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Critical Thinking 10th Edition Moore Parker Test Bank

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Critical Thinking 10th Edition Moore Parker Test Bank

  • ISBN-10:0077567129
  • ISBN-13:978-0077567125

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Critical Thinking 10th Edition Moore Parker Test Bank

  • ISBN-10:0077567129
  • ISBN-13:978-0077567125

 

 

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Chapter 10 – Test Bank

 

 

 

Short Answer

 

 

  1. Make this inductive (statistical) syllogism into a relatively strong argument by supplying an appropriate premise or conclusion: Greg must be into all that New Age stuff since he wears his hair in a ponytail.

 

Answer: Most people who wear their hair in a ponytail are New Agers.

 

 

  1. Make this inductive (statistical) syllogism into a relatively strong argument by supplying an appropriate premise or conclusion: People who go to Burning Man are not like you and me. Why just look at how odd Greg is!

 

Answer: Greg goes to Burning Man.

 

 

  1. Make this inductive (statistical) syllogism into a relatively strong argument by supplying an appropriate premise or conclusion: Dennis plays trumpet in the marching band at YaleRemember, he probably doesn’t have a girlfriend.

 

Answer: Most people who play in marching bands don’t have girl/boyfriends.

 

 

  1. Make this inductive (statistical) syllogism into a relatively strong argument by supplying an appropriate premise or conclusion: We’re going to the home of our Italian friends, Marco and Claudia, for dinner. I suspect it’ll be really good.

 

Answer: Most Italians are good cooks.

 

 

  1. Make this inductive (statistical) syllogism into a relatively strong argument by supplying an appropriate premise or conclusion: A vast number of people who care about sustainability have a vegetable gardenRemember, Scott probably does, too.

 

Answer: Scott cares about sustainability.

 

 

  1. Make this inductive (statistical) syllogism into a relatively strong argument by supplying an appropriate premise or conclusion: Most people with old cars have financial problemsRemember, Anne and Dennis must be struggling financially.

 

Answer: Anne and Dennis have old cars.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

Housing is far too expensive in this country. Why, the median price of a home in most of California is now over $350,000.

 

Answer: If the speaker is generalizing from California to the entire country, then the argument is hasty generalization; and, if you are aware of typical housing costs in California, you could also call it a biased generalization. But perhaps the speaker only means that when the median price of a home approaches $300,000 in some place—California or wherever—then housing has just gotten too expensive in this country. If the passage is viewed this way, it’s not clear that the speaker is even offering an argument.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

Overheard: “You don’t think this country is in a slump? Get real. George here was laid off before Memorial Day, and Howie’s wife and a whole bunch of other people lost their jobs when the Safeway over on Jeffrey closed down. These are tough times.”

 

Answer: Hasty generalization.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

We’re gonna have trouble with that new paper boy, Honey. He’s been late twice already.

 

Answer: We’d call this a hasty generalization, but with just a few more late deliveries, it won’t be.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

Hey, let’s start shopping at Musgrave’s. It’s a whole lot cheaper. I stopped in there yesterday on the way home and found strawberries there for 79¢ a basket and ground beef for $1.29 a pound. And they weren’t even on sale!

 

Answer: Hasty generalization.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

Invest in real estate! Buy a house! It’s the best investment you will ever make. Despite occasional temporary dips, home prices have always gone up. You can’t go wrong if you buy a house.

 

Answer: Despite the “size” of the sample, there are important differences between it and the target, for example; the number of additional homebuyers is declining, consumer debt has risen dramatically; discretionary income has been shrinking. Can we expect entry-level university students to know such things? Maybe not. But we can expect them to understand the importance of carefully checking out arguments like this before they contract a major debt.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

Remark made while driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike: “We’ve seen nine cars with license plates from west of the Mississippi today, and six of them have been from Texas. Texans must travel more than other people.”

 

Answer: Hasty generalization.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

I certainly did not enjoy the first meeting of that class. I think I’ll drop it; I don’t want a whole semester of meetings like that.

 

Answer: Whether this is a hasty generalization depends on exactly what the student didn’t like about the first class. There are some things, such as an instructor’s manner of presentation, that a person can reach legitimate conclusions about after only a small sample. Further, if the student is referring to the instructor’s overview of the course, he may have a good inductive argument: “She said she was going to cover such-and-such material; instructors usually cover what they say they’re going to cover; therefore, she will probably cover the material she said she was going to cover. And I have neither need nor inclination to study that material.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

first bicycle rider: How come when we coast downhill you always go so much faster than I?
second bicycle rider: Because I’m heavier. Heavier things fall faster.
third bicycle rider: Wait a minute. I thought that was what Galileo proved wrong.
second bicycle rider: C’mon! That’s only common sense. Heavy things are bound to fall faster. Just look at how fast I coast—and I’m the heaviest.

 

Answer: Mixed in with the faulty casual explanation is the reasonable generalization that you always coast faster downhill than I do.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

If you think the people of Phoenix are going to give up their rights to water from the Colorado River to Los Angelenos, you’d better think about it some more. Read the letters to the editors of the Phoenix newspapers, and you’ll see what I mean. People are really hot under the collar about the issue.

 

Answer: Biased generalization.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

A reliable statewide study found that one western town (which we won’t name) had an unusually high rate of death from cancer. The study, done during the 1970s, showed the cancer death rate for white females to be 175.4 per 100,000, compared to 154.9 for the state. One resident dismissed the finding as follows: “Statistics! You can prove anything you want with statistics! There’s no more cancer here than anywhere.”

 

Answer: Hasty generalization: Some statistical conclusions aren’t trustworthyRemember, none of them are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

I went into that office supply store on Jackson Avenue the other day, and I can tell you that I’m not ever going back. They’re the rudest people I’ve ever seen in a retail business. The guy who waited on me griped constantly about it being inventory time, and he was of no help at all in finding what I wanted to buy.

 

Answer: Biased and hasty generalization.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

From a letter to the editor: “The news media can never be trusted. Shortly before the Geneva summit, the Washington Post decided that a news scoop concerning a confidential letter from the secretary of defense to the president was more important news than a coordinated posture by our negotiating team.”

 

Answer: Hasty generalization.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

Goldman may have won the Supervisor of the Year award, but that just means they didn’t look very hard for a winner. I know a couple of people who work in Goldman’s division and they say that he’s a real pain to work for. I’d sooner trust my friends than some awards committee.

 

Answer: A hasty generalization of the anecdotal evidence variety.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

I watched Nova on public television the other night, and it was great! I’m going to be in front of the tube every week for it from now on.

 

Answer: If one Nova was good, that’s not a bad reason for believing that they’re generally pretty good. Still, this generalization may be just a bit hasty.

 

 

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

“Sharon’s father thinks the idea of a space-based laser missile defense is entirely feasible, and he should know—he’s a physicist who specializes in laser technology, and he has a degree in computer science.”
“Yeah, well, he may be right, but he also works for the defense industry. There’s a pot of gold in it for him if people believe that. He’s probably not the most reliable source.”

