Volleyball team manager: Over the last 25 years, every professional volleyball player who was at least 5 feet 6 inches tall could perform an assist to a teammate. Martina will begin her professional volleyball career this coming year and her amatuer team lists her as 5 feet 7 inches tall. Thus, Martina definitely will be able to perform an assist.

The volleyball manager’s argument is most vulnerable to which one of the following objections?

  1. The argument mistakes a condition sufficient for bringing about a result for a condition necessary for doing so.
  2. The argument relies on data provided by Martina’s amatuer team without examining the reliability of such data.
  3. The argument draws a general conclusion about a group based on data about an unrepresentative sample of that group.
  4. The argument infers that a characteristic of a certain subset of volleyball players is shared by all volleyball players.
  5. The argument misinterprets evidence that a result is likely as evidence that the result is certain.


Question type: Flaw

Difficulty level: Medium

Summary of the argument: Martina is 5ft 7inches. Those who are 5ft 6 inches could perform an assist. Therefore Martina definitely will be able to perform an assist. 

  1. The problem is that a likelihood is assumed to mean a certainty. “Condition sufficient for bringing about a result” is irrelevant. 
  2. Reliability of data is irrelevant. 
  3. The argument doesn’t draw a general conclusion. 
  4. The argument does not assume that all volleyball players are 5ft 6inches at the least. This is not what is wrong about the argument. 
  5. This is the problem with the argument as it assumes that likelihood equals certainty. 

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