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Critical Reasoning - Mimic Questions of Critical Reasoning - II Module

Here are the ten official questions which are discussed in detail in the Critical Reasoning - II module at the end of the Mimic Questions section. Shout out in the comments section if you have any doubts in the explanations.


Mimic Question No. 1


Polling data reveal that an overwhelming majority of 9 year olds can correctly identify the logos of major cigarette brands. However, of those 9 year olds who recognize such logos, less than 1% smoke. Therefore, there is little or no connection between recognition of cigarette brand logos and smoking.


Which one of the following uses flawed reasoning most similar to the flawed reasoning above?


(A) The concern about the long-term effects on dolphins of small quantities of mercury in the ocean is unfounded. During a three-month period, 1,000 dolphins were exposed to small quantities of mercury in seawater, with no effect on the animal.


(B) Many ten-year-olds dream of becoming actors. Yet it is not likely they will seriously consider becoming actors, because most parents discourage their children from pursuing such a highly competitive career. 


(C) Most dentist recommend using fluoride to reduce incidence of cavities, but few recommend giving up candy entirely; so, using fluoride is probably more effective in preventing cavities than is avoiding sweets. 


(D) A large percentage of men exercise moderately throughout their lives, but the average life span of those who do so is not significantly greater than of those who get little or no exercise. So there is little or no correlation between moderate exercise and good health. 


(E) Most people cannot name their legislative representatives. Nonetheless, this is insignificant, for when queried, most of them displayed an adequate command of current political issues.


Mimic Question No. 2


At an auction, nobody wants to buy the statue by Alberto Giacometti more than Jody, but Jody will not be participating in the bidding, so no matter how much the auctioneers lower the minimum bid not one person will bid on the statue.


The flawed reasoning in the argument above most closely parallels that in which of the following?


(A) The jockey who most wants to ride the horse Black Lightning in the next race is Cornwall, but he suddenly told the owner he could not ride in the next race. This means the other jockeys who had given up hope of riding Black Lightning will double their efforts.


(B) Better than anyone, Larry can spot a forgery of a Renaissance painting, but he has yet to find any flaws in Renny’s painting. So there must be a forgery among the other paintings in his collection.


(C) If anyone can translate this ancient text it is Professor Ricardo, but he is currently engaged in a project to translate a much more significant text and will probably not be interested in doing this smaller project. So we will have to hope that we can find someone of equal stature to take on the translation.


(D) Even though Emilio is the most intent of anyone to obtain the sales position, he is not applying for the position. It follows that nobody else will apply for the sales position no matter how high a salary is being offered.


(E) Sherry wanted to join an extra-credit group project for her science class, but each time they called a meeting she was too busy with cheerleading practice to join them. So, the closer she gets to becoming head cheerleader, the less time she can devote to her studies. 


Mimic Question No. 3


People who take what others regard as a ridiculous position should not bother to say, “I mean every word!” For either their position truly is ridiculous, in which case insisting that they are serious about it only exposes them to deeper embarrassment, or else their position has merit, in which case they should meet disbelief with rational argument rather than with assurances of their sincerity.


Which one of the following arguments is most similar in its reasoning to the argument above?


(A) A practice that has been denounced as a poor practice should not be defended on the grounds that “this is how we have always done it.” If the practice is a poor one, so much the worse that it has been extensively used; if it is not a poor one, there must be a better reason for engaging in it than inertia.


(B) People who are asked why they eat some of the unusual foods they eat should not answer, “because that is what I like.” This sort of answer will sound either naive or evasive and thus will satisfy no one.


(C) People whose taste in clothes is being criticized should not reply, “Every penny I spent on these clothes I earned honestly.” For the issue raised by the critics is not how the money was come by but rather whether it was spent wisely.


(D) Scholars who champion unpopular new theories should not assume that the widespread rejection of their ideas shows that they “must be on the right track.” The truth is that few theories of any consequence are either wholly right or wholly wrong and thus there is no substitute for patient work in ascertaining which parts are right.


(E) People who set themselves goals that others denounce as overly ambitious do little to silence their critics if they say, “I can accomplish this if anyone can.” Rather, those people should either admit that their critics are right or not dignify the criticism with any reply.