 

Answer: No fallacy.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

I’ve seen brochures depicting the scenery in the Ozark Mountains, and it’s beautiful. I’m even thinking of retiring to Arkansas, since it’s clearly such a beautiful state.

 

Answer: Biased generalization.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

The photographs from the first roll of that new Kodak film were really good. I’ll tell you, that film is good stuff.

 

Answer: This is okay, since one roll of Kodak film can be expected to be much like every other roll of the same type for the few holdouts still using film.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

Bill bought one of those Burn-Rite wood stoves last year, and it smoked up his house all winter. Those stoves are not worth the high prices they get for them.

 

Answer: Hasty generalization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

According to one of the leading consumer magazines, the best-built cars these days are Japanese. Cars built by foreign manufacturers have just outclassed those built in the United States, it appears.

 

Answer: Biased generalization: What holds for Japanese cars may not hold for all foreign-built cars.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

“A Prairie Home Companion” must be a pretty popular radio program around here. About half my friends have copies of the book the program’s host recently published.

 

Answer: A hasty, and quite likely biased, generalization. The speaker’s friends may not resemble the general population in its taste in radio programs.

 

 

  1. Identify the type of fallacy in the following passage –or you could put this in terms of whether the inductive generalization has a “confidence level” in the conclusion that is too high or an “error margin” that is too narrow for the facts asserted in the premise(s).

 

“Hello Mom? Yeah, it’s me. . . . Fine. Great, in fact. Massachusetts is super—I’ve never had so much fun. . . . No. . . . Yes! And listen, I’ve just met the most wonderful guy. And I’m sure he’s rich. You should just see the expensive car he drives. . . .”

 

Answer: Hasty generalization.

 

 

  1. Juanita has taken six courses at Valley Community College, and she has a grade average of B so far. All the courses she has taken have been in sociology and psychology. She’s thinking of enrolling in another course next term, and she expects to make at least a B in whatever she takes. If we don’t know yet what subject she will take, would her argument be stronger, weaker, or neither if her previous six courses had been in four different subjects rather than two?

 

Answer: Stronger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Juanita has taken six courses at Valley Community College, and she has a grade average of B so far. All the courses she has taken have been in sociology and psychology. She’s thinking of enrolling in another course next term, and she expects to make at least a B in whatever she takes. Would Juanita’s argument be stronger, weaker, or neither if we knew that the new course will be in psychology?

 

Answer: Stronger. If her new course is in a subject that we know is included in the comparison term, that tells us of at least one relevant similarity.

 

 

  1. Juanita has taken six courses at Valley Community College, and she has a grade average of B so far. All the courses she has taken have been in sociology and psychology. She’s thinking of enrolling in another course next term, and she expects to make at least a B in whatever she takes. Would you assess Juanita’s argument as stronger, weaker, or neither if you knew that she had made a B in each of her previous courses and not just that she has a B average?

 

Answer: Stronger. She could have a B average even though she had made Cs in several of her previous courses, and such a possibility weakens the argument.

 

 

  1. Juanita has taken six courses at Valley Community College, and she has a grade average of B so far. All the courses she has taken have been in sociology and psychology. She’s thinking of enrolling in another course next term, and she expects to make at least a B in whatever she takes. Suppose that when she took the previous courses, Juanita had done all her studying alone because she didn’t know any of the other students at Valley but that now she knows several good students and plans to study with them when she takes her next course. Would her argument be stronger or weaker?

 

Answer: Weaker. This may seem paradoxical, but we’re thinking of a separate argument (which might go something like this: Juanita studies better when she studies with other good students; she did not study with other students for her previous courses, but she’ll study with other good students for the next course; therefore, she’ll study better for the next course). This other argument would support the conclusion, provided that its premises are true. But the original analogical argument is weakened because of the addition of a relevant difference between the target and the comparison term.

 

 

  1. Does the following example involve making an illicit inductive conversion? Since most orange cats are very mellow, Wai-hung’s new cat must be orange since he’s been raving about how sweet and laidback it is.

 

Answer: Yes.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Does the following example involve making an illicit inductive conversion? I’ve been reading up on weeds and have discovered that most crabgrass is really hard to kill. That must be what I’ve got in my lawn since I’ve been spraying that weed for weeks now and it refuses to die.

 

Answer: Yes.

 

 

  1. Does the following example involve making an illicit inductive conversion? I met this guy who has an accent I can’t place but he must be French because he’s very condescending to me and the French are almost all notorious for being snotty to Americans.

 

Answer: Yes.

 

 

  1. Does the following example involve making an illicit inductive conversion? All of my favorite dogs are standard poodlesRemember, I’m probably going to like other standard poodles, too.

 

Answer: No.

 

 

 

Multiple-Choice

 

 

  1. In an inductive generalization, in order to achieve an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points at a confidence level of about 95 percent, what’s the smallest random sample we can get away with, regardless of the size of the target population?
  2. 10 percent of the target population
  3. 100
  4. 500
  5. 1,000
  6. 5,000

Answer: d

 

  1. With the same confidence level, a generalization from a larger sample will have
  2. less strength.
  3. a smaller error margin.
  4. a larger error margin.
  5. a larger target population.

Answer: b

 

 

 

 

 

  1. When we make an inductive generalization, we draw a conclusion
  2. about a sample based on a target.
  3. about a target based on a sample.
  4. about a property in question based on a target.

Answer: b

 

  1. As Harold is driving down the road from Glenn County to Montclair, he crosses into Salem County and notices that the pavement deteriorates. “I guess they don’t keep up their roads very well in this county,” he says. Which best fits?
  2. biased generalization
  3. hasty generalization
  4. neither biased nor hasty

Answer: b

 

  1. As Harold is driving down the road from Glenn County to Montclair, he crosses into Salem County and notices that the pavement deteriorates. “I guess they don’t keep up their roads very well in this county,” he says. The sample in this passage is
  2. roads in Glenn County.
  3. roads in Salem County.
  4. the road he’s driving on now.

Answer: c

 

  1. A sample is random if
  2. it is chosen by a method the investigator does not know anything about.
  3. it is representative.
  4. every member of the target population has an equal chance at being selected for the sample.

Answer: c

 

  1. The goal of randomness is to
  2. allow a smaller-than-usual sample.
  3. achieve objectivity.
  4. achieve representativeness.
  5. assign grades in this course.

Answer: c

 

  1. If we want a narrower error margin in a generalization, which of the following will produce it?
  2. finding a different random selection technique
  3. decreasing the sample size
  4. decreasing the confidence level
  5. none of these answers are correct.

Answer: c

 

 

 

  1. “They say Japanese carmakers put out the best cars in the world, all things considered. But that can’t be right—the Toyota I bought last year had to be returned to the shop five times!” This is
  2. a biased generalization.
  3. a hasty generalization.
  4. neither biased nor hasty.

Answer: b

 

  1. “They say Japanese carmakers put out the best cars in the world, all things considered. But that can’t be right—the Toyota I bought last year had to be returned to the shop five times!” The sample is
  2. my Toyota.
  3. Japanese cars.
  4. the best cars in the world.

