HSPT Verbal : Drawing Logical Conclusions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HSPT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Logic

Some professors are interesting people. All interesting people are good conversationalists. Peter is a good conversationalist. Which of the following is true?

Possible Answers:

Peter might be a professor.

Peter cannot be a professor.

Peter is an interesting person.

None of the other answers

Correct answer:

Peter might be a professor.

Explanation:

Since Peter is a good conversationalist, there is a chance that he is an interesting person. All interesting people are good at conversation. This does not mean, however, that all people who are good at conversation are interesting people. (The direction goes: If interesting then good at conversation); therefore we can eliminate the flat claim that he is an interesting person. At best we can say that he might be interesting. Likewise, the correspondence between professors and being interesting is not absolute (only some are interesting). We cannot rule out that Peter is a professor based on what we have said. Thus, this weak claim is the best answer.

Example Question #2 : Logic

Some fanatics shout loudly. Some people who shout loudly get hoarse throats. John is fanatically devoted to video game playing. Which of the following is true?

Possible Answers:

John's throat might be hoarse.

John does not have a hoarse throat.

None of the other answers

John likely does not have a hoarse throat.

John likely has a throat that is not hoarse.

Correct answer:

John's throat might be hoarse.

Explanation:

Now, since John is fanatically devoted to video games, we can call him a fanatic in general. Based on the information provided, we cannot say what percentage of fanatics shout loudly. Likely, we do not know what percentage of those who shout loudly get hoarse throats. The safest thing to presume is merely that there is a chance that John shouts loudly and, because of that chance, there is a chance that he has a hoarse throat. Nothing more speceific can be determined.

Example Question #1 : Drawing Logical Conclusions

Standing next to a loud speaker can cause you to become deaf. Bob regularly stands next to loud speakers. Which of the following is true?

Possible Answers:

Bob is likely to become deaf.

Bob will become deaf in the future.

Bob likely will not become deaf.

None of the above

Bob is deaf.

Correct answer:

None of the above

Explanation:

Note that all of the incorrect answers assert likelyhood to some degree. This is not merited by the information that is provided. All that we know is that there is a chance that someone standing next to a speaker will ultimately become deaf. Whether or not this will happen is left relatively undetermined. Since it is better not to presume one way or the other, the best option is "none of the above."

Example Question #2 : Drawing Logical Conclusions

Buildings often are damaged in earthquakes. Blueburgh rarely has earthquakes. Which of the following is true?

Possible Answers:

Blueburgh is generally safe.

Blueburgh likely has few damaged buildings.

Blueburgh has several damaged buildings.

None of the other answers.

Blueburgh is very safe.

Correct answer:

None of the other answers.

Explanation:

All of these potential answers presume too much. We can say nothing concerned with the safety of Blueburgh. For all we know, it might be plagued with flesh eating locusts or fire-breathing dragons (or at least something dangerous and real, even if not earthquakes). Regarding the damaged buildings, we likewise do not know if (for example) the city often has fires that damage buildings. We cannot extrapolate anything about the general damage of buildings based on the information that we have been provided here. Thus, the best answer is "None of the other answers."

Example Question #5 : Logic

Wind power is more popular than coal power. Coal power is more pragmatic because it is more cost-effective. The people of Uniontown are practical and, on average, tend to make purely practical choices. Which of the following is true?

Possible Answers:

The people of Uniontown will likely love coal power.

None of the other answers.

The people of Uniontown will hate wind power.

The people of Uniontown will be more likely to choose coal power than wind power.

The people of Uniontown will love coal power.

Correct answer:

The people of Uniontown will be more likely to choose coal power than wind power.

Explanation:

First of all, note that "pragmatic" means "sensible and practical." Thus, since the people of Uniontown make practical decisions, they are at least (on average, based on our information) more likely to choose a pragmatic solution—that is, coal power. We can say nothing about whether or not they will love or hate either option. Indeed, they might hate making the choice, though they know it is the practical thing to do (and hence prefer it without wholly loving it).

Example Question #5 : Logic

Vermin infestations always bring down the price of a house. My house is filled with giant rats. Which of the following true?

Possible Answers:

My house is worthless.

My house is a health risk.

My house will be worth less in the future.

