tallulah Posted October 21, 2015 Share Posted October 21, 2015 Hey guys,I couldn't find sample responses to the two essays I had to write for the free Manhattan GRE Test (it said v2) - are there some? If not, would you be so kind to give my essays a look and estimate what score I might get? That would be super helpful!- - - - -People who make decisions based on emotion and justify those decisions with logic afterwards are poor decision makers.Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position."Whether you get married or not, your decision will be wrong". It is said that this quote stems from Sokrates. He already stated what many people would agree with nowadays: Decision making is a difficult process. What is good and what is bad decision making then? Are poor decision makers those who first decide based on their gut feeling and then try to justify this decision with rational arguments? This is the question at hand and my answer to it is definitely "yes".It is normal for human beings to try to justify their decisions. Cognitive psychology has tried to explain why and how people do this and found an effect called "cognitive dissonance": When people make decisions that would normally contradict their values and belief systems, they are looking for arguments to support their decision and in this way to resolve their cognitive dissonance, which is an unfavorable feeling. While this is normal behavior and some might argue that this does not qualify people as bad decision makers, I still would argue that one should find logical arguments for decisions before actually making them.Many examples for bad decision making can be found in politics. A classical example are the people supporting Hitler during his Nazi regime. It is hard to imagine how so many could support his horrible undertaking when searching for logical arguments. Instead, it is easier to understand that those supporting Hitzler were frenzied by his charisma, that they felt united with the other supporters, that many of their feelings and fears were adressed during his speeches and that they consequently bolstered his regime, which for many now seems impossible to believe. It seems clear that the decision to support Hitler was one based on emotion rather than logic and trying to explain it with the latter is a sign of poor decision making.Another political example relating to this issue is the scandal around Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Men of power and status are likewise prone to decisions based on emotion, as his example shows. The former president lied not only to his wife but also to the whole nation by claiming that he did not have sexual intercourse with Lewinsky, who was an intern at his office. When asked, he would probably admit that - had he thought logically about the consequences - he would not have engaged in such behavior with her, but again, his decision did not have much to do with logic. Trying to explain his behavior and his statements, he argued that oral sex is no form of sexual intercourse. While this definition is debateable, it is an instance of desparately trying to explain a clearly irrational act and is thus another example supporting my view that this kind of decision making has deficits.When finally bringing together these political examples with findings from cognitive psychology, it is evident that although explaining emotinal decisions with logical arguments is a common behavior, it cannot be seen as good decision making. It is an attempt to resolve cognitive dissonance, but in my opinion, it would be better to admit that the decision made was suboptimal because it had been based on purely emotional arguments that now seem to have little meaning. Admitting a poor choice and learning from this instance for further decision making is, to me, a more convincing way of decision making than trying to justify bad decisions with all means.- - - - -An international development organization, in response to a vitamin A deficiency among people in the impoverished nation of Tagus, has engineered a new breed of millet high in vitamin A. While seeds for this new type of millet cost more, farmers will be paid subsidies for farming the new variety of millet. Since millet is already a staple food in Tagus, people will readily adopt the new variety. To combat vitamin A deficiency, the government of Tagus should do everything it can to promote this new type of millet.Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.The claim made here is that the government of the poor nation of Tagus should largely promote a new type of millet to combat vitamin A deficiency, which is prevalent in this country. While this undertaking seems noble, several questions need to be answered first in order to ensure that this recommendation is truly a valuable one.First, it is not clear how important vitamin A is. For example, in well-developed Western Countries people also have vitamin deficencies: due to the lack of sunlight, many suffer from vitamin D deficencies. Still, this condition does not really affect their lives negatively. Similarly, it should have been stated how problematic a vitamin A deficiency really is. If the nation is impoverished, there are probably other nutritional deficencies as well which may be more severe and should thus be combatted first. Consequently, it should be stated how dangerous the vitamin A deficiency is to evaluate the recommendation given.Second, too much of a vitamin can also be dangerous. It is not mentioned what consequences an overdose of vitamin A would have. Even such fundamental nutrients such as protein can in higher doses cause, for example, kidney problems. In order to evaluate the recommendation, it should be clear what dose of vitamin A is needed, whether there is a risk of people eating too much millet and if so, how the government would ensure that this would not happen.Third, the high costs of this new type of millet are mentioned. Although it is also said that farmers will receive subsidies, it is both not clear whether these subsidies will outweigh the additional costs associated with the millet and how the government will make sure that every farmer receives this money. It is probable that a poor nation also suffers from a suboptimal infrastructure, which makes it difficult to ensure a unified distribution of money. For the recommendation to be valid, it should thus be ensured that every farmer growing this new type of millet regularly receives a sufficient amount of money.Lastly, it is hypothesized that people will readily adopt the new type of millet because they are already used to eating millet. This is questionable, though, because the people may not be willing to eat even more of it. Instead, they might prefer more fruits or vegetables which they currently do not have access to. There is no information what the people in the country yearn for the most - if this should be more millet, then the recommendation would be logical.To summarize, whether this recommendation should be followed depends on several unanswered questions such as the importance of vitamin A, possible side effects of too much vitamin A, how exactly the heightened costs will be accounted for, and if the people in fact would like the new millet. Cogent answers to these questions are necessary to evaluate the claim that the government should do everything possible to promote the new millet. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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