The author's attitude towards the idea that the Pin Factory model should be part of the mainstream of economic though...

Christopher on September 14, 2016

Any Trick To These?

These questions kill me. I can sort of see it after the fact, but are there key words that I'm missing. These always feel like a shot in the dark to me, and I'm probably 50/50 on answering these. So is there something specific to look for?


Mehran on September 16, 2016

Hi @csdinkel, thanks for your post. Author attitude questions require you to pay careful attention, as you read through the passage, for hints as to the author's tone and point of view. Sometimes, an author's attitude may be neutral or indifferent. At other times, the author's attitude may be positive or negative.

Some students find that underlying or placing stars next to "tone" words is helpful. Using process of elimination on these questions can also be to your benefit.

In this case, the question asks us to identify the passage author's attitude towards "the idea that the Pin Factory model should be part of the mainstream of economic thought."

In the passage, the author identifies reasons why the Pin Factory model was *not*, for almost two centuries, part of the economic mainstream--see generally paragraph 4 of the passage.

The author's attitude is best reflected in this paragraph and the next (the last paragraph of the passage). Let's assess those paragraphs with an eye to the answer choice options.

Is the author hostile to the idea that the Pin Factory model should be mainstreamed? No, there is no textual evidence of any hostility. Is he uncertain? Again, no--you'd look for words or phrases to the effect of, "I'm not sure this is a great idea." That's not happening here. Answer choices (a) and (b) can be eliminated. Nor is the author "indifferent"--he seems to care about this issue. Answer choice (d) can also be eliminated.

The trick is to select between answer choices (c) and (e). The author certainly is curious about the Pin Factory theory " but that is not what the question asks. The question is more specific: what is the author's attitude toward the mainstreaming of the Pin Factory model within economic thought?

The author's curiosity in the passage has to do with how the Pin Factory model and the Invisible Hand Theory interrelate. But his feeling about researchers' ability--since the late 1970s--to bring the Pin Factory into the mainstream is one of receptivity ("economists had finally found ways . . . with the rigor needed to make it respectable").

Hope that helps. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.