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Critical Reasoning: Assumption Questions

Better-Vision-Maker is a liquid that enhances the visual ability of a person with average eyesight by almost 500 times. The drug is intended for use by police, rescue, and medical service professionals. Research shows that a change in visual ability can alter the dynamics of the brain so that the new functionality can be adapted to. More testing into the side-effects of the drug should be performed before it is distributed for use.

The author's conclusion relies on which of the following assumptions?

Incorrect.

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The word side-effects in the conclusion tells us that the author is concerned about adverse or negative effects the drug may have, not additional positive effects that might improve its sales. The author's assumption is what led to the conclusion and therefore must have the same tone as the conclusion.

Incorrect.

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If the author assumed any tool available should be used, he or she wouldn't recommend to run more tests on the new drug. The assumption can never be a statement that weakens the conclusion; it's supposed to be the link between the given premises and the conclusion.

Alternately, further justification of why the drug would be useful is irrelevant, as the premises already define that it is intended for the aforementioned use. Premises do not need support, they are given; hence, avoid answer choices that support premises.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice presents a new premise about the brain's relationship with the other senses. This new data is irrelevant to the author's conclusion because we know nothing about how the brain adapts to increased ability of other senses. Remember, 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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This answer choice presents a new premise about the actual influence of the drug on the professional's level of performance. Focus on the conclusion: side-effects indicates that the author is not really concerned about the how the drug will affect performance, but more about how it will affect the professionals themselves.

Bravo!

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The author's recommendation to test the drug further tells us that he or she is not 100% sure about it for some reason. This answer choice provides a reason - an assumption that the drug's effect on the brain may be harmful and, therefore, unfavorable.

The shift in the brain's dynamics caused by transition from one visual state to another may have an unfavorable effect.
Testing can result in the finding of additional uses for the drug which will then increase its market value.
To handle the extreme challenges presented to them, police, rescue, and medical services need the use of any practical tool available to them.
The brain adapts to increased visual ability in a similar way to an increased ability of another of the body's senses.
Enhancing the eyesight of the professionals mentioned will not actually result in an increase of their performance.