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#16 - Environmentalist: Many people prefer to live in

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Complete Question Explanation

Assumption. The correct answer choice is (E)

This is a Defender Assumption question, where the correct answer choice will protect or defend the
conclusion from potentially harmful information. First, analyze the logical structure of the stimulus:

Premise: People want to live in areas of natural beauty.

Premise: As people move into those areas, businesses will be encouraged to relocate to those areas,
presumably boosting local economies.

Conclusion: Governmental protection of the local environment (preserving the region’s beauty) can help
the economy, even if there is some harm to older local industries.

For the conclusion to be possible, the harm to older local industries cannot discourage or adversely affect
other businesses interested in relocating to that region, as there would likely be no overall economic
benefit. This assumption is best expressed by answer choice (E).

Answer choice (A): Most test takers will be able to dismiss this answer choice quickly. The conditional
structure of this sentence can be expressed as follows:

NB = regions of natural beauty which are beautiful enough to attract new residents
EP = environmental protection that damages local industries

..... EP :arrow: NB

This means that if environmental protection that damages local industries is imposed in regions of
natural beauty, those regions will no longer be beautiful enough to attract new residents. If this is the
true, the harm to local industries would be compounded by the lack of new residents and the regions’
overall economy would be doubly harmed. This is a Weaken answer choice.

Answer choice (B): This answer choice is considerably more appealing than answer choice (A) and is
focused on a critical aspect of the stimulus: harm to local industries. In fact, this was the most popular
answer choice among test takers attempting this exam. However, as was discussed in the evaluation of
the stimulus, the determining factor in this argument is the relationship between the economic harm
done to older industries vs. the economic benefit of relocating businesses when governmental protection
occurs. As long as the benefit is greater than the harm, the argument remains valid (a region’s overall
economy would benefit). This answer choice states that local economies are not based primarily on local
industries that would be harmed by mandated environmental protection. Is this statement necessary
for the conclusion to remain plausible? To determine the necessity of answer choice (B), negate it and
evaluate the effects according to the Assumption Negation Technique: the economies of most regions of
natural beauty are based primarily on local industries that would be harmed. Does this undermine the
conclusion that overall the economy can benefit? Possibly, but not necessarily. Even if local industries
are the primary economic source in a region, and these local industries are harmed, it is still entirely
possible that the benefit of the new businesses that move to that region would outweigh the harm done to
the local industries. If that were the case, the overall economy would still be helped and the conclusion
would remain unharmed. Since negating answer choice (B) does not invalidate the conclusion, answer
choice (B) is not an assumption of the argument.

Answer choice (C): The conclusion of this argument is that government protections can help the
economy overall. Does the argument depend on encouraging people to move in to an area as the primary
economic benefit of these protections? No. There could be several other ways in which protection
benefits the local economy and determining which of the effects of protection is of primary benefit to the
economy does not affect the conclusion’s validity.

Answer choice (D): This answer choice presents an alternative method for helping a region’s economy
and concludes that this method is not as effective as the method given in the stimulus. Proving that
governmentally mandated environmental protections are more effective than other options would be
important if the argument implied that these protections were the best way to help a region’s economy.
However, since the conclusion makes no such claim, this comparison is unnecessary and this answer
choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. Answer choice (E) can be dentified as a
contender because it focuses on the important relationship between older local industries and relocating
businesses. As with any Assumption question, and as was seen with answer choice (B), the correct
answer choice can be confirmed with the Assumption Negation Technique. If this is the correct answer
choice, then negating it will render the conclusion invalid. The logical negation of this answer choice
is, “A factor harmful to some older local industries in a region will discourage other businesses from
relocating to that region.” If governmentally mandated environmental protection were a factor that both
harmed some older local industries and discouraged other businesses from relocating to that region,
then local economies would not have an overall benefit and the conclusion could not be true. Because
negating answer choice (E) invalidates the conclusion, answer choice (E) is an assumption necessary for
the argument.
melissa27
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For this question I picked the correct answer but also narrowed it down with answer choice B. To be sure, is answer choice B incorrect because of the inclusion of "most regions." I tried the Assumption Negation Technique on it and I believed that could also weaken the arg.
Steve Stein
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Hi Melissa,

That's right--if "most" were changed to "all" in that answer choice, it would be a winner.

