From the fact that people who studied music as children frequently are quite proficient at mathematics, it cannot be ...

Julie on August 6 at 03:49PM

Answer Explanation

Hi LSAT Max, I know that (B) is incorrect but I'm having a hard time breaking it down to see why it can be eliminated. Also, can someone check my logic for answer choices (C)-(E) to see if I went about this correctly? (C) is wrong because it doesn't give an third factor that would affect the others, which means it doesn't parallel with the stimulus (D) doesn't have a cause and effect relationship and just seems to say that mastering the subjects doesn't mean that one would succeed as a physician (E) says that doing less of one factor can bring the results of the other factor, but we need an entirely new one to match the stimulus Thanks in advance for the help!

1 Reply

Victoria on August 6 at 06:35PM

Hi @Julie-V

Happy to help!

Let's start with the stimulus. The passage is arguing that "it cannot be concluded that the skills required for mathematics are acquired by studying music" even "from the fact that people who studied music as children frequently are quite proficient at mathematics."

Why is this the case? Because "it is equally likely that proficiency in mathematics and studying music are both the result of growing up in a family that encourages its children to excel at all intellectual and artistic endeavours."

Overall, the passage is arguing that we cannot conclude that one trait leads to another even though the two traits frequently occur together. This is because it is equally likely that there is another explanation for why the two traits may be related.

In other words, we can't say that A causes B even though A and B frequently occur together because C may cause both A and B.

We can see that this pattern of reasoning is directly mirrored by answer choice A.

We cannot conclude that poor performance in school (B) is caused by children's failure to pay attention (A) even though children who fail to pay attention (A) tend to perform poorly in school (B). This is because it is equally likely that failure to pay attention (A) and poor performance (B) frequently occur together because of undiagnosed hearing problems (C).

B is incorrect because there is no common cause. The passage offers an alternative cause for the occurrence of both traits to suggest that we shouldn't say that one definitively leads to the other. Answer choice B offers the alternative cause of differing evaluation standards (C) for why foreign students perform better academically than native students but there is no additional related trait. Foreign students and native students are not related and there is no additional trait to relate to academic performance.

Your reasoning for C, D, and E are also correct! Keep up the good work and please let us know if you have any further questions.