In the context of the passage, the author would be most likely to consider the explanation in the third paragraph mor...

Steven on November 4, 2017

Explain (D)

I'm not understanding how (D) would make the author more likely consider the explanation in the third paragraph. I chose (E). Can you help me see what (D) means and why (E) is not correct please. I got all the other questions on this passage correct.

2 Replies

Mehran on November 5, 2017

Hi @Miller, thanks for your post. Yes, we are happy to help!

So, the basic conclusion of the theorists described in paragraph 3 is that "It is counterproductive to outcompete rivals *within one's group* to the point where one can no longer depend on them in contests *with other groups.* The author of the passage rejects this conclusion, opining that "this hypothesis at best explains why proposers offer large amounts, not why responders reject low offers."

Answer choice (D) would ameliorate the author's concerns, by explaining that, in fact, it is just as counterproductive to a small social group to allow oneself to be outcompeted by one's rivals *within that group* as it is to outcompete those rivals." If this is true, then the hypothesis suggested by the theorists described in paragraph 3 would not only explain why proposers offer large amounts, but also why responders reject low offers - responders don't want to be outcompeted by rivals inside their own group, rivals who may hold out for better, fairer offers.

By contrast, answer choice (E) does not overcome the passage author's critique of the theory. Assume (E) is true, and it is understood that allocations of goods will be based on individual needs (rather than equal shares). That might explain why proposers offer large amounts, but not why responders reject low offers. A responder with little individual need who nonetheless rejects a low offer - the phenomenon the author of the passage is trying to understand - still presents a puzzle. Right?

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Steven on November 6, 2017

Thank you for your responses. It's not absolutely clear, but sufficiently clear for me to move on :-)