Reasoning Skills and Appeals to Emotion Practice
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Reasoning Skills and Appeals to Emotion Practice
Read the following arguments carefully. If the argument uses logic to support the conclusion, write an L in the blank. If the argument uses scare tactics, write an S in the blank.
- We'd better leave now. If we don't, we might miss the last train and we'll be stuck here all night.
- I really think it'd be a good idea to do whatever she asks. She's a pretty powerful person.
- I really think it's a good idea to do whatever he asks. I've seen him fire people who say no to him.
Read the following arguments carefully. Are they using logic (L) or appealing to vanity (V)?
- Trainer to new employees: "It has been great getting to know each of you over the past few weeks. You have all learned the job much faster than any other group I've ever trained. You will make fantastic employees, I am sure. Now, before you leave, please fill out this survey. It goes to my boss and lets him know what you think of the training process within our company. You guys are so smart, I'm sure it will only take you a few minutes to complete."
- "Stephen, could you please make breakfast for your sister? You know how she likes her eggs and you never burn the toast like I do."
- "You're clearly a clever man who recognizes a good deal when he sees one, so I am sure that you will choose this car. It reflects the sophistication and class that is obviously a part of your lifestyle."
Read the following arguments carefully. Are the arguers using logic (L) or peer pressure (P) to try to convince you?
- "We all think that the death penalty is the only way to cure society of rampant crime. Don't you?"
- "Come on, we're all voting for the Democrat again, just like the last time."
- "Stick with your party, Joe. The more unified we are, the more likely our candidates will win."
- "You should stop eating red meat. We've stopped and we feel much healthier."
Read the following arguments carefully. Are they using logic (L) to convince you, or are they appealing to your sense of pity and compassion (P)?
- "But you can't fire me, Mr. Watts. I have seven mouths to feed!"
- I think I am truly the best candidate for this job, Miss Coffman. I have six years of experience, plus I just received my associate degree. As the sole breadwinner in my family, this job is important to me.
- "I know I don't have any experience, but I really need this job. My mom is sick and I'm the only child old enough to work."
- L. The reasons given appeal to common sense.
- S. This argument suggests that she is a person who can hurt you if you don't do what she wants.
- S. This item may have tricked you, because it seems like this reason could be logical. But just because the arguer has seen this person fire others doesn't provide you with logical reasons for doing "whatever he asks." Who knows—what he asks of you could be illegal or dangerous. Just like your coworker Ronald, this person is trying to scare you into doing what he wants.
- V. Clearly, the trainer is appealing to these employees in hopes of getting praise on their surveys. It might lead to a promotion, a raise, or just appreciation for him or her.
- L. The speaker provides two logical, practical reasons for Stephen to make breakfast for his sister.
- V. The salesman wants to make this sale and knows that appealing to the customer's vanity is one of the best ways to accomplish this.
- P. The speaker tries to get you to agree by stressing that everyone else thinks that way. He suggests that if you disagree, you'll be alone in your belief.
- P. Again, the speaker is using peer pressure. Here, the suggestion is that everyone else is voting the same way, so you should, too. But the speaker doesn't provide any logical reasons for voting for the Democrat.
- L. This time, the speaker gives Joe a good logical reason for voting along the party line: Their party's candidates will win.
- L. The speaker gives a good reason for considering his or her claim: They feel much better since they've stopped eating red meat. Of course, you'd probably want to hear more supporting arguments before you decide, but this argument doesn't try to sway you with emotion.
- P. The only reason the speaker gives for not being fired is that he has a family to feed. He doesn't make any argument regarding his ability to perform his duties at work.
- L. Although the person did throw in a slight edge of looking for sympathy, the reasons given for hiring him or her are logical.
- P. However, as always, you need to consider each case individually. Maybe the job this person is applying for doesn't require much experience, or maybe the applicant is a quick study. In that case, it might be OK to be swayed a little by pity.
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