History provides many examples of technological innovations being strongly resisted by people whose working condition...

shafieiava on February 9, 2020


Can someone explain what the jump/flaw in reasoning is in the stimulus? Does it have to do with the term social intertia? I had a hard time understanding what that meant in this context. It would be really helpful to see an explanation of the answer choices A-E as I struggled to eliminate answer choices in this question because at first glance they all seemed very off topic/out of scope of the terms used in the stimulus. Thanks in advance!

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shunhe on February 10, 2020

Hi @shafieiava,

Thanks for the question! The argument is saying that people who would have benefitted from certain technologies have opposed those technologies. Therefore, social inertia is a more powerful determinant of human behavior than the desire for comfort or safety. The argument makes this conclusion based off an example that could be interpreted many ways, which I suppose is the “jump/flaw in reasoning in the stimulus.” We’re looking for something that undermines this reasoning, and the answer is (A). (A) is correct because if it’s true that technological innovations cause job loss often, and people believe that, then it’s not necessarily social inertia that’s a more powerful determinant of human behavior than the desire for comfort or safety, since people might be concerned about losing their jobs, which ties directly into a desire for comfort or safety.

(B) is wrong because we aren’t told anything about the relationship between technological innovations and new challenges.

(C) is wrong because it’s consistent with the passage, since the passage only tells us that history provides “many” examples of technological innovations being resisted.

(D) is wrong because it actually might strengthen the argument, since it suggests that inertia does play a role.

(E) is wrong because it’s irrelevant to the reasoning; it doesn’t help shed light on the argument one way or another.

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

MrLaw on July 11, 2020

My confusion is, if not job security and the ability to financially compete within a peer group, what is social inertia? Viewing social inertia within that light would make 'A' weaken the argument; 'A' would then strengthen the argument.

Emil-Kunkin on June 14, 2023

Hi, I think that social in this term refers to group relations and how people act in a social setting, which would likely be nonmaterial. Fear of losing your job, home, and potentially not being able to feed your family is more than purely social.