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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
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.