Answer: a

 

  1. “They say Japanese carmakers put out the best cars in the world, all things considered. But that can’t be right—the Toyota I bought last year had to be returned to the shop five times!” The target is
  2. my Toyota.
  3. Japanese cars.
  4. the best cars in the world.

Answer: b

 

  1. There are 36 ways that a pair of dice can come up. Only one of them produces a total of two (1 and 1, or “snake eyes”). The law of large numbers says that
  2. the more times the dice are rolled, the more times “snake eyes” will occur.
  3. the more times the dice are rolled, the smaller the percentage of “snake eyes” that will occur.
  4. “snake eyes” has as good a chance as any other numbers of coming up on a given roll.
  5. the more times the dice are rolled, the closer to 1-in-36 will be the occurrence of “snake eyes.”
  6. in 36 rolls of the dice, “snake eyes” may not come up at all.

Answer: d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Consider the following passage:

 

Julia sells exotic birds. She has placed four orders with wholesale bird supplier Papagayo Co., and all of them have been filled with healthy birds. Lately, howeverRemember,me wholesale competitors have been trying to get her to order from them. But, when it’s time to make the next order, she decides she’s better off with Papagayo because she’s pretty sure she’ll get healthy birds. (Do not assume that you know anything about birds or the bird business.)

 

The comparison term in the passage is

  1. the new order.
  2. the previous four orders.
  3. the Papagayo Co.
  4. the competitors.

Answer: b

 

 

  1. Consider the following passage:

 

Julia sells exotic birds. She has placed four orders with wholesale bird supplier Papagayo Co., and all of them have been filled with healthy birds. Lately, howeverRemember,me wholesale competitors have been trying to get her to order from them. But, when it’s time to make the next order, she decides she’s better off with Papagayo because she’s pretty sure she’ll get healthy birds. (Do not assume that you know anything about birds or the bird business.)

 

If Julia had placed seven orders with Papagayo with the same result, her argument would be

  1. stronger.
  2. weaker.
  3. neither stronger nor weaker.

Answer: a

 

 

  1. Consider the following passage:

 

Julia sells exotic birds. She has placed four orders with wholesale bird supplier Papagayo Co., and all of them have been filled with healthy birds. Lately, howeverRemember,me wholesale competitors have been trying to get her to order from them. But, when it’s time to make the next order, she decides she’s better off with Papagayo because she’s pretty sure she’ll get healthy birds. (Do not assume that you know anything about birds or the bird business.)

 

If all the preceding orders had been for parrots, then her argument would be stronger if the new order was for

  1. both parrots and macaws.
  2. just parrots.
  3. just macaws.

Answer: b

 

 

  1. Consider the following passage:

 

Julia sells exotic birds. She has placed four orders with wholesale bird supplier Papagayo Co., and all of them have been filled with healthy birds. Lately, howeverRemember,me wholesale competitors have been trying to get her to order from them. But, when it’s time to make the next order, she decides she’s better off with Papagayo because she’s pretty sure she’ll get healthy birds. (Do not assume that you know anything about birds or the bird business.)

 

If we don’t know what kind of bird she’s about to order, we have the strongest argument if the previous orders were

  1. some for parrots and some for macaws.
  2. just for parrots.
  3. just for macaws.

Answer: a

 

 

  1. Consider the following passage:

 

Julia sells exotic birds. She has placed four orders with wholesale bird supplier Papagayo Co., and all of them have been filled with healthy birds. Lately, howeverRemember,me wholesale competitors have been trying to get her to order from them. But, when it’s time to make the next order, she decides she’s better off with Papagayo because she’s pretty sure she’ll get healthy birds. (Do not assume that you know anything about birds or the bird business.)

 

Given the original circumstances, which of these conclusions would produce the strongest argument?

  1. Most of the birds in the new shipment will be healthy.
  2. All the birds in the new shipment will be healthy.
  3. None of the birds in the new shipment will be healthy.
  4. Some of the birds in the new shipment will be able to swear in two languages.

Answer: b

 

 

  1. Consider the following passage:

 

Julia sells exotic birds. She has placed four orders with wholesale bird supplier Papagayo Co., and all of them have been filled with healthy birds. Lately, howeverRemember,me wholesale competitors have been trying to get her to order from them. But, when it’s time to make the next order, she decides she’s better off with Papagayo because she’s pretty sure she’ll get healthy birds. (Do not assume that you know anything about birds or the bird business.)

 

The original passage is

  1. an analogical argument.
  2. an inductive generalization.

Answer: a

 

 

  1. Consider the following passage:

 

Julia sells exotic birds. She has placed four orders with wholesale bird supplier Papagayo Co., and all of them have been filled with healthy birds. Lately, howeverRemember,me wholesale competitors have been trying to get her to order from them. But, when it’s time to make the next order, she decides she’s better off with Papagayo because she’s pretty sure she’ll get healthy birds. (Do not assume that you know anything about birds or the bird business.)

 

If Julia orders more expensive birds in the new order, her argument would become

  1. stronger.
  2. weaker.
  3. It would have no effect on the argument.

Answer: b

 

 

  1. Consider the following passage:

 

Julia sells exotic birds. She has placed four orders with wholesale bird supplier Papagayo Co., and all of them have been filled with healthy birds. Lately, howeverRemember,me wholesale competitors have been trying to get her to order from them. But, when it’s time to make the next order, she decides she’s better off with Papagayo because she’s pretty sure she’ll get healthy birds. (Do not assume that you know anything about birds or the bird business.)

 

The feature here is

  1. the Papagayo Company.
  2. Julia.
  3. being healthy birds.
  4. the next order.
  5. Papagayo’s competitors.

Answer: c

 

 

 

Essay

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

The stock market has made huge gains during each of the past four years. I’m willing to put my money on the claim that it will do the same this coming year.

 

Answer: We are too, but only a little of our money. There are too many reasons why the market can do well for a while and then do very poorly indeed.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

When Halley’s comet appeared a few years ago, there was an upsurge in the number of suicides across the country. The same thing happened when the Hale-Bopp comet appeared in 1997. I’ll bet the next appearance of a visible comet will produce a rash of suicides.

 

Answer: We think this is a pretty good argument, but it would be improved by a larger sample.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

We have visited seven cities in southern Spain, and every one of them has a bull ring. I’ll bet there’s one in the next Spanish city we visit.

 

Answer: Not such a good argument. It might be that bullfights are more popular in some regions of the country than in others or that the visits were only to moderately wealthy towns (biased sample).

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

I like Fuji apples; I’ll bet Fuji pears are good too.

 

Answer: We’re not so sure. There are all kinds of reasons that both fruits could be called “Fuji,” including simply that they were first produced near the famous Japanese mountain. If our speaker said he liked every pear he’d ever eaten, he’d have a much better argument than this one.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, and it doesn’t seem to produce any terrible societal problems. I’ll bet it would be the same in the United States.

 

Answer: We aren’t convinced. There are lots of cultural differences between the two countries, and they weaken the argument. (We might add, it isn’t so clear that the premise about problems in the Netherlands is true, since the influence of gangster types is being felt in the prostitution business.)

