Claim: Country X's government lowered tariff barriers because doing so served the interests of powerful foreign co...

on November 5 at 04:02AM

Explanation

Hello, This was the first time I had encountered a question stem like this and was wondering if you could help describe what the best strategy for analysing this question and answer choices was as well as help explain the reasoning for the correct answer. Thank you!

1 Reply

Annie on November 5 at 06:37AM

Hi @Lucie,

Good question. This is a weird question stem/set-up and is definitely confusing. For any confusing logical reasoning question, I like to start by re-organizing the stimulus into an order I'm used to.

The question stem tells us a bit how to set this up. It says that we want to use the answer choices as premises. It also tells us that we're looking for a way to use the principle to counter the claim. The claim is just another word for the conclusion. So, here's the set up:

Premise 1: In order for a change to be explained by the advantage some person or group gained from it, it must be shown how the interests of the person or group played a role in bringing about the change.

Premise 2: (Insert Answer Choice)

Conclusion: Country X's government lowered tariff barriers because doing so served the interests of powerful foreign companies.

The question tells us that we're looking for an answer choice that, when combined with the principle (aka premise 1), will counter the claim. Therefore, if you look at the set-up above, we're looking for an answer choice that makes it so the conclusion does NOT follow from the premises.

Answer Choices:
(A) is incorrect. While alone this answer choice may seem to undermine the conclusion, we're looking for an answer choice that uses the principle (aka premise 1) to counter the claim. The principle is about how the interests of a group played a role in bringing about the change. This answer choice does not talk about a groups interests up front, rather it talks about the effects of the change.

(B) is incorrect. Importers suffering is consistent with the conclusion that the government lowered barriers because of the interests of foreign companies.

(C) is incorrect. This argument does not follow the pattern of the principle that is described in answer choice A.

(D) is incorrect. That foreign companies compete with each other does not undermine the idea that they could also be benefited by lower tariffs.

(E) is correct. This answer choice uses the ideas of the principle to counter the conclusion. Like the principle, it looks at how the interests of group may have played a role in bringing about the change. But, it undermines the conclusion by telling us that there is no other evidence that foreign companies were involved in bringing about the change.