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  1. Newbie
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: Feb 2020
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    #1

    Question The cognitive flexibility of successful fictional detectives is often _____ by their

    The cognitive flexibility of successful fictional detectives is often _____ by their cultural ambivalence: detectives’ intellectual acumen, it seems, exists in direct proportion to their uneasy
    place in society.

    A. amplified
    B. highlighted
    C. spurred
    D. matched
    E. negated

    Hello,

    This is a GRE question, and the answer is D. With this answer in the blank, the sentence repeats the same relationship (matched/exists in direct proportion to) between 2 things.

    I understand that "the cognitive flexibility" and "intellectual acumen" roughly mean the same thing. But for this answer to make sense, "their cultural ambivalence" and "their uneasy place in society" must also indicate the same concept or at least have a close relation.

    As far as I know, "their uneasy place in society" probably means they have a tough upbringing or some sort of cultural identity issues or stuff like that. And "their cultural ambivalence" means that they have contradictory emotions and attitudes towards the culture and the society. I just fail to draw a logical link between these two concepts.

    Did I misinterpret these concepts or some other parts of this sentence? Or did I miss something about the link between these 2 concepts?

    Please help. Thanks!

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: The cognitive flexibility of successful fictional detectives is often _____ by th

    It doesn't matter whether your understanding of those concepts matches the understanding of the writer.

    What matters here is that the person answering the question can sense that, for the writer at least, there is a logical link.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    Interested in Language
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      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

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    #3

    Re: The cognitive flexibility of successful fictional detectives is often _____ by th

    You managed to present four phrases I was previously unacquainted with--and all in the same sentence!

    I am not sure what that question is supposed to test.

    I would probably get a bad grade on that test, indicating that I am not proficient in English.
    Not a professional teacher

  4. Newbie
    English Teacher
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      • Chinese
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      • China
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    • Join Date: Feb 2020
    • Posts: 2
    #4

    Re: The cognitive flexibility of successful fictional detectives is often _____ by th

    Thanks, jutfrank.

    That makes sense. I guess as long as the reader is able to sense that the sentence is talking about a relationship between 2 pairs of concepts, the exact meaning of those concepts doesn't matter that much.

    Tarheel, this question is in a test meant to evaluate logic skills for native speakers. So if you struggle with some of the questions, that just means your English is not native level, or that you are not familiar enough with the structure of these questions. It doesn't indicate much about your English proficiency.

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