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

Hey, Coach! I know somebody good for our volleyball team. Her name is Stacy, and she hasn’t played much volleyball, but she’s a great basketball player.

 

Answer: Someone good at basketball is unlikely to be terrible at volleyball. Good analogical argument.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

Can I recommend a good mechanic? Sure—B&M Tuneup. I’ve been taking my car there for years, and I’ve never had a single complaint. Of course, I have an old Chevy, and you drive a Mazda—one of those rotary-engine jobs, isn’t it?

 

Answer: It is reasonable to expect good service from a mechanic who has given years of good service to a friend, but you cannot be certain that the mechanic who knows Chevys will be very good with your rotary-engine Mazda—as the speaker implies.

 

 

  1. Rank the following analogical arguments:

 

  1. Look, our stereo is a Panasonic and so is our TV, and we’ve never had any trouble with either of them. Let’s get the Panasonic answering machine. Why take chances?
  2. Look, our stereo is Japanese and so is our TV, and we’ve never had any trouble with either of them. Let’s get the Japanese answering machine. Why take chances?
  3. Look, Frank’s answering machine is a Panasonic and so is Heather’s, and they both say they’ve never had trouble with them. Let’s get the Panasonic answering machine. Why take chances?

 

Answer: c (the strongest), then a, then b.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

The thing that worries me is that we’re going to get bogged down in Iraq just as we got bogged down in Vietnam. The situations are exactly the same: It’s us against a poor nation that is determined to win and doesn’t play by the rules our military thinkers understand.

 

Answer: Weak argument. The situations certainly aren’t exactly the same.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

The Patriots easily made it into last year’s Superbowl. They’ll have almost the same personnel next yearRemember, I’m putting my money on the Patriots to be back next year.

 

Answer: The Patriots’ having almost the same personnel next year helps the analogy some, but too many other relevant factors have to be considered before this argument would be a safe one—the other teams may not have the same personnel they had last year, for instance. Notice that it’s easy to confuse what a person is betting on in cases like this. It’s one thing for the Patriots to be the team most likely to play in the championship game; it’s another for it to be more likely that they’ll play than that they won’t.

 

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

he: Let’s leave Cincinnati for the golden West! Why don’t we move to Los Angeles?

she: Well, for one thing, we couldn’t afford to buy a house there.

he: Don’t be such a pessimist. We bought this house here, didn’t we? How much more expensive can houses in Los Angeles be?

 

Answer: Even if he is not aware of the difference in the cost of housing in the two cities, he should realize there are important relevant differences between such different parts of the country that could profoundly affect housing costs. Furthermore, if they bought their Cincinnati house quite a while ago, the changes that have since occurred in the real estate market can make a great difference in either or both localities. Note that the argument would be just as shaky if the inference were from Los Angeles to Cincinnati. (The fact that housing costs are currently higher in Los Angeles than in Cincinnati is irrelevant to the strength of the argument, though it proves that the implied conclusion is false.)

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

Six months ago, several of Molly’s friends joined the Trimtime Fitness Center. Each of them participated in Trimtime’s weight-reduction and fitness regimen. All reported substantial weight reduction, and all are visibly slimmer. Molly is convinced. She joins Trimtime and enrolls in the same program, hoping and expecting to see the same results. She is especially delighted to learn that Trimtime had adjusted its program to make it even more effective in a shorter period of time.

 

Answer: Molly should consider potential differences between her and her friends. From our outsider’s point of view, though, we would have to say that if she followed the original program just as they did, then we would expect her to get similar results. But without knowing the details of the changes in the program or the evidence for believing that the changes will be an improvement, Molly should not be delighted to learn that the program has been “adjusted”; the change in the program weakens the argument. (Trimtime might, of course, be able to give Molly good reason for thinking that the change will be an improvement.)

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

Wolfgang has been to America, once visiting New York and once visiting Columbus. (Why is it always “Columbus, Ohio”? Is there another sizable Columbus?) Now he has an opportunity to visit New Orleans. Wolfgang decides not to go. “Based on my experience, it will be awful—there’ll be crime, violence, poverty, rude people, drug addicts—every kind of unpleasantness.”

 

Answer: Wolfgang’s reasoning is really to this effect: He didn’t like New York or ColumbusRemember, he wouldn’t like any other U.S. city. And we would expect Wolfgang not to like New Orleans, even though there are tremendous differences among the cities mentioned in the exercise. If he’s offended by Columbus, he’ll be righteously indignant about New Orleans!

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

In Great Britain, savings of between 20 and 40 percent in costs have resulted from selling government-run programs and businesses to individuals and companies in the private sector. This argues well for the administration’s interest in selling such U.S. government entities as the Bonneville Power Administration, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and various parts of the postal service.

 

Answer: The terms of the analogy are not clear: Which (or at least what kind of) British programs and businesses were sold off? Would the sales be handled similarly (with regard to terms of payments, for example)? Would the government subsidize private ownership for a period of time after the sale? How would general differences in the economic structures of the United States and Great Britain affect the argument? There are too many differences between the comparison term and the target to put too much confidence in this argument.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

From a letter to the editor: “Harry Kryshnah lost the last election because he supported handgun control. So now he’s changed his tune and claims he’ll be the first one to oppose handgun control. I voted for him last June, but I won’t vote for him this time, and it’s not because I favor handgun control. I just don’t want a governor who can talk out of both sides of his mouth like that.”

 

Answer: This is not an ad hominem. This is the writer’s argument: People I’ve met and most people who are unprincipled in one way, were unprincipled in others; therefore, Kryshnah, who is a member of this class, is apt to be unprincipled in other ways, too. Given the premises, the argument is not a weak one; however, a premise that assigns a person to a class of unprincipled people because of a change in position is one that needs close examination. Is the change due to a lack of principle? Or was it occasioned by legitimate reasoning that was not self-serving?

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

Mr. Naphal has read in an authoritative science report that a dye commonly injected into Florida oranges is carcinogenic. He resolves not only to avoid Florida oranges until he learns that they no longer are dyed with the same chemical, but also to avoid California oranges and all grapefruit as well.

 

Answer: We’d avoid California oranges too, unless we had some reason to think they weren’t dyed with the same dye. But the fact that grapefruit are a different color (and thus would require different colored dyes) weakens the argument.

 

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

“He won the Silver Medal of Honor, has a Purple Heart, and was an Eagle Scout. I find it difficult to believe that it was he who committed the robbery.”

 

Answer: Even though few of us know people who have won all these awards, most of us do have experience with people who have earned acknowledgment for dedication, respect for others, courage, conscientiousness, and so on. These people are the “comparison term.” Because we know (and know of) few such people who also commit deeds that deny these virtues, we reason that this individual is unlikely to have done so. The analogical reasoning encountered here is inherently weaker than any direct evidence that bears on the person’s evidence.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

A conversation:

“You going to vote for Spankey or Howard in the city council election?”

“Howard. As far as I can make out, their experience is the same, and they both take about the same position on the issues. But Spankey was a student of mine. I caught him cheating once.”

