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Analytical Ability

171. For years, anthropologists have viewed as the inevitable result of contact between cultures, the domination and replacement of one culture by another. This scenario was thought to have occurred when Egypt conquered its southern neighbor, Nubia, in 150 B.C. However, a recent study of a burial site of high-ranking Egyptians in Nubia reveals that some were buried according to Egyptian tradition, and other were buried according to Nubian custom. This finding indicates that members of both cultures may share in the ruling of a conquered region.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the argument?

(a) The burial site also housed the remains of several visitors from nations other than Egypt and Nubia, and most of those visitors were buried according to Egyptian tradition.
(b) Nubians who were buried in Egypt during the same period were buried according to Egyptian tradition.
(c) The burial site was not used as the resting place of Egyptians until 25 years after Egypt conquered Nubia.
(d) More than three-quarters of the people interred at the burial site are thought to have been Nubians.

172. City Council: Cities may issue municipal bonds to fund public projects. Because the interest paid to the bond holder is tax-exempt, municipal bonds are an attractive investment. So, to pay for the five state-of-the-art school buildings needed to accommodate our growing student population, Northopolis should issue a ten-year, $200 million bond, thereby paying for the buildings with revenues from an expanding tax base.

Which of the following, if true, casts the most serious doubt on the likelihood that the bond issue recommended above will have the result that is claimed?

(a) Most Northopolis citizens would be reluctant to support a tax increase to pay for new school buildings.
(b) Because municipal bond interest is tax-exempt, bond issues can severely affect a city's tax revenues for the life of the bond, despite the short-term benefits.
(c) Many popular investments are created by pooling state and municipal bonds to create tax-exempt index funds.
(d) Estimates of the cost of five new school buildings vary from well below $200 million to well above $200 million.

173. Demographic experts predict that the global human population will reach its peak sometime in the middle of this century, after which it will begin to decline. Population growth is driven primarily by high birth rates in developing countries. It is known that when women have access to education and economic opportunities, they choose to have fewer children. Therefore, these experts propose expanding educational and economic opportunities to women in developing countries to bring about an earlier and smaller population peak.

Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest grounds to doubt that the experts' proposal, if adopted, will achieve its aim?

(a) The demographic experts proposing expanding opportunities for women in developing countries made the same recommendations over twenty years ago.
(b) The experts' prediction is based on realistic assessments of the educational and economic opportunities that can be made available to women in developing countries before that time.
(c) Many women in industrialized countries will continue to have four or more children despite access to a variety of educational and economic opportunities.
(d) The demographic experts fail to explain why an earlier and smaller population peak is preferable to a later and larger peak.

174. Economist: The law of demand predicts that as the price of a good goes down, demand for that good will increase, and vice-versa. In a recent experiment, economists gave coupons for rice to families in a province of China, where it is a staple food. The coupons effectively lowered the cost of rice, and should have led the families to buy more of it. Instead, households given the coupons purchased less rice than a control group who did not receive coupons.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the amount of rice purchased by families who received coupons?

(a) Chinese families spend an unusually high proportion of their income on rice.
(b) The prices of staple goods, including foodstuffs such as rice, do not fluctuate as much as those of non-necessary goods, such as consumer electronics.
(c) In the months before and after the experiment, the average per-family consumption of rice in the Chinese province steadily decreased.
(d) The availability of the coupons meant that families had more money to spend on other things, including more expensive substitutes for rice.

175. Driving under the influence is a more severe problem among college students at rural and suburban universities than at urban universities. Social scientists wanted to determine how much of the problem is due to the distance students must drive to obtain alcohol. They looked at police records for incidents involving students at a number of universities, and compared those with the mean distances between student housing and bars and liquor stores. The longer the distances, the more likely students were to be arrested or involved in accidents.

Which of the following, if true, would it be most important to take into account in evaluating the result?

(a) Many college students do not purchase alcohol at bars or liquor stores.
(b) Students at rural, suburban, and urban universities are arrested for driving under the influence more frequently than are non-student members of their communities.
(c) The average enrollment at urban universities is greater than that at rural and suburban universities.
(d) Local sheriff's departments near rural and suburban universities devote more resources to identifying and arresting those driving under the influence than do urban police forces.

176. Some large European cities, such as Paris and Barcelona, have implemented bicycle sharing programs that allow people, for a small fee, to obtain a bike at any of hundreds of locations and drop it off near their destination. Currently, most large U.S. cities face congestion with cars and taxis, have few bicycle lanes, and discourage the locking of bicycles to poles and fences. Therefore, until the culture of cities becomes less hostile to bicyclists, a wide scale program will not be a viable form of alternative transportation.

Which of the following would it be most useful to determine in evaluating the argument?

(a) Whether an sharp increase in the number of bicyclists in U.S. cities would change attitudes toward bicyclists
(b) Whether U.S. who drive cars know how to operate bicycles
(c) Whether major U.S. cities have plans to expand the availability of bicycle lanes in downtown areas
(d) Whether the number of people interested in traveling by bicycle is greater in U.S. than in Europe


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