Teresa: If their goal is to maximize profits, film studios should concentrate on producing big–budget films rather t...

Meredith on November 6, 2019

Choice C

Can someone please explain why C is correct? I want to make sure my logic for choosing it over A is correct. Thanks

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on November 8, 2019

Hello @Meredith,

Good question! The difference between A and C is commonly tested on necessary assumption questions. If you can understand this one, it will help you in the future.

Conclusion: To maximize profits, film studios should produce big-budget films rather than small-budget films.
Premise: For, unlike big-budget films, small-budget films never attract mass audiences.

The last sentence concedes that small-budget films are less risky, but mitigating risk does not guarantee maximum profitability. Therefore, the argument is based on the "mass audiences" premise.

You seem to understand what the argument is missing. It needs a connection between mass audiences and maximum profits. But how do we choose between A and C? We need to ask ourselves, "Does the argument need this to be true?"

A. Does Teresa need every single big-budget film to attract a mass audience? No. That is too strong. We know from the passage that small-budget films cannot attract mass audiences, but big-budget films can. Teresa doesn't need to assume more than that.

C. Teresa does need to assume that a film studio must have some mass audiences in order to maximize profits. A small-budget film has no chance of achieving this, but a big-budget film does. This confirms the conclusion. If this assumption is not true, then the argument falls apart.

on July 23, 2020

I made this same mistake - I chose A over C. You note that the difference between A and C is commonly tested on necessary assumption questions - how would you categorize this difference - and how do we make sure to avoid this?

Is the point here (and the general mistake to avoid) the "each" - making this too extreme/wide?

Shunhe on July 27, 2020

Hi @Anna2020,

Thanks for the question! The problem with (A) vs (C) is that, as you noted, (A) uses the word “each,” which is way too strong. In general, for necessary assumption questions, we want to stay away from answer choices that are worded extremely strongly (though these strongly worded answer choices can sometimes be correct, but there’ll be strong wording in the stimulus to match the strong wording in the answer choice). Whenever we see words like “never,” “all,” “every,” “each,” or other extreme language, we should think to ourselves: does the argument really NEED to assume that EVERY (or none, or whatever) X has to Y? That’s the point here, as you noted, and so (A) doesn’t need to be assumed. And remember, you can always use the negation test to test things like (A)—we can negate “all X” as “not all X,” or “at least one X isn’t.” And if that doesn’t hurt the argument, then it’s not a necessary assumption, and not the right answer. As we can see, (C) uses much weaker language (“some”) and is the right answer here.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.