A recent survey showed that 50 percent of people polled believe that elected officials should resign if indicted for ...

on June 24 at 05:55PM

Please Explain

Could someone please diagram out the logic in this? Thanks

2 Replies

Victoria on June 24 at 10:34PM

Hello @heidiz,

"A recent survey showed that 50 percent of people polled believe that elected officials should resign if indicted for a crime."

In other words, 50% of people believe that if an elected official is indicted for a crime, they should resign.

Elected official indicted for crime - > resign

Not resign - > elected official not indicted for crime

"35 percent believe that elected officials should resign only if they are convicted of a crime."

Elected official resign - > convicted for crime

Not convicted for crime - > elected official should not resign

The author of the passage then takes this information to conclude: "more people believe that elected officials should resign if indicted than believe that they should resign if convicted."

However, this is incorrect because the two groups are actually not comparable. We do not know how many people believe that elected officials should resign if convicted; we solely know how many people believe that elected officials should resign only if convicted. Therefore, it is entirely possible that the percentage of people who believe that elected officials should resign if convicted is greater than 50%. If this is true, then the conclusion cannot be accurately and logically drawn.

So, what is the flaw in reasoning?

We can see that the author of the passage concluded that 35% of people believe that elected officials should resign if they are convicted of a crime based on the evidence that 35% of people believe that elected officials should resign only if they are convicted of a crime. Visually, we can see the difference between these two statements below:

"IF"

Elected official convicted for crime - > resign

Not resign - > Elected official not convicted for crime

"ONLY IF"

Elected official resign - > convicted for crime

Not convicted for crime - > elected official should not resign

We can see that the reasoning confuses a sufficient condition with a required (or necessary) condition when drawing its conclusion. This is directly restated by answer choice B which is the correct answer.

I've always found these types of questions to be tricky because they state the potential flaws in such abstract language. Make sure that you fully diagram and understand the passage prior to addressing the question stem and answer choices as it will make it much easier to correctly identify the flaw in reasoning.

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any further questions.

on July 2 at 12:15AM

Thank you!