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Critical Reasoning: Assumption Questions

Following a review of the findings of a recent study by the Ministry of Education, the ministry's conclusion is that children who do not have television sets in their bedrooms are more likely to have greater success in college programs later on than children who do. The study determined that children who have television sets in their bedrooms achieve, on average, school grades much lower than those without television sets in their bedrooms. In response to the report, some parents claimed that it was not the fact that their children had television sets in their rooms that affected their grades, but that the programs that were shown contained little or no educational value.

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

Superb!

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The Ministry of Education's study only compared the children's school grades. To conclude that bedroom television sets will also affect college grades, the author must assume that the skills a child uses to get good grades at school are the same as those that child will use to get good grades at college. Also, the author must assume that the effects caused during childhood will still influence that child during college.

Incorrect.

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What the parents feel is irrelevant as it does not explain what the author must have assumed to reach the conclusion.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice presents a new premise about the supervision of television viewing. It is irrelevant whether this new data supports the conclusion; what you are looking for is the assumption, which should explain how the author drew the conclusion based on the existing premises.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice presents a new premise about the factors affecting success in a college program. It is irrelevant whether this new data supports, or weakens, the conclusion.

Remember, you are looking for the assumption that explains how the author drew the conclusion based on the existing premises.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

The Ministry of Education's interests are irrelevant as they do not explain what the author must have assumed to reach the conclusion.

Parents often feel the need to defend the choices they make in regards to the raising of their children.
When children have television sets in their bedrooms, parents find it difficult to supervise the amount of viewing children may partake in.
The success of a student in a college program depends on that student's determination.
The skills needed to achieve good grades at school and at college are the same, and the effects of having a television in the bedroom are prolonged.
The Ministry of Education is interested in educating parents about the effects of providing children with television sets in their bedrooms.