The valuation of my house is lower than it could be.

My house needs fumigation.

Correct answer:

The valuation of my house is lower than it could be.

Explanation:

Note that all we can speak about is the situation right now. (This immediately elimnates the claim about the cost of the house in the future). Now, rats (giant or not) are a type of "vermin." Thus, their presence has defintely brought down the value of my house. This is the only thing I can say with certainty among the options provided. The house is not necessarily worthless, and while I should eliminate the potentially disease-carrying animals, the information provided only allows me to say that my house has likely lost value because of their presence in the house.

Example Question #6 : Logic

All books are made of acid-free paper. Most newspapers are printed on acidic paper. A bin has a mix of acidic and non-acidic paper. Which of the following must hold?

Possible Answers:

There are newspapers in the bin.

We cannot determine if there are books or newspapers in the bin.

There might be books in the bin.

Books are likely in the bin.

There is a mixture of newspapers and books in the bin.

Correct answer:

We cannot determine if there are books or newspapers in the bin.

Explanation:

The information provided merely tells us that books are among the types of objects made of acid-free paper and that most newspapers are among those made of acidic paper. There may be many other types of things made of either type of material, so being told that a bin has a mixture of acidic and non-acidic paper really does not tell us much. Indeed, note that the information merely states that the bin has a mixture of the types of paper. This does not even indicate whether or not the paper has printing on it. That really does not tell us much at all; therefore, among the options provided, the best answer is, "We cannot determine if there are books or newspapers in the bin."

Example Question #6 : Logic

Healthy emotions include only joy, sorrow, and impatience. In a group of people, everyone has exactly two emotions, both of which are healthy, and the healthy emotions can only occur twice in the whole group. Ronald experiences joy and another emotion. Jacob is sorrowful and impatient. Mildred experiences joy and another emotion. Which of the following must be true?

Possible Answers:

Mildred experiences sorrow.

Ronald experiences impatience.

Ronald also experiences either sorrow or impatience.

None of the other answers

Both Ronald and Mildred experience impatience.

Correct answer:

Ronald also experiences either sorrow or impatience.

Explanation:

Let's rewrite our data as follows:

Ronald: Joy and X

Jacob: Sorrow and impatience

Mildred: Joy and Y

We have two of each joy, sorrow, and impatience to be used in the group. This means that Ronald and Mildred could either have sorrow or impatience. Now, do not read too much into the question, thinking that this is impossible—for one of them to have joy and sorrow. Perhaps they experience these at different times. The question is not specific in that regard. We cannot say that Ronald or Mildred must have one or the other—there is not enough data to justify such a specific claim; however, we can say something like, "Ronald also experiences either sorrow or impatience."

Example Question #1 : Drawing Logical Conclusions

Some tall people are said to have long toenails. Everyone with long toenails is spiteful. All spiteful people are very unpleasant. After traveling with George, I have decided that he is the most spiteful man alive. Which of the following must be true?

Possible Answers:

George is likely to have long tonails.

George is very likely to be tall.

George has long toenails.

George is very unpleasant.

None of the other answers

Correct answer:

George is very unpleasant.

Explanation:

Do not be fooled by the implications of the statements regarding tallness and toenails. While everyone with long toenails is spiteful, it is not necessary that everyone who is spiteful to have long toenails. (Someone could be spiteful merely for the sake of spite, for instance). Likewise, we cannot conclude that George is likely to be tall. Still, we can make the certain conclusion that he is very unpleasant, for all spiteful people are very unpleasant.

Example Question #4 : Drawing Logical Conclusions

Some hobos are completely antisocial. If they are not, they must be musicians. Ronald is a member of “Club Euphonious,” which is a society of hobos. Which of the following must hold?

Possible Answers:

Ronald is potentially a musician.

None of the other answers

Ronald is a musician.

Ronald is not a hobo.

Ronald is not a musician.

Correct answer:

Ronald is a musician.

Explanation:

Given that Ronald is a hobo in a (self-created) society (or club of sorts), we cannot say that he is completely anti-social. At least based on the information that we are provided, if you are a hobo who is not completely anti-social, you must be a musician. Thus, since Ronald is a non-anti-social hobo, he must be a musician.

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