Which one of the following most accurately describes the organization of the passage?

Maroun on April 2, 2019

Please answer me

I would like to know why answer A is correct over answer B. Line 23 from the passage explicitly says that this is an economic principle, rather than a general one...

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Jacob on April 3, 2019

This is a tricky one! You are absolutely correct that line 23 describes utility maximization as an “economic principle” which makes answer B look attractive. But it is a trap!

Why? First, look at the end of answer B: the principle is “applied to decide between [the two sides of the debate].” Did the principle get used in the passage to DECIDE BETWEEN the two sides? No! The principle “reconciles the two positions.” (Line 23-24). That matches answer A, the correct answer, which says “used to resolve the conflict.”

The passage also mentions the principle again in line 35 without stating that it is economic. Further, the principle applies “generally” — as we see by the application to deterring crime. Very sneaky move by the test authors, but be cautious about choosing answers based on matching words alone!

I hope that helps. Please let us know if you have further questions.

on December 18, 2021


I really wanted to read your explanation for why A is correct, but all these odd characters got in the way.

Ravi on February 7, 2022

@username, if you think about the passage in general terms by paragraph, we have a debate that's described, and then the utility maximization principle is introduced, which then helps to resolve the debate. This is precisely what we get with A, as it does a great job in detailing all of the components of how the passage works.