Which one of the following does the author mention as a factor that in some instances probably contributes to the suc...

on January 16, 2019


This one I'm actually surprised I got wrong. I was in between A and D but ended up choosing A because the whole passage states that stealing thunder helps only if you can provide info before the opponent, and it would contribute to the success if they could precede their opponent by a short time with the information

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Ravi on February 17, 2019


Happy to help!

The question states, "Which one of the following does the author
mention as a factor that in some instances probably contributes to the
success of stealing thunder?"

You said you were between (A) and (D). Let's take a look.

(A) says, "careful timing of the thunder-stealing message to precede
the opposition’s similar message by only a short time"

I think you may have misread the question stem and chosen an answer
that could be true rather than what is explicitly mentioned by the
author. While this answer sounds reasonable, the problem with it is
that the author never mentions that in order for the stealing thunder
strategy to be successful, the lawyer using it has to reveal the
negative information just before the opponent reveals the negative
information. The author just contends that the lawyer needs to reveal
the information at some point before the opposition has the
opportunity to do so (this is discussed in lines 1 to 4). Thus, the
timing of the thunder-stealing message preceding the opponents'
message by "only a short time" has no textual support, so we can get
rid of this answer choice.

(D) says, "jurors’ desire to arrive at a firm view regarding the case
they are hearing"

Based on the question stem, we're looking to identify the answer
choice that provides one of the reasons the author states as to why
stealing thunder works well. The last paragraph of the passage
provides information (when the author makes a causal claim) for why
the author thinks stealing thunder is successful.

In the last paragraph, the author says in lines 44 to 48, "stealing
thunder may work because the lawyer can frame the evidence in his or
her own terms and downplay its significance, just as politicians
sometimes seek to put their "spin" on potentially damaging
information." In other words, stealing thunder is successful partly
because it lets lawyers spin negative information in a positive way,
downplaying its significance.

Then, the author goes into detail as to why this makes stealing
thunder a great strategy when she says, "Jurors, who often initially
have little information about a case, are usually eager to solidify
their position regarding the case. They can therefore be expected to
use the early positive framing to guide their subsequent analysis of
the trial information" (lines 50-54). From this, we know that the
jurors' eagerness to come to a strong position on the case is a big
reason as to why stealing thunder is a successful strategy, and this
matches up really well with (D). Thus, (D) is our answer choice, and
it's the correct pick.

Does this help? Let us know if you have any more questions!

Mike on May 11, 2020

So a juror is eager to solidify their position because they initially have little information...ok, we have to accept that because it's given in the passage (it doesn't really make sense, but I'll go with it)? But, how does that justify answer D? More specifically how does being eager justify a juror's desire to have a firm view (seems like a stretch even by LSAT standards) and furthermore, a firm view could be a negative one. I could see if the answer choice said positive firm view but if just say 'firm view.' I guess I am just frustrated because I feel like there is no way I would have ever chosen this answer over a, I don't even know if I would have chosen it over C, ha ha.