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#22 - Psychologists today recognize childhood as a separate

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Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen—PR. The correct Answer Choice is (D)

The conclusion of this Stimulus is contained in the last sentence: serious research into the unique psychology of advanced age is necessary. The Stimulus is a mini-history of how psychologists have understood the various stages of human growth. For many years, children were considered small, inadequately socialized adults. Now that psychologists have recognized the error of their previous thinking, the author states that it is time to regard folks between the ages of 70 and 90 as more than white haired adults with a lot of spare time. As additional support for his conclusion, the author cites the organization of modern social and economic life.

This is a Strengthen-Principle question type.

Answer Choice (A): This answer states that whenever current psychological practice conflicts with traditional attitudes toward people, the traditional attitudes should be changed to conform to the psychological practice. This however goes against the premises stated in the Stimulus that it was psychological practice that lagged not traditional attitudes toward people. Because this Answer Choice does not strengthen the conclusion, it should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (B): This answer deals with the relationship between members of the first group and members of the second group. It states that when members of the second group must have previously been a member of the first group, the members of the first group should not be considered simply as deviant members of the first group. Because seasoned citizens must previously have been adults, they should not be considered as deviant adults. While that does strengthen somewhat the proposal that adults between the ages of 70 and 90 be considered as their psychological group, there is nothing in the Stimulus that remotely suggests that adults between the ages of 70 and 90 are regarded as deviants. Answer Choice (B) should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (C): This answer discusses uniformity of approach in addressing particular problems of a given discipline. The conclusion is not directly related to this idea. This principle could be used to justify why adults between the ages of 70 and 90 should be regarded as their own psychological group, but it hardly strengthens that conclusion. It is not sure that the Answer Choice should be eliminated but it hardly feels like a correct strengthening principle.

Answer Choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. This answer states that whenever a society’s economic life is so organized that two different times of life are regarded as fundamentally different from each other, each particular season of life can only be understood in terms of its own psychology. After reading this answer choice, Answer Choice (C), which was not eliminated previously, should be eliminated now. Because society is already regarding adults between the ages of 70 and 90 as more than white-haired adults with lots of free time in terms of social and economic life, psychology should as well. This Answer Choice is the opposite of Answer Choice (A) which stated that traditional attitudes should follow psychology; here, the proposal is that psychology should mirror and follow what society does. Again, because society treats seasoned citizens as something than just old adults, it strengthens the conclusion that psychology should do so also. Answer Choice (D) is the correct answer.

Answer Choice (E) proposes that psychologists should be prepared to show that there are greater differences between two age groups than there are between individuals in the same age group. This Answer Choice begins however with the qualification that “whenever psychologists agree that a single psychology is inadequate for two distinct age groups.” This qualification is what the conclusion is the Stimulus is seeking to establish – that a single psychology is inadequate. In the stimulus, psychologists do not agree that a single psychology is inadequate for adults and seasoned adults; that is what is being advocated. Because the qualification of the Answer Choice is inapplicable, Answer Choice (E) should be eliminated.
Haleyeastham
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Can you please explain answer choice D to me?

Thank you!
David Boyle
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Haleyeastham wrote:Can you please explain answer choice D to me?

Thank you!


Hello Haleyeastham,

Answer D just puts stuff together (as often happens in, say, Justify questions): the stimulus says that old age, like childhood, is fundamentally different from middle age for reasons including the economic. It then concludes that the "unique psychology" of old age should be studied. Answer D just links those together, saying that if economics splits ages into distinct spheres, then we must study the distinct psychology in each sphere.

Hope this helps,
David