Computer manufacturers and retailers tell us that the complexity involved in connecting the various components of pe...

Amanda on November 12, 2017

Please explain thanks

Please explain thanks

3 Replies

Mehran on November 12, 2017

Hi @sharpen7, thanks for your post. This is a Weaken question: you are asked to select the answer choice that best weakens the argument presented in the stimulus.

Let's first examine the stimulus carefully. It consists of an argument that proceeds as follows:
C: It is wrong that the complexity involved in connecting various components of PCs is not a widespread obstacle to the use of PCs. Why?
P: Customers who install accessories to their PCs have to take full responsibility for the setting of jumpers and switches to satisfy mysterious specifications.
P: Many accessories require extra software that can cause other accessories to stop working [example given].

OK. Answer choice (D) weakens this argument: a PC is usually sold as part of a package that includes accessories and free installation. If this is true, it "knocks out" the first premise and undermines the ultimate conclusion. Why? Because the complexity (if any) of connecting accessories to PCs is now something that is part of the purchase of a PC - not something the customer must deal with herself.

Hope this helps!

Urbano on March 11 at 07:05PM

can this questions be explained further?

Jacob on March 12 at 01:46AM

Sure, I can take a stab at explaining further — apologies in advance if any aspect of my answer feels repetitive!

We know that we are looking for an answer that, if true, most seriously weakens the argument. What was the argument?

The first sentence (as the LSAT writers often tend to do to try to confuse you) is in fact a conclusion rather than an initial premise. We can glean this from the use of “this is wrong” at the end of the sentence. What was wrong? That the complexity involved in connecting various parts of personal computers is not a widespread obstacle to their use.

In other words, the author believes that this complexity IS a widespread obstacle to their use.

What is the evidence for this claim? First, customers who install accessories have to take full responsibility for the setting of jumpers and switches to satisfy mysterious specifications. Second, many accessories require extra software that may cause others to stop working.

Now, let’s look at the answers one by one and see which weakens the argument.

Answer A tells us that instruction manuals usually explains the purposes of the jumpers and switches. This is incorrect because even if the manuals explain the purpose of the switches, that doesn’t reduce the complexity in connecting components — it just tells us what they are there for. So we can cross that answer off.

Answer B suggests that software for accessories can often be obtained for free. But even if the accessories are free, they still might cause another accessory to stop working. So this answer is wrong, too — it doesn’t weaken the argument.

Answer C states that installing an accessory will become easy in the future. But that doesn’t mean that this installation isn’t a widespread obstacle NOW, as the argument suggests. Also wrong!

Answer E states that computer manufacturers rarely take into account ease of installation when designing programs or accessories. If anything, this strengthens the argument, as it makes it more likely that without consideration of installation perhaps there is no effort to reduce difficulty / complexity. Next!

That leaves us with answer D. Answer D tells us that most pcs are sold in a package with accessories and FREE INSTALLATION. That would make connecting those accessories not a widespread obstacle to use, because most regular people wouldn’t have to deal with that installation. Bingo! This is the correct answer.

I hope that helps. Please let us know if you have further questions.