0

From Mastering the National Admissions Test for Law by Mark Shepherd, page 144, the last two sentences of paragraph two:

...Even before this period, there is evidence that the unemployed were more likely to report themselves as retired or permanently sick when unemployment rates were high, as both an economic and psychological coping strategy. These factors may have resulted in a healthier profile for the ‘officially’ unemployed in such areas...

Question 22, p.145:

It is suggested in the article that:
(a) Not everyone who is unemployed reports themselves as such
(b) Not everyone who is sick reports themselves as such
(c) More people report themselves as unemployed than actually are
(d) More people report themselves as sick than actually are
(e) None of the above

From the answer key, p.236:

(a) CORRECT. In the third paragraph it is said that ‘there is evidence that the unemployed were more likely to report themselves as retired or permanently sick when unemployment rates were high’. This implies that not everyone who is unemployed always reports themselves as such.
(b), (c), (d) INCORRECT. This is not considered in the article.
(e) INCORRECT. See above.

I answered (d), but why's it wrong? Doesn't the quoted part prove (d)? Did I misread something?

  • 1
    D) is not implied anywhere by the author. We know nothing about sick people (they may actually not report sick but take leave instead) so we have absolutely no information about the number of sick people in relation to how many report as such. We only know that some that report sick probably are just unemployed and not sick. – oerkelens Sep 11 '14 at 10:39
  • 4
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the logical interplay of a very specific set of elements within a single passage. The issue, as described, cannot be resolved by any increase to English fluency such as this community is equipped to provide. A high level of fluency is required merely to understand the question as well as the querant already does, and it is unlikely to have any bearing on the efforts of present or future users to further their English language learning. – Tyler James Young Sep 17 '14 at 21:59
  • Please discuss the proposed closure of this and several similar questions here. – Tyler James Young Sep 17 '14 at 21:59
1

(d) More people report themselves as sick than actually are

Nope. The passage makes no claims about who is "actually sick" and who isn't. The passage's only talking about tendencies in how people describe their status in not having paid work.

Consider this: maybe they're all sick, and in denial! Note--in particular--that it puts 'officially' in quotes.

...there is evidence that the unemployed were more likely to report themselves as retired or permanently sick when unemployment rates were high, as both an economic and psychological coping strategy...

It's (perhaps?) easy to imagine people who are filling out forms not wanting to tick the "unemployed" box, and instead calling themselves "retired". Possibly a little less easy to imagine why someone would want to self-label as "permanently sick" vs. "unemployed". But perhaps those people want to plea that they aren't working because they "can't do it" vs. that they are "lazy".

Either way, the people don't have jobs. Hence:

(a) Not everyone who is unemployed reports themselves as such

That not everyone uses the word "unemployed" to describe their status of not-having-a-job is not only suggested, but it is used to support the next statement:

These factors may have resulted in a healthier profile for the 'officially' unemployed in such areas...

That means we must assume there was other profile data being gathered besides the "fake unemployed or retired or too-sick-to-work" categorization. Because if there was not additional data, then speaking about the health profile of the "officially unemployed" would not make sense. With no other data, as all actually unemployed people didn't say they were too sick to work...all actually unemployed people would be "healthy".

This health profile data (that exists outside the paragraph) is the only indicator we have of "actual sickness". The deeper suggestion made is:

"If you're only considering the auxiliary health data of the people reporting themselves as unemployed, that data may show more positive trends in health than truly reflects the surveyed population that is jobless. That's because some are taking themselves out of consideration by not labeling themselves 'unemployed'. Were they instead categorized as 'unemployed', the statistics would suggest the unemployed have lower "actual health" than when they are not included.

If anything, that would suggest that (d) is false! The "actually sick" report their status accurately and exclude their health data from the pool; leading to inflated health numbers for those reporting 'unemployed' status. But who knows; it could be retired people whose additional health profile data is bad and the self-reported sick people are watching SpongeBob and reporting having a great time.

| improve this answer | |
  • Also, would you please explain 'If anything, that would suggest that (d) is FALSE!'? If some unemployed who reports sick (but isn't actually), then doesn't this person support (d)? Or are you saying that These factors may have resulted in a healthier profile for the 'officially' unemployed suggests that [the unemployed who reported sick] are actually sick? Otherwise, the profile for the 'officially' unemployed would be less healthy (and NOT as the passage says, healthier)? – AYX.CLDR Sep 19 '14 at 9:38
  • 1
    @LePressentiment Those are forward slashes / and they signify options ("do you want a small/medium/large coffee?"); a backslash is `\`. Regarding the suggestion of (d) being false your comment indicates you understand what I said. If I am an auditor trying to understand the overall health profile of those who do not have jobs, and only consider those self-labeling "unemployed", I might overlook the data for those who self-label "retired" or "sick". The question has been closed and I consider my answer adequate; we've discussed how these questions are a bit off topic for "English learners". – HostileFork says dont trust SE Sep 19 '14 at 14:00
  • Thanks, but sadly, I'm still struggling with your answer (due to my basic English). 1. Can you please clarify 'the "unemployed/retired/too-sick-to-work" categorization'? This is ONE category right, for the unemployed who report as sick or retired? What are the other categories : 'actually sick, actually retired, falsely unemployed, actually unemployed'? 2. Also, would you please explain your last sentence 'But who knows... having a great time'? Those retired people would reduce the 'actually sick' category, while those SpongeBob watches would increase 'the actually unemployed' category? – AYX.CLDR Sep 20 '14 at 9:39
  • Also, about my comment on (d), what are you confirming? I'm confused because I presented two different readings of 'If anything, that would suggest that (d) is FALSE!'?' 1. If an unemployed falsely reports sick, then doesn't this person support (d)? 2. Or are you saying that These factors may have resulted in a healthier profile for the 'officially' unemployed suggests that [the unemployed who reported sick] are actually sick? Otherwise, the profile for the 'officially' unemployed would be less healthy (and NOT as the passage says, healthier)? – AYX.CLDR Sep 20 '14 at 9:54
  • @LePressentiment I read this as people were offered a question like "are you (a) currently employed, (b) currently unemployed, (c) unable to work due to a physical or mental illness, or (d) retired". You had to pick one. Then there were likely other questions like "how many days a year do you feel too depressed to get out of bed". So a claim like "unemployed people aren't very depressed at all!" may be misleading, because of those not being tabulated who some might consider "technically unemployed" who are depressed but preferred to self-label retired/sick of the 4 choices given. – HostileFork says dont trust SE Sep 21 '14 at 9:04

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.