Mimic Question No. 4


The amount of water consumed in Anderville on any given day in the summer is directly proportional to the heat index on that day. Since the average heat index this July was four points higher than the average heat index last August, it follows that more water was consumed in Anderville this July than last August.


Which one of the following arguments has a pattern of reasoning most similar to the one in the argument above?


(A) The number of doctors working in the emergency room on any day is directly proportional to the number of services delivered by the emergency room that day and also directly proportional to the number of patients that visit the emergency room. Thus, the number of services offered by the emergency room on any given day is directly proportional to the number of patients that visit the emergency room on that day.


(B) The number of doctors working in the emergency room on any given day is directly proportional to the number of nurses working in the emergency room on that day. But the emergency room employs the same number of orderlies every day. Hence, there are usually more doctors than orderlies working in the emergency room.


(C) The bill paid by a patient at the emergency room is directly proportional to the number of medical professionals the patient sees during his or her visit. Since the number of patients going through the emergency room is increasing, it follows that the emergency room is collecting a greater amount in fees paid by patients than it used to. 


(D) The increase in patients at the emergency room is directly proportional to the amount of advertising the hospital has done the previous year. The hospital seeks to attract more patients to its emergency room by increasing the amount the hospital spends on advertising.


(E) The amount of analgesics prescribed in an emergency room is directly proportional to the number of patients that go through the emergency room on a given day. Since the emergency room handled 15 percent more patients in the last year than in the previous year, more analgesics were prescribed in the emergency room last year than in the previous year.


Mimic Question No. 5


Joe’s Lumber stocks only two types of 2 × 4 planks, pine and oak. Roberto never uses pine to build his tables because he likes the heavier feel of oak and believes it is more durable. When he built Marion a dining room table he bought the wood from Joe’s Lumber, so the table must be made of oak.


The argument above is most similar in its logical structure to which one of the following?


(A) Rocky wants to go with three friends to the amusement park. His father owns both a sedan and a compact. The compact holds four people, but even though the sedan’s engine has more horsepower, if Rocky borrows a car from his father he will borrow the compact.


(B) The Roddick Corporation offers Pedzisai a choice between an assignment in Sweden and an assignment in South Africa. Pedzisai would never accept an assignment in his home country of South Africa if it meant turning down an assignment in Europe, so if he chooses an assignment it must be the assignment in Sweden.


(C) If Georgia wants to ride her bike from her apartment to work she must either take a thoroughfare or go through a maze of neighborhoods. The neighborhood streets are always full of potholes and the thoroughfare has too much traffic, so she never rides her bike to work.


(D) Antonio can take a 15-minute break in the morning or an hour and a quarter for lunch later. The haircut Antonio planned takes 30 minutes, but his barber had only morning appointments available, so no matter what Antonio will have to get his haircut another day.


(E) If the team owner does not fire his coach, his football team will rebel and they will lose more games. Losing the coach will also mean losing more games, so if no alternative solution presents itself, the team will lose more games. 


Mimic Question No. 6


A building inspector has been accused of ignoring serious structural defects on a building. Although the records have been lost and the building has since been demolished, his inspections of more recent buildings have been reviewed and found to be flawless. Therefore, the accusation should be dismissed.


Which one of the following contains questionable reasoning that is similar to that in the argument above?


(A) A computer scientist was accused of spreading a computer virus to several large computers, but the charge should be dismissed since the hard drives of those computers have been erased and no record of his malfeasance exists. Also, since then, his work has been untainted by any such actions.


(B) A teacher was accused of allowing several students to pass a course when they actually failed. This accusation should be discussed at length because even though those students went on to be successful in later grades, the teacher may have passed other undeserving students.


(C) Politician A was accused of stealing parts of a speech given by Politician B. This charge is without foundation and should be disregarded because Politician A was not even born when Politician B gave that speech and there exists no recording of the original speech.


(D) A restaurateur is accused of using ingredients past their expiration dates. The accusation seems justified even though there is no evidence of it, because several cases of food poisoning can be linked back to the restaurateur’s place of business.


(E) A financial manager is accused of stealing funds from his clients. The charges should be ignored because even though the records show there has been some malfeasance, the identity of the accuser has not been disclosed.


Mimic Question No. 7


Once people habitually engaged in conversation, now the television competes for their attention. When the television is on, communication between family members stops. Where there is no communication, family ties become frayed and eventually snap. Therefore, the only solution is to get rid of the television.


