QUESTION TEXT: Technology is radically improving the quality of…
QUESTION TYPE: Identify the conclusion
CONCLUSION: Technology is improving quality of life, both directly and indirectly.
REASONING: Creating technology has become a growth industry as well.
ANALYSIS: This is a subtle argument. There are two parts to the conclusion. The conclusion says “not only”. Which means that technology not only does the first thing (direct improvement), but also the second: indirect improvement, described in the rest of the argument.
The author doesn’t bother to prove that technology leads to direct improvements. They view this as obvious. Nonetheless, this is fairly viewed as part of the conclusion, because:
- It’s something the author claims is true, and
- It’s not something the author uses to support another claim (so it’s not a premise)
This is, as far as I know, a unique argument structure. I haven’t seen it before. LSAC probably noticed that identify the conclusion questions had gotten too easy. So rather than looking for structure, the real underlying skill is asking “What is the author trying to tell me”. If you think about that, it’s much clearer that the claim is “technology has both direct and indirect benefits”.
This question is doubly unique in that a trap answer uses “either or”, in an exclusive sense, whereas the conclusion uses the regular, inclusive “or”. I’ve never seen an LSAT question actually test this distinction before.
- CORRECT. The author more or less directly says this in the first sentence. However, I discussed some of the subtleties of this answer in the analysis above. The discussion above is only really relevant if you’re focussed on precise detail.
- This is evidence for the conclusion that the creation of technology benefits communities.
- Same as B. This is just evidence that the creation of technology has economic benefits.
- This is a tempting answer. But it is wrong because it says “either or”. Either or is exclusive, meaning only one of the two happens. Whereas the conclusion had the normal, inclusive or, meaning both happen. There’s no special “LSAT or” which is always inclusive regardless of context. Here’s a dictionary definition (Oxford).
Either/or: an unavoidable choice between two alternatives.
Whereas the conclusion says “not only by”, which means both the creation of technology and direct applications of technology are beneficial.
- Nonsense. The author’s point is that technology has many benefits. This answer attempts to restrict the benefits. That goes against the conclusion.
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