Question 21, Driver: My friends say I will one day have an accident because I drive my
sports car recklessly.
But I have done some research, and apparently minivans and larger sedans have very low accident
rates compared to sports cars.
So trading my sports car in for a minivan would lower my risk of having an accident.
All right, so argument or set of facts?
Clearly, we have an argument here.
The conclusion of this driver is that ?trading my sports car in for a minivan would lower
my risk of having an accident.?
How do we know that?
Well, he's done some research and minivans and larger sedans have very low accident rates
compared to sports cars.
So minivans and larger sedans have lower accident rates when compared to sports cars.
You'll notice that is a correlation.
The driver takes that correlation?the minivans and larger sedans having lower accident rates?two
things occurring together and turns it into a cause and effect argument in his conclusion
because what he says, trading my sports car in for a minivan would lower my risk of having
an accident, he's assuming that the minivan is the cause of the lower accident rate.
Clearly, this is flawed logic because obviously if he still drives like a speed racer and
thinks he's Mario Andretti, he's still going to get into an accident, right?
Here, he takes a correlation that minivans have lower accident rates, turns it into a
cause and effect argument by saying in his conclusion that trading his sports car in
for a minivan would lower his risk of having an accident.
Clearly, this is a flawed argument?taking correlation for cause and effect.
So looking at the questions then, the reasoning in the driver's argument is most vulnerable
to criticism on the grounds that this argument, again most vulnerable to criticism.
We have another Errors in Reasoning question.
Looking for an answer choice that explains this flaw of mistaking a correlation for cause
and effect, we go to (A), infers a cause from a mere correlation.
Clearly, that is the flaw, so (A) would be the correct answer.
But again, just making sure, (B) relies on a sample that is too narrow?again not the
We do not have a sample that's too narrow.
(B) explaining the flaw of overgeneralization from an unrepresentative sample, but again
not what we saw here.
(C) misinterprets evidence that a result is likely as evidence that a result is certain.
Again, the flaw of taking something that is probable and assuming that it will happen
for sure, not the flaw that we see in this passage.
Again, he said that it would lower his risk of an accident, not that he would never have
(D), mistaking a condition sufficient for bringing about a result for a condition necessary
So mistaking sufficient for necessary, we know sufficient guarantees necessary, having
necessary doesn't tell us anything about whether we have this sufficient condition.
Remember, don't just reverse!
If all carrots are vegetables, just because I have a vegetable doesn't necessarily mean
it's carrot, and that is the flaw (D) is describing, but not what we saw.
Moving to (E), relies on a source that is probably not well informed.
Clearly, not what we saw in our passage, so (E) would be eliminated.