Some have argued that body size influences mating decisions throughout all societies. Their argument rests largely on...

tomgbean on December 11, 2019

B and E

I chose E. Why is B better?

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BenMingov on December 12, 2019

Hi Tomgbean, thanks for the question!

This argument says that some people conclude body size influences mating decisions throughout all societies based on self-reports of university aged students and on ads seeking dating partners.

How can any grand truth about mating decisions throughout all societies be elucidated from the self-report of a very narrow group of people within society, namely university aged students. This ignores everyone younger and older. Additionally, those seeking dating partners through ads may have different criteria for mating than those who do not use ads. Both of these groups are unrepresentative of everyone within a single society, let alone all societies.

Answer choice E does not describe the flaw because it is not that we had a small sample size in the survey (perhaps 500,000 university aged students were surveyed), but rather it was that they do not represent all of society, nor other societies.

Answer choice B describes the exact flaw that I have described above; an unrepresentative sample.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

tomgbean on December 14, 2019

Does a "very small number of individual cases"not equate to an unrepresentative sample?

BenMingov on December 16, 2019

Hi Tomgbean,

I believe that there is a difference as far as the LSAT is concerned.

A very small number of individual cases would literally mean very few people surveyed. Whereas an unrepresentative sample means that those surveyed do not represent the group with which the conclusion is concerned (i.e. university aged students do not represent all societies).

In this case we do not know that few people were surveyed; this is the reason that the error was not a small sample size. We do know, however, that university aged students are not a proper representation of all societies.