Researcher: Overhearing only one side of a cell-phone conversation diverts listeners' attention from whatever they ar...

Eleazar on November 6, 2018

How do you infer...

I don't see a concrete connection between attention is also diverted from the stimulus to detracts from the driver's performance in B. Wouldn't inevitably lose track of their thoughts in D be a better choice??

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Mehran on November 11, 2018

Hi @Eleazar, thanks for your post. Let's start with the stimulus. This one presents a set of facts, via a researcher. The facts are that (1) overhearing one side of a cell phone conversation "diverts listeners' attention from whatever they are doing," (2) "leaves listeners constantly trying to guess what the unheard talker has just said" and (3) listeners' attention is "also diverted because cell phone talkers peak abnormally loudly."

The question stem asks you to select the answer choice that is textually supported by the information presented in the stimulus (the statements, if true, "most strongly support which one of the following").

Answer choice (B) fits this criteria: when a driver hears a passenger in the driver's vehicle talking on a cell phone [thus, overhearing one side of a cell phone conversation], that detracts from the driver's performance ["diverts the listener's attention from whatever they are doing"]. What is the driver doing? Driving. Overhearing the cell phone call makes the driver less attentive, affecting the driver's performance. This is directly textually supported by the stimulus.

Answer choice (D) is not textually supported. Three is nothing in the stimulus about "losing track of one's thoughts." It's understandable to find this answer choice appealing, since it seems similar to the information in the stimulus, but "losing track of one's thoughts" is a distinct concept from "diverting attention from what one is doing."

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