Free LSAT drill for Logical Reasoning (Flaw):
1) Governor Johnson: In order to combat our current budget crisis, we must increase taxes. If we don’t increase taxes, we won't be able to fund important government programs.
The reasoning in Governor Johnson's argument is most vulnerable to criticism because it:
A) Ignores potential alternatives to increasing taxes to combat the budget crisis.
B) Assumes that all government programs are important and require funding.
C) Does not provide evidence that increased taxes will effectively combat the budget crisis.
D) Fails to consider that some citizens may not be able to afford higher taxes.
E) Relies on a fear of losing government programs to persuade others.
2) Fredrick, a seasoned biologist, claims that because every single fish he caught from the city pond over the past year showed signs of being affected by pollution, all fish in the city's bodies of water are affected by pollution.
Fredrick's argument is most vulnerable to criticism because it:
A) Overgeneralizes the condition of fish in the city pond to all city bodies of water.
B) Fails to account for seasonal variations in pollution levels.
C) Does not provide evidence of what kind of pollution is affecting the fish.
D) Does not consider that the signs he observed may have been caused by something other than pollution.
E) Assumes that the state of the fish is a reliable indicator of the overall pollution level.
3) High levels of stress are known to negatively affect a person's immune system. Researchers recently conducted a study and found that those who meditated daily had significantly lower stress levels than those who did not meditate. The researchers therefore concluded that daily meditation strengthens a person's immune system.
Which one of the following describes a flaw in the researcher's reasoning?
A) The researchers do not consider that meditation might be stressful for some people.
B) The researchers fail to take into account that some people may have a naturally strong immune system.
C) The researchers assume that because two things are correlated, one must cause the other.
D) The researchers did not ask the participants how long they had been meditating.
E) The researchers assume that meditation is the only way to lower stress levels.
4) Citizen: "My town's mayor recently announced a new economic plan that she claims will boost the town's economy and create jobs. But, I found out that this plan was actually developed by an economist who was previously employed by a corporation that went bankrupt. Therefore, the economic plan is obviously flawed and will do more harm than good for our town."
The citizen's argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it:
A) does not consider the possibility that the economist might have learned valuable lessons from the previous failure
B) assumes that the past failure of the economist directly relates to the validity of the economic plan
C) doesn't provide any direct evidence that the economic plan is harmful
D) doesn't consider that the economist's previous employer's bankruptcy might have been due to factors unrelated to his work
E) relies on an ad hominem attack on the source of the economic plan rather than addressing its content
5) A recent survey shows that employees of XYZ Corporation are, on average, paid higher than the industry average. This means that Sam, an employee at XYZ Corporation, is paid higher than the industry average.
Sam's argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it:
A) overlooks the possibility that salaries in his industry vary widely
B) relies on an ad hominem attack on the source of the recent survey rather than addressing its content
C) does not consider that there might be employees in other companies earning more than the average
D) fails to consider that there may be large disparities in salary within XYZ Corporation
E) presumes, without providing justification, that what is true of a whole must also be true of its constituent parts
1) (A). Governor Johnson's argument is flawed because it fails to consider potential alternatives to increasing taxes, such as reducing expenditures or finding other sources of revenue.
2) (A). Fredrick's argument is flawed because he uses data from one specific location (the city pond) and applies it to all bodies of water in the city. This is an unwarranted generalization. The other choices describe potential issues with the argument but they are not flaws that are actually present in the argument as given.
3) (C). The researchers identified a correlation between daily meditation and lower stress levels, and from that, they jumped to the conclusion that daily meditation strengthens a person's immune system. They failed to establish a causal relationship between these events, which is a common flaw in reasoning on the LSAT known as "Correlation Not Implying Causation".
4) (E). The citizen's argument is essentially attacking the source of the economic plan (the economist) instead of addressing the merits or flaws of the plan itself. This type of fallacy is known as an ad hominem fallacy or a source argument flaw.
5) (E). Sam's argument contains a division fallacy. He assumes that what is true of the group (XYZ Corporation employees have higher than average salaries) is necessarily true of each individual within the group (Sam has a higher than average salary).