QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Parallel Reasoning
CONCLUSION: Government commitment to education ➞ weak country
REASONING: educated population ➞ weak country
Educated population ➞ serious commitment by government
ANALYSIS: This argument gives two conditional statements. You can join them together. First, take the contrapositive of the first statement: “educated ➞ weak” becomes “weak ➞ educated.
Then, connect the two statements together directly, like this:
weak ➞ educated ➞ govt commitment
So you could correctly conclude “weak ➞ govt commitment”. However, the economist incorrectly reverses this by saying that a government commitment to education will prevent a country from being weak (“govt commitment ➞ weak).
To parallel this argument, look for:
- Two conditional statements that can be joined.
- Joining them requires the contrapositive of one statement.
- The conclusion is an incorrect reversal of the joined statements.
- This just doesn’t match. There aren’t even conditional statements that can be joined here.
- CORRECT. This matches exactly. The first statement is “empathy ➞ public office. Take the contrapositive and you can join it to the second statement:
Public office ➞ empathy ➞ manipulate
The conclusion is an incorrect reversal of this conditional chain.
- This answer just gives a single conditional statement about those who cannot give orders, and then incorrectly negates it.
The stimulus joined two conditional conditional statements.
- This is a bad argument, but it doesn’t match the structure of the stimulus. We can join the two statements like this:
Traditional ➞Shockingly inventive➞ rarely high quality
This lets us conclude that the study of non-traditional poetry rarely leads to quality. But the author then concludes something about traditional education. That’s an incorrect negation of the first part, which is different from the incorrect reversal of the stimulus.
Note that this isn’t fully an incorrect negation. They’re not saying “Traditional ➞ Frequently high quality”. But that technical detail is irrelevant to solving the question: the main point is that this isn’t an incorrect reversal.
In case you were curious, the reason this argument doesn’t work is that it’s possible that high quality poetry is simply rare, and that few people produce it, whether or not they have studied traditional poetry.
- This argument is full of “unlikely” and “tend to”. These aren’t conditional statements, they are “most” statements. So this answer cannot match the stimulus.
Further, this seems like a good argument. The author presents the two ways to lose weight, and says someone who does neither probably won’t. There’s no incorrect reversal.
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