Practice Logical Reasoning Questions
Following is a group of simulated Logical Reasoning questions, along with a complete explanation for each question. Do not time yourself at this stage. Work through the questions carefully and select the best answer from among the choices. Use the explanations at the end of the chapter to help you to understand any errors that you make so that you’ll be stronger on test day.
Directions: The questions in this section are based on the logical reasoning contained in brief statements or passages. For some questions, there could be more than one possible answer. However, you are to select the best answer; that is, the response that most accurately and completely answers the question. You should not make assumptions that cannot be supported by the statements or passages. After you have selected the best answer, fill in the corresponding circle on your answer sheet.
Business Analyst: In a recent survey, employees of Company X were asked to state which one of the following two scenarios they would prefer: (1) Company X is the industry leader with gross revenues of $100 million, and Company Y is second with gross revenues of $90 million; or (2) Company Y is the industry leader with gross revenues of $120 million and Company X is second with gross revenues of $110 million. Despite the fact that, under the scenario 2, Company X would have higher gross revenue than under scenario 1, the majority of respondents stated that they preferred scenario 1.
Which of the following, if true, would most help to explain the surprising survey results described by the business analyst?
- Most employees of Company X believe that their company has a higher growth rate than Company Y.
- Most employees of Company X want their company to have gross revenue of more than $120 million.
- Most employees of Company X believe that their personal welfare is not connected to the company’s gross revenue.
- Most employees of Company X want their company to be more powerful than Company Y.
- Most employees of Company X want their company to make products of the highest quality.
Attorneys who represent violent criminals cannot both respect their clients’ right to confidentiality and be sincerely concerned for the welfare of victims of future violent crimes. Reporting a client’s unreported crimes violates the client’s trust, but remaining silent leaves the dangerous client out of prison, free to commit more crimes.
Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the argument?
- Most attorneys who represent violent criminals are assigned this task by a court.
- Violent criminals are no more likely to be represented by an attorney than are nonviolent criminals.
- Victims of future violent crimes also have a right to confidentiality should they need legal representation.
- The right of victims of violent crimes to compensation is as important as the right of criminals to confidentiality.
- An attorney who has gained a violent criminal’s trust can persuade that criminal not to commit repeat offenses.
Civil libertarian: As electronic surveillance of public places becomes more common and pervasive, we hear more and more attempted justifications of this practice by government officials. Surveillance, they explain, keeps the public honest and polite to one another. Such explanations are obviously self-serving, and so should not be taken to justify these unwarranted invasions of privacy.
A questionable technique used in the civil libertarians argument is to
- attack an argument different from that actually offered by government officials
- presume that members of the public are never dishonest or rude to one another
- insist that modern government practices meet moral standards far higher than those accepted in the past
- attack government officials’ motives instead of addressing their arguments
- make a generalization based on a sample that there is reason to believe is biased
Physician: Research has shown that substance X causes cancer in rabbits. Even though similar research has never been done on humans, and probably never will be, the use of substance X should be banned.
That substance X causes cancer in rabbits figures in the argument in which one of the following ways?
- It is presented as the hazard that the physician is concerned with preventing.
- It is presented as a benefit of not acting on the recommendation of that conclusion.
- It is presented as evidence for the claim that similar research will never be done on humans.
- It is presented as a finding that motivates the course of action advocated in the conclusion.
- It is presented as evidence for the claim that similar research has never been done on humans.
Sulema: The real estate market is the best place to invest your money these days; although it is often volatile, it provides the opportunity to make a large profit quickly.
Antonietta: I agree that the real estate market provides the opportunity to make large profits quickly, but one is just as likely to take a large loss. I think that it is better to invest in precious metals, which tend to provide a constant, reliable appreciation over a long period of time.
Sulema’s and Antonietta’s statements provide the most support for holding that they disagree about whether
- the real estate market is often volatile but provides the opportunity to make a large profit quickly
- precious metals can provide a large return on one’s investment
- the real estate market provides the opportunity for an investor to make a constant, reliable income over a long period of time
- it is safer to invest in precious metals than to invest in the real estate market
- it is preferable to choose an investment offering a reliable income over a more risky opportunity to make a large profit quickly
Prison inmates are far more likely to be mentally ill than members of the general population. This fact shows that the peculiar environment of prison, with its inherent stresses and deprivations, tends to cause or exacerbate symptoms of mental illness.
