A store was vandalized repeatedly over a six-month period. When discussing the problem with a friend, the store owner...

hales on September 14, 2019

correct answer?

I struggled on this question - I went through each option several and still do not understand how C is the correct answer. I at first thought C was the correct answer, because I did not see how it was relevant, but then then it seemed to make sense - bright lighting decreased vandalism within the perimeter of the store (leading to all the stores adjacent to the perimeter also experiencing a reduction in vandalism). Is it incorrect because we know nothing about the stores one block away? I guess I just erroneously assumed that crime moved from this block to the next block over, and I should know better than to make assumptions by now haha. Any explanation of how C is the best answer and how the other answers are incorrect would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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Irina on September 14, 2019


The stimulus tells us that lighting reduces the incidence of vandalism. No incidents happen for three months. Hence, lighting must have been installed. The question asks which of the following will NOT call this conclusion into question, so likely all the answer choices will provide alternative reasons for no incidents in the three months or otherwise weaken the conclusion, except for the correct one.

Let's look at the answer choices:

(A) There had been an increase in patrolling the area.

Incorrect. Clearly, an increased police presence will discourage vandalism.

(B) Bright lights take 5 months to install.

Incorrect. If it takes five months to install the lights, and it has only been 3 months between these two conversations, it is impossible for the lights to even be in place to make any difference in vandalism rates.

(C) The store owner reported that the stores adjacent to the perimeter also experienced a reduction in vandalism, although stores a block away did not.

Correct. It sounds like your assessment of (C) is correct, it makes sense that bright lights would decrease vandalism in the adjacent stores but not a block away, hence supporting the conclusion. But even without making this inference, this answer choice fails to weaken the argument, let's say we refrain from making any inference regarding adjacent stores, then this fact is irrelevant as you pointed out. Since we are looking for an answer choice that either supports or has no impact on the argument, (C) is correct.

(D) The store's budget did not allow for installation of the lights.

Incorrect. This fact would weaken the conclusion suggesting the store did not have the funds to get the lights, hence they could not be the reason for lower vandalism rate.

(E) The store owner brought in a watchdog.

Incorrect. Brining a watchdog would provide an alternative explanation for a lower vandalism rate, and hence weaken the argument.

Let me know if this helps and if you have any further questions.

baoni801 on October 22, 2019

I still don't get how Choice C is correct, I thought that the friend presumes that if the vandalism stops happening it's because the lights are installed. I thought this would be the "flaw" of what the friends conclusion contains.

shunhe on December 21, 2019


Where the cause is present, the effect is present, and where the cause is absent, the effect is absent. Thus, this answer strengthens, not weakens, the answer. Hope this helps.