IMAT 2011 Q21 [Conclusion | North America 1800s]

In North America in the 1800s, arguments were often settled by gunfights, in which two people stood face to face a distance apart and tried to shoot one another. Recent experiments on human response times have shown that people act more quickly when responding to an action than when they are the first to move. This supports the view that our brain uses different routes in our nervous system to send messages for intentional and reactive movements.

Which one of the following can be drawn as a conclusion from the above passage?

A. Scientific experiments produce interesting findings.

B. Gunfighters are best advised to wait for their opponents to move to fire.

C. Gunfighters who wait for their opponent to move first would always win.

D. Brains cannot control our reactive movements.

E. Humans can be trained to react more quickly.

Steps for Solving Drawing Conclusions

  1. Read the Question (Every question)
  2. Go through the text and underline evidence
  3. Read the answer and eliminate the outliers
  • (easiest to eliminate contradictory conclusions)
  1. Using the underlined evidence and examples, prove each conclusion. Ask yourself “is this another piece of evidence? Or is this proved and strengthened by what’s in the text?”
  2. Remember to ignore bias and disregard answers that may be true in the real world, but are not supported in the text.

Lets first break down the text. The main idea of the text is that our brain uses different routes in our nervous system to send messages for intentional and reactive moments. This is backed up with data from science experiments, as mentionned in the passage. Now that we have this information, we need to figure out how we can apply it to the first topic introduced, gunfights, and we need to draw a conclusion about this. This is drawing a conclusion because we are given the evidence, main idea, and a topic that need to all be related. Its like receiving all the puzzle pieces and we just have to fit them together.

If the text says that we are faster to react than to initiate the first motion, then it would follow that in a gunfight, we are better to wait until the other person draws their weapon first. Now that we have connected the dots, lets analyse the answers.

A. This is a general statement that could apply to anything. The author does not give us any opinions in the text, and so we cannot conclude this because it is an objective statement. The author may or may not find that scientific experiments produce interesting results, it cannot be drawn as a conclusion.

B. This is what matches our conclusion from earlier. The author states that research shows humans are faster to react than to act. In this case, to win a gunfight, it is better to react to the movement of your opponent. Therefore B is the correct answer.

C. This is opposite to what we can conclude from the text. It says that we are faster to react than to make the first movement, so following this logic, drawing first would result in you losing the gunfight.

D. This is not true. The text says that the brain uses different nervous system routes to send messages for intentional and reactive messages. This means the brain uses 2 different routes, one for intentional movements and one for reactive. Therefore the brain is also responsible for reactive movements according to the text.

E. This is something that may or may not be true in real life, but there is no mention of this in the text. The experiment in the text is only about reaction versus action and which is faster. It does not talk about improving or training reflexes. Therefore it is not the correct answer.