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PrepTest 73, Logical Reasoning 2, Question 14


Question 14. When a question asks what the information above would most strongly support, we're doing an inference question, which means that we have to catalogue the information we've been given and then find something that we can prove true with that information in the answer choices. In this statements we're given three facts.

The first thing the environmentalist tells us is that pollution from gasoline burned by cars is a big environmental problem. But, the cost of that problem is not reflected in gasoline prices, and so it usually doesn't affect consumers decisions about how much they should drive. The final sentence then is a prediction. Heavier taxes would reflect the cost and that would cause consumers to pollute less.

In other words, they would drive less because the taxes would go up on the gas that they're purchasing. Makes total sense. We're just looking for something we can prove from that. So don't consider whether the environmentalist is right or wrong. Just what can we prove if they're right?

So let's look at the answer choices. Answer choice A, the cost of pollution from driving should not be reflected in the price of gasoline and less the amount of pollution produced would be reduced as a result. Be careful, the environmentalist never told us what should happen or what shouldn't happen, just what would happen.

If we increase the taxes on gasoline, surely people like the environmentalist probably do want us to increase the taxes. They probably have a lot of ideas about what should happen. But none of those are given to us here and we can only base our answer choice on what we've been given. So A is not the answer, look at B.

Heavier taxes on gasoline would increase consumers' awareness of the kinds of environmental problems to which pollution from driving contributes. And the problem here is the awareness. They tell us that heavier taxes would cause people to drives less, but not that it would change their awareness. They might be ignorant as to why their taxes have gone up or ignorant as to what damage they're preventing, it's just they'll be driving less.

So, answer choice C consumers would purchase less gasoline on average, if the cost of the environmental problems to which pollution from driving contributes were fully reflected in the price of the gasoline. Now, this is our answer. Consumers who purchase less gasoline is supported by two parts of the stimulus. So if there were heavier taxes on gas, consumers would pollute less.

And the specific type of pollution we're talking about is pollution from gasoline burned by cars. So, if the pollution from gas burned by cars is going down, the gas that's being sold is going down. And the reason it's going down is because they've added in the cost of those environmental problems.

So, C is provable from what we've been told. Which means D and E are wrong. Why are they wrong? Well, D says that the only cost considered by consumers is the cost of gasoline. I don't know this I know that consumers consider the cost because increase the cost, they're gonna decrease their driving.

I don't know that that's the only thing they consider when deciding where to drive too. How far away their mom lives might be something that they consider. So D is not the answer, answer choice E. So this says that pollution from the gas would be reduced only if the consumers give more consideration.

There's two problems wrong here. One, we don't know that this is the only way to get rid of pollution just that it would be a way to get rid of it. And also, we don't know about those consumers motives. We know they're driving less. We don't know if that's because they're giving consideration to the environmental problems.

They're driving less because the taxes went up. So answer choice E is not our answer. The answer was C.

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