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PrepTest 73, Logical Reasoning 2, Question 4


Question 4, when a question asks for a reasoning technique that's employed by an argument, we call that a method of reasoning question. And our job is to describe the argument, describe how the person doing the arguing accomplishes what they're trying to do. Of course, in order to do that, we have to understand the argument, which means finding its conclusion and its evidence.

Here, the conclusion is found in the middle. Surely this does not follow. Of course, we need the first sentence to know what the this is that doesn't follow. So the thing that doesn't follow is, well, some people think that Freudian psychotherapy is the most effective kind, because it's so difficult and time consuming.

So to rephrase the conclusion, it's wrong to say that Freudian psychotherapy is the most effective kind of psychotherapy, just because it's so difficult and time consuming. The evidence the author gives follows. And it's an analogy, so similar reasoning, concluding that a car repair chain has the most effective technique for repairing cars, because the cars it services receive so much work, and spend so much time in the shop, would never be accepted.

So you wouldn't say this about a car repair chain that took a lot of time, so why are you saying it about Freudian psychotherapy? The author gives us a similar case and uses that to say you shouldn't say the thing you're saying about psychotherapy. That's the method of reasoning, arguing by analogy that because something is unreasonable in one case, it should be thought to be unreasonable in a similar case.

So let's look at the answers and see what they have for us. The answers can always surprise us with clever ways to phrase what we're looking for. So you have to be open and receptive as you go through them. Answer choice A, introducing a principle that contradicts the one on which the argument is based.

Our author never introduced any principles, so this can't be our answer. Answer choice B, questioning the truth of its premises. The author never attacked the premises, which is to say the evidence. That would be saying that Freudian psychotherapy isn't really difficult or time consuming. The author accepts that, they don't attack that.

So they're not questioning the truth of the premises. Answer choice C, presenting an analogous argument whose conclusion is thought to be obviously false, well sure, similar reasoning, that is the car repair chain would never be accepted. So that is what the author did, presented an analogous argument. So let's look at the other answers to see why they're wrong.

Answer choice D, claiming that the argument is based on a false analogy. This answer is definitely meant to trick you. It also uses the word analogy, but the author doesn't say the original argument is based on a bad analogy. The author uses an analogy to show that the argument is bad. That's two different things.

So D is not the answer. And E, suggesting that a supposed cause of a phenomenon is actually an effect of that phenomenon. There's no cause and effect presented here in any way, so that's not this argument. The answer that correctly described the argument was answer choice C.

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