Critical Reasoning

Critical Reasoning

Critical Reasoning (CR) questions tests your ability to understand logical structures such as arguments, inferences and more. There are several different types of CR questions but the general question structure always presents some kind of argument and then asks you to weaken or strengthen the argument, or identify flaws in the logic or incorrect assumptions.

Each test contains 10-12 CR questions.

Example of a Critical Reasoning question in the verbal section of the GMAT:

Gesticulations, the hand motions that accompany a person's speech, are often involuntary and sometimes are produced entirely unwittingly when a person is involved in an emotional or heated conversation.  Clearly then, when drivers have a fit of road rage, step out of their cars, and shake their fists at one another or otherwise gesticulate, they are unaware of their body language.

Which of the following casts doubt on the argument?

A. When drivers are involved in an altercation, they are not necessarily in a deeply unsettled or highly emotional state, and instead are calmer than is often expected.

B. After most disputes on suburban streets, the two parties find a resolution without needing help from the authorities.

C. A neural pathway exists between the limbic cortex, the area of the brain that controls emotions, and the anterior and prefrontal cortex, the areas that control motor activity.

D. People commonly restrain the impulse to fully express themselves when the emotions arising from their current state are in any way negative.

E. Frequently, road rage puts people into a state of mind in which they do not feel they can fully express themselves verbally and must communicate nonverbally.


Answers and Explanations:
 A. This is outside of the scope because the argument is concerned with people who are in a rage.
B. Whether or not the people can resolve the conflict independently does not reflect in any way whether or not they are aware of their body language.
C. This answer strengthens the argument by suggesting that motor impulses and emotions are automatically linked in the brain and therefore emotions lead to gestures automatically, without a person making a decision to gesticulate.
D. This answer strengthens the argument by suggesting that gesticulation does not usually result from a person's decision to gesticulate, since people usually try to restrain themselves.
E. Correct:  This answer suggests that angry drivers often gesticulate not unwittingly, but on purpose because they can better express themselves in this way.


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