Complete Question Explanation
Assumption—SN. The correct answer choice is (E)
Here, the author starts the stimulus with the “some people say...” technique, telling us that, periodically, the public complains about predatory pricing, which is defined as being when “a company deliberately sells its products at prices low enough to drive its competitors out of business.” Despite this periodic outcry, the author concludes, in the second sentence, that predatory pricing (i.e., “this practice”) should be acceptable.
The author’s sole reason for reaching this conclusion is that although the practice drives the company’s competitors out of business, the continuing threat of new competition keeps the company from “raising its prices to unreasonable levels.” Essentially, by having just one premise leading to its definitive conclusion, the author is acting as if this fact, by itself, is enough to show the conclusion is valid. In other words, the author treats the premise as if it is a sufficient condition that shows the conclusion must be the case. We could diagram this relationship as:
PPC =practice prevents a company from raising prices to unreasonable levels
PA = practice should be acceptable
The question stem tells us that this is an Assumption question. Our prephrase is that the correct answer choice will supply this conditional rule the author implicitly applied in reaching the conclusion.
Answer choice (A): It is not required that competitors actually enter the market. The threat of renewed competition is what keeps a company from raising prices unreasonably.
Answer choice (B): By definition, it appears that several competing companies cannot simultaneously engage in predatory pricing, not for long at least. However, even if they were to do so, the conclusion was concerned about preventing companies from raising prices to unreasonable levels. If multiple companies engaged in predatory pricing, the result would be to lower prices to unreasonable levels.
Answer choice (C): The size of the companies is not relevant to the argument.
Answer choice (D): While it was the threat of competition that the author focused on here, the conclusion does not require that the threat of competition be the only thing that keeps companies from raising prices.
Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice, because it provides a rule that, while not precisely the same as the rule applied by the author, is very similar and has the same effect. We can diagram this answer choice as:
PPNRUP = pricing practice does not result in unreasonable prices
PA = practice should be acceptable
#22 - From time to time there is a public outcry against
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I wanted help for question 22. What specifically makes the answer E? Was it that the other items help the argument but are essential to making it valid? Please provide a simple detailed explanation. Thank you and appreciate the help.
The author begins by presenting an argument that will ultimately be rejected. The author argues that predatory pricing should be acceptable. Why? Because although the practice drives the company’s competitors out of business, the continuing threat of new competition keeps the prices at reasonable levels.
This may be so, but who is to say that keeping prices at reasonable levels is enough of a justification for accepting the practice of predatory pricing? The author considers the benefits, but not the costs, of the proposed pricing strategy.
When in doubt, apply the Assumption Negation Technique to your contender and analyze the implication of the logical opposite on the conclusion. What if not every pricing practice that keeps prices at a reasonable level should be accepted? In other words, what if keeping prices at a reasonable level were not enough to justify accepting a pricing strategy? This would immediately weaken the conclusion of the argument, proving that answer choice (E) states an assumption upon which the argument depends.
Hope this helps!
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Could you explain, in a different manner, why answer D is incorrect? I guess I was drawn to the answer because it specified "the threat of competition" which is specified in the conclusion. Is another way to eliminate this answer to consider that it also specifies "competition" as well which is not stated in the conclusion? -Thank you
Good question, ASuper!
"(D) It is only competition or the threat of competition that keeps companies from raising prices."
To put simply, (D) is not a terrible answer, and might even have been the correct one if (E) didn't exist.
However, the author's focus is not on prices staying low, but on "acceptability" of the practice: "This practice clearly should be acceptable." Although low prices are given as evidence by the author, prices staying low, and the causes of them staying low, were not the main point he was trying to make.
What does he give as the only evidence that the practice is still acceptable? That the prices will stay low. However, prices being low still need to be connected back to the main point, and (E) does that in saying practices are acceptable so long as prices stay reasonable.
Doesn't result in unreasonable prices = Acceptable practice, it was the last link the argument needed to make sense.
I hope that makes sense, thanks for your question!
What kind of premise/conclusion would there be for Answer (D) to be correct?
I was left with Answers (D) and (E) and both seemed to have strong language used, but this is acceptable because the stimulus has Conditional Reasoning.
6 posts • Page 1 of 1