Psychologists recently conducted a study in which people from widely disparate cultures were asked to examine five ph...

Nivens on December 21, 2019

Please explain this one?

Can you please explain this one?

2 Replies

Skylar on December 21, 2019

@nivensdc, happy to help!

The passage describes a study in which people from diverse cultures all correctly identified the emotion being expressed in various photographs. Based on this, the passage concludes that "people are genetically predisposed to associate certain facial expressions with certain basic emotions."

(A) is incorrect because we are only concerned with the emotion being "expressed." It does not matter if the subjects being photographed actually felt that emotion as long as it is the emotion they expressed in their photographed facial expressions.

(B) is incorrect because it is irrelevant to the conclusion that humans across different cultures are predisposed to associate facial expressions with emotions.

(C) is incorrect because it does not affect the argument. In the study discussed in the passage, people from widely disparate cultures expressed the same behavior regardless of their differences - being able to identify emotions based on facial expressions. This is the only behavior we're concerned about.

(D) is correct because it connects the premise that the study participants all had the same associations to the argument's conclusion that there is a genetic predisposition behind the associations. This eliminates the idea that people of widely disparate cultures have common facial expressions for emotions and the association evaluated in the study was not genetically predisposed but socially common. To check this, we can negate (D) and the argument in the passage will fall apart.

(E) is incorrect because we are not concerned with the subjects of the photographs. Only the subjects of the study who associated the facial expressions in the photographs with emotions are relevant to the conclusion of the passage.

Does this make sense? Please reach out with any other questions!

Annie on December 21, 2019

Hi @nivensdc,

This question is asking you to pick the answer choice which is an assumption that the argument depends on. Essentially, that means you’re looking for an answer choice which is another premise in the argument. Here’s a breakdown of the argument:

Premise: Psychologists conducted a study where people from different cultures were shown photos that depicted a person expressing one of the 5 basic human emotions.
Premise: The people were asked to identify the emotion being expressed and for each picture everyone identified the same emotion.
Premise: ???
Conclusion: This shows there’s a genetic predisposition to identifying certain emotions with certain facial expressions.

You’re looking for the answer choice to fill the gap in the argument above.

Answer Choices:
(A) is incorrect. This doesn’t fill the gap in logic between the premises and conclusion. The conclusion adds an element that has not been seen in the premises, namely “genetic predisposition.” Additionally, if this answer choice were false, aka it said that the emotion people felt in the picture was not the emotion identified, the conclusion could still be true. The conclusion does not say that they identified the right emotion, just that they identified one.

(B) is incorrect. This is what the whole argument is about and what the study was testing. This is not an assumption that the argument relies on, but is the idea that is being challenged by the argument.

(C) is incorrect. This is like B in that it runs counter to the argument. You’re looking for a premise that the argument relies on, aka that supports the argument.

(D) is correct. The conclusion takes a logical jump from the premises when it says that there must be a genetic predisposition to identify certain emotions with certain facial expressions. We have not been given any evidence to support that this is about genetics. For instance, maybe all cultures watch the same movie and learn about emotions that way. But, this answer choice changes that and gives us the evidence needed to say its a genetic predisposition.

(E) is incorrect. This is irrelevant to the argument.