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Critical Reasoning: Assumption Questions

When Joe goes to see his favorite football team play, he sometimes sits without a shirt and paints his body with the team colors, and his team wins. Clearly Joe's actions lead to his team's success.

The above conclusion is properly drawn if which of the following is assumed?

Incorrect.

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This answer choice presents a new premise about the stadium's policies. However, while this data may explain why Joe sitting shirtless is not a problem, it does not explain why the author of the argument thinks Joe' actions help his team.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice presents information about what Joe likes and is in fact a new premise. It is irrelevant whether this new data enhances or agrees with the existing premises; what you are looking for is the assumption, which should explain how the author drew the conclusion based on the existing premise.

Incorrect.

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If the author had assumed Joe's team had a winning record, this would have given an alternative explanation to the situation and thus undermined the conclusion that Joe is responsible for the team's winning.

An assumption cannot contradict the conclusion; it is a step (albeit unfounded) that the author takes from the premise to the conclusion.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice makes a recommendation with the word should and is therefore a conclusion. However, we are are looking for an assumption that explains how the author got to the existing conclusion.

Good!

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This answer choice correctly links Joe's actions in the premise (showing loyalty by painting himself in team colors) and the author's conclusion that this helps the team. In order to reach the conclusion, the author must think that no other factor affects the team.

Shirts are not required at football games.
The fate of a football team relies on fans explicitly showing their loyalty when attending their games.
Joe is a huge fan of football.
Joe's team has a winning record.
Joe should always sit with his shirt off and paint his body for his team to win.