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Resolve the ParadoxX, #%. The correct answer choice is (D)
The relative ease of this question underscores the importance of keeping a good pace throughout any
Logical Reasoning section, even if this means initially skipping some of the more challenging or
time-consuming questions. Remember: each question is worth one point, regardless of how difficult
it is. Many students who took the December 2010 exam wasted valuable time on questions 16 and
18 in this section, which prevented them from finishing before the time was up. The point, of course,
is not to automatically “skip” difficult questions, but to know “when to say when.” If you end up
spending too much time on a particular question, chances are that you either misunderstood a critical
idea in the stimulus, or you did not obtain a clear prephrase of the correct answer. Your best course of
action may be to leave that question for later as and move on. Remember—if you keep a good pace,
you can always return to the questions you skipped. More often than not, a second look is a lot more
productive than the first.
In this stimulus, the sociologist describes a study in which people older than 65 were more likely to
be malnourished to be poor, whereas among those younger than 65, the opposite was true:
- Older than 65: % Malnourished > % Poor
Younger than 65: % Poor > % Malnourished
since the stimulus contains a discrepancy where two items are said to be different, an answer choice
implying that they are similar will not explain it. The stimulus is followed by a ResolveX question,
which means that among the five answer choices, the four incorrect answer choices will provide a
resolution to the paradox, and the one correct choice will not provide a resolution.
Answer choice (A): If doctors are less likely to correctly diagnose and treat malnutrition in
their patients who are over 65 than in their younger patients, this would explain why there is a
relatively high percentage of malnourished people over 65. Because this answer choice resolves the
discrepancy between the two age groups, it is incorrect.
Answer choice (B): If people over 65 are more likely to take medications that increase their need
for certain nutrients than are people 65 or younger, it is reasonable to expect that those over 65 have
a higher chance of not receiving the nutrients they need. Since this would explain why a greater
proportion of them are malnourished in comparison to the younger population, this answer choice is
Answer choice (C): If people over 65 are more likely to suffer from loss of appetite due to
medication than are people 65 or younger, those over 65 would have a higher risk of malnutrition
compared to those 65 or younger. This answer choice explains the discrepancy in the proportion of
malnourished vs. poor people in each age group, and is therefore incorrect.
Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. If people 65 or younger are just as likely
to be poor as are people over 65, this implies that the two groups are similar in at least one critical
respect—their likelihood of falling below the government poverty standards. As mentioned earlier,since the findings of the study indicate that the two groups are different, an answer choice implying
that they are similar will not explain the discrepancy, and is therefore correct.
Answer choice (E): If people 65 or younger are less likely to have medical conditions that interfere
with their digestion than are people over 65, this would explain why those 65 or younger are less
likely to become malnourished. Since this answer choice helps resolve the discrepant findings of the
study cited by the sociologist, it is incorrect.