No resident of Country X should consider the loss of the traditional tribal structure to be a tragedy. When tribal traditions dominated the culture of Country X, the economy was extremely depressed. However, since the loss of the tribal tradition, Country X has experienced the fastest growth of any economy on the continent. Per capita income has increased more than twentyfold, the trade deficit has become a trade surplus, and the unemployment rate is at an all-time low.

Which of the following questions, if answered, would be most helpful in evaluating the validity of the argument above?


 (A) How long did tribal structures in Country X exist before they were lost?
CORRECT  (B) Is the tribal structure the only part of traditional culture that Country X has lost?
 (C) Are there any other countries with similar tribal structures that have also experienced recent economic growth?
 (D) What percentage of residents in Country X considers the loss of traditional tribal structures to be a tragedy?
 (E) Are there any sectors other than high technology that have experienced an increase in jobs?
Read the Question
The question asks you what will be useful in "evaluating" the argument, so this is an evaluate question. The task in an evaluate question is to find the assumptions in order to either weaken or strengthen one of them.

To evaluate an argument you must either support or discredit assumptions, thus the answer you are looking for will either weaken or strengthen the argument.

Read the Argument and Extract Necessary Information:
On assumption-based questions, find the assumption.

This argument cites a particular cause (the loss of traditional tribal culture) for a particular outcome (improvements in the economy) as the justification that no one should lament the loss of tribal culture. This kind of reasoning indicates a [[Causal]] argument. Causal arguments contain the inherent assumption that only the causes cited were those of import and that no other causes or factors played a role. The assumptions in this argument include:
  • no other causes, aside from the loss of tribal culture, caused the economic improvements.
  • the cited correlation between the two events constitutes causation, and is not merely coincidence.

Formulate an Answer to the Question
Were there other factors at work that may have contributed to the economic improvements that occurred around the same time as the loss of tribal culture?

POE
(A) We are concerned about the time when the tribal structures disappeared. Irrelevant. Eliminate.
(B) This choice asks about other potential changes that may have affected the economic changes. Keep.
(C) We are concerned only about Country X. Irrelevant. Eliminate.
(D) Whether the people consider the circumstance a loss (and what percentage) is still up for debate. The issue at hand is whether the loss of tribal structures caused the improvement or not. Irrelevant. Eliminate.
(E) The number of sectors that have been affected is not of concern. Our issue is the cause of that change. Irrelevant. Eliminate.

Compare Remaining Choices
Only B is left.
Choose B.
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