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Critical Reasoning: Paradox Questions

Elephants have an exceptional memory, enabling them to find their way in areas which they have not frequented in many years. A new zoological research has discovered that this ability can be further enhanced by fixing the leading elephant with blinders, thereby greatly limiting its field of vision.

Which of the following hypotheses best explains the contrast described above?

Incorrect.

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This answer choice emphasizes the paradox rather than resolves it. If elephants need to see in order to employ their memory of previously visited locations, then fitting them with blinders should make their use of their memory worse, rather than better.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice does not resolve the paradox, because the fact that the elephant won't fall down with the blinders doesn't explain why making the elephant partially blind helps its memory.

Close, very close.

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This answer choice is tricky, because it focuses on the elephant's memory being based on its sense of smell. However, notice that this answer choice doesn't explain why an elephant remembers better with the blinders on than it does without them. Only such an answer choice will fully resolve the paradox. Look for it!

Almost there.

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This answer choice is tricky, because it tells us the elephant's most effective sense is its sense of smell. However, notice that this AC doesn't explain why an elephant remembers better with the blinders on than it does without them. Only such an answer choice will fully resolve the paradox.

Great!

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This answer choice is the only one that tells us both that an elephant remembers best what it smelled with its trunk and that its sight is actually a distraction to remembering. If this is the case, putting blinders on the elephant will actually help it to remember better, thus fully resolving the paradox.

The leading elephant is able to avoid stumbling over even with the proposed blinders.
Elephants' memory is not visual, but rather relies on their sense of smell.
Elephants with blinders on find it harder to recognize surroundings, because it is harder for them to compare the current visual sensation with the remembered one.
An elephant's sense of smell, which is its best memory aid, is hindered by visual distractions.
Elephants' eyes are relatively weak and are a secondary sense, whereas an elephant's sense of smell is particularly advanced.