When a society undergoes slow change, its younger members find great value in the advice of its older members. But wh...

Jesse on July 9, 2015

Answer choice A

So I got the right answer, but for some reason I thought a seemed plausible. Explain why it's not please

1 Reply

Melody on July 15, 2015

Here we have a strengthen with necessary premise question. Remember that a premise is necessary for a conclusion if the falsity of the premise guarantees or brings about the falsity of the conclusion. First we check to see if the answer choice strengthens the passage, and then, if it does strengthen, we negate the answer choice to see if its negation makes the argument fall apart. If the answer choice does both those things then it is our correct answer.

Conclusion: We may measure the rate at which a society is changing by measuring the amount of deference its younger members show to their elders.

Why? When a society undergoes slow change, its younger members find great value in the advice of its elder members. But, when a society undergoes rapid change, young people think that little in the experience of their elders is relevant.

So, you see that the issue is that the argument has not connected how the way that young people value their elders' advice relates to the amount of deference its younger members show to their elders.

Does answer choice (A) strengthen the argument? No.

Whether or not society's younger members can often accurately discern whether that society is changing rapidly does not help the issue in the argument. This merely tells us that often the youth can tell whether society is undergoing rapid change, meaning young people will think little in the experience of their elders is relevant to them. How does this have anything to do with deference? We cannot assume that the young members' disregard for their elders' experience means that they have less respect (i.e. deference) towards their elders. We merely know that the younger members know when change occurs rapidly.

Thus, answer choice (A) is not correct. Remember, we write down the conclusion and premise in order to identify the issue in the argument. This helps us with the first step in deciding whether the answer choice helps strengthen our argument.

Further, even if you went through the first step and believed answer choice (A) strengthened the argument, the negation of answer choice (A) does nothing to the argument.

If the younger members of a society cannot often accurately discern whether that society is changing rapidly, it doesn't matter to our argument. We were never told that young people must know that society is undergoing rapid changes for them to take little heed of their elders experiences.

We are merely told that "when a society undergoes rapid change, young people think that little in the experience of their elders is relevant to them." We have not been told that young people must consciously be aware that society is undergoing rapid change. Therefore, them not being aware of this does nothing to our argument.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.