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#9 - Challenge can be an important source of self-knowledge

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Complete Question Explanation

Must Be True—PR. The correct answer choice is (A)

The author of this stimulus presents the conclusion in the first sentence, followed by the premise, which is introduced with the common premise indicator, “since”:

    Premise: ..... Paying attention to how one reacts to challenge can provided useful insight into ones weaknesses.

    Conclusion: ..... Challenge can be an important source of self-knowledge.

In abstract terms, the principle here is something along these lines:
Challenges are good, because paying attention can teach you about your weaknesses.

Since the question asks for the answer choice which most closely conforms to this principle, the correct answer choice should reflect insight as a positive aspect of challenge.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. In this case, the referenced challenge is the memory lapse, and the author points out the positive point that this challenge can help the pianist to understand why it happened (gain insight into his or her weakness), and be better prepared.

Answer choice (B): This answer choice lacks both the challenge and the insight necessary to conform with the principle from the stimulus.

Answer choice (C): Like incorrect answer choice (B) above, this choice lacks both the challenge and the valuable insight it can provide.

Answer choice (D): This answer choice also fails to reflect the challenge referenced by the principle in the stimulus, as well as the insight provided by that challenge, so this answer choice cannot be correct.

Answer choice (E): While this answer choice does contain the necessary challenge, and some of the value of taking on that challenge, it lacks the notion of self-insight as a positive aspect of challenge, thereby failing to conform to the principle from the stimulus.
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I picked (E) over (A), because I thought (A) lacked the element of "pay attention to how they react, both emotionally and physically", while (E) specifically mentioned "they will experience the fulfilment of having attempted something that is difficult for them". Could you explain this aspect for me? Thanks a lot!
Adam Tyson
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The crucial elements of the principle are 1) face a challenge; 2) pay attention to your reaction; 3) gain useful insight.

In answer E, the person who faced a challenge (and public speaking certainly IS a challenge!) does not appear to "pay attention to how they react", and they definitely don't "gain useful insight". All that happens is that they feel good about themselves, which is nice but which has nothing to do with the principle given in the stimulus.

In the correct answer, the pianist understands what happens (and I think it's fair to assume that understanding could only come by them paying at least some attention to themselves) and, more importantly, becomes better able to prepare for next time. Sounds like some pretty useful insight to me!
Adam M. Tyson
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