Prompt: As people rely more on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent with 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 may or may not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
As far as I’m concerned, I would say that the ability of humans to think for themselves is affected, yes, but will not necessarily deteriorate, due to issues pertaining to the meaning of deterioration in this context. Since technology allows humans to free them up from performing menial tasks, it gives people greater freedom to think about the deeper implications of their actions by freeing up intellectual effort from the more mundane operations. Yet being able to perform menial tasks to a lesser degree doesn’t mean one’s ability to think is diminished, given that there are things that cannot be done with technology alone.
One may be tempted to say that advances in information technology, among other technologies, render people less capable of thinking for themselves. It is true that classical computing has a far greater memory capacity than most people, and that technology can save humans the hassle of performing tedious tasks, out-performing humans in computational tasks, for example, and, likewise, heavy hauling. If one considers deteriorating of thinking primarily in terms of tedious tasks, then, yes, one may very well say that the ability of humans to think for themselves has been diminished by ever-greater use of technology, especially when one may be given the impression that technology provides cut-and-dried solutions.
However, proper use of technology does require some thought, given its limitations. Consider computer software, for instance. If one uses computer technology thoughtlessly, consequences can happen to their users, perhaps even leading to death, by denying life-saving treatments due to an incorrect input or, as happened in a cancer center a couple of years ago, improper delivery of treatments due to faulty technology. Hence humans must still give some thought into their usage of technology.
In addition, proper use of technology can also be used as a support for thinking rather than a hindrance, especially when used for purposes that are not cut-and-dried. Let’s consider, in high-profile examples, Catia V and AutoCAD, software widely used in engineering for computer-aided design; when properly trained and used, its users actually use technology as a support for reasoning, since it allows its users to see flaws in their reasoning that they would not have seen otherwise.
In conclusion, I’d say that technology is both a boon and a hindrance to humans’ ability to think for themselves, given the wide array of uses technology has, as well as the equally wide array of users, that currently exists.
I know it's a wall of text, and I used a prompt straight out from Powerprep II (and the preview tool at that), but I am confident about verbal (scored 158-160 in practice tests) and quantitative (scored 167-170 on practice tests)... The only thing that worries me is the AW section since Powerprep II is clueless about that section, and I didn't want to spend $13 on ScoreItNow.