People want to be instantly and intuitively liked. Those persons who are perceived as forming opinions of others only...

Matt on November 2, 2014

Question help

I am having difficulty with understanding why the answer is E. Can you help explain why the answer is E and not A. Thanks!

2 Replies

Melody on November 3, 2014

This is a strengthen with sufficient premise question. Remember that asufficient premise is sufficient for a conclusion, if and only if the existence of the premise guarantees or brings about the existence of the conclusion. Therefore, we need to find the premise that 100% guarantees the conclusion. The way you want to attack these answer choices is two-pronged. Ask yourself, does it strengthen? If it doesn't, then cross it out and continue to the next answer choice. If it does strengthen, however, then ask yourself whether or not the premise guarantees the conclusion.

Conclusion: it is imprudent to appear prudent.

Why? People want to be instantly and intuitively liked. Those who are perceived to form opinions of others only after cautiously gathering and weighing the evidence are generally resented.

There is clearly a gap in this reasoning. We conclude from the fact that appearing prudent, i.e. being perceived as forming opinions of others only after cautiously gathering and weighing the evidence, causes one to be generally resented, that appearing prudent is imprudent. Thus, we have a gap between being resented and being imprudent.

Answer choice (A) states: "People who act spontaneously are well liked."

Does this answer choice strengthen? No. This is irrelevant to our conclusion that it is imprudent to appear prudent. What does spontaneity leading to people liking you have to do with being imprudent? How do we know that being well liked is prudent?

Remember, out knowledge is limited to the boundaries of the question.

Even if people who act spontaneously are well liked, that doesn't help us draw the conclusion that appearing prudent is imprudent.

We are looking for answer choice that helps us connect imprudence to being resented.

Answer choice (E) states: "It is imprudent to cause people to resent you."

Does this strengthen? Yes. We know that those who appear prudent are resented. If it is true that it is imprudent to cause people to resent you, then it is imprudent to appear prudent.

Does this premise guarantee the conclusion? Yes. Answer choice (E) tells us that causing people to resent you is imprudent. We know that acting prudent causes people to resent you. Thus, answer choice (E) guarantees that appearing prudent is imprudent, since it causes people to resent you.

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

Matt on November 4, 2014

Great explanation. Thanks!