When surveyed about which party they would like to see in the legislature, 40 percent of respondents said Conservativ...

megmcdermott on September 18, 2019

C vs E

Why is the answer C and not E?

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SamA on September 19, 2019

Hey @megmcdermott,

The results of the survey are as follows:

40% chose conservative
20% chose moderate
40% chose liberal

Conclusion: Most citizens would like to see a legislature made up of 40% conservatives, 20% moderates, and 40% liberals.

What is wrong with this conclusion?

The survey did not ask, "What is your ideal makeup of the legislature?" Therefore, the survey cannot answer that question.

The survey asked people to choose one party they want to see in the legislature. Maybe everyone who voted conservative wants a legislature that is 100% conservative. We do not know. The conclusion uses the percentages incorrectly, suggesting that most individuals' beliefs match the preferences of the group as a whole. This is why C is the correct answer.

Here is the problem with answer choice E. The passage tells us to assume that the information is reliable. We could draw a conclusion based on this survey, but the author simply chose the wrong conclusion. The flaw is not that the data is a rough estimate. This distracts us from the larger problem, which is that the data was misused entirely.