 

Answer: Our experience tells us that most people who are dishonest in one situation are more apt to be dishonest in another; so, everything else being equal between the two candidates, it is reasonable to give the nod to Howard. (Seldom is everything else equal, of course, and one transgression on Spankey’s part does not doom him to a life of crime.)

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

Hank Kingscote has won every one of his fifteen previous prizefights by knockouts. The chances are that the poor fellow who’s going to fight him next will wind up stretched out on the canvas.

 

Answer: Prizefights are a lot like snowflakes and political elections: The next one is not necessarily going to look like the last one(s). We know nothing about the opponents in Hank’s previous fights (the comparison term) nor about his upcoming opponent (the fight with whom is the target).

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

According to a 2008 National Safety Council study, hunting has the lowest rate of injury of the 22 most popular recreational activities. Get this: Badminton, yes, badminton! Four times as many injuries as hunting.

 

Answer: The presence of the gun in one of the recreational activities makes this analogy a faulty one, since the types of injuries are not comparable.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

Clark said gun control should not be blamed in situations when the user abuses the weapon. “A gun is an inanimate object,” he said. “A plane is an inanimate object, but look at how many people are killed by them and they’re not illegal.” Clark said that he was raised on a ranch and has “run around with guns since I was big enough to carry them.” He added that he has never shot anybody as a result of growing up around guns.

 

Answer: Clark’s analogy involves inanimate objects that are too dissimilar. He then generalizes too hastily from his own experience with being raised around guns.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following analogical argument:

 

Washburn has read that it is good to include cabbage in one’s diet. He doesn’t care much for cabbage, but he likes brussels sprouts. Since the latter look like small cabbages, he assumes that their nutritional benefits will be about the same as those of cabbage.

 

Answer: Obviously there may be differences between cabbages and brussels sprouts that are highly important from a nutritional standpoint. Nevertheless, the clear physical similarities between the two vegetables make this a fair analogical argument.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Stratton takes one look at his new teacher and concludes he is going to like the course. “You can just tell,” he says to his girlfriend later, “it’s gonna be a great course. The teacher brought up all these interesting subjects—and it was only the first day.”

 

Answer: Hasty generalization, although we don’t think the reasoning is all bad. Even from one meeting, Stratton is probably able to tell a good bit about whether he likes to listen to this particular teacher, and such things can make a course more enjoyable.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

The cocktail Beatrice orders before dinner is wateryRemember, she decides not to eat there after all. “Don’t think they can fix decent dinners if they can’t even make a decent martini,” she mutters.

 

Answer: Hasty generalization.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Parker recommends the latest Larry McMurtry novel to Moore. Moore decides not to bother, since every other novel Parker has recommended turned out to be a dud, in Moore’s opinion.

 

Answer: If the list of duds is a long one, no fallacy.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Fong notes that the pavement deteriorates as he crosses into the next county. “Guess they don’t keep up their roads very well,” he thinks.

 

Answer: Hasty generalization.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Stortz has heard from his friends that the folks in North Carolina are pretty friendlyRemember, he looks forward to going through it on his bike trip to Florida.

 

Answer: Biased generalization, because the sample of opinion isn’t likely to be representative; most people he’s heard from are likely to have been reporting on their friends in North Carolina.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Noting that recent scientific research suggests that a daily glass of wine or two might be good for the heart, Mr. Laub decides to tank up. “Why in hell not,” he says. “If one glass of wine is good for you, most likely five or six is really good for you.”

 

Answer: Hasty generalization.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

“How come the people in these big motor homes always have a couple of midget dogs with them,” Jasper wonders.

 

Answer: Hasty generalization.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Victor has just heard somewhere that regular injections of testosterone help improve the memories of men his age, but he can’t recall where he heard it. “Probably was on the TV news,” he figures. “I don’t read the newspaper very often.”

 

Answer: No fallacy.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

SUSANVILLE—Fewer than 20 percent of college professors consider themselves shy, according to a new study by two psychologists. “We were surprised by this result because other studies have reported that almost 50 percent of adult Americans think of themselves as shy,” said Elliot Smalley, professor at Colusa State University. “College professors are sometimes thought to be an introverted lot and so we expected perhaps a majority to think of themselves as shy,” he said.
Smalley and his associate, John Mahmoud, interviewed 150 college professors who were identified by administrators at twenty-five American universities as typical faculty. The universities were selected by a random procedure from a list of American colleges and universities, Smalley said.

 

Answer: This is a poor generalization. University administrators might be apt to state the first professors who come to mind, and professors selected in this manner might tend to be among the more outspoken faculty. Truly shy, introverted faculty might well be unknown to most administrators at a large university.

 

 

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Gridley has been going to the Silver Dollar Fair every year for the past fifteen years. An acquaintance suggests they go to the fair, but “For God’s sake, let’s don’t eat there, we’ll die.” Gridley knows better; he’s never even once gotten sick from Silver Dollar food.

 

Answer: No fallacy.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

A random survey of 1,000 callers to a drug hotline number produced the following results: 535 of the callers were heavy users of either cocaine freebase, amphetamines, or heroin; 220 were “recreational” users of cocaine or hashish; 92 were not drug users at all; and the remainder refused to answer the survey questions. This should put to rest the claim that most people who take drugs are of the occasional, “recreational” type.

 

Answer: The sample in this argument is badly biased. A typical heavy user of a drug is much more likely to get into a crisis situation and thus more likely to call a hotline number than a typical “recreational” user.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

ATLANTA (UPI)—A long-term federal study by the National Centers for Disease Control of 13 million U.S. births shows increases in the rate of eleven different types of birth defects, including a 17.5 percent yearly average increase in patent ductus arteriosus and a 10.8 percent increase for ventricular septal defects, over a fourteen-year period. The study was conducted by the Birth Defects Monitoring Program of the CDC, which collected its data from hospitals across the country. From 1970 to 1983, over 13 million births were monitored. [An adaptation]

 

Answer: “Hospitals across the country” is vague, but this is almost certainly a reputable scientific study, and the sample is extremely large. A generalization from these results to the American population as a whole should be sound.

 

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

FRESNO—In a new study of dangerous Halloween pranks, Fresno State University sociologist Joel Best has documented the exact number of American children killed or seriously injured by anonymously given, booby-trapped Halloween treats. Best reviewed supposedly real Halloween horror stories appearing from 1958 to 2004 in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the Fresno Bee. He did not find a single case in which a Halloween treat anonymously given to a child caused serious harm. He concluded that the infamous Halloween sadist is an “urban myth.”
—Adapted from a McClatchy News Service release

 

Answer: The question is whether the “exact number” of American children killed or seriously injured by anonymously given Halloween tricks can be determined by looking at the incidents reported in the four newspapers mentioned. There may have been a few incidents not reported in these newspapers, but we’d be surprised if there were many. Events of this type tend to attract too much attention not to be reported in at least one of these sources.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Haslett wanted to know what percentage of students at his college votes in local elections. He asked each of his professors (he was a political science major) to ask for a show of hands in his classes so he could make a count. He found that 45 percent of the 120 classmates polled vote in local elections. He concludes that about 45 percent of the students at his college vote in those elections.

