QUESTION TEXT: Zoologist: In the Lake Champlain area, as…
QUESTION TYPE: Strengthen – Exception
CONCLUSION: Sunspots probably help cause changes in hare populations.
REASONING: Sunspots are correlated with changes in hare populations.
ANALYSIS: This is an open ended argument. There are a million reasons why sunspots could affect hare populations. You’re trying to prove that correlation = causation in this case, so you just have to eliminate answers that provide a link.
- The stimulus says increases in predator populations drive hares to forests and thus lead to shrinking hare populations. And this answer shows that sunspots affect predator populations.
- CORRECT. This says that weather affects hare populations, and sunspots don’t have anything to do with it. So this doesn’t strengthen the idea that sunspots are a cause.
- Hare populations are linked to changes in predators. If predators get more effective due to sunspots, then this will affect hares.
- You might think this repeats the stimulus, but the LSAT never does that. A correlation just means that when one thing goes up, the other thing also goes up. This answer adds new information: the amount of the increase in sunspots and hare populations is also highly correlated. e.g. A 16% increase in sunspots leads not just to an increase in hares, but a ~16% increase.
- The stimulus says hare populations depend on availability of food – there is less food in forests, and hare populations decline. So if sunspots decrease grass, then it makes sense that hare populations would also decline.
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