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#15 - Kendrick: Governments that try to prevent cigarettes

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Complete Question Explanation

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

This question is perhaps the most difficult question in this section, and it is certainly the hardest Resolve
the Paradox question on the test. Kendrick’s first statement is that governments should try to prevent
cigarettes from being advertised because cigarettes are unhealthy. After reading the statement, many
test takers will infer that Kendrick advocates a legal ban of cigarette advertising. But Kendrick’s second
statement is that cigarette advertising should remain legal, because advertisements for other unhealthy
products are legal. The test makers have now created a paradox: should the government try to prevent
cigarette advertisements or permit them to remain legal? According to Kendrick, the government should
do both. In reality, trying to prevent cigarette advertisements is not the opposite of permitting them to
remain legal, as a legal ban is not the only way for a government to try to prevent cigarettes from being
advertised. Answer choice (D) suggests a method that would satisfy both of Kendrick’s statements and
thus successfully resolves the paradox.

Answer choice (A): The correct answer choice in a Resolve the Paradox question must support both of
the apparently conflicting positions and suggest a way for them to coexist. Since making advertisements
that encourage people to engage in an unhealthy practice illegal is one way that a government could try
to prevent them, this answer choice supports Kendrick’s initial statement. But this answer choice directly
contradicts Kendrick’s second statement that advertisements for cigarettes should remain legal and is
therefore incorrect.

Answer choice (B): Kendrick uses fatty foods as an example of an advertisement that is legal, despite
encouraging people to engage in unhealthy practices. This answer choice offers a rationale for not
preventing the advertisement of fatty foods, but explicitly states that this rationale does not apply to
cigarettes. But it is already known that Kendrick feels that the advertisement of cigarettes should be
prevented. Restating that cigarette advertisements should be prevented does not explain how to prevent
them while still keeping them legal.

Answer choice (C): This answer choice states that most advertisements should remain legal, but it places
the responsibility for ensuring that people do not engage in unhealthy practices on the advertisers. But
if most advertisements should be legal and advertisers bear the burden of discouraging people from
engaging in unhealthy practices, why would Kendrick feel that governments are justified in trying
to prevent the advertisement of cigarettes? Remember, the correct answer will provide a way for the
government to prevent cigarette advertisements without making them illegal.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. According to answer choice (D), governments
would be justified in financially “punishing” cigarette companies in an effort to prevent the
advertisement of cigarettes. In this way governments could try to prevent cigarette advertisements
without making them illegal, and the paradox from the stimulus is resolved.

Answer choice (E): Answer choice (E) seems quite attractive initially since placing restrictions on
cigarette advertisements would apparently prevent them without making them illegal. However, this
answer choice then says the government “should not try to prevent such advertisements,” directly
contradicting Kendrick’s first statement that governments are justified in trying to prevent such
advertisements. Because answer choice (E) contradicts one of the premises in the stimulus, it is
incorrect.
poslaw
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Hi - I am a bit confused by the answer for Q 15 on the June 2001 test under section 2. The question does not reference financial disincetives at all. The argument attempts to argue that cigarette advertisement should remain legal based on the logic that other advertisements that are bad to ones health remain legal. If one thing is bad all are bad. Am I missing something?
Nikki Siclunov
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I believe the question you are asking about is from Section 2 of the June 2004 test (not June 2001).

This is a Paradox question, not a Must Be True. Therefore, the stimulus need not reference the information presented in the correct answer. Remember: paradox questions require you to identify an answer choice that explains the apparent conflict between the author's statements. If answer choice (D) is true, then it is possible for the government to prevent cigarettes from being advertised without imposing a legal prohibition on such advertisements: a financial disincentive (such as higher taxes) can, theoretically, prevent cigarette advertisements without making them illegal.
Nikki Siclunov
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catherinedf
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Hi,

I'm looking at Q15 about governments trying to prevent cigarettes from being advertised. I narrowed the answer down to D or E and then incorrecrtly chose E. I know that this is a resolve the paradox question, but am having a hard time identifying exactly what paradox I'm trying to resolve...

Any help would be great!

thanks,

Catherine
Steve Stein
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Kendrick’s first statement: governments should try to prevent cigarettes from being advertised because cigarettes are unhealthy. But Kendrick’s second statement is that cigarette advertising should remain legal, because advertisements for other unhealthy products are legal. The test makers have now created a paradox: should the government try to prevent cigarette advertisements or permit them to remain legal?

Since this is a Resolve the Paradox question, we should look for the answer choice that’s consistent with the two seemingly contradictory premises—supporting both the notion that the government should try to prevent cigarettes from being advertised, and the notion that such advertising should still be legal.

Answer choice D suggests a method that would satisfy both of Kendrick’s statements and thus successfully resolves the paradox: it provides a disincentive, and providing financial disincentives is the not the same thing as creating a legal prohibition.

Answer choice E might seem appealing since placing restrictions on cigarette advertisements would apparently prevent them without making them illegal. However, this answer choice then says the government “should not try to prevent such advertisements,” directly contradicting Kendrick’s first statement that governments are justified in trying to prevent such advertisements. Because of this choice direct contradiction of one of the premises in the stimulus, it cannot be the right answer choice.

Let me know if this makes sense-thanks!

~Steve
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Haleyeastham
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Can you please explain to me why D is the correct answer rather than E? To me, E dealt more directly with the stimulus while D is talking about something somewhat out of scope (financial disencentives). I would really appreciate an understanding! Thanks!
Clay Cooper
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Hi Haley,

Thanks for your question. A lot of students have had trouble with this question, so don't be discouraged.

Answer choice D is correct because the "if true" in the question stem requires us to evaluate D as if it were known for certain and then to ask ourselves if the apparent paradox has been resolved. In this case, the paradox lies in the fact that the author states that governments should discourage cigarette ads but also that they should not make these ads illegal. Answer choice D states that financial disincentives which try to prevent these ads are appropriate but outlawing these ads is not. Thus, if D is taken as true, it precisely explains the paradox and supports the author's stance.

Answer choice E, however, is incorrect because it contradicts the authors position. E says that governments should not try to prevent these ads, while the author says that they should; therefore if E is true, it contradicts the author's position and does not support his stance on the issue by resolving the apparent paradox between the acceptability of discouraging ads and the impropriety of outlawing them.

Does that help?