The Tragic LSAT Tale of Lisa Logan

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The Tragic LSAT Tale of Lisa Logan
We at MSS bring to you our second installment of practice logical reasoning questions. Today, Misha analyzes the story of Lisa Logan, and what steps we need to take to validly conclude that her parents have failed in their parenting (odds are, it shouldn’t be too difficult to conclude that). If you have any questions after the video, head on over to the discussion board or voice your confusion in the comments. Check out the text of the question below.


Dr. Droo: Someone with great financial means will shoplift only if they are deeply troubled or if they intentionally committed the crime to get publicity. If someone is deeply troubled, then their parents have failed. Lisa Logan, a well-known actress and ex-child star, was recently caught shoplifting an expensive necklace from a retail store in southern California. Lisa did not know she was doing anything illegal, thinking the store owners would be honored. It is safe to conclude that Lisa’s parents have failed.

Dr. Droo’s conclusion follows logically if which one of the following is true?

(A) Lisa’s parents could have done a better parenting job.
(B) The store owners were not honored when Lisa took the necklace.
(C) Lisa Logan has great financial means.
(D) Lisa is not culpable for her theft.
(E) No movie studios are going to be contacting Lisa anytime soon.

4 Responses

  1. George says:

    we can’t conclude Lisa didn’t steal intentionally just because Lisa didn’t think it’s a crime.
    Lisa might think stealing is legal.

  2. Misha says:

    Hi George –

    You do have a point, but note the text of the question. It’s not intentionally stealing. It’s intentionally committing a crime. When we diagrammed it we wrote ‘intentionally steal’ to simplify it but the question itself does say –

    “Someone with great financial means will shoplift only if they are deeply troubled or if they intentionally committed the crime to get publicity”

    Lisa didn’t know she was doing anything legal, thus she couldn’t have committed an intentional crime. If the question said steal instead of crime, you would be totally right.

    Thanks for watching!

    – Misha

  3. W says:

    Hmm was this an actual LSAT question? I think it is still ambiguous.

    Even though Lisa didn’t know she was committing (what WE know to be) a crime, she could have intentionally stolen the necklace out of a desire for publicity. I don’t see how this premise requires criminal intent.

    “Someone with great financial means will shoplift only if they are deeply troubled or if they intentionally committed the crime to get publicity”

    Someone could intentionally do illegal things to get publicity, but that does not require that they understand the illegality of their acts. Of course we know stealing is a crime, but the way this sentence is phrased makes it sound like “the crime” simply refers to the act in question. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I hope my view is more apparent with repeated readings of this premise. I think the problem would be fixed if “the crime” was replaced with “a crime.”

    Try “…if they intentionally committed the crime to get publicity” vs. “if they intentionally committed a crime to get publicity”

    Best
    W

  4. Todd says:

    W,

    You explained yourself well, and you do have a point. When we say “intentionally committed the crime to gain publicity”, I suppose this does leave open the possibility that the intent was to gain publicity without knowledge of the crime. One would then have to accept that the publicity would come not from the act itself, but from some innate property that makes this necklace worthy of publicity (crown jewels?). Perhaps this is the sweetest, most unique piece of jewelry of all time. Still, “intentionally committed the crime” does strongly imply criminal intent.

    The good news is that you are thinking like a successful LSAT student. Make sure you check out our original question from last week about the Los Angeles Shakers. Thanks for reading MSS!

    – Todd

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