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Complete Question Explanation

Method of Reasoning—Argument Part. The correct answer choice is (E)

In this stimulus, the psychologist concludes that since dream content varies widely, dreams cannot be
entirely explained as simply physiological phenomena. The psychologist makes this argument to counter
the claim that dreams, as purely physical processes, reveal nothing about character or psychology.
The question asks us to identify the role of the claim that dream content varies enormously. This claim
is a premise offered by the psychologist to support the conclusion. It is also worth noting that this claim
attacks the other psychologists’ conclusions.

Answer choice (A): The claim is not used to support any anti-Freudian conclusion. In fact, the author
appears to be defending Freud, disputing those with anti-Freudian views.

Answer choice (B): This choice might be attractive, but it is wrong, because “explicit” means
“definitively stated.” The speaker implies that a fully satisfactory, or complete, explanation of dreams
might allow for psychological considerations; the psychologist never explicitly states this conclusion,
however, so this answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (C): The psychologist does not make the claim that neither line of reasoning offers a
complete explanation, only that dreams cannot be completely understood in terms of physiological

Answer choice (D): The stimulus is not meant to illustrate the general difficulties of completely
explaining dreaming, but rather to argue that dreams cannot be completely understood in terms of
physiological function.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. The claim is a premise which supports the
psychologist’s conclusion, and serves to undermine an opposing claim.
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For this question, I chose answer C, rather than E. I was choosing between the two but felt as though the claim that dream content varies enormously was being used not to disprove the claim that some psychologists use to argue against a view of Frued's but rather to show that its not sufficient. I think I was also swayed by the presence of the use of "completely explain the phenomenon of dreaming" in the stimulus as well as that answer choice. Can you please indicate why answer choice C is wrong and why E is correct? I felt that answer choice C was in some ways an elaboration of E.
PowerScore Staff
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Hi Emily,

Thanks for the question.

Answer choice C indicates that the argument part is used to support the claim that neither theory is a complete explanation. This isn't true. The sentence this phrase is part of only attacks physiological theories, not Freudian theory.

But answer choice E is accurate -- this argument part is part of a sentence which attacks the 'physiology only' theory, and as E indicates, that theory has been used to undermine Freud.

Hope this helps!

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