 

Answer: The sample is large enough to be somewhat reliable, although Haslett should not be surprised by a substantial deviation from his 45 percent projection. A more serious problem is that Haslett’s poll may have been taken in political science classes (or at least mainly in political science classes) and that people who take such classes may be more interested in political matters and hence more likely to vote in any election. The possibility of bias is substantial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

A survey was made in 1948 in which a large number of names were randomly selected from the telephone book of a large city. The individuals called were asked whether they preferred Truman or Dewey in the presidential race. Over half of the respondents named DeweyRemember, the pollsters concluded that Dewey would carry the city and region.

 

Answer: The principal problem with this survey is that in 1948 many voters did not have telephones and thus had no chance of being selected. Since possession of a telephone was linked with a person’s economic status, and economic status helps determine political views, the sample was badly biased.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

As part of his work for NASA, Dr. Murdock was asked to find out what percentage of Americans saw Halley’s comet when it was last visible. He randomly selected three cities—Seattle, Cleveland, and Boston—and polled several hundred randomly selected individuals from these cities. His findings are that fewer than 5 percent of Americans saw the comet.

 

Answer: It makes no difference whether the cities and the individuals were randomly selected. Inhabitants of large cities, especially northern big cities, would be less likely to see the comet because of city lights, clouds, air pollution, and latitude.

 

 

  1. In evaluating the following generalization(s), identify sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Let’s say that according to statewide studies done in Montana and Virginia, the infant mortality rate for these two states averaged 10.5 per thousand live births. Could this figure be generalized to the infant mortality rate in the United States? What factors might be relevant to the generalization?

 

Answer: Montana and Virginia provide a large and reasonably good sample, although there may be a bias toward rural areas and small towns over large urban areas. We would want to know about Montana’s and Virginia’s resident-to-doctor ratio, its ratio of residents to hospital beds, the level of prenatal education available in the two states, and similar matters. The more similar these possibly relevant factors are in Montana and Virginia to the remainder of the country, the stronger the argument.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Osteoporosis is a degeneration of bone tissue that afflicts between fifteen and twenty million Americans and leads to approximately 1.3 million bone fractures every year. The condition is found mainly among women. A conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health in 1994 reported that calcium was one of the “mainstays of prevention and management of osteoporosis.” In a localized study designed to help predict the future incidence of osteoporosis in women in a midwestern community, a county hospital did a survey on calcium intake. It selected five hundred women at random and asked them to keep a record of their food and dietary supplements for one month. The data were analyzed to determine the amounts of calcium each woman received. It was determined that 85 percent of the surveyed women received less calcium than the recommended amount of 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams per day. County medical authorities concluded that about 85 percent of the community’s women were getting less than the recommended intake of calcium. They also concluded that local medical facilities would soon see an increase in the number of cases of osteoporosis as the calcium deficiency showed its effects. Given just the information presented here, how much confidence would you have in these conclusions?

 

Answer: The first conclusion is less solid than it might appear. The survey was done during one month, and diets change during the course of a year. More dairy products may be consumed during one time of the year than others; certainly some vegetables are consumed on a varying seasonal basis. Hence, the study may accurately reflect only the calcium intake in the population during that month of the year. Another problem with the survey is that the women were categorized by age. Women of different ages may consume different amounts of calcium, and since osteoporosis is a degenerative condition, it is likely to affect women of different ages much differently. (Women who take too little calcium at age twenty-four but who increase their intake by the time they are thirty-five may be no more likely to suffer osteoporosis than those whose intake is high during their entire lives.)
The second conclusion does not follow at all. The insufficient intake of calcium may have been going on for years; so the incidence of osteoporosis may remain exactly the same in the future.

 

 

  1. In evaluating the following generalization(s), identify sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Seventy-two percent of those interviewed at a luncheon sponsored by the Camellia Chamber of Commerce favored local tax incentives to attract new businesses. Would this finding generalize to the Camellia population?

 

Answer: No. This is not likely to be a representative sample.

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

A majority of Americans think that tobacco companies should be prohibited from advertising their products. In a survey of 1,213 adults, 86 percent said that prohibiting tobacco advertising would lower smoking rates. The results of the nationwide telephone survey, conducted by American Opinion Research, Inc., were published in this week’s edition of Research Fact. Spokespersons for the American Tobacco Council had no immediate comment on the findings.

 

Answer: It is not clear from this passage whether a majority of the respondents actually think that tobacco advertising should be prohibited. The 86 percent said something else: that doing so would lower smoking rates. Whether they would outlaw tobacco advertising is not known.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

A poll of fifty weight lifters at a southern California gym determined that thirty-three payed close attention to their diets as well as to their exercise. Of those thirty-three, twenty-five (50 percent of the original fifty) made it a point to eat more than the minimum daily amount of protein for large adults, and twenty (40 percent of the original fifty) took vitamin pills and other dietary supplements. The chain of health food stores that took the poll concluded that weight lifters constitute a substantial market for its products, since it is likely that 40 percent of all weight lifters across the country take vitamin pills and supplements and that an additional 10 percent are at least highly conscious of their diets.

 

Answer: The health-food chain had best not invest too much in attracting this new market. The first flaw in the survey is technical: The sample is too small to give a very detailed picture of weight lifters’ habits. Even if nothing else were wrong with the survey, strong confidence (95 percent) would be justified only in the claim that from about 36 to 64 percent of the weight lifters nationwide make sure to eat more than the usual amount of protein—not a very precise conclusion (see the error margin table [Table 10-1] in the text, page 360). A more important flaw in the survey is that the interviews are confined to clients of only one gym. Information is often passed around among people who frequent the same establishments, and there may be trends or fads or a particular bit of useful information that is current at one gym but not in others. The sample is biased, in other words.

 

 

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Thirty percent of American women ages nineteen to thirty-nine diet at least once a month, according to a news syndicate poll released last November. These findings are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of women listed in the Los Angeles telephone directory.

 

Answer: We wouldn’t trust a generalization about the subject based on a sample of women who list themselves in the telephone book, especially if they live in southern California, which may have more than its fair share of aspiring models and actresses, beachgoers, and other figure-conscious women.

 

 

  1. In the following passage, identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative. Do you find any flaw in our professor’s reasoning about the usefulness of the survey for her own purposes? Should she believe that the more people who have home offices, the more likely her own will escape attention from the IRS?

 

A college professor converted one room of her house into a home office and intended to deduct her expenses on her federal income tax return. She wondered how many other college faculty had done the same, thinking that the more who deducted home offices, the less likely her own return would be noticed by the IRS and hence the less likely she would be audited. So she decided to do her own informal survey of her colleagues to see how many of them had home offices. She sent out a questionnaire of three questions to all 1,200 instructors at her campus, and she received 950 responses. (Her promise to share the results of the survey apparently motivated faculty to respond.)
As it turned out, 32 percent of her respondents answered yes to the question, “Do you maintain an office at home?” Half of these also answered yes to the question, “Do you deduct your home office expenses on your federal income tax return?” And 24 percent of the entire group of respondents answered yes to the question, “Is your campus office adequate?”

