The first type of reasoning within the text question
would be to recognize and evaluate foundational arguments
within a passage.
An argument I would say is the smallest unit
of meaning that includes multiple elements.
To do so, we'll want to examine when an author
is giving their own opinion as opposed to citing an outside
something we have already begun to do.
Then we'll trace out cause and effect sequences that
And lastly, we'll connect arguments throughout an entire
just as we might connect scattered thoughts of a speaker.
It's crucial to identify when an author
has used evidence to back up their claim.
An author will do something in their own authority.
But an author presenting his or her own opinion opens the
door for bias.
Try in fact to proactively spot when an author appears to be
towards a point of view without presenting evidence for that
Feelings as much as a logical expression
of thought can be evaluated as claims.
But, well, we've discussed how authors
have some inherent amount of authority,
we nonetheless need to critically evaluate that authority.
So let's take some more examples in order to rule out faulty
of causality that no one can do regardless of their amount
If I say for instance, ice cream sales
and home robberies increase concurrently,
therefore, selling more ice cream causes homes to be robbed.
What would be my faulty notion of causality? Can you spot
This would be known as an illusory correlation
where two variables, ice cream and home robberies
get correlated to one another
rather than to a third unstated variable.
As such, we might think hot weather for instance
is common to both ice cream sales and robbery.
So when people leave their houses due to hot weather,
this might be an opportunity for thieves to enter the house.
How about another bit of a brain twister?
Last night, I was hit by a taxi.
It was dark so I can't quite remember the color.
But I'm pretty sure there's a 50% chance the taxi was yellow
and the 50% chance the taxi was rainbow colored.
Can you spot the logical error in this statement?
This illustrates what is known as Bayes' Theorem.
The idea that causation depends not only on the power of
but also, on the probability of an event occurring
independent of an observer.
So if the taxi fleet had 99 yellow cars
and only one rainbow colored car,
even if you were exactly 50% certain that the car
was either yellow or rainbow colored in your mind,
the chances are much more likely that the taxi was in fact a
Perform a quick google search of mental rules of thumb
for further examples of mental shortcuts
we take to save time that can lead
to faulty notions of causality.
This will actually be relevant across all sections of the
and some of the most common rules of thumb
are explicitly tested in the psychology and sociology
That being said, let's take one more concrete example.
Consider this statement.
"When individuals from certain primitive cultures take IQ
they perform poorly on questions that require interpretation
of two-dimensional depictions of geometrically designed
Therefore, individuals from these cultures are less
Other than the face value falsity of this statement
since IQ is designed to represent a normal distribution,
what faulty notion of causation can you spot here?
There are probably several but the availability rule of
is where we make decisions
based on familiar facts rather than looking at the big
Some cultures do not possess buildings
with 90 degree or otherwise, sharp angles
and so, when they see a two-dimensional depiction
of something they've never seen in real life,
it's understandable that they would get these questions
For this reason, anthropologists have specifically designed
for cultures that do not require geometrically interpreted
When we hold a conversation, our thoughts are rarely linear.
Indeed, rhetoric was originally a spoken art.
What we have found is the best way to communicate an idea
when we are having a conversation is often to speak around a
This is a way to open listeners' minds
by not disturbing their tightly held viewpoints
until the speaker is ready to reveal
their entire set of arguments to the listener.
In line with this idea, don't expect cars passages
to be written in a linear fashion.
Ideas will be connected across multiple paragraphs.
From this perspective, reasoning within the text questions
are in fact testing an essential aspect
of how the cars passages themselves are structured.
This point is so important that it forms the basis for the
of how reasoning within the text questions are framed.