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Critical Reasoning: Conclusion Strengthening Questions

A specific species of African monkey performs an elaborate rain dance after the first rain. The fact that the actual movements which the monkeys of this species perform differ depending on the troop's location in Africa has led zoologists to believe that the dance comprises of specific movements that are a cultural rather than a genetic development.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the conclusion drawn by the zoologists?

Incorrect.

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This answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the zoologist's belief. The conclusion rests on the fact that there are differences in the rain dance within the same species of monkey, not between separate species. Other monkey species are, therefore, out of the scope of the argument.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice weakens the conclusion, but you are required to support it. Since the monkey in this statement performed a dance not taught to him by the group, this might indicate a genetic rather than cultural influence. The zoologist, however, is claiming a cultural influence.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the zoologist's belief as it talks about location-based differences in ant-luring techniques within the species. This tells us nothing about cultural-based elements of the rain dance - a different issue altogether - and therefore does not strengthen the conclusion.

Terrific work!

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This answer choice provides an example that supports the zoologist's belief. If the adopted monkey found it hard to dance in captivity, it is probable that he needed to be taught the dance, thereby strengthening the conclusion that the rain dance is developed culturally, and not something a monkey is born with.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice weakens the conclusion, but you are required to support it. A similarity between the movements of the rain dances of different troops of the same species would indicate a genetic origin, thus weakening the conclusion that the differences are cultural.

Each separate species of African monkey performs a different dance after the first rain.
There is a known case of a monkey of the mentioned species raised among monkeys of a different species that would perform a dance different from that performed by his adopting group after the first rain.
A recent zoological report was published describing ant-luring technique differences between separate groups of the same species of monkey as based on the type of ant prevalent in the monkey's specific habitat.
An infant monkey raised in captivity would move about slightly after the first rain of the year, but its movements did not resemble those of any of the groups found throughout Africa.
The dance comprises of movements that are very similar when comparing troops of the same species.