Critics worry that pessimistic news reports about the economy harm it by causing people to lose confidence in the eco...

Meghan on September 16 at 02:34PM

Answer Explanation

Can someone please explain how the correct answer choice was determined for this question? I had trouble eliminating answer choices when completing this question

1 Reply

Irina on September 16 at 05:02PM

@megmcdermott,

Let's break down the argument:

Critics worry that pessimistic reports about the economy harm it by causing people to lose confidence.
People have direct experience with the economy every day.
Journalists respond that to do their jobs well they cannot worry about its effects.
Studies show that people do not defer to journalists except on matters of which they have no direct experience.

The question asks us what could we infer from the above facts?

Critics are concerned about news reports hurting the economy, but then the argument tells us that people generally ignore news reports except on the matter of which they have no direct experience, but they do have experience with the economy. It follows logically then that people's confidence in the economy would be unaffected by news reports.

Let's look at the answer choices:

Answer choice A is incorrect because the argument never questions the impact of people losing confidence in the economy, rather the argument concerns whether news reports cause people to lose confidence - negative news -> lose confidence -> harm economy. Since nothing suggests that the relationship between consumer confidence and the economy is false, we can eliminate A.

Answer choice B is incorrect because the argument only tells us how negative news allegedly affect consumer confidence and in turn, harm the economy. It is unclear what B is even trying to say, the reports on foreign policy will have a negative impact on what? the economy? the consumer confidence? Since the argument tells us nothing about foreign policy, we can get rid of B.

Answer choice C is incorrect because it contradicts the facts in the stimulus. Studies show that people do not defer to journalists unless they have no personal experience with the matter, and since they do have personal experience with the economy, negative news should not impact consumer confidence and harm the economy.

Answer choice D is correct because it is the only inference we can make from the facts in the stimulus:

People do not defer to journalists except on matters of which they have no direct experience.
People have direct experience with the economy.

These premises allow us to conclude that:

People do not defer to journalists on the economy, i.e. their opinions are unlikely to be affected.

Answer Choice E is incorrect because it states an additional fact that is more or less a paraphrase of one of the existing premises:

Journalists cannot worry about the effects of their work.
Journalists need not be deeply concerned about the effects of their reporting.

Since it is not an inference from any of the premises, we can eliminate E.

Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any further questions.