QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: The survey indicates that publishers are mistaken about the interests of the public.
REASONING: Publishing is full of trashy gossip stories. A survey of journalism students said they wanted to see more serious journalism and less trashy gossip.
ANALYSIS: This is a classic case of sample bias. Journalism students are likely to have different taste in news articles compared to the public at large. The public may love celebrity gossip even if journalism students hate it.
- The stimulus didn’t try to find out why publishers were mistaken. It didn’t try to explain any cause or effect.
- This is a different error. An example would be: I drop and break a glass. You assume that I must have meant to do it and that it wasn’t an accident.
- CORRECT. Journalism students pay a lot of attention to the news. They likely have very different views from the public.
- This would have been the case if the stimulus had said that the publishers were: “stupid jerks who can’t read.” (for example) The argument doesn’t insult the publishers personally.
- The conclusion does not say that the public definitely hates gossip. It just says that the evidence from the survey “indicates” (suggests) that the publishers are wrong.
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