Section 1 - The Language of Reasoning Flashcards Preview

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91

What is it called when evidence about a small sample is used to draw a conclusion about a large population?3

Over-generalisation

92

What does representative mean?

Giving a reliable picture of the whole group being talked about.

93

When evaluating evidence, why must you consider the representativeness of the evidence?

If a claim is made about an entire population, the sample must give an effective overview of the population in order to be reliable.

94

What factors affect how reliable a survey is?

• Backgrounds of individuals -> Economic, geographic, ethnicity, religious
• Survey method -> Variety of locations

95

What background factors must be considered when evaluating the representativeness of a survey?

Must be different:
• Economic backgrounds
• Geographic backgrounds
• Ethnicities
• Religious groups

96

Why does the method used for a survey affect the representativeness?

• The location, etc. of a survey may affect the sample diversity
• e.g. A survey about car-ownership in students in general would not be representative if it was ONLY done at a bus stop, since most people there would not own a car

97

What must you do when asked to say how representative one person’s views are of a group?

• Look for similarities between that person and the group as a whole
• DON’T just say “it’s only one person’s opinion”

98

What factors might you look out for when asked to say how representative one person’s views are of a group?

• Do they know more or less about the situation that the rest of the group?
• Are they the same gender?
• Are they the same age?

99

When evaluating evidence, why must you consider different interpretations of statistics?

• Statistics can be manipulated to suit a person’s argument.
• For example, the mean, median and mode are all averages, but can give a different picture.

100

Give an example of statistics being interpreted in different ways.

In a set of data, the mean, median and mode can all be referred to as the “average”, but they give different values that can give different ideas.

(See pg 14 of revision guide)

101

When evaluating evidence, why must the relevancy of evidence be considered?

Evidence may only APPEAR to be linked to the reason, when in fact it doesn’t support it.

102

When evaluating evidence, why must different interpretations of the evidence be considered?

• People may choose to offer an explanation for evidence that supports their claim.
• There may be an alternative explanation for the evidence -> The evidence is *ambiguous*

103

What is evidence that has several possible meanings called?

Ambiguous

104

Offer alternative explanations for this evidence:

“For her last film, Carmel Hoverfork earned £12 million, making her the highest paid actress of 2010. This proves that she is the most talented actress of today.”

• Carmel Hoverfork is the actress with the most demanding agent.
• She is today’s most popular actress, which guarantees the highest ticket sales, so directors will pay more to have her in their films.

105

Evaluate this evidence:

“82% of teenagers in Borisville (population: 100,000) think fish, chips and mushy peas is a balanced meal (based on a survey of 100 teenagers).”

• The sample size is relatively small compared to the population of Borisville
• Over-generalisation
• So the use of evidence is weak

106

Evaluate this evidence:

“Research has found that 78% of students now have a car (survey done on a car insurance website).”

• The method of the survey means that the evidence is not representative of the population
• Most people on a car insurance website are likely to have a car
• So the use of evidence is weak

107

Evaluate this use of evidence:

“The average British family doesn’t make the effort to eat healthily anymore. Studies show that 71% of families regularly eat dinner in front of the television, instead of whilst talking around the dinner table.”

• The evidence is not relevant to the reason
• It tells us *where* families eat, but not *what* they are eating
• So the use of the evidence is weak

108

Evaluate this use of evidence:

“For her last film, Carmel Hoverfork earned £12 million, making her the highest paid actress of 2010. This proves that she is the most talented actress of today.”

• The evidence is ambiguous -> There might be another explanation for it
• So the reason is not supported
• So the use of evidence is weak

109

What steps must you take when asked to provide extra reasons to support an argument?

1) Pick out the reasons in the argument so you don’t repeat anything
2) Identify the key parts of the conclusion
3) Ensure the reason you give is relevant to EACH of the key points

110

What is it important to remember to do when asked to provide extra reasons to support an argument and how can you do this?

• Give a reason that supports ALL parts of the conclusion.
• You can combine two points in the conclusion, but ensure that they are not separate reasons or intermediate conclusions.

111

What are some dos and don’ts of providing extra reasons to support an argument?

DON’T:
• Rephrase a reason already in the text
• Write something irrelevant to the conclusion
• Support only part of the conclusion
• Add too many reasons, an intermediate conclusion or an example
DO:
• Combine two points in the reason to make sure it supports all parts of he conclusion

112

What does it mean when you are asked to “Assess how strongly these reasons support the conclusion”?

• You must write about how strongly the reasons and conclusion are linked.
• You don’t need to write about the argument overall.

113

What factors must be considered when assessing whether a reason supports a conclusion?

• Relevance
• All parts of conclusion supported
• Consistent reasoning
• Consistent language
• Questionable assumptions

114

Does an argument have to be linked to all parts of a conclusion to be relevant?

• No, it can be relevant even if it’s only linked to one part
• BUT this only weakly supports the conclusion

115

When deciding whether a reason is relevant to the conclusion, what must you be careful to check?

The reasons must be about PRECISELY the same thing as the conclusion.

116

Assess how strong the reasons support the conclusion:

“We should sent send a petition to the British government, asking them to ban violent video games in our country. After all, it is their duty to do everything in their power to keep children safe from harm. Video games are so popular that some studies have shown that Super Mario is more recognisable to children than Mickey Mouse.”

• “It is their duty to do everything in their power to keep children safe from harm” -> Relevant -> Because it gives a reason why the petition should be sent to the government specifically
• “Video games are so popular that some studies have shown that Super Mario is more recognisable to children than Mickey Mouse” -> Not relevant -> On the topic of video games, but not violent video games or why they should be banned

117

Which parts of this conclusion must be supported by reasons:
“We should petition the government to ban violent video games”?

• Petition
• Violent video game banning
• Sent to government

118

In an argument, does each reason have to support all parts of the conclusion?

No, as long as there is a reason to support each part of the conclusion.

119

Assess how strongly the reasons support the conclusion:

“Our government is not doing enough to protect our children from violent video games. One of its key roles is to help children grow up to be friendly and responsible members of society. A concerned citizens, it is our duty to remind the government when it is neglecting this vital task. Therefore, we should petition the government to ban violent video games. After all, an internet petition is the best way to establish general public support because it reaches a wide audience, and allows you to voice your concerns from the comfort of your own home. It’s an effective and easy way of expressing our views to the government.”

• Reasons are given to support the “petition” and that it should be sent to the “government”.
• But there are no reasons why violent video games are a problem.
• So the conclusion is only weakly supported.

120

What is it called when two reasons can’t be true at once?

Inconsistent reasoning