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PrepTest 73, Passage 3, Question 20


Question 20 asks you what a term refers to, specifically the term forces of persuasion. That makes this a kind of detail question, the vocabulary in context question. These questions ask you what a particular word or phrase means in the context in which it's used in the passage, which usually requires going back and reading a little bit above the reference, a little bit below, getting the context.

And then look in to the answers for something that gets that right. So what was the author referring to when they said the forces of persuasion? Well, if we go back to the context, it says that in order to do so, and specifically in order to separate our real needs from the alleged false needs we feel as a result of the manipulation of advertisers, it would be necessary to eliminate the forces of persuasion that are so prevalent in society and that have come to inform our instinctive judgments about things.

In other words, the forces of persuasion are the manipulation of advertisers. That's the thing that's infected our ideas about what is real and what is a false need. So that's what we're gonna be looking for when we go into the answer choices. Now answer choice A says the intentionally dishonest claims that some theorists argue are common in advertising.

Intentionally dishonest claims was not what we just read. Answer choice B, innate, instinctual drives that some theorists say are fundamental to human behavior. Again, not what we just read, the innate drives are the things that are being supplanted. They're not the forces of persuasion.

Answer choice C, emotional pressures that some theorists claim are exerted over individuals by society as a whole. There might be some argument for emotional pressure but not for society as a whole. Everyone in society is subject to them. That's not the same thing as the entire society using them. Answer choice D, subtle practices of social indoctrination that some theorists say are sponsored by the state.

There goes the cliche again, sponsored by the state. Clearly, the person who wrote these questions thinks that once we read the word oppression, we're gonna be on guard against the state and totalitarian regimes and all that. But this is not the answer. So E, manipulative influences that some theorists say go unrecognized by those affected by them.

Yeah, the manipulative influences, specifically the manipulations of advertisers, they don't have to say the word advertisers though. And certainly, they do go unrecognized because we mistake our true needs for these false needs. So answer choice E is what they said. It's what the term refers to, and it is our answer.

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