Columnist: Shortsighted motorists learn the hard way about the wisdom of preventive auto maintenance; such maintenanc...

Sean on July 8, 2018

Please Explain

I don't understand why B is the correct answer. Could you please explain? Thank you!

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Mehran on July 8, 2018

Hi @smilde11, thanks for your post.

Let's first be sure we fully understand the stimulus. It presents an argument: the conclusion is "In hiring this adviser, the council made an investment that is likely to have a big payoff in several years."

What premises are given in support of this claim? (1) Other cities in this region that have devoted resources to economic development planning have earned large returns on such an investment.

That's it. Not a terribly strong argument, when you stop to consider that we don't know anything about how those other cities compare to this particular city. What if the columnist is comparing apples to oranges? What works for Santa Barbara, California is not necessarily going to work for Detroit, Michigan (for example).

The question stem asks you to select the answer choice that WEAKENS the argument in the stimulus. Thus, you are asked to weaken the link between the given premise and the conclusion.

Answer choice (B) does exactly this, by pointing out that the columnist's city is distinguishable (in terms of both population size and economy) than the other cities. This undermines the value of these other cities' experiences as a potential predictor for the outcome of this investment for the columnist's city.

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