QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: Any significant increase in the school’s budget should be spent on something else besides counseling programs.
REASONING: A survey of parents, teachers and students found that 90% of them thought a high enough percentage of their school’s budget was being spent on student counseling.
ANALYSIS: This presents a classic LSAT distinction: the difference between what people think and what is actually true. Just because people think counseling gets enough money doesn’t mean that counseling actually does get enough money.
However that isn’t the error that the LSAC chose for the correct answer choice. The argument also makes a percentage/amount error.
The survey found that the percentage spent was ok. So budget was $100,000 and 10% were spent on counseling then counseling gets $10,000.
Suppose the budget doubles to $200,000. If you want to keep the percentage of spending on counseling the same then you have to double that amount as well. 10% of $200,000 is $20,000.
The argument’s conclusion ignores this. It says that no higher amount of money should be spent on counseling even if the budget increases.
- What coincidence? What causal relationship? There’s nothing remotely like cause and effect or two things occurring together in this stimulus.
- CORRECT. The survey found that the percentage was appropriate. If the budget increases then you have to increase the amount of spending to keep the percentage the same.
- An example of this would be: because counseling spending is appropriate then it must be true that the entire budget was spent appropriately. The stimulus didn’t make this error.
- Huh? No one is talking about saving counseling money or reducing spending.
- Nonsense. If we have more money, it’s obvious that we could spend some of it on counseling, and the rest on something else. This incorrect statement doesn’t need to be considered.
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