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June 2007, Logical Reasoning 1, Question 4


Question four. If we take a look at the question stem, we see the words reasoning and most vulnerable to criticism, which means that this is a flaw question. Our job on a flaw question is to find the error in the argument, which means that we have to break the argument down into its component parts. We have to know what its conclusion is and what its evidence is.

The conclusion in this argument is helpfully flagged by the conclusory keyword, it is clear that. So it is clear that Ocksenfrey's prepackaged meals really are nutritious. That's our conclusion. And the rest of this forms evidence, basically two pieces of evidence. The first thing is that there is a report, a place called Connorly, which says that Ocksenfrey's prepackaged meals are virtually devoid of nutritional value.

But we learned that the Connorly report is commissioned by some group called Danto Foods, apparently rivals of Ocksenfrey. And they have a lot of editorial control over the process. And because of that bias, the author makes the conclusion or the consumer makes the conclusion that Ocksenfrey's prepackaged meals really are nutritious. Now the flaw, here, is a pretty common one that we see on the test.

Treating the rejection of evidence as though it means that you have proven the opposite of the argument's conclusion. So in other words, just because someone made a bad argument doesn't mean that the opposite of what they conclude is true. And that's what we're going to be looking for when we get the answer choices. So go to the answers.

Answer choice A, treats evidence that there is an apparent bias as evidence that the Connorly Report's claims are false. Now, this is our answer. They said because of the obvious bias, so that's treating evidence that there is a bias. And the way they act is that Ocksenfrey's prepackaged meals really are nutritious.

In other words, the claim that they are virtually devoid of nutritional value is false. So that's our answer. It's what we predicted. But let's look at the other answers just to see why they're wrong. Answer choice B mentions an unrepresentative sample.

We don't know anything about the sample of products that the Connorly Report used, whether they picked really bad ones, really good ones. We've got nothing there. Answer choice C, they failed to take into account the possibility that Ocksenfrey has just as much motivation to create negative publicity for Danto as Danto does for them.

What Ocksenfrey's motivations are is irrelevant to this argument. Answer choice D, fails to provide evidence that Danto Foods' prepackaged meals are not more nutritious and Ocksenfrey's are. Dantos Foods are entirely separate from this argument. It's not an error to not bring them into it. And answer choice E, it's essentially they got the same problem, presumes without providing justification that Danto Foods' public relations department would not approve of a draft report that was hostile to Danto Foods' products.

Well, there was no report about Danto Foods' products. They aren't presuming anything about it, so answers choice E, not my answer. And answer choice A is the answer.

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