PTA.S1.Q03 - In a democratic society

samimason333samimason333 Alum Member
edited June 22 in Logical Reasoning 4 karma

Can anyone give me a rundown as to why the answer for this one is "D- A political interest group can become ineffective by expanding to include as wide a membership as possible" and not "A-political interest groups are generally less influential when their membership is expanding than when it is numerically stable?" Thanks!

Admin Note: Edited title. Please use the format: "PT#.S#.Q# - brief description of the question"


  • Chris NguyenChris Nguyen Alum Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    edited June 23 4174 karma

    Hey there!

    Since this is a Most Strongly Supported question, we essentially want to accept everything we read in the stimulus as true, and ask ourselves what can be supported from that information.

    I think A is a little tricky because it's a little hard to understand exactly what A means. A is essentially saying that every single time their membership is stagnant, they are more influential, and every time they are growing, they are generally less influential. But what does that necessarily mean?

    That can include a situation where a political party is stagnant at 1 million members, it's more influential than when the party is growing from just 10 to 20 members. This situation would actually contradict the stimulus, so it's something that's not supported.

    Notice how D is carefully worded to leave out that possible situation. That's why D is supported, and A isn't.

    I hope this helps!

  • Avatar RokuAvatar Roku Monthly Member
    70 karma

    Well AC (D) is a great summary/ inference to the stimulus. Basically, the stimulus is saying when an interest group exceeds a certain size, then there's a lot of conflicting economic views in the group. But in order to have a political impact necessary to influence legislation, they need to be united – so not that much conflicting economic views.

    After reading this, I just connected the ideas together. This was my thought in my head, "Okay, so, basically if they (political group) exceeds a certain size, then conflicting views arise. But, hey, in order to remain influential in passing legislation, you need to be united. Thus, if they exceed their size – which leads to conflict and not them being united – it would follow that they probably wouldn't remain influential in passing legislation, which is exactly what AC (D) is saying: "A group can become ineffective by expanding to include as wide a membership as possible" (a.k.a. exceeding their certain size). I bolded the word "can" because this answer is really supported by the stimulus. If this answer said, "A group will become ineffective..." then I would've crossed it out because the stimulus never said that.

    AC (A) is not right. AC (A) reads, "political groups are generally less influential when their membership is expanding than when it is numerically stable." There are two things wrong here. First, you see that I bolded the word "generally." That is a strong word to assert from merely this stimulus. What I mean by this is that "generally" is synonymous to "most," "usually," "typically." But the stimulus never says this. I think the closest phrase to "generally" in the stimulus would be with the phrase "large group of people tend to surface." But even here tend to is modifying a different idea. Moreover, by saying "generally" it seems as if this AC is trying to apply this answer choice broadly to other instances.
    Secondly, the reason why this AC can't be right is because if you just take it as it is, what this is saying is that political groups are less influential when they expand rather than when they are stable. So, by this logic, you mean to say that when the group expands by 2 people that means they are less influential? Absolutely not! The stimulus said that if the group exceeds a certain size then, since there will not be that much unity, they won't be that influential This isn't the same as just expanding. It's like me (a 140lb, 6'0", college sophomore) telling you "hey man my doctor told me that if I exceed my BMI and become overweight, then I'll have really bad heart problems. I guess I can't gain anymore weight now. I guess I can't go out and eat a hamburger with you." No! Gaining a few lbs over 140lbs isn't going to hurt my BMI nor make me overweight; these two things aren't the same!

    I hope this helps and it didn't confuse you! :smile:

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