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#25848
Complete Question Explanation

Assumption—CE. The correct answer choice is (A)

In this stimulus, the argument consists of causal premises that are not explicitly chained together by a common term, though the conclusion takes for granted that the link has been provided.

The author addresses the appetite for interstellar space travel that science fiction creates among certain people. This appetite cannot be satisfied with any technology humanity will soon possess. And, gaps between expectations and reality spur discontent. Because of this, the author concludes that one effect of science fiction has been to create an unproductive dissatisfaction with the way the world actually is.

If this description of the argument seems disjointed, there is good reason for it. There is a gaping logical hole that occurs when the author jumps from the inability to satisfy the appetite for interstellar space travel to there being gaps between expectations and reality, and then discontent. To illustrate this hole, we can diagram the argument, with the missing portion labeled “Assumption”:


SF = science fiction
UAIST = unsatisfied appetite for interstellar space travel
G-E&R = gaps between expectations and reality
D = discontent
October12_LR2_#11_diagram.png
October12_LR2_#11_diagram.png (6.98 KiB) Viewed 3230 times
This is an Assumption question. Since there is an obvious gap in the reasoning, we can say this is a Supporter Assumption question, and that the correct answer choice will provide the assumption italicized in the diagram above, that the unsatisfied appetite for interstellar space travel has created gaps between expectations and reality.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. This choice expressly states that the appetite for interstellar space exploration has created a gap between reality and some people’s expectations. You can check the answer using the Assumption Negation Technique. If this answer choice were logically negated, meaning that unfulfilled appetite has not created a gap between reality and expectations, then there would be no support for the application of the rule that gaps between expectation and reality spur discontent, thus destroying the conclusion.

Answer choice (B): This choice is incorrect because it is improperly restrictive. It is not required for the conclusion that the only source of dissatisfaction is the creation of an appetite for interstellar space exploration among certain people.

Answer choice (C): This choice is incorrect because it is improperly expansive. Since the correct answer provides information logically necessary for the conclusion to be valid, the inclusion of extraneous information, in this case discussion regarding the creation of multiple appetites, makes the choice incorrect.

Answer choice (D): It is not required for the conclusion that most people unrealistically expect that technology will soon satisfy the appetite for interstellar space exploration.

Answer choice (E): This choice is incorrect because it presents a hypothetical contrary to the premises in the stimulus. Because it is contrary to the argument’s premises, it cannot be information required for the conclusion to be valid.
 Kp13
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#13222
Hi,

I would like to make sure that I am analyzing this stimulus correctly. The stimulus roughly consists of two casual propositions:

science fiction (cause) interstellar space exploration (effect)
science fiction (cause) unproductive dissatisfaction (effect)

The right answer will find a way to connect the two effects, which happens in answer A.

However, answer E looks to me like it could also be an assumption. What makes this choice wrong exactly?

Thank you.
 Ron Gore
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#13229
Hi KP!

Thanks for your question. :-D

It's great that you recognize the causality in this Assumption question. We just need to tweak your view of those relationships a bit, and then you'll be good to go.

You have the first causal relationship as
Kp13 wrote:science fiction (cause) interstellar space exploration (effect)


However, the relationship in the first sentence is:

science fiction :arrow: appetite for interstellar space exploration

The difference being that science fiction creates merely an appetite for interstellar space exploration, rather than space exploration itself.

You've listed a second causal relationship, and correctly I might add :-D :

science fiction :arrow: unproductive dissatisfaction

This second causal relationship is the conclusion. However, you're missing another causal relationship in the stimulus. The third sentence provides that "gaps between expectations and reality spur discontent":

gaps between expectations and reality ..... :arrow: ..... discontent

So, the link we should focus on for the correct answer choice is between the "appetite for interstellar space exploration" (AISP) and "gaps between expectations and reality" (Gaps), as shown below:

science fiction :arrow: AISP :arrow: Gaps :arrow: discontent (i.e., dissatisfaction)

Answer choice (A) provides this connection, by explicitly stating that the appetite for interstellar space exploration has created a gap between reality and some people's expectations. If this were not the case, then the rule that gaps between expectation and reality spur discontent would not apply to the evidence, and the conclusion would fall apart.

Answer choice (E) is incorrect, because it creates a hypothetical that is contrary to the facts in the stimulus, and is not required for the conclusion to be valid. This answer choice implies a reversal of the relationships in the stimulus, but we have no reason to think the reversal is valid. Also, the idea that "science fiction could not create an unproductive dissatisfaction" in that scenario is too definitive to be required for the conclusion, and would mean that there is only one way that science fiction could cause dissatisfaction with the way the word is.

Please let me know if this explanation helps, or if I can be of any further assistance.

Best wishes,

Ron
 Kp13
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#14107
Thank you Ron. Your explanation was very helpful. :-D

I just wish these relationships between ideas in the stimulus were more apparent to me. I really have to stop and take my time before I recognize these connections and then identify where the missing link is. Questions like this I find especially tough because the language is pretty convoluted. Anyway, thank you again for your help!
 Etsevdos
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#41222
Negation of A would be as follows:?
The fact that the app....has created a gap between reality and NO people's expectations" meaning no gap; therefore arg falls apart?
 James Finch
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#41870
Hi Etsevdos,

I would phrase the negation more like "The fact that AISP cannot be satisfied with any technology humans will soon possess has not created a gap between reality and some people's expectations" and negate the conclusion as "Science fiction has not created an unproductive dissatisfaction with the way the world actually is." Combined in the Assumption Negation test, we get:

"The fact that AISP cannot be satisfied with any technology humans will soon possess has not created a gap between reality and some people's expectations" :arrow:

"Science fiction has not created an unproductive dissatisfaction with the way the world actually is."

When negated, we can clearly see that answer choice (A) flows logically into our negated conclusion, making it the correct answer.
 lsatprep1215
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#74288
Hi,

I know ans A also fill in the gap between cannot be satisfied and gaps between reality and some people's expectation. Is spurring discontent the same meaning as unproductive dissatisfaction? When I was doing this question I thought this is also a gap? I was looking for an Ans saying something like: "Spurring Discontent = creating unproductive dissatisfaction". I didn't find what I want.
 Adam Tyson
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#74338
I'd say "discontent" and "dissatisfaction" are synonymous, but there is a gap between having that feeling and that feeling becoming "unproductive." So if there had been an answer that linked those two ideas - being discontented and being unproductive - that would have been a good answer as well. Argument can have many assumptions, and that can make it tough to identify which one they are looking for. When you don't find what you expected to find in the answers based on your prephrase, you should try formulating a new prephrase and attacking the answers again. Finally, if you are truly stuck, you can attack each answer with the Negation Technique and see which answer destroys the argument when you negate it. There's more than one way to beat these Assumption questions!

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