100% because of what Powerscore had written.

Actually, no matter what people are trying to say with as much authority as they can muster in their voice, Powerscore isn't wrong in this case.  "Most" can include conditions that entail "all."  Like I said above "Most people are Mortal" is true even in a world where "All people are Mortal." The last sentence in this particular question limits it so as not to include the possibility of "all," however.

Doesn't the concept of "most" imply that there's something on the "least" side, since if there wasn't then "most" would just be "all" and there would be nothing left on the "least" side?

But whatever, this is the one part where law school has a lot in common with the LSAT. Much like a law professor, LSAC says most = something like 51-99%, and that's a viable enough claim, so that's what it is and that's all you need to know for the LSAT, even if you don't necessarily agree with it. For that matter, OP never told us the other choices. This might be one of those "pick the best of the worst" sort of questions.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: visualverificationfailure on July 02, 2009, 04:02:44 PM
Like any other test, the LSAT throws some questions out if the top test takers got them wrong too. If its in the practice tests, its been vetted and they think it is "right". The tests given back to students sometimes have a "W" for the ones they decided were not fair.

ALL prep places decide on the justification for an answer after they ALREADY know the correct response. That's not the same as figuring it out from scratch. Sometimes they are wrong, but the LSAC's answer is all that matters.

After taking the LSAT, going to law school. passing some Bars and teaching LSAT to new people, I finally DO see how it applies to legal thinking:> Your score may not predict how hard you work in law school and how ell you do, but there is actually some relationship between LSAT tests and the practice of law after all :)
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: contrarian on July 03, 2009, 12:06:00 PM
What makes you think Powerscore is a definitive source?  They are wrong a lot.  In fact, they do not try to be 100% correct.  That is not their goal.  Their goal is to provide tricks and gimmicks (such as the ladder) to help most students most of the time.  They know it is not 100% accurate.  They do not care.  They are trying to create something simple that will work most of the time.  Their perspective is that their students are not smart enough to understand the actual logic behind the exam so they have to find a way for them to game their way through the exam. 

Another good example is a fight we have on these boards all the time about "most strongly supported" questions.  Powerscore puts them in the "must be true" category.  Yet, the correct response (as credited by LSAC) is always a response option that does not have to be true.  I remember a big fight with a poster about a year ago(?) in which she insisted LSAC got a question wrong because their credited response for a "strongly supported" question did not have to be true.  She insisted the credited response must be wrong because Powerscore said that correct responses to these questions must be true. 

In the end, if it comes down to a difference between what Powerscore says and what LSAC says, you are better off going with LSAC.  Powerscore is not the definitive source and they do have many things in their books that are not completely true just because they are trying to simplify things for the dolts.  LSAC is the only definitive source. 

Am I wrong, or is this reasoning just a little bit circular?  The answer must be correct because the LSAC says it's correct and the LSAC is always correct because they get all the answers right.
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: contrarian on July 04, 2009, 12:22:52 AM

Am I wrong, or is this reasoning just a little bit circular?  The answer must be correct because the LSAC says it's correct and the LSAC is always correct because they get all the answers right.

No.  There are two different definitions for the word "correct."  One is a logically accurate response.  The other is the credited response.  You are using them interchangeably. 

Uh, yeah.  I may have used a word with multiple meanings, but your reasoning is still circular. 
Title: Re: Is is possible LSAC is wrong???
Post by: EarlCat on July 07, 2009, 11:34:58 PM
I'd say you are right, if all you're looking at is "most."  The last line, I think, is intended to limit the scope of "most" to "most but not all," with "rarely" meaning the set has *some* members.

TITCR.  There was no mistake on the part of LSAC or Powerscore.

Just for argument's sake, let's define "most" narrowly.  Let's say it means "75%."  If all artists are less insightful, it is still true that 75% of them are less insightful.  (Notice I didn't say "only 75%," nor did the stimulus say "only most")  Literally, "most" means "more than 50%," but the same analysis holds true.  If all are X, then more than 50% are X.  "Most," therefore, does not preclude "all."

Gonzolaw nailed this one.  The last sentence says, "artistic talen [sic] and political insight are rarely found together," that is they are found together rarely.  It must be, then, that some artists (in those "rare[]" instances) are not lacking in insight.  Lacking compared to whom?  Compared to their non-artist counterparts.  Put-it-all-together-and-what-do-ya-got?  "Some artists are no less politically insightful than some reasonably well-educated persons who are not artists."

But the sentence "artistic talent and political insight are rarely found together," even if it does suggest that they are, in fact, sometimes found together, says nothing about the LEVEL of political insight relative to well-educated non-artists.  So while some artists may have political insight, we cannot assume that they have "no less political insight" than well educated non-artists.

The typical argument here is to say that this analysis is deeper than any thinking required by the LSAT, and if you can think this deeply, you can also determine that the other four answers are categorically incorrect and that this is therefore the "best" answer.  It's true, but it's also kindof a cop-out. 

The last sentence begins with "Indeed" which is used to indicate the author intends to reinforce or clarify what has already been said.  It signals that this sentence is intended to interact with the previous one, i.e. to define the scope of "most."  The author could have written, "Indeed, . . . artistic talent and political insight are never found together," refining "most" into "all."  But they didn't.  They said "Indeed, . . . artistic talen[t] and political insight are rarely found together," refining the "most" into "most but not all."

Also, do not forget the first sentence, "There is little point in looking to artists for insights into political issues."  So there is a point in looking to artists for insight, however little.  (Think Dumb & Dumber--"So there IS a chance!)  But if you were guaranteed to find greater insight from non artists, there would be no point in looking to artists.