Parallel Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (E)
Here the author considers past events and draws the conclusion that the future will therefore likely be
the same: In the past, the author provides, most Citizens League-endorsed proposals were passed by
the city council. Based on this trend the author concludes that any proposal endorsed by the Citizens
League in the future will also probably be passed by city council:
- Premise: The majority of proposals that were endorsed by the Citizens League in the
past were passed by city council.
Conclusion: Therefore any future proposal endorsed by the Citizens League will probably
also be passed by city council.
The question that follows asks for the answer choice that most closely parallels this line of
reasoning—that past events provide a fairly reliable indication of the future.
Answer choice (A): This incorrect answer choice starts in the right direction but quickly goes off
track: The majority of Vasani grants that were given in the past were given to academic biologists.
Therefore, this choice concludes, if most of next year’s Vasani grants go to academics, then the
majority of that majority will probably be biologists.
Answer choice (B): This answer choice does draw a broad conclusion based on related information:
based on an attribute of most individual trees on coastal islands (they are “deciduous”), the conclusion
is drawn that most tree species found on the islands are probably deciduous. Since this choice does
not draw a conclusion about the future based on past events, however, it can be ruled out.
Answer choice (C): This choice provides that most of the editors working for local newspapers have
been unsympathetic to the local farmers. Thus, the author concludes, if the next hire is sympathetic,
the newly hired employee will probably not be hired as an editor. Unlike the stimulus, in which
the author draws a conclusion that the future will probably look like the past, this choice draws a
conclusion regarding what will probably not happen in the future.
Answer choice (D): Like the stimulus, this choice deals with past and future events. Based on the
fact that most late entries to the photography contest were rejected, the author concludes that those
who were rejected will probably get their entries in ahead of schedule this year. Unlike the stimulus,
in which the author concludes that the future will probably be similar to the past, this choice
concludes that the future will probably be different from the past.
Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice, and the one which most closely parallels
the reasoning found in the stimulus: Since most of the stone artifacts found at the site have been
domestic tools, the next stone artifact found at this site probably will also be a domestic tool. When
we break this down, it looks very much like the argument from the stimulus:
- Premise: The majority of the stone artifacts that have been found in the past at this site
are domestic tools.
Conclusion: If the next (future) artifact found here is stone, it will probably be a domestic