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Critical Reasoning: Investigation Questions

To save time and money on water and maintenance, many homeowners are opting for the use of synthetic potted plants, instead of real plants, for the decoration of the interiors of their homes. The synthetic plants being sold today are very realistic in their details and often quite beautiful. Since most homeowners welcome ways to reduce expenses, synthetic plants are increasing in popularity. Because of these benefits, homeowners should replace their live indoor plants with synthetic plants.

The answer to which of the following would be most useful in evaluating the argument?

Incorrect.

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This answer choice is irrelevant. The fact that a fake plant's design could be imaginary does not really give us any reason to believe that homeowners should, or should not, replace their live plants with fake ones.

Incorrect.

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Answering this question would not give us ay direct strengthening or weakening evidence for the conclusion. Too many assumptions would have to be made to link data from this question to a negative aspect of live or fake plants.

Incorrect.

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Since no figures are mentioned in the argument, answering this question would not be useful. We cannot just assume that 5% of the total expenses is a large or small amount to spend on maintaining plants.

Incorrect.

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Asking this question would be unnecessary since we are already told in the last premise that most homeowners are interested in cutting down home maintenance expenses. This answer choice does not help us evaluate the recommendation in the conclusion.

Bravo!

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Organic gaseous exchanges are something that a plastic plant does not do. If such exchanges are beneficial to a plant's surroundings i.e. a home, then the author's proposal to get rid of such plants is weakened. If such exchanges are insignificant, then the author's proposal is strengthened.

Are synthetic plants replicas of real live plant species, or are they original designs based on common plant forms?
Can the efficiency of the photosynthesis of a live indoor plant be affected by the behavior of humans in its surroundings?
Do homeowners with live plants spend more than 5% of their overall home expenses on the maintenance of such plants?
Are the organic gaseous exchanges of a live plant advantageous to its immediate surrounding environment?
What percentage of homeowners are interested in cutting down the costs associated with general home maintenance?