Driver:  My friends say I will one day have an accident because I drive my sports car recklessly. But I have done som...

bladam on January 20, 2016


How are A and C any different?

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Mehran on January 24, 2016

(A) and (C) are very different. Let's take a closer look and see why.

This is an "Errors in Reasoning" question. Both Errors in Reasoning and Methods of Reasoning questions love to use abstract language in the answer choices to confuse you. Try to take the abstract language and apply it to the argument to see if what it is saying actually makes sense.

Here, Driver's conclusion is that "trading my sports car in for a minivan would lower my risk of having an accident." His support? "Apparently minivans and larger sedans have very low accident rates compared to sports cars."

This evidence is a correlation, i.e. accident rates are higher for sports cars than they are for minivans and larger sedans. To conclude that trading his sports car in for a minivan would lower his risk of having an accident, the author is inferring that sports cars are the cause of the higher accident rate.

Notice, this is exactly what (A) states, i.e. "infers a cause from a mere correlation."

Now let's take a closer look at (C), which states, "misinterprets evidence that a result is likely as evidence that the result is certain." This is obviously very abstract so let's apply to the actual argument and see if it makes sense.

What is the result? Not having an accident. Does the author treat this as a certainty? i.e. Does the author state "trading my sports car in for a minivan would allow me to avoid accidents altogether?" He does not.

He states that it would "lower my risk" so he does not treat the result as certain. He simply treats it as less likely.

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.