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June 2007, Logical Reasoning 1, Question 22


Question 22, when a question asks for something that is strongly supported by the information above, we're dealing with an inference question. On an inference question, our job is to make sure we understand the information above. And then look for an answer that we can prove with it, and prove with it absolutely, without any doubt.

So the first sentence tells us two things. First, that the news media rarely covers local politics, and that business and local politics is usually conducted secretively. These two things, the next sentence tells us, contribute to local politicians feeling isolated from their electorates. And the isolation has the effect of reducing the positive feedback that residents get.

Which in turn, that is, the lack of positive feedback, discourages resident participation in local politics. Ultimately, what we have is a chain of effect. Two things, lack of coverage in the news and the secretive nature of the business in general, contribute independently to making politicians feel more isolated.

Their isolation contributes to this lack of positive feedback from resident actions. And that lack of positive feedback contributes to less resident participation in politics. Nothing here is said to be the only cause, or a necessary cause, just that each of these things contributes to the thing on down the line.

So go to the answers, answer choice A. Now, A gets things the wrong way around. We know that this isolation is contributing to this loss of positive feedback. We don't know that it is the only thing contributing to it. So we don't know, if you get rid of this one contribution, if that will be enough to make it likely the feedback is gonna return.

The isolation is a contributing factor. Get rid of it, and you've gotten rid of a contributing factor. But we don't know if that's enough to reverse the trend, or even to make it likely that the trend is gonna reverse. So go to answer choice B. So answer choice B is fairly easy to eliminate, because it is about what should be done.

Local political business should be conducted less secretively. This editorialist takes no stand on what we need to do. They just tell us how things have gotten to where they are. So since it's a recommendation, it is not provable. Going to answer choice C, answer choice C is also easy to eliminate, because it goes too far, it's too extreme.

It says that the most important factor is that lack of feedback. We don't know that it's the most important factor, we just know that it's a factor. You can't prove that something is the most important, just by proving that it exists. So answer choice C is not our answer, go to D. Now, answer choice D is the careful version of the answers we've seen before. It says that more frequent, thorough coverage of local politics would reduce at least one source of discouragement.

And it would, because we know that the fact that the media rarely covers politics, that's a source of discouragement. If you got rid of it, you would reduce at least one source. It doesn't say it's the most important source. It doesn't say it'll definitely reverse any trends, just that it would get rid of one source, so it's our answer.

Just to see why it's wrong, look at E. E says, If resident participation weren't discouraged, then local politicians would be less isolated. So this is even worse, because it goes the wrong way around completely. We know that isolation causes resident participation to go down. We don't know that resident participation is causing isolation.

So answer choice E is not my answer either, it was answer choice D.

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