PT72.S2.Q12 - humans' emotional tendencies

sweezyseasonsweezyseason Member
edited November 2016 in Logical Reasoning 262 karma
Ok so I'm doing my blind review, and when I initially did the test I chose the correct answer even though I wasn't happy with it because it seemed more like a sufficient assumption to me. I don't have the ultimate package so I don't have the explanation for this so if someone could help me out that would be much appreciated.

When I read this question I immediately found the gap between choose more wisely and emotions unchanged
I was hoping for an answer that bridged the gap ever so slightly without being obnoxious and of course E bridged that gap but the only if really annoyed me

I interpreted E as an SA in my BR because I diagrammed the following:
human emotions unchanged --> humans unable to choose more wisely
contrapositive: humans able to choose more wisely --> humans emotions have changed
This is precisely what E does and so I went with D thinking it was a little better (now I see why it fails)

I guess D when put to the negation test says something along the lines of "humans do not always choose on the basis of their emotions" and in the conclusion it says: "humans are GENERALLY unable to choose more wisely" so the not always wouldn't really be good enough because the conclusion isn't always saying that it's the case that people do not choose more wisely today, it just needs to be true in at least one case.

When E was put to the negation test it seems like it would be something similar to: it's not the case that humans would now be able to make wiser choices than in centuries past only if an essential change had taken place in their emotions, so we can choose wisely without a change in emotions

Overall, really annoyed by this question...would appreciate any input/feedback on what I mentioned above



  • BinghamtonDaveBinghamtonDave Alum Member 🍌🍌
    8689 karma
    I'm not a fan of this question because it seems to be one that exists in an exception zone of necessary assumption questions. Meaning, that the argument is so simple that the necessary assumption is actually the sufficient assumption. I am in the process of compiling questions that fit this mold as I write this, I think it would be of value to see 8-10 of these at once and spend an hour or so on them. I think you have provided a clear and concise breakdown of the problem. The "although" functions as a concession and is otherwise a distraction. The gap here is between the idea of "unchanged emotional tendencies" and "unable to choose more wisely." In the spirit of a "bridging" necessary assumption our job here is to find something that connects the seemingly unrelated premise to the conclusion in a way that if broken by a negation, would severely weaken the conclusion. "Connect" here is something I should spend a second on: for necessary assumptions our connection could be something like "the level of emotional tendencies have an effect on the level of wiseness in decision." (I think this is what you were alluding to when you said "I was hoping for something that bridged the gap ever so slightly." You and I both.) As stated this would be necessary because when negated, would no longer allow us to draw our conclusion.

    What interests me about this question is that the test writers must have at their disposal a range of acceptable versions of a bridging necessary assumptions that encompass what we would normally consider a sufficient assumption. What is interesting here and what I think the tests in the 70s are asking us is to negate a conditional statement and then understand how that negation effects the argument.

    (D) ultimately tells us something that the argument concedes. That is to say (D) tells us that with or without (regardless) a wide range of choices, humans default to only emotions as the "basis" of those choices. This says nothing about the value judgement of "more wisely" contained in the conclusion. In addition to that, if negated, what actually does this say? The range of choices notwithstanding, humans do not choose on the "basis of emotions alone." This means that there is something in addition to emotions that is the basis of choices. Does the inclusion of this other variable that the negation necessitates allow us to say that therefore there would be an effect on the wiseness claim in the conclusion? No, we really don't know.

    (E) Gives us that "bridge" in the contrapositive form. The "only if" is a necessary condition indicator. This negated would sever the premise and conclusion link and not allow our conclusion to stand.

    So the pattern of this question in my estimation was:

    -Attractive wrong answer choice that failed to address conclusion and addressed concession.
    -Unattractive correct answer choice that appeared to go beyond what the question stem was asking.

  • sweezyseasonsweezyseason Member
    262 karma
    Hi David,

    Thanks so much for your explanation glad I'm not alone. I like the idea of compiling a list and I think I will also do the same, I'm BRing the 3rd section at the moment and it looks like another necessary assumption with an SA correct answer choice is question 4 section 3 (pt 72). Just for the sake of understanding it a little better I'm going to go ahead and outline how I interpreted this question:

    Read the stimulus and saw the gap immediately between meteorites lacking iron-60 and this in itself being enough to disprove the hypothesis that a supernova had created our solar system. When prephasing, I was looking for something along the lines of: "the iron-60 produced by the supernova would normally be found in meteorites that formed early in the solar system's history"

    This one was a little easier to see because I found the answer choices could be quickly eliminated
    A: irrelevant, this is not necessary and when negated it actually does more to possibly strengthen our argument
    B: irrelevant, we don't care about other solar systems
    C: We are focused on iron-60 here as that is our support for concluding that the hypothesis is false, so other forms are irrelevant
    D: Late in the solar systems history? We are focused on disproving a hypothesis about the early history of the solar system, and our stimulus suggests we are interested in meteorites that formed early in the history. We can't make a link between two different types of meteorites when we are only focused on those formed earlier
    E: this is a sufficient assumption answer choice:
    premise: supernova formed solar system --> iron-60 would have been present early in the his
    premise 2: no iron-60 present in early meteorites
    conclusion: therefore, a supernova did not form the solar system

    SA correct answer would be something connecting premise iron-60 to meteorites and, thus when negated as we are told in premise 2, the conclusion could follow

    Question E does this by telling us that iron-60 have been present early in the history ---> it would be found in meteorites formed early in the solar systems history
    When added to our original chain this would look like:
    p1: supernova formed SS --> iron-60 would have been present early in his --> iron-60 would have been found in meteorites formed early
    p2: no iron-60 found in early meteorites
    conclusion: supernova did not form SS

    Seems good to me, bridges the gap, does look like an SA answer choice but when negated it ruins our argument completely while nothing else comes close.
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