On another note, how have you been preparing for the test? Did you take a course, or have you been working mostly from books, etc?

Thanks!

~Steve
Steve Stein
PowerScore Test Preparation
melissa27
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Thanks, Steve.

I took the full virtual online course in January and will be taking the exam for the first time on the 11th
melissa27
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Steve,

looking back at the question, and the discussion of assumption questions in the textbook, wouldn't "most" be a subset of "all"? Since an assumption answer is considered a minimalist answer, wouldn't that work? Also, if it did say "all" wouldn't that be more of a justify answer than an assumption answer?

Can you please explain how answer B is an incorrect assumption answer the way it is and why E is correct, and the thought process behind it. I think I am confusing myself now. I suppose I still don't really see why B is definitely wrong.
Steve Stein
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The negated version of E is as follows:

A factor that would harm older industries would discourage other businesses from moving to the region. This weakens the author's claim that environmental protections can help the economies overall by attracting new businesses.

The negated version of B is as follows:

The economies of most beautiful places are based primarily on industries that would be hurt.

I misspoke earlier when I agreed with that point about "most." Either way, this choice doesn't hurt the author's argument, because the argument allows for older industries to be hurt (as new businesses come in to serve the accompanying influx of new residents).

Let me know whether this is clear--thanks,

~Steve
Steve Stein
PowerScore Test Preparation
parins8
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Hello!

I'm having difficulty trying to figure out why the answer choice B is eliminated. I understand why E would make sense, but wouldn't you need to asume B to make sure the argument makes sense? (I thought it was a defender- when I negated it I thought you'd need it)

Thanks
Jon Denning
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Thanks for the question - This is a Defender Assumption question, where the correct answer choice will protect or defend the conclusion from potentially harmful information. First, analyze the logical structure of the stimulus:

Premise: People want to live in areas of natural beauty.

Premise: As people move into those areas, businesses will be encouraged to relocate to those areas, presumably boosting local economies.

Conclusion: Governmental protection of the local environment (preserving the region’s beauty) can help the economy, even if there is some harm to older local industries.

For the conclusion to be possible, the harm to older local industries cannot discourage or adversely affect other businesses interested in relocating to that region, as there would likely be no overall economic benefit. This assumption is best expressed by answer choice (E).

Answer choice (B) is the most commonly chosen wrong answer for this question, I think because it's focused on a critical aspect of the stimulus: harm to local industries. However, as was discussed in the evaluation of the stimulus above, the determining factor in this argument is the relationship between the economic harm
done to older industries vs. the economic benefit of relocating businesses when governmental protection occurs. As long as the benefit is greater than the harm, the argument remains valid (a region’s overall economy would benefit).

This answer choice states that local economies are not based primarily on local industries that would be harmed by mandated environmental protection. Is this statement necessary for the conclusion to remain plausible? To find out, negate it and
evaluate the effects according to the Assumption Negation Technique: the economies of most regions of natural beauty are based primarily on local industries that would be harmed. Does this undermine the conclusion that overall the economy can benefit? Possibly, but not necessarily. Even if local industries are the primary economic source in a region, and these local industries are harmed, it is still entirely
possible that the benefit of the new businesses that move to that region would outweigh the harm done to the local industries. If that were the case, the overall economy would still be helped and the conclusion would remain unharmed. Since negating answer choice (B) does not invalidate the conclusion, it is not an assumption of the argument.


Tricky question, but hopefully that helps to clear things up!

Jon
Jon Denning
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parins8
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Thank you! I understand it now!
Lina
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Hello, In digging deeper into my weakness with assumption qs, I realize that I confuse whether it is a defender or supporter assumtion question type.

I've read through your previous responses to students regarding assumption questions and understand that an important way to distinguish the two types is if the stimulus doesn't contain a new or rogue element, then it's a defender. However, in the q16 example I considered environmental protection as the new element not previously discussed.

Do you recommend relying on the q stem to lead me? If it is a defender question, can I count on terms like "depends" "relies" versus "required" for supporter questions. Lastly, does casual language or conditional relationships in the stimulus signify a defender type?

Thanks!!!!