Graphologists claim that it is possible to detect permanent character traits by examining people's handwriting. For e...

dace on October 29, 2019

Trouble Understanding Answers

Can you please explain each answer selection in relation to why it is correct/incorrect?

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SamA on October 30, 2019

Hello @dace,

For this type of question, it is important that we closely follow the author's reasoning, and that we understand the structure of the argument.

Look at the last sentence, for this is the heart of the argument.
"So it seems that graphologists must hold that permanent character traits can be changed."
By definition, permanent means it cannot be changed. The author attributes this ridiculous belief to the graphologists, calling their credibility into question. Which answer choice represents this argument structure?

A. This is the correct answer. What is the incontestable evidence? That people can change their handwriting. What is the absurd consequence? The paradox I described above.

B. A platitude is like an old saying. Even if we don't know what that word means, we can still eliminate this option. It entirely leaves out the author's claim that handwriting can be changed, which is critical to the argument. It also leaves out the paradox, which is the conclusion of the argument.

C. Does this passage say anything about people being analyzed, or having knowledge of it? No. This has nothing to do with the argument in question.

D. Rather than discuss the theory of graphology, the author makes a practical claim against it. Like B, this oversimplifies the argument made by the author.

E. Does the author say that permanent character traits can be easily detected without examining handwriting? No. The argument simply says that graphology is not logical, and there is no alternative presented.