LSAT Logical Reasoning Questions

1. Council leader: Several council members claim that the public believes it is the responsibility of the government to provide state-run daycare programs and that it is irresponsible to leave children without sufficient supervision. However, these council members are not adequately capturing the views of their constituents. In a survey conducted by a private daycare center, only 12 percent of respondents thought that it was the responsibility of the state to provide a daycare program, and only 7 percent thought that it was irresponsible of the state not to provide one. These numbers are a good measure of our constituents’ opinions because those surveyed vote in every election.

The reasoning in the council leader’s argument is flawed in that it

  1. Presumes, without providing justification, that the people surveyed were not already participants in a day care program
  2. Concludes that because there is lack of evidence for a problem, that problem does not exist.
  3. Bases its conclusion on public opinion rather than on an objective standard for governmental responsibility
  4. Fails to consider the possibility that state run day care will cause an increase in voter turnout
  5. Generalizes from a sample that is unlikely to be representative of public opinion
  6. Attacks the credibility of the council members rather than addressing their concerns

2. A certain small freshwater animal called a tardigrade is the only animal that can survive extreme conditions by reducing its metabolism to zero activity, a state normally considered death, then reanimating itself when conditions improve. Because of this ability, tardigrades are better suited than any other animal to endure the rigors of long distance space travel.

Which one of the following, if assumed, enables the argument’s conclusion to be properly inferred?

  1. Long distance space travel is impossible for any animal that cannot survive extreme conditions.
  2. An animal that can reduce its metabolism to zero activity and reanimate itself when conditions improve is always better suited than any other animal to endure the rigors of long distance space travel.
  3. Animals other than tardigrades cannot survive extreme conditions.
  4. Enduring the rigors of long distance space travel requires an animal to have the ability to reduce metabolism to zero activity and reanimate itself when conditions improve.
  5. In order to survive extreme conditions, all animals must reduce their metabolism at least to some extent.

3. If the new office security system were effective, it would not allow any unauthorized persons to access the building. Unfortunately, the system is ineffective, so it must allow unauthorized persons such access.

The flawed reasoning in which one of the following is most similar to that in the argument above?

  1. If intelligence is caused by the number of folds in the cerebral cortex, then those with the most folds should be the most intelligent. But those with the most folds are not the most intelligent, so there is clearly no relationship.
  2. If a coffee product is labeled “decaffeinated,” it must have had over 97.5 percent of its caffeine removed. This product has had 99 percent of its caffeine removed. Thus it is labeled “decaffeinated.”
  3. The city council will ratify Adler’s proposal only if it is better than Burke’s proposal. Since Adler’s proposal is better than Burke’s, the city council will ratify it.
  4. If we have a moral obligation to improve the environment, then we will develop cleaner energy sources. But we have no such obligation, so we will not develop cleaner energy sources.

4. Antonia: The raw information from which discoveries about human genetics are made is no more than the sequence of nucleotides in our cells. Since the data are obtained simply by “reading” something already present in our bodies, allowing researchers to patent this sequence would be absurd.

Jorge: I disagree. Patents have always played an important role in the field of genetics, and forbidding them would be disastrous, since if intellectual property laws did not protect their work, scientists would have little incentive to develop and utilize their discoveries.

Jorge’s statements can best be explained on the assumption that he has interpreted Antonia’s remarks to be

  1. Asserting that patents other than those on the sequence of nucleotides should be forbidden
  2. Denying that researchers’ discoveries should be protected by intellectual property laws
  3. Presuming that it is relatively easy for scientists to read the sequence of human nucleotides
  4. Referring to the raw data from which the discoveries come rather than to the development and use of discoveries
  5. Calling for the cessation of research on human genetics until patent laws are clarified

5. A scientist who believes that a measurement is inaccurate will not bother to record it, and therefore will not ask colleagues to review it. Additionally, any scientist who is sure that a measurement is accurate will record it without colleague review. Thus, review by colleagues is not a useful part of recording a measurement.

The reasoning in this argument is flawed because the argument

  1. Presumes, without providing justification, that a scientist’s only possible responses to a measurement are belief in its inaccuracy and certainty of its accuracy
  2. Infers, from the claim that colleague review of measurements is useless, that a scientist who is recording a measurement will not request it regardless
  3. Concludes that if a scientist does not erroneously believe that a measurement is inaccurate, then the scientist will be sure that the measurement is accurate
  4. Ignores the possibility that review of measurements by colleagues can be useful for those who are not scientists
  5. Takes for granted that colleagues cannot contribute to scientific work in other useful ways