The reasoning in the argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the basis that the argument
- fails to define the term “mentally ill”
- presupposes that the prison environment is unique
- simply restates the claim that there are “inherent stresses and deprivations” in prison without providing any evidence in support
- takes a correlation between mental illness and prison as proof that prison causes mental illness
- focuses on stress and deprivation only, while ignoring other characteristics of the prison environment
In the movie The Big Date, released in 2004, there is scene that is virtually identical to a scene in Robber Barron, which was made in 1986. The scene is so unique that it is highly unlikely that the similarity is mere coincidence. Therefore, it is probable that the makers of The Big Date saw Robber Barron.
Which of the following, if true, most weakens the argument?
- A third movie that was probably seen by both the makers of The Big Date and Robber Barron was made in 1960 and contained essentially the same scene.
- The Big Date is a comedy, whereas Robber Barron is a drama.
- Both movies were released only in the United States.
- The scene in Robber Barron was also included in the play and novel from which the movie was adapted.
- According to critics, The Big Date was a far better movie than Robber Barron and contained many innovative scenes.
Oncologists report that cancer patients with brain tumors who receive a combination of chemotherapy and radiation treatment do only as well, on average, as those patients who receive radiation treatment alone. Yet the oncologists state that chemotherapy is a necessary part of the treatment of all patients who receive them for tumors.
Which of the following, if true, most helps to reconcile the oncologists’ two claims?
- Oncologists treat all cancer patients who have tumors with either radiation treatment alone or a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.
- Oncologists who prescribe these treatments make accurate determinations about which patients need both radiation and chemotherapy and which need radiation alone.
- Some tumors have been completely healed by a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.
- Some tumors that have been exacerbated by improper attempts at chemotherapy have been successfully treated with radiation.
- Patients with tumors in other areas of the body show more improvement when treated with both radiation and chemotherapy than when treated with radiation alone.
Walters: Our neighboring country had a much higher percentage increase in GNP (Gross National Product) over the last ten years than our country did. So, their economic prosperity increased relative to ours.
Kostamo: I disagree. The GNP of our neighbor might have increased by a greater percentage, but the absolute amount of the increase in GNP was certainly greater for our country.
Walters and Kostamo disagree about whether
- change in the economic prosperity of the neighboring country relative to their country is accurately measured by comparing their percentage changes in GNP
- change in the economic prosperity of the neighboring country is more accurately measured in terms relative to their country than in terms relative only to the neighboring country
- changes in the GNP of the neighboring country should ever be compared to changes in the GNP of their country
- there were any improvements at all in the economic situation of the neighboring country during the ten years being considered
- the GNP of the neighboring country increased by a greater percentage over the last decade than did the GNP of their country
Adversity and imperfection are often useful. When individuals and teams study the ways in which adversity arises and their own responses to it, they can acquire insight into areas that might be ripe for improvement.
Which one of the following most closely conforms to the principle above?
- An actor should not simply react negatively to a mistake made during an important performance. By discovering the root causes of the mistake, the actor can better prepare for future performances.
- A politician should understand that the votes received on Election Day are not only an endorsement of the politician’s policies. Politicians should also take satisfaction from the fact that voters also respond to the politician’s personality and appearance.
- Altruism is valuable not only for the positive emotions that it brings, but also for the opportunities to contribute to society’s overall well being.
- Even though business can and should be profitable, the primary reward of a career in business is the career itself.
- Golfers whose game suffers when playing with strangers should take every opportunity to golf with new people. Others will respect their courage, and they will gain the increased self-respect that comes from giving a full effort to something that is difficult for them.
Carrie: The title of the seminar we just attended, Being a Good Husband, is misleading. A title should describe all of the contents of a seminar, but nearly half of this seminar was involved with discussing wives.
Alan: I don’t think the title is misleading. It seems to me that husbands and wives are two sides of one relationship: marriage. One cannot be a husband without a wife.
Which one of the following is most strongly supported by the discussion above?
- Carrie believes that the seminar should have been titled, Being a Good Wife.
- Alan believes that there is no real distinction between the roles of husband and wife.
- Carrie and Alan disagree about the relevance of traditional marriage.
