**QUESTION TYPE:** Method of Reasoning

**CONCLUSION:** Muñoz is wrong to say that people in the city oppose the new water system.

**REASONING:** Muñoz’s reasoning was:

**Conclusion:** The city is opposed.

**Reasoning: **The Southwest Hopeville Neighbors Association overwhelmingly opposes the new system.

But, if we look at the vote, only 25 out of 350 members of the neighbors association voted, and only 15 of those were opposed. Those 15 people are a tiny proportion of the city.

**ANALYSIS:** This is an unusual structure. Muñoz’s argument is embedded within Gamba’s argument.

Gamba says Muñoz’s argument is “citing this as evidence of *citywide opposition”. *So Muñoz’s central claim is that the whole city is opposed. This was easy to miss, however.

Gamba’s argument tries to show that Muñoz’s conclusion is wrong. He does this by showing that the tiny percentage of people who voted in the neighbors association is too small to tell us anything about the city as a whole.

___________

- This didn’t happen.

Claim:

**Explanation:**The city is mainly full of youth, who hate Candidate A. However, youth don’t vote. The older minority do like candidate B and did vote*.* - This didn’t happen. There’s not much else to say about this type of answer. Had it happened, Gamba would have said something like “Of course, you can manipulate statistics to support any view you want.”
- This answer is an abstract philosophical claim. For this to be the answer, Gamba would have more or less had to say literally say it. Or he could have said “of course, you can have valid premises, but that doesn’t mean the conclusion will be true”.
- This is a different type of situation. It describes a hypothesis which is unfalsifiable.
**CORRECT.**This matches. Muñoz’s conclusion was about*the whole city.*Gamba weakens Muñoz’s argument by showing that the evidence only referred to 15 people – hardly a large enough sample.

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I initially circled E and then erased it because I suddenly saw it called the 25 people who voted a “statistical sample.” In my mind, there’s no way this was a statistical sample. I’ll admit I don’t have much knowledge of statistics but I looked it up after reviewing this question and found this definition of a statistical sample: “In statistics and quantitative research methodology, a data sample is a set of data collected and/or selected from a statistical population by a defined procedure.”

One wrong word is often enough to eliminate an answer choice. Can someone help me here?

On a related but separate note, I chose C because I took M’s premises to be the voting data and the idea that the association overwhelmingly opposes the new water system to be M’s intermediate conclusion. So the truth of the premises (the data, in my mind) didn’t guarantee the truth of the conclusion (citywide opposition).

Any help would be appreciated!

Hi Claire,

Let’s look more closely at (C) — does Munoz actually claim outright that the truth of his premises guarantees the truth of his conclusion? (C) does say, after all, that the argument proceeds by showing that the truth of the premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion

contrary to what has been claimed. The stimulus is missing one of the essential factors that might make this answer choice correct.I’m unclear about why you wouldn’t define the group of 25 as a statistical sample–could you elaborate?. The actors in the stimulus are clearly referring to the neighbourhood association as a representative (or unrepresentative) sample of the overall population.

Ok, I see your point about contrary to what has been claimed. Thank you.

I guess I thought statistical sample = representative sample. Am I just wrong? You can tell me. :) I never took statistics.

Hey Claire,

Great, that’s good to hear re: the other answer choice!

And ah, a statistical sample basically just refers to a data set from which we make claims. The data set doesn’t need to be representative of a population — maybe we’re studying the data set to

determinewhether the sample is representative or not.Very diplomatic! Haha. Ok, good to know. Thanks for your help!

No problem! Am happy to help, and to answer any other questions you might have.