TV meteorologist: Our station's weather forecasts are more useful and reliable than those of the most popular news st...

shafieiava on February 2, 2020

A-E and question type identification

Could you please explain answer choices A-E? I had a really hard time narrowing the answer choices here because they all ready as so off topic to the premises given to you by the stimulus. Additionally, I had trouble identifying the question type here. Is this just a regular/general strengthen question or is it a strengthen with sufficient premise question? Thanks in advance!

Ravi on February 4, 2020

@shafieiava,

Happy to help. Let's take a look.

This is a strengthen question, so we're looking for something that

The argument's conclusion is that the station provides forecasts that
are more useful and reliable than those of the most popular news
station in the area. This is what we're trying to strengthen.

In looking at the support for the argument, we know that the
meteorologist's station has a higher accuracy than its competitors.
However, we don't know if they're predicting more often than the
others. If they're not, then it might not matter as much because
they're not making as many predictions. For example, if a town gets
rain 200 days per year, but the meteorologist's station only predicts
rain on 10 of those days and all 10 of those days have rain, then
sure...their accuracy is 100%, but they also failed to predict rain a
lot. If we have an answer choice that shows that the station not only
is more accurate but also makes predictions more often than its
competitors, then that'd strengthen the argument a lot.

(A) says, "The meteorologist's station forecast rain more often than
did the most popular news station in the area."

(A) matches our prediction really well and would definitely strengthen
the argument. If the meteorologist's station forecasts more than their
competitors AND they're correct more often than their competitors,
then they're almost certainly more useful and reliable than their
competitors. This is the correct answer choice.

(B) says, "The less popular of the competing stations does not employ
any full-time meteorologists."

The problem with (B) is that we do not know whether or not having
full-time meteorologists makes a station more useful and reliable, so
(B) is too weak to strengthen the argument.

(C) says, "The most popular news station in the area is popular
because of its investigative news reports."

The problem with (C) is that it doesn't matter that the investigative
news reports of a competitor make it popular; we're looking to prove
that the meteorologist's station is more useful and reliable, and this
does nothing to strengthen that, so it's out.

(D) says, "The meteorologist's station has a policy of not making
weather forecasts more than three days in advance."

(D) actually might weaken the argument because the earlier someone
knows about the weather, the better it is for them. Thus, a shorter
prediction time would make it less likely to be a better station for
weather reporting, so (D) is out.

(E) says, "On most of the occasions when the meteorologist's station
forecast that it would not rain, at least one of its competitors also
forecast that it would not rain."

The problem with (E) is that having at least one of the competitors
also giving the same forecast doesn't tell us much, as the station
would still be more useful or less than the competitors as a whole.
Thus, (E) is out.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any other questions!