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June 2007, Logical Reasoning 2, Question 8


Question eight, when the question ask you for the criticism that they reasoning and argument is the most vulnerable to what you're dealing with odd question. On the flaw question your job is to find the air in the argument that you are given but of course in order to find the air in the argument you have to understand it which means breaking it down into its conclusion and its evidence. Here, the conclusion is flagged for us by the conclusory keyword so at the beginning of the last sentence.

So Fabric-Soft is the most effective fabric softener available we are told. Of course an advertisement would say that. And whenever you're giving an advertisement on the test know that the argument you're gonna be given is gonna be real bad. And this one is, the first sentence is a bit of fluff. No pun intended about how soft and fluffy that fabrics off leaves the clothing.

The real meat of the evidence is the next sentence which tells us about a survey that they did. So they took 100 consumers, they gave them 2 towels. One that had been washed with Fabric-Soft, one that had not been washed with any fabric softener at all. And 99% of the people prefered the one that had been washed with Fabric-Soft.

Hopefully you can tell that this is not a great survey. So in the survey, they're comparing Fabrics-Soft to no fabric softener at all. But the conclusion is about Fabric-Soft versus all available fabric softeners. Just because people prefer Fabrics-Soft to having no softener their period doesn't mean that they prefer Fabrics-Soft to every other fabric softener available. Now the question stem tells us that we're looking for something that the argument fails to consider.

So what it fails to consider is this disconnect between better than nothing and better than everything. So we go to the answer choices looking for an answer that says that answer choice A. It fails to consider whether any of the consumers tested or allergic to fabric softener as well. Allergies are not relevant here.

Their claim isn't that fabric soft is the best fabric softener in all respects, just that is the most effective fabric softener. So answer Choice B. It fails to consider whether Fabric-Soft is more or less harmful to the environment. Once again, they're just trying to prove that it's effective.

So the environment doesn't matter. Sometimes very effective things hurt the environment unfortunately. Answer choice C fails to consider whether Fabric-Soft is much cheaper or more expensive than other fabric softeners. The conclusion is just the Fabric-Soft is more effective. So the expense doesn't matter to whether it's effective answer choice D fails to consider whether the consumers tested find the benefits of using fabric softeners worth the expense.

Just like C answer choice D is not about effectiveness but cost. That means the answer choice E must be my answer. Answer choice E says fails to consider whether the consumers tested had the opportunity to evaluate fabric softeners other than Fabric-Soft. This is exactly what we wanted to point out that just because it's better than nothing doesn't mean that it's the best available you would have to look at something other than Fabric-Soft to find out if it was the best available.

So answer choice E is the answer.

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