 

Answer: This is not a question about the criteria for evaluating statistical generalizations, but rather about the assumption that motivated the study. It does us no good to produce studies to answer questions if they are the wrong questions to begin with. In this case, it may be that the IRS will turn more attention to home office deductions if there are enough of them to constitute a large total of deductions. Our professor has done a good job of answering some questions (about office space, about the number of home offices maintained by her colleagues and at other campuses similar to hers) but she had best be careful not to let her enthusiasm at having produced some reliable figures rub off on her initial assumption; such a mistake could be costly at tax time.

 

 

  1. In the following passage, identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative. Would our professor’s conclusion, “About 32 percent of college faculty nationwide maintain home offices,” be more likely if she had included faculty from other institutions among her survey? Why?

 

A college professor converted one room of her house into a home office and intended to deduct her expenses on her federal income tax return. She wondered how many other college faculty had done the same, thinking that the more who deducted home offices, the less likely her own return would be noticed by the IRS and hence the less likely she would be audited. So she decided to do her own informal survey of her colleagues to see how many of them had home offices. She sent out a questionnaire of three questions to all 1,200 instructors at her campus, and she received 950 responses. (Her promise to share the results of the survey apparently motivated faculty to respond.)

As it turned out, 32 percent of her respondents answered yes to the question, “Do you maintain an office at home?” Half of these also answered yes to the question, “Do you deduct your home office expenses on your federal income tax return?” And 24 percent of the entire group of respondents answered yes to the question, “Is your campus office adequate?”

 

Answer: It would be much more likely to be accurate. Faculty at different kinds of colleges (community colleges, state colleges, state universities, and private universities) have different requirements and hence a different level of need for offices at home—the more research a faculty does, the more likely the need for home offices.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Seventeen percent of Winchell State students intend to pursue careers as computer programmers or analysts. That’s what a recent survey of WSU students conducted by psychology major Jack Nafarik shows. Nafarik passed out questionnaires to students who voted in the March student election as they exited from the polling stations in the student union. “The results didn’t surprise me,” Nafarik said. “The figure may seem fairly high, but you’d expect that in a technical school like Winchell State.”

 

Answer: Do student voters constitute a representative sample of the students at Winchell State? Probably not. Upper-division students may vote in larger numbers than freshmen and sophomores, and there may be correlations between class standing and career goals. There may also be a direct correlation between types of major and participation in student elections. Can you think of any other possible sources of bias?

 

 

 

 

  1. In the following passage, identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative. Is it reasonable for our professor to conclude that faculty office space on the campus is inadequate?

 

A college professor converted one room of her house into a home office and intended to deduct her expenses on her federal income tax return. She wondered how many other college faculty had done the same, thinking that the more who deducted home offices, the less likely her own return would be noticed by the IRS and hence the less likely she would be audited. So she decided to do her own informal survey of her colleagues to see how many of them had home offices. She sent out a questionnaire of three questions to all 1,200 instructors at her campus, and she received 950 responses. (Her promise to share the results of the survey apparently motivated faculty to respond.)
As it turned out, 32 percent of her respondents answered yes to the question, “Do you maintain an office at home?” Half of these also answered yes to the question, “Do you deduct your home office expenses on your federal income tax return?” And 24 percent of the entire group of respondents answered yes to the question, “Is your campus office adequate?”

 

Answer: Yes; at least, it is reasonable for her to conclude that her faculty colleagues believe it is inadequate, and by a large majority. Her sample not only is large enough to guarantee reliability in such a conclusion, but also includes almost all of the target population.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Ronald is driving across the country when his car develops a minor mechanical problem. He can fix the trouble himself, but he’ll need a wrench of a size he doesn’t have. He resolves to stop at the next Sears retail store he sees to purchase one. He’s been in four or five Sears retail stores in the past, and all of them have carried automotive tools. So he is confident that all Sears retail outlets stock them.

 

Answer: His sample is small, but very representative; Ronald has made a sound generalization. Note that the argument could also be construed as analogical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. In the following passage, identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative. Would our professor’s conclusion, “Sixteen percent of faculty nationwide deduct home office expenses on their federal income tax return,” be more accurate if she restricted it to faculty in her own state?

 

A college professor converted one room of her house into a home office and intended to deduct her expenses on her federal income tax return. She wondered how many other college faculty had done the same, thinking that the more who deducted home offices, the less likely her own return would be noticed by the IRS and hence the less likely she would be audited. So she decided to do her own informal survey of her colleagues to see how many of them had home offices. She sent out a questionnaire of three questions to all 1,200 instructors at her campus, and she received 950 responses. (Her promise to share the results of the survey apparently motivated faculty to respond.)
As it turned out, 32 percent of her respondents answered yes to the question, “Do you maintain an office at home?” Half of these also answered yes to the question, “Do you deduct your home office expenses on your federal income tax return?” And 24 percent of the entire group of respondents answered yes to the question, “Is your campus office adequate?”

 

Answer: Yes. Different states may have different state income tax rules, and it may be more worthwhile, for tax reasons, to have a home office in some states than in others. A faculty member who does not find it worthwhile to have a home office in one state may find it advantageous in another.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Well, I did rotten in Algebra I last semesterRemember, I expect I’ll do poorly in the rest of the math classes I’ll have to take.

 

Answer: There may be enough differences between last semester and the rest—we’d like to think—to make the argument a weak one: different instructor, new study habits, and so on. Still, we’d bet against his doing well before we’d bet against somebody who did well in Algebra I.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

NEW YORK (AP)—Women who read “bodice-rippers,” a sexy, violent genre of historical romance novel, have sex 74 percent more often than nonreaders, according to a survey by two psychologists from the Emory Medical School in Atlanta, who interviewed 72 middle-class women in Atlanta, an equal number of them housewives, working women, and college students. Women who read the romances reported making love an average of 3.04 times a week, compared to 1.75 for nonreaders.

 

Answer: Our concern here is whether the 3.04 and 1.75 times a week figures generalize from the Atlanta sample. First, we’d not be at all surprised if there were an important discrepancy between reports of frequency and actual frequency (the article runs the two together). Further, a sampling of Atlanta women may not be representative of American women even in regard to reporting the frequency of sex. There may be cultural differences between urban and nonurban areasRemember,uthern and other areas of the country, and so forth, that affect attitudes about sex and reports about sexual activity. Also, does the distribution in the sample among housewives, working women, and college students reflect the distribution in the population as a whole? Are one-third of American women college students, for instance? Only if they were would this sample be representative.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

According to a study published by Dr. William P. Newman III of Louisiana State University Medical Center in the New England Journal of Medicine, physicians in Bogalusa, Louisiana, conducted autopsies on thirty-five youngsters ranging in age from seven to twenty-four (the average age was eighteen) who had died mostly from accidents, homicides, or suicides. They found that all but six of the young people had fatty streaks on their aortas, the body’s main artery. Fatty streaks are the earliest gross recognizable lesions of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), according to Newman. Since there was a direct link between the number of fatty streaks and the cholesterol levels in the young people, Newman recommended that all schoolchildren be checked for high cholesterol levels.

