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Complete Question Explanation

Method of Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (C)

The psychologist says that people inaccurately predict what effect particular events will have on their
happiness in the future, but says that this tendency should not be fought. The author points out that
visually, parallel lines sometimes appear to come together, but you wouldn’t want to have a surgeon
operate on your eye or visual cortex in an effort to fix the optical illusion.

The question stem that follows is a Method of Reasoning question, so the correct answer choice
will provide an accurate description of the psychologist’s argumentative strategy: The psychologist
discusses an inaccuracy in perception, but warns against attempting to alter that perception, referring
to an analogous case in a different context (that of a visually inaccurate perception that one would be
well advised not to alter).

Answer choice (A): The psychologist does not attempt to refute the inevitability of any claim, so this
choice should be quickly ruled out.

Answer choice (B): No underlying assumption is questioned in the stimulus, so this choice cannot be
an accurate description of the psychologist’s method of reasoning.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice; the author argues that it would be
inappropriate to attempt to fix a tendency to make inaccurate predictions about future happiness, in
the same way that it would be inappropriate to operate in response to an optical illusion.

Answer choice (D): The psychologist argues that similar actions in two analogous contexts would
not be advisable, and the statements are not intended to prove that the two situations are similar, so
this choice fails on two counts.

Answer choice (E): The method of reasoning applied in this case is the use of analogy—it is not the
establishment of a generalization used to argue against an action.
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For this I was between C and D - the convoluted language kind of threw me off. I picked C because I thought that the author was saying that people should not give up their tendency to predict future happiness since it is analogous to the situation of not taking up a surgeon offer of restructuring one's eyes and visual cortex.

Could you explain what the answer choice C and D are saying?

Thank you.

- Arindom
 Robert Carroll
PowerScore Staff
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Because this is a Method of Reasoning question, everything the answer choice says must be correct. Perhaps it would be helpful to look at each part of each answer choice and see if what it says occurs in the stimulus or not.

Answer choice (C) says that the argument

1. "argues that an action might not be appropriate"

2. "by suggesting that a corresponding action in an analogous situation is not appropriate."

To point 1: the argument says that people should not necessarily do something, so what this part of the answer choice says seems fine.

To point 2: the argument brings up an analogous situation - making cognitive errors is analogous to mistakenly perceiving that parallel lines converge. Thus, the first part of point 2 seems fine. The second point of point 2 is matched by the argument because the argument also says that correcting the error in the parallel lines situation would be inappropriate.

Thus, answer choice (C) has all its parts match.

Next, answer choice (D) says that the argument

1. "argues that two situations are similar"

2. "by establishing that the same action would be reasonable in each situation"

To point 1: the argument brings up the two similar situations not to argue that they are similar; instead, it assumes they are similar in order to argue that a similar action should be avoided in both situations.

To point 2: the argument does not establish that the same action would be reasonable; instead, it cautions that taking actions in these situations might be unreasonable.

Thus, answer choice (D) does not correctly describe the argument in the stimulus.

Robert Carroll
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Thanks, Robert for such a clear explanation!


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