Psychology/Sociology Qbank 21, Question 9

Post Reply
uvwaves21
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:23 pm

Psychology/Sociology Qbank 21, Question 9

Post by uvwaves21 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:09 am

So the last paragraph in this passage begins with "It is possible that behaviors which promote low fertility and childlessness are actually indirect by-products of natural selection." Then it states, "For empowered women in these wealthy societies, this desire can be indirectly expressed through individual status, the creation of products, or philanthropy. This shift to what is called “meme transmission,” involves emphasizing activities which will provide personal legacy over producing offspring."

The question is "Which of the following best describes the propagation of personal legacy through philanthropy?"

I looked for the keywords "indirect" and I know a latent function indicates "unintended consequences" so I put two and two together but the answer to this question is C. "A manifest function, because it is the intended consequence of philanthropy."

Is the answer C because we were supposed to focus more on the women's intention rather than "natural selection" intentions?
NS_Tutor_Andrew
Site Admin
Posts: 520
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 1:47 pm

Re: Psychology/Sociology Qbank 21, Question 9

Post by NS_Tutor_Andrew » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:03 pm

Hi uvwaves21,

Thanks for the excellent question. This strikes me as kind of a gray area. I think it's clear that wealth transfer would be a manifest function of philanthropy, and that "immortality"—as described by the passage—would be a latent function insofar as it's not to be taken literally and philanthropy is clearly described as a way to "indirectly" satisfy the desire for immortality. However, the question doesn't ask about immortality, it asks about "personal legacy", which is described directly in the last sentence, "This shift to what is called “meme transmission,” involves emphasizing activities which will provide personal legacy over producing offspring," presents such activities as a direct and conscious choice that is more in line with the concept of a manifest function. So we're left with the idea, perhaps, that philanthropy could have two manifest functions: wealth transfer and legacy building. I think that's reasonable enough on one hand -- I live in the Bay Area, where Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has recently put his name on what used to simply be San Francisco General Hospital but is now the "Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center", so the "legacy" he is creating seems far from an accidental byproduct -- but on the other hand, there are philanthropists who prefer to stay anonymous. On the third hand, so to speak, even anonymous philanthropy could be seen as creating a legacy, just not linked to one's name.

So, the short answer is that yes, the right answer is C b/c it's drawing on a sentence that focuses on conscious choice rather than implications for natural selection, and the specific choice of "personal legacy" in the Q stem is designed to draw your attention there. But the above complications, along w/ the fact that the vast majority of students are choosing B, suggest that we may want to revise the Q for clarity. Hope this helps!!
Andrew D.
Content Manager, Next Step Test Prep.
uvwaves21
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:23 pm

Re: Psychology/Sociology Qbank 21, Question 9

Post by uvwaves21 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:11 pm

Thank you for the elaborative response Andrew! The NextStep Psych/Socio passage-based-questions are really helping me out with tackling the AAMC psych/socio!!
Post Reply