QUESTION TEXT: Taylor: From observing close friends and relatives,…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: Telepathy is possible between people who are psychologically close, such as between friends or family.
REASONING: A good friend or family member often knows what you are thinking.
ANALYSIS: This is a tricky question, because it uses the word “psychic” in an uncommon sense. Most people think psychic means “telepathic” or “paranormal”. That’s definition number one in most dictionaries. But look at definition two from my Oxford dictionary:
Psychic 2. of or relating to the soul or mind: he dulled his psychic pain with gin.
This is really the only sensible definition of “psychic” in the context of the question. If you read “psychic” as meaning paranormal, then the first sentence would mean: “It is indeed possible that psychic people are psychic”. That’s not just circular reasoning – it’s bloody stupid. No one would make such an argument, and the LSAC would never print it. So E, one of the most popular answer choices, is wrong. If there are two possible meanings in an argument, you should avoid the totally ridiculous meaning.
You should ask yourself: why are they telling me this? The author is saying close family members know each other’s thoughts, and therefore they must be telepathic. The author’s error is ignoring an obvious alternate explanation: family members have experience with each other. They know common reactions and body language.
- Sample size is not well understood. You can have reliable results from just a few hundred people. And the bigger the effect, the smaller the sample size required. The “amazing” frequency here is presumably so remarkable that only a small sample is needed.
You do not need a large sample size to determine that arsenic is often fatal if ingested. You do need a large sample to conclude that a green button will lead to more website sales than a blue button.
- CORRECT. You’re allowed to use common sense on the LSAT (yes, really!). You know from experience that you can often guess what close friends and family are thinking. You’re not telepathic – you just know them pretty well.
- What emotion? This answer didn’t happen.
Example of flaw: You’ve got to work on this business with me! Don’t you care about me at all? I’d be so sad if you didn’t help.
- The author didn’t say this. They said family members have an “amazing” ability to know what we’re thinking. Presumably family knows far more than the norm. But regular people could still sometimes get things right.
- Very tempting, but this answer depends on a misunderstanding of the full meaning of “psychic”. See the explanation above.
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