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CAT Critical Reasoning Practice question with Solution 61

An easy willingness to tell funny stories or jokes about oneself is the surest mark of supreme self-confidence. This willingness, often not acquired until late in life, is even more revealing than is good-natured acquiescence in having others poke fun at one.

Which one of the following inference is most supported by the statements above?

[A]. A person who lacks self-confidence will enjoy neither telling nor hearing funny stories about himself or herself.
[B]. People with high self-confidence do not tell funny stories or jokes about others.
[C]. Highly self-confident people tell funny stories and jokes in order to let their audience know that they are self-confident.
[D]. Most people would rather tell a funny story or joke than listen to one being told.
[E]. Telling funny stories or jokes about people in their presence is a way of expressing one’s respect for them.
Answer: A

Since both the willingness to make fun of oneself and the willingness to allow others to do so are evidence of a self-confident person, we can infer that people who aren't selfconfident aren't likely to enjoy being made fun of, either by themselves or by others. (A) implies that no one who lacks self-confidence will enjoy being made fun of, which may at first seem like a stronger statement than the argument can definitely support. However, the phrase “the surest mark” is meant to indicate that telling funny stories or jokes about oneself is tantamount to being self- confident; in other words, if you tell funny stories or jokes about yourself, then you are self-confident. (A) is the contrapositive of this. Even if you don’t see eye to eye with this logic, as some may not, (A) is still the best of the bunch, and very much in line with the gist of the argument.

(B) Beyond the scope—the passage talks about other people making fun of self-confident people, but says nothing about the reverse scenario.

(C) and (E) are also beyond the scope. There’s no way for us to infer the reason behind the stated correlation (C); that is, why self-confident people put themselves down. And the reason why anyone tells jokes about other people in their presence (what choice (E) discusses) is never discussed.

(D) We have no idea who “most people” are, or what they would prefer.

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