Editorialist: Advertisers devote millions of dollars to the attempt to instill attitudes and desires that lead peopl...

Ava on February 2, 2020


Can someone explain what the jump/gap in the argument here is? Given that democratic elections are only mentioned in one of the premises and in the conclusion, I thought the correct answer should include that element, but it did not. Can someone explain how they approached this question and give explanations for answer choices a-e? Thank you!

3 Replies

Irina on February 2, 2020


The argument concludes that the results of elections in democratic countries cannot be said to represent unadulterated preferences of the people because campaign strategists employ the same tactics as advertisers to manipulate public opinion. Which of the following strengthens the argument?

Let's look at the answer choices:
(A) is irrelevant. The argument only concerns the results of elections in democratic countries.
(B) if anything it weakens the argument. If advertisers - and by extension political strategists' - techniques are apparent to people then it is less likely these techniques would successfully influence their opinions.
(C) likely weakens the argument. If laws limit the amount of political ads, it is less likely that these ads will successfully influence public opinions.
(D) irrelevant or weakens. If people who vote never watch TV/ read newspaper, their opinion is not influenced by the ads, hence we cannot conclude that the results of elections are not a fair representation of people's preferences.
(E) strengthens the argument. It tells us that political ads do often influence voters' beliefs, hence the results of the elections where political ads are employees cannot be said to be unadulterated.

Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any other questions.

Ava on February 5, 2020

This makes sense. Thank you!

Ravi on February 5, 2020

@shafieiava, let us know if you have any other questions!