HSPT Verbal : Determining Whether a Statement is True, False, or Uncertain

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HSPT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #41 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Hobbes is more frightening than Machiavelli, who is less frightening than Ockham.  Ockham is more frightening than Scotus but less frightening than Billuart.  Billuart is less frightening than Machiavelli. If the first two statements are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

true

uncertain

false

Correct answer:

true

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this.  “Greater than” (>) will mean “is more frightening than,” and “less than” (<) will mean “is less frightening than.”

(1) Hobbes is more frightening than Machiavelli, who is less frightening than Ockham. This gives us two statements:

(a) Hobbes > Machiavelli

(b) Machiavelli < Ockham, which could also be written: Ockham > Machiavelli

 

(2) Ockham is more frightening than Scotus but less frightening than Billuart:

Billuart > Ockham > Scotus

Now, since Billuart is more frightening than Ockham, who is more frightening than Machiavelli, he (Billuart) is more frightening than Machiavelli.

Example Question #42 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Reginald is stricter than Jacques, who is less strict than Joseph. Joseph is stricter than Peter. Peter is stricter than Reginald. If the first two statements are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

false

true

uncertain

Correct answer:

uncertain

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. “Greater than” (>) will mean “is stricter than,” and “less than” (<) will mean “is less strict than.”

(1) Reginald is stricter than Jacques, who is less strict than Joseph. This gives us two statements:

(a) Reginald > Jacques

(b) Jacques < Joseph, which also could be rewritten: Joseph > Jacques

(2) Joseph is stricter than Peter: Joseph > Peter

Now, we know that Peter is less strict than Joseph; however, let's note the relationship between Joseph and Reginald. We know that both of these men are stricter than Jacques. Still, it is possible that Joseph is very strict, meaning that Peter could even be stricter than Reginald. Likewise, perhaps Joseph is less strict than Reginald. In this case, Peter would be less strict than Reginald.  Therefore, the conclusion is uncertain.

Example Question #43 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Gerbert is wilder than Hilbert, who is wilder than Egbert. Egbert is calmer than Filbert. Filbert is calmer than Gerbert. If the first two statements are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

uncertain

true

false

Correct answer:

uncertain

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. “Greater than” (>) will mean “is wilder than,” and “less than” (<) will mean “is less wild (calmer) than.”

(1) Gerbert is wilder than Hilbert, who is wilder than Egbert: Gerbert > Hilbert > Egbert

 

(2) Egbert is calmer than Filbert: Egbert < Filbert, which also could be written Filbert > Egbert

 

Now, we know that Filbert is wilder than Egbert. This does not sufficiently tell us anything about the relationship between Filbert and either Hilbert or Gerbert.

Example Question #44 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Fantasy is more popular than biographies but less popular than self-help. Self-help is less popular than Thomism. Thomism is more popular than biographies. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

false

true

uncertain

Correct answer:

true

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. “Greater than” (>) will mean “is more popular than,” and “less than” (<) will mean “is less popular than.”

(1) Fantasy is more popular than biographies but less popular than self-help. This gives us:

self-help > fantasy > biographies

 

(2) Self-help is less popular than Thomism: self-help < Thomism

This is the same thing as: Thomism > self-help

That means that we can say:

Thomism > self-help > fantasy > biographies

Therefore, it is true to say that Thomism is more popular than biographies.

Example Question #45 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Nominalism is more problematic than conceptualism but less problematic than direct realism. Conceptualism is more problematic than Poinsotiannism. Poinsotiannism is more problematic than direct realism. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

false

true

uncertain

Correct answer:

false

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. “Greater than” (>) will mean “is more problematic than,” and “less than” (<) will mean “is less problematic than.”

(1) Nominalism is more problematic than conceptualism but less problematic than direct realism. This gives us:

direct realism > nominalism > conceptualism

 

(2) Conceptualism is more problematic than Poinsotiannism: conceptualism > Poinsotiannism

We can combine (1) and (2) to get:

direct realism > nominalism > conceptualism > Poinsotiannism

This means that it is false to say that Poinsotiannism is more problematic than direct realism. The complete oposite is the truth based on these premises.

Example Question #46 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Mathematics is more abstract than natural philosophy but less abstract than metaphysics. Optics is more abstract than natural philosophy but less abstract than mathematics. Optics is more abstract than metaphysics. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

uncertain

true

false

Correct answer:

false

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. “Greater than” (>) will mean “is more abstract than,” and “less than” (<) will mean “is less abstract than.”

(1) Mathematics is more abstract than natural philosophy but less abstract than metaphysics. This gives us:

Metaphysics > mathematics > natural philosophy

(2) Optics is more abstract than natural philosophy but less abstract than mathematics. This gives us:

Mathematics > optics > natural philosophy

This tells us that we can say:

Metaphysics > mathematics > optics > natural philosophy

It is not true to say that optics is more abstract than metaphysics.

Example Question #47 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Hamburgers are more enjoyable than yogurt but less enjoyable than tuna steak. Tuna steak is more enjoyable than bacon. Bacon is less enjoyable than hamburgers. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

true

false

uncertain

Correct answer:

uncertain

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. “Greater than” (>) will mean “is more enjoyable than,” and “less than” (<) will mean “is less enjoyable than.”

(1) Hamburgers are more enjoyable than yogurt but less enjoyable than tuna steak. This gives us:

Tuna steak > hamburgers > yogurt

(2) Tuna steak is more enjoyable than bacon: tuna stead > bacon

 

This does not, however, tell us anything about the relative positions of bacon and hamburgers; therefore the conclusion is uncertain.

Example Question #48 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Cigars have oilier smoke than cigarettes but less oily smoke than pipes. Cornhusks have oilier smoke than pipes. Cigarettes have less oily smoke than cornhusks. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

true

uncertain

false

Correct answer:

true

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. “Greater than” (>) will mean “have oilier smoke than,” and “less than” (<) will mean “have less oily smoke than.”

(1) Cigars have oilier smoke than cigarettes but less oily smoke than pipes. This can be written:

Pipes > cigars > cigarettes

(2) Cornhusks have oilier smoke than cigars: cornhusks > cigar

Therefore, we can combine these to get:

Cornhusks > pipes > cigars > cigarettes

This means that cigarettes do indeed have less oily smoke than cornhusks.

Example Question #49 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Milk is healthier than apple juice and less healthy than carrot juice. Apple juice is healthier than syrup water. Syrup water is less healthy than milk. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

true

uncertain

false

Correct answer:

true

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this.  “Greater than” (>) will mean “is healthier than,” and “less than” (<) will mean “is less healthy than.”

(1) Milk is healthier than apple juice and less healthy than carrot juice. This can be rewritten:

Carrot juice > milk > apple juice

(2) Apple juice is healthier than syrup water: apple juice > syrup water

We can combine all of these to get:

Carrot juice > milk > apple juice > syrup water

It is thus true to say that syrup water is less healthy than milk.

Example Question #50 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Cajetan is more logical than Sylvester. John is less logical than Cajetan but more logical than Francisco. Francisco is less logical than Cajetan. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

false

uncertain

true

Correct answer:

true

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. “Greater than” (>) will mean “is more logical than,” and “less than” (<) will mean “is less logical than.”

(1) Cajetan is more logical than Sylvester: Cajetan > Sylvester

(2) John is less logical than Cajetan but more logical than Francisco.  This can be rewritten:

Cajetan > John > Francisco

Notice that all we need to pay attention to is the second statement.  Here, it states that Fracisco is indeed less logical than Cajetan.

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