Detective: Because the embezzler must have had specialized knowledge and access to internal financial records, we ...

Batman on December 24, 2014


Please explain how (C) weakens the argument that " the embezzler is one of the actuaries." Of course, I understand why (D) fails to weaken the argument though. Thanks,

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Naz on December 24, 2014

The conclusion of the argument is "Thus it is likely that the embezzler is one of the actuaries."

Why? We are told that we can presume that the embezzler worked for XYZ Corporation as either an accountant or an actuary. "But, an accountant would probably not make the kind of mistakes in ledger entries that led to the discovery of the embezzlement."

Answer choice (C) states: "XYZ Corporation employs eight accountants, whereas it has only two actuaries on its staff."

If there are more accountants than actuaries, then it weakens the conclusion that it is more likely that the embezzler is one of the actuaries. Answer choice (C) states that there are six more accountants than actuaries.

So--purely probability-wise--it is more likely that the embezzler was an accountant. Think about it this way: if we are told that there are 103 accountants and only 2 actuaries, that would make it more likely that the embezzler was an accountant, since there are just more accountants. This is the same, but in a smaller scale.

We are merely trying to weaken the conclusion. And, though it is very peripheral, answer choice (C) does still weaken the conclusion by putting more probability that the embezzler is an accountant as opposed to an actuary.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Batman on December 26, 2014

Wow!!! Thanks a lot^^