Which one of the following is most closely parallel in its reasoning to the flawed reasoning in the argument above?


(A) Once friendships thrived on shared leisure time. But contemporary economic pressures minimize the amount of free time people have and thus jeopardize many friendships.


(B) Once people listened to the radio while pursuing other activities. Now they passively watch television. Therefore, radio was less distracting for most people than television is.


(C) Once sports enthusiasts regularly engaged in sports, but now they watch spectator sports when they could be getting physical exercise. Without physical exercise, health deteriorates. Therefore, the only remedy is to eliminate spectator sports.


(D) Once people were willing to tailor their day to the constraints of a bus or train schedule: now they are spoiled by the private car. The only solution is for government to offer financial incentives to encourage the use of public transportation.


(E) Once people did their shopping in urban retail districts, where they combined their shopping with other errands. Now many people shop in suburban malls, where they concentrate on shopping exclusively. Therefore, shopping has become a leisure time activity


Mimic Question No. 8


Anyone who fails to answer a patient’s questions cannot be a competent physician. That is why I feel confident about my physician’s competence: she carefully answers every one of my questions, no matter how trivial.


Which one of the following most closely parallels the flawed reasoning in the argument above?


(A) Anyone who grows up in a large family is accustomed to making compromises. Meredith is accustomed to making compromises, so she might have grown up in a large family.


(B) Anyone who is not in favor of this proposal is ill informed on the issue. Jeanne opposes the proposal, so she is ill informed on the issue.


(C) No one who likes music misses a performance of the symphony. Paul likes music, yet last week he missed a performance of the symphony.


(D) Anyone who works two or more jobs is unable to find a balance between professional and personal life. Maggie has only one job, so she can find a balance between her professional and personal life.


(E) No one who is hot-tempered and strong-willed will succeed in this business. Jeremy is strong-willed, so he will not succeed in this business.


Mimic Question No. 9


When a region is in a drought, the water level of rivers and streams is seriously reduced. When water levels are down, food is also scarce for wildlife. Therefore, if food is not scarce for wildlife, then the region is not in a drought.


In which one of the following selections does the reasoning most closely follow the reasoning in the above passage?


(A) If the dirty clothes hamper is full, the sock drawer is empty, and if the sock drawer is empty, the dirty clothes hamper is full, so if the sock drawer is not empty, the clothes hamper is not full.


(B) If the temperature falls below freezing, the petunias will die, and if the petunias die, they will not flower any more, so if the petunias still produce flowers, the temperature is not below freezing.


(C) If raccoons bear live young, they must be mammals, so if they are amphibians, they must lay eggs to reproduce, if they reproduce at all.


(D) If you want to fix an omelet, you will have to use six eggs, and you will have no eggs left for pancakes, so if you make the omelet, you won’t be able to fix pancakes.


(E) If earth scientists are correct, global temperatures are warming, and if the earth’s temperature increases, ocean levels will rise, so if ocean levels rise, earth scientists were correct.


Mimic Question No. 10


An apartment complex is installing alarm systems in every apartment due to an increase in crime in the area. The manager reasons that he does not need to install an alarm system in apartment 3B because the tenant is a police officer and can protect himself.


Which one of the following decisions is based on a flawed reasoning that is most similar to the apartment manager’s reasoning?


(A) A deliveryman has limited time to deliver all his packages before returning to his office. The deliveryman reasons that they should be delivered in order of largest to smallest because there might not be enough time to deliver all of them.


(B) A candidate for mayor must prioritize the areas of the city where she must focus campaigning efforts. The candidate reasons that she spend all her resources in these areas where voters are less likely to vote for her because the other voters do not need to be convinced to vote for her.


(C) Members of a jury are given four hours to reach their verdict or the judge will dismiss them and declare a mistrial. The jury reasons they should have the foreman review the evidence and determine a verdict because the foreman is a lawyer.


(D) The captain of a yacht requires that all his passengers go through a safety training session. He reasons that one passenger did not have to attend because he was a former US naval officer. 


(E) A manager discovers an employee has stolen food from the break room. He reasons that he should force all his employees to go through ethics training to make sure the guilty party never steals food again.


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