 

Answer: Newman is generalizing from the sample of thirty-five young people to all schoolchildren. However, he probably would not say that the sample indicates that a majority of all young people have the early signs of atherosclerosis. Rather, he would say that the sample suggests that a sufficient number of young people may have that disease to make monitoring the cholesterol levels of all children worthwhile. Interpreted this way, this is a reasonable generalization: The Bogalusa study does warrant concern and further investigation.

 

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Don’t buy any Australian wine. I’ve had Australian wine before and, believe me, you won’t like it.

 

Answer: Well, maybe she will. This is too hasty. That one kind of Australian wine was not very good doesn’t mean that there aren’t good varieties. Every country that makes wine makes at least a little bad wine.

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Hamilton City was considering annexing a portion of land adjacent to the city limits where construction of a subdivision was planned. To determine what the residents of the town thought about this annexation and about municipal growth in general, the city council had a poll taken. One thousand of the city’s fifteen thousand registered voters were randomly selected and asked three questions: (1) Do you favor no growth, modest growth, or accelerated growth for Hamilton City? (2) Do you favor annexation of the eight-hundred-acre Osborne parcel north of town and its planned subdivision? (3) Should the city enter into agreements with developers promising to supply city services, such as sewers and street maintenance, in return for the added tax revenue the developer’s projects will produce? The results of this survey were taken to be the “official” opinion of the voters of Hamilton City.

 

Answer: There is clearly nothing wrong with the sample size, and, if the selection was indeed random, this poll can be taken as a reliable indicator of what the voters of Hamilton City think about the questions asked. The problem is the questions: The first is much too vague (we’d bet the great majority of responses favored modest growth, whatever that means); the second can be intelligently answered only by voters who understand the implications of annexation—we can imagine a voter responding yes to the question and living to regret the annexation later (or responding no and living to regret that). The third question is also too vague to be helpful. How expensive will the services be? How much tax revenue will be generated? What kinds of commitments would the agreements involve, and over how long a period? Without carefully thought-out questions, no adherence to the rules of statistical generalization can produce a reliable result.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Mr. Smythe has closed each of the last four contracts with France International. Seems to me he’d be likely to do well with the rest of our overseas deals.

 

Answer: This may be a biased sample. Did Mr. Smythe work with the same people on the four France International contracts? More diversity in the sample would make this a stronger argument.

 

 

  1. In evaluating the following generalization(s), identify sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

A New York newspaper stopped theatergoers as they exited from a performance of La Tragédie de Carmen and asked them whether they thought that Broadway theater was better or worse than it was ten years ago. When the majority of the respondents answered that they thought it was worse, the paper printed an article with the headline “Public Thinks Broadway Is Going Downhill.” Does the poll justify the headline?

 

Answer: No. “Public” is misleading, since it could be taken to refer to the general public and not just the theatergoing public. More important, the poll is highly biased in at least two ways: It may be that the production mentioned does not draw a typical theater audience, and hence the sample may be biased; and the effects of the performance attended may bias an individual respondent (whether he liked this particular performance may have unduly influenced his answer).

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Memo: “We interviewed Haddow and found that she could handle each of the problems we gave her. I recommend we hire her.”

 

Answer: The speaker is betting that because Haddow can solve certain kinds of problems, she’ll be able to solve all those she’s given. If the problems she solved really are representative of the problems she will encounter, then it’s a good bet. If they’re not, it’s not.

 

 

 

 

  1. In evaluating the following generalization(s), identify sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Readers of Consumer Reports can write in their opinions of movies they have seen. Each month, CR reports the total number of opinion votes it receives in this way. In one issue, the average rating of a certain movie is 4 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 the bad end of the scale. The total vote on the movie is 107. How sound would a generalization from this sample to American moviegoers in general be?

 

Answer: Not very. We know that maybe 107 people who know about the CR movie poll didn’t like the movie very much (we say “maybe” because some may have voted more than once), but that’s about all we know. There is no assurance that the sample is representative of the population mentioned in the question.

 

 

  1. In evaluating the following generalization(s), identify sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

“In a study done by a University of Pennsylvania psychologist, 29 suburban and 38 inner-city children from the Philadelphia area, ranging in age from 3 to 12 years, were asked to consume foods mixed with ‘disgusting’ substances, like apple juice stirred with a used comb or containing a dead grasshopper. Almost two-thirds of the children from 3 to 6 sipped juice in which a grasshopper floated. There were no differences between city and suburban children.” —Published in Developmental Psychology
Would it be safe to say, on the basis of this study, that the same percentage of all American children from ages three to six would be willing to sip juice in which a disgusting object floats? Explain.

 

Answer: Your essay should clarify what the sample and target classes are and what characteristic is attributed to each (note the shift from “apple juice in which a grasshopper floats” to “juice in which a disgusting object floats”). Further, the essay should address the “knowability” of the thesis, given the latter’s vagueness, and show that the writer remembered the cautions in the chapter about making inferences in statistical inductive generalizations. The essay should also consider the size, diversity, and representativeness of the sample.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Evaluate the following generalization(s), identifying sample, target population, feature, and the extent to which the claims involved are knowable. Consider carefully the size and diversification of the sample and the extent to which the target differs or may differ from the sample; remember, what’s important is that the sample be representative.

 

Mónica is an excellent Spanish classical dancer. With a bit of practice, she’d probably be a fine flamenco dancer as well.

 

This is not as good an argument as it might appear. Different art forms may be much more different from one another than they might at first appear. Certainly we’d like Mónica’s chances better than most people’s, but it’s by no means a sure thing.

 

 

  1. Critically discuss the following analogical argument:

 

Economic sanctions simply do not work. As a weapon of international persuasion, they are about as effective as popguns.
The United Nations imposed drastic sanctions upon Rhodesia; they failed utterly.
We imposed sanctions upon Poland; nothing happened.
Our government has forbidden trade with Cuba for the past twenty-five years; Cuba goes its own way. Most recently, the president has laid heavy sanctions upon Libya; our noble allies have pooh-poohed the effort.
You can count on the same kind of result if economic sanctions are imposed on North Korea.

 

Answer: We think that a good evaluation should identify the comparison term, the target, and the feature attributed to both. The last of these is vague in this example—the phrases “failed utterly,” “nothing happened,” and “goes its own way” are not clear. The claim that “our noble allies pooh-poohed the effort” attributes a characteristic to the Libyan case that is different from that attributed to the others. Is the author trying to say that economic sanctions never have an effect whatsoever? His remarks don’t say so (Cuba may “go its own way,” but American sanctions were very detrimental to the Cuban economy). How knowable is such a claim? Does he mean that sanctions don’t destroy a country? Are we talking about American sanctions or sanctions imposed by all of America’s allies as well? Any relevant differences between North Korea and the other countries mentioned would add to a critical evaluation.

 

 

 

 

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