Columnist: Taking a strong position on an issue makes one likely to misinterpret or ignore additional evidence that c...

on October 16, 2019


If the conclusion of the argument is written in the negative is it safe to assume the correct answer choice is negative as well? Also, in past tests it always seemed like anyone, anything, etc anything that's all inclusive, i.e. none, has seemed to be incorrect for this type of question or the what can be inferred questions. Can you help?

1 Reply

on October 16, 2019

Hello @chris_va,

I would avoid trying to select an answer choice based on negative vs. positive language. Remember, we can create contrapositives in which the language changes, but the logic remains the same.
For example: In order to understand an issue fully (UIF), it is essential to consider evidence impartially (CEI).
UIF - - - - - - -> CEI
not CEI - - - - - -> not UIF
One of these phrases uses negative language (not), and the other doesn't. Yet, they have the same meaning. Try to stay focused on the logic, rather than on the language used.

In this case, the correct answer includes the word "anyone." We can't always say that all-inclusive wording indicates a wrong answer. This is especially true on principle questions. We want the principle to be as strong and as broad as possible, so that we can be certain that it applies to the given scenario.