- Carrie and Alan disagree about the overall value of the seminar.
- Carrie believes that the seminar title should not mention husbands without mentioning wives.
Internet Advertising Executive: Those pundits who claim that TV viewership is down only 5 percent are clearly incorrect. They clearly haven’t looked at the numbers that I have. Network A is down 12 percent, Network B is down 10 percent, Network C is down 14 percent, and Network D is down nearly 40 percent.
The reasoning in the executive’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that the argument
- attacks the character of the pundits rather than addressing their arguments
- fails to demonstrate that the pundits mentioned are not experts in the area of television viewership
- incorrectly concludes that something is not true based on the claim that it has not been demonstrated to be true
- draws evidence from only a small pool of available sources, which may be nonrepresentative
- relies upon an emotional appeal in an effort to persuade the listener
In 1977, a young wolf was observed entering a cave in pursuit of prey. Soon, other wolves started entering the cave, and over the next few seasons, this behavior became the norm for the entire wolf pack. Before 1977, no wolf had been seen entering or leaving the cave and no signs of wolves were found in the cave. By 2004, the entire pack was spending most of its winters in or near the cave. Therefore, these wolves are capable of adopting and passing on new behaviors, and are not merely bound by their genetics.
Which of the following is an assumption required by the argument above?
- Genetic mutations in wolves can occur in a fairly short time span, such as a few decades.
- New behaviors that emerge in wolf populations over the course of a couple of decades are not necessarily genetically predetermined.
- Only after certain patterns of behavior become the norm for a given animal population can it be inferred that a genetic mutation has occurred in that group.
- The social actions of wolves are fully independent of their genetics.
- The wolves’ new pattern of behavior will continue for several generations yet to come.
Literature Expert: Great pieces of literature have often caused outrage among the public when first published; for example Ulysses by James Joyce was banned for years due to its alleged obscenity, and Walt Whitman’s poem collection, Leaves of Grass, was banned for its use of explicit language. So, since literature often causes outrage and shock, we should not limit the use of public funds to support books that many people find obscene.
Which of the following is an assumption that the literature expert’s argument requires in order to properly come to his or her conclusion?
- Most literature is obscene.
- James Joyce and Walt Whitman received public funding for their writing.
- Literature was more shocking in the past.
- Public funds should be used to support literature.
- Literature should not be shocking or obscene.
A city poll of the community showed that 88 percent of respondents believe that an appropriate amount of the city budget is being spent on parks and recreation. It seems, then, that any significant increase in the city budget should be spent on something other than parks and recreation.
Which one of the following describes a flaw in reasoning in the above argument?
- The argument confuses a coincidence with a correlation.
- The argument confuses the percentage of the budget spent on parks and recreation with the amount of money spent on parks and recreation.
- The argument does not justify its presumption that what is true of a portion of the budget also applies to the total budget.
- The argument fails to consider that less money could be spent and a significant percentage of the community would still find that amount to be appropriate.
- The argument fails to consider that if more money from the budget were spent on parks and recreation, then an even larger percentage of the community might approve of that use of the budget.
Having endured a tumultuous childhood, Theresa has no conception of the moral difference between right and wrong, only between what is legally permitted and what is not. When Theresa committed her offense, she did not recognize the fact that it was a morally wrong act, despite knowing that it was illegal.
From the statements above, which one of the following can be properly inferred?
- Theresa committed no offense that was not legally permissible.
- Theresa did something that was morally wrong.
- Moral ignorance is never excusable in the eyes of the law.
- Theresa’s childhood could have provided more sufficient moral training even in the circumstances.
- Theresa could now be taught the moral difference between right and wrong.
Jill: Hale-Bopp Comet, now in a part of its orbit relatively far from the Sun, recently flared brightly enough to be seen by telescopes. No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the Sun before, so such a flare must be highly unusual.
Sara: Hogwash. Usually no one bothers to try to observe comets when they are so far from the Sun. This flare was observed only because an observatory was tracking Hale-Bopp Comet very closely.
Sara challenges Jill’s reasoning by
- pointing out that Jill’s use of the term “observed” is excessively vague
- drawing attention to an inconsistency between two of Jill’s claims
- presenting evidence that directly contradicts Jill’s evidence
- offering an alternative interpretation of the evidence Jill cites
- undermining some of Jill’s evidence while agreeing with her conclusion
Psychologist: There are theories that posit completely different causal mechanisms from those posited by the Smith psychological theory and that are more successful at predicting human behavior. Therefore, the Smith theory of behavior, no matter how elegant or complex it is, ought to be abandoned in favor of these other theories.
