Parallel Reasoning—SN. The correct answer choice is (C)
This stimulus contains a conditional argument. It begins with a rule, that “no nonfiction book by Carriage Books has ever earned a profit.” We can diagram this rule as:
- Sufficient Necessary
Next, we are told that Carriage books earned a profit on every book it published last year, which invokes the contrapositive of the rule from the first sentence, applicable to each book published last year:
- Profitall books Nonfiction
The conclusion, that Carriage Books did not publish a non-fiction book last year, is the valid result of the application of the rule in the first sentence to the fact in the second sentence, as shown above in the diagram of the contrapositive.
This is a Parallel Reasoning question. Our prephrase is that the correct answer choice will contain a valid conditional relationship containing a rule, a fact that invokes the contrapositive of the rule, and a conclusion stating that the necessary condition of the contrapositive must be the case. Further, we are dealing with two categories of items associated with Carriage Books, both fiction books and non-fiction books.
Answer choice (A): There are two problems with this answer choice. First, the rule in the first sentence had to do with a major movie. However, the conclusion deals with a “movie” and not a “major movie.” More importantly, the conclusion does not reflect the necessary condition of the contrapositive. In this case, the necessary condition of the contrapositive of the rule would be that the actor is not represented by Mira Roberts.
Answer choice (B): Here, the conclusion results from a statement of the rule, not its contrapositive.
Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. We can diagram this argument as:
- Rule: marketing division employee bonus
and the contrapositive of the rule:
bonus marketing division employee
Fact: every systems analyst received a bonus (bonus)
Conclusion: none of the systems analysts are marketing division employees
(i.e., marketing division employee)
As shown by the argument breakdown above, the argument provides a rule, a fact that triggers the contrapositive of the rule, and a conclusion that is the necessary condition of the contrapositive. Also, just like the stimulus dealt with two distinct categories of book, this answer choice deals with two distinct categories of employee, marketing division employees and systems analysts , who are not marketing division employees.
Answer choice (D): This is a very attractive answer choice, because it also has a rule, a fact triggers the contrapositive of the rule, and a conclusion that is the necessary condition of the contrapositive. However, what distinguishes this answer choice from the stimulus is that it does not contain two discrete items, such as the fiction and non-fiction books, or the two distinct types of employee in answer choice (C).
Answer choice (E): Here, the answer choice is incorrect because it changes a term from the rule to the conclusion. The rules discussed Conway Flooring installing hardwood floors for customers in Woodbridge, while the conclusion references the company installing hardwood flooring generally.