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Assumption. The correct answer choice is (A)
This is a challenging problem because two of the wrong answer choices are attractive. The argument
itself is not overly complex, but you must pay attention to the language. Consider the conclusion of
“Publicity campaigns for endangered species are unlikely to have much impact on the most
important environmental problems.”
Ask yourself, why is it that these campaigns are unlikely to have much impact on the most important
problems? According to the premises, the reason is that “it is more difficult to elicit sympathy for
other kinds of organisms [than large mammals].” The reasoning shows that the author believes there
is a connection between the important problems and organisms that are not large mammals. This
Supporter connection is perfectly reflected in answer choice (A), the correct answer. Again, when
faced with an Assumption question, remember to look for connections between rogue elements in the
argument, and then seek that connection in the answer choices.
Answer choice (B): The argument is about eliciting sympathy, and no assumption is made about
microorganisms experiencing pain.
Answer choice (C): This is a Shell Game answer. The conclusion is specific about “publicity
campaigns for endangered species” as they relate to environmental problems. This answer refers to
“publicity campaigns” in general—a different concept. It may be that the most effective publicity
campaign for the environment has nothing to do with organisms. Consequently, this answer is not an
assumption of the argument.
Answer choice (D): This answer choice is worded too strongly and is an Exaggerated answer.
“Ignore” goes further than what the author implies. The author indicates that it is “more difficult
to elicit sympathy for other kinds of organisms,” but the author does not say it is impossible to get
sympathy from individuals if a non-large mammal is involved. Further, the argument is specific
about the impact on the “most important” problems, and this answer goes well beyond that domain.
Answer choice (E): The microorganisms discussed at the end of the argument are an example (“such
as”); therefore, the author does not assume this type of relationship must be true in order for the
conclusion to be true.