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#3 - Cognitive psychologist: In a recent survey, citizens of

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Complete Question Explanation

Resolve the Paradox. The correct answer choice is (E)

Two features of this stimulus help identify it as a Resolve the Paradox question: First, there is no
conclusion given. The stimulus describes a survey and reports the findings, but does not offer any
interpretation. Second, the results are contrary to normal expectations. One would expect that most
citizens of country F would prefer a higher GNP over a lower one. Indeed, it would be quite surprising
if a survey reported that the majority of citizens said, “I would prefer country F to be worth less rather
than more.” But this survey did not ask citizens to consider GNP on an absolute basis alone, but rather
to compare the GNP of country F to the GNP of country G. The majority of respondents preferred a
scenario in which country F’s absolute GNP was lower, but its production relative to country G was
higher. This suggests that the majority of citizens of country F believe that some aspect of outperforming
country G is more desirable than actually having a higher GNP. Answer choice (E) most nearly
expresses this idea.

Answer choice (A): Knowing that the citizens of country F believe that their economic growth rate is
higher than that of country G does not help to explain why the majority of country F’s citizens prefer
a scenario where their country has a lower total GNP. The correct answer choice must explain why the
majority of country F’s citizens are willing to sacrifice some of their GNP in order to have a higher GNP
than country G.

Answer choice (B): While it may in fact be true that most citizens of country F want a GNP higher than
$120 billion, neither of the survey scenarios included this possibility (both scenarios presented GNPs
lower than $120 billion). Therefore, this knowledge cannot help explain the survey results.

Answer choice (C): This answer choice does not explain why the majority of respondents chose scenario
1; citizens who believe that their personal welfare is unconnected to the GNP might just as reasonably
have preferred scenario 2. Further, this answer choice does not provide a reason for the majority of
respondents’ willingness to forego $10 billion in GNP simply to be the world economic leader.

Answer choice (D): This answer choice can be eliminated on much the same grounds as answer choice
(C): if true, it provides no logical impetus for selecting scenario 1 over scenario 2.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. In contrast to answer choices (C) and (D),
this answer choice does provide a logical impetus for preferring scenario 1. If most citizens of country
F want their country to be more economically powerful than country G, this consideration may be
sufficient to outweigh the lower overall GNP of scenario 1. Remember that the inhabitants of the LSAT
world believe their behavior is logical and consistent; if they make a choice, there must be some internal
rationale behind that choice. No matter how faulty their reasoning may be, LSAT world inhabitants are
never capricious or arbitrary.