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Re: Evolutionary psychology takes as its starting point the controversial [#permalink]
Please find my responses in-line.

Hope it helps.
nitesh50 wrote:
Hi Gladi.

I have a doubt with respect to Question 3.

Age man is alive in our genome and dictating aspects of our behavior has gained ground in the popular imagination. The tabloids repeatedly run articles about �discoveries� relating to �genes� for aggression, depression, repression, and anything for which we need a readymade excuse. Such insistence on a genetic basis for behavior negates the cultural influences and the social realities that separate us from our ancestors.

When the passage says that "such insistence on a genetic basis", I believe the passage is trying to also refer to what the journalists writing the tabloids believe.
A person tends to insist when she/he believes something.
But the insistence being mentioned by the author I believe is referring to the widespread acceptance of the theory ( which is referred to by the "readymade excuse"and ""ready audience" parts. So even though what you are point to is valid , I do not think the insistence on a genetic basis has been attributed to the tabloids per say but to the public in general whom the author is trying to warn against this...
On this basis, I picked option B. With the above point in view, the author cannot be said to talk about the tabloids when he or she is mentioning the insistence on a genetic basis of the theory but the question is specifically asking about what the author thinks about the tabloids
But I agree with the explaination that it has also been stated to strengthen the claim as stated by you.

Looking forward to your analysis.

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Re: Evolutionary psychology takes as its starting point the controversial [#permalink]
Gladiator59 wrote:
3 mins 57 secs... all correct. Pleasing passage with clear tone.

The author makes it clear early on that he or she is showing a negative tone to the science of evolutionary psychology by this statement "psychologists make unreasonable extrapolations." the behavior of contemporary man (in almost all its aspects) is a reflection of features of the brain that acquired their present characteristics during those earliest days of our species when early man struggled to survive and multiply. this claim of the psychologists does not go down well with the author who says that the popularity of this theory has more to do with a "ready audience" than logical or scientific merit. As everyone is accepting of readymade excuses for bad behavior ( aggression, sexual promiscuousness etc.)
The author goes on to show that the ready-audience driven pseudo-science has popular takers in tabloids as the tabloids are only giving what their audience wants. Finally, an analogy to phrenologists ( former scientists who no longer are considered so as the hypothesis of their science has been proven to be baseless) to warn the user of believing anything that is printed as being bonafide truth.

Main point question - an understanding of the tone of the author is crucial to be able to answer this.
1. The author's primary purpose in the passage is to

A. argue for the superiority of a particular viewpoint Opposite to what we are looking for. Discard
B. attack the popular press Too detailed to be the main point. Also, the author mentions tabloids and not popular press in the passage. discard.
C. ridicule a particular branch of science TRAP - "Ridicule" is too extreme. Also, the author does not believe it to be a true science but rather a pseudo-science.
D. highlight an apparently erroneous tendency in an area of social science BINGO - the author is specifically talking about evolotionary psychology which is a branch of psychology (which is a social science)
E. evaluate a particular theory of human behavior in all its ramifications Discard. The author does not evaluate a theory in all its ramifications but rather give his view points about one.

Detail question whose answer depends on understanding the context with which phrenologists have been introduced in the passage - check the sentence which comes immediately before the intro of phrenologists
2. The author mentions phrenologists as

A. pseudo scientists who are the logical antecedents of evolutionary psychologists Logical antecedents of Evo. psychologists? Not at all mentioned or implied almost laughable. Discard.
B. a group with an inherent appeal to the followers of evolutionary psychologists There is no appeal of the phrenologists to anyone anymore according to the author
C. a warning against blind acceptance of ideas Bingo - the author tries to warn against blind following of anything that is printed and appears to be scientific
D. scientists with whom evolutionary psychologists share common assumptions These two groups do not share common assumptions. One is talking about skull size related to behavior and the other is completely different - genes affecting psychology
E. behavioral scientists who have spawned a variety of wrong ideas TRAP - although they could have been behavioral scientists the passage never talks about "a variety of wrong ideas" but just one wrong hypothesis. Hence discard.

Tabloids are mentioned in a way to strengthen the author's claim that Evo. psychology is well received because it gives the readers what they want and the tabloids also follow suit.
3. The author apparently believes that the journalists writing for the tabloids

A. are more concerned with popular appeal than with authenticity Bingo - this is exactly what catering to the needs of the audience means
B. believe that human behavior has a genetic basis We have no knowledge of what the tabloids do or do not believe. Discard.
C. run the same articles over and over again Laughable and irrelevant. Discard.
D. are victims of the human desire to excuse inexcusable behavior The audience of the tabloids are but not the tabloids themselves. This cannot be inferred from the passage. Discard.
E. are highly irresponsible in their efforts to pander to the public Irresponsibility is off-topic. Discard.

Hope my explanations help you understand better.

but for Q1 i believe that author is not simply 'highlighting' but is rather attacking and mocking calling it pseudo-science and all so 'Ridicule' would be better word than highlight isnt it?
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Re: Evolutionary psychology takes as its starting point the controversial [#permalink]
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