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Resolve the Paradox. The correct answer choice is (E)
Even though the violent crime rate dropped last year, the public anxiety about it substantially increased. Because you are not seeking to disprove either side of the situation, you must select the answer choice that contains a possible cause for it. When examining answers, ask yourself if the answer choice could explain the problem. If so, the answer is correct.
Answer choice (A): While this answer choice explains the decrease in violent crime rate last year, it does not explain the concurrent increase in public anxiety. Remember: the correct answer will add a piece of information that shows how both ideas or occurrences can coexist.
Answer choice (B): How much media coverage was devoted to the increase in public anxiety about violent crime is inconsequential. The correct answer choice must explain why the public anxiety increased, given the decrease in the violent crime rate. This answer choice is incorrect.
Answer choice (C): People’s ability to realistically assess the likelihood of becoming victims of violent crime explains neither side of the paradox and only further clouds the issue. If the risk is lower than before, we would expect people to be less anxious about violent crime, not more.
Answer choice (D): Even if anxiety about violent crime is correlated with the crime rate in the areas where people live, it is still unclear why people’s overall anxiety increased while the crime rate decreased.
Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. If the proportion of violent crimes covered in the media has doubled, it is quite probable that people are exposed to more news about violence than before, even though the total number of violent crimes is lower.