Certain changes in North American residential architecture after World War II are attributable mainly to the increase...

jingjingxiao11111@gmail.com on June 13, 2020

Could someone please explain this further thanks?

Could someone please explain this further thanks?

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shunhe on June 14, 2020

Hi @jingjingxiao11111@gmail.com,

Thanks for the question! So let’s take a look at the stimulus. We’re told that certain changes in North American residential architecture are attributable to increased availability/affordability of AC. We get this because soon after WWII, many builders found that houses with AC that didn’t have high ceilings and thick walls generally sold well.

So now we’re asked to find a weakness in the argument. Notice that when we say that these changes “are attributable to” AC being easier to get, what we’re saying is that AC being easier to get caused the changes in residential architecture. Always be wary of causation claims on the LSAT, since there is a difference between correlation and causation that the LSAT likes to test. Showing a weakness in the causation argument would be a great way to keep this argument, and you should have that in mind as you go through the answer choices.

Now consider answer choice (C), which tells us that houses with low ceilings and thin walls were prevalent in North America when there wasn’t any demand for residential AC. What does this tell us? Well, it gives us the supposed effect (houses with low ceilings and thin walls) without the supposed cause (demand for AC). This definitely puts a dent in the causal argument in the stimulus, and thus weakens the argument, so (C) is the best answer. In general, with cause and effect arguments, one way of weakening them is to show that the effect is present, while the cause is absent.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.