- Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:28 am
I got this question right the second time when I reviewed it, but only after picking E my first time. However, I agree with Oli that the "by about the same amount" in the stimulus was tricky.
Like, in year 1 the average could be 100, with commercial and research both at 100.
But then in year 2, it could be:
commercial2 = 110 (+10)
research2 = 92 (-8)
average = 101
And in year 3, it could be:
commercial3 = 120 (+10)
research3 = 85 (-7)
average = 103
So by year 10, you could have:
commercial10 = 200
research10 = 30
average = 115
So even though the language in A is qualified, I think it's hard to determine if a change of 15% isn't "much different" from the estimate ten years ago. Like, if this were graphed, the upward linear slope of the commercial vessels could still be more extreme than the downward slope of the research vessels.
Still, that being said, I always knew that E didn't entirely make sense as an answer. I don't even remember why I chose that answer. I think it may have been because I thought if research vessels' average was markedly declining over the past ten years, then that would make it pretty improbable that the research vessel estimate could be anywhere smaller 20 years ago than where it is right now. And then, since we know that gap between research and commercial vessels' estimate didn't start to diverge until 10 years ago, then the average of commercial vessels and research vessels would both be the same — which would be a larger number.
But thinking about it once more, the research vessel's estimates over the years could look like a parabola instead of a straight line, or have multiple, drastic peaks and troughs for each year up until the past decade. We're only told that starting 10 years ago did a consistent trend start to occur for research vessels. So even though I still don't think it's probable that the amount of fish was lower 20 years ago, it's still, I guess, possible.
Overall, I didn't really think any of the answer choices was satisfactory. But that why it's a "most strongly supported" question.