Which one of the following is an assumption on which the psychologist’s argument depends?
- The Smith theory has led to intriguing predictions, which have been shown to be false, about the causes of human behavior.
- A psychological theory with greater predictive success than another is scientifically preferable.
- The Smith theory has had remarkable success in predicting how people will behave in certain situations.
- Measuring the predictive success of a psychological theory always involves considering other theories that attempt to explain the same phenomena.
- Scientific theories become impractical if they posit causal mechanisms beyond a certain level of complexity.
Roland: It is important for us to cut down on our usage of fossil fuels. Therefore, we must invest in new hybrid technology for vehicles. Hybrid technology will help us decrease our dependency on fossil fuels. Hybrid vehicles use half the fossil fuels per mile than other vehicles.
Tomassi: Not true. There are many ways that we can reduce our usage of fossil fuels without spending money on developing hybrid vehicles.
- Roland assumes which one of the following?
- That drivers who switch from regular vehicles to hybrid vehicles will drive less than twice as much as they did prior to the switch
- That more consumers will be able to afford hybrid vehicles than other types of vehicles
- That all vehicles can be converted to hybrid technology
- That hybrid vehicles have the same horsepower as fossil fueled vehicles
- That the consumer demand for hybrid vehicles is elastic
- Tomassi assumes which one of the following?
- That other technology is more effective at cutting fossil fuel usage
- That consumers will not buy hybrid cars
- That hybrid cars are not as durable as non-hybrid cars
- That alternate means of reducing fossil fuel consumption will be sufficient to avert any looming crisis
- That hybrid vehicles will not cut down on the usage of fossil fuels if they are driven for longer distances
Several legislators claim that the public finds many current movies so sexually explicit as to be morally offensive. However, these legislators have misrepresented public opinion. In a survey conducted by a movie industry guild, only 15 percent of respondents think that movies are too sexually explicit, and only 4 percent found any recent movie to be morally offensive. These low percentages are telling because the respondents see far more current movies than does the average moviegoer.
The reasoning in the argument is flawed in that the argument
- attempts to undermine the legislators’ credibility instead of addressing their argument
- bases its conclusion on subjective judgments rather than on an objective criterion of moral offensiveness
- fails to consider the possibility that sexually explicit movies increase the prevalence of antisocial behavior
- generalizes from a sample that is unlikely to be representative of public sentiment
- presumes, without providing justification, that the people surveyed based their responses on a random sampling of movies
Children who are educated at Evans High School tend to do better than children who are educated at Gilbert T. Sloan High School. Since Samuel achieved higher grades than any of his classmates in his first year at the university, he was probably educated at Evans.
Which one of the following most closely parallels the flawed reasoning in the argument above?
- Quarter Horses are usually taller than Appaloosas. Since Dandy Jim Zip is taller than the other horses in the competition, he must be a Quarter Horse.
- When people make more money, they generally are able to accumulate more wealth.
- When children practice piano scales for half an hour each day, they usually do extremely well at recitals. Since Hannah practices scales for less than a half an hour a day, she will have difficulty doing well at her recital.
- When children have parents who participate in their education, the children generally do better in school. Therefore, if parents want to help their children do better in school, they should participate in their children’s education.
- When children study math from an early age, they tend to do better in math in adulthood. Therefore, if you want to do better in math as an adult, you should study more as a child.
Frustration in response to insults is unreasonable, for insults are merely assertions that someone has undesirable characteristics. If such an assertion is false, the insulted party ought to pity the ignorance prompting the insult. If it is true, the insulted party should be thankful for such useful information.
Which one of the following, if assumed, enables the argument’s conclusion to be properly drawn?
- Actions prompted by ignorance do not warrant negative reactions.
- Frustration is an unreasonable response to useful information.
- Frustration is an unreasonable response to any action that should prompt pity or gratitude.
- Gratitude and pity are reasonable responses to some forms of hostile or insensitive behavior.
- Pity is the only reasonable reaction to people with undesirable characteristics.