Preptest #23 (LR), Section 2, #18

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Preptest #23 (LR), Section 2, #18

Postby NaturalLawyer » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:41 pm

Can anyone explain this question to me?

One thing that threw me off was that the stimulus mentioned nothing about violence on television, but answer choices (except (E)) did.

Thanks in advance!


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Re: Preptest #23 (LR), Section 2, #18

Postby petrovovitch@ » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:59 pm

a is wrong because it's faulty correlation implies causation reasoning
b is correct because it directly implies the conclusion of the stim
c is wrong because again correlation implies causation
d irrelevant
e would imply the conclusion if the stim had mentioned that people increased their leisure time to watch tv.

i'll admit this one threw me too since like you said the stim doesn't say anything about violence on tv.

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Re: Preptest #23 (LR), Section 2, #18

Postby yzero1 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:04 am

The stimulus is basically saying that watching TV influenced the growth rates of homicides in rural and urban areas. It offers support by noting that TVs became popular about 5 years earlier in urban households than in rural households and, similarly, urban homicide rates shot up 4 years earlier than rural homicide rates.

But the relationship between TV and homicide isn't clear. Just because TVs became popular 5 years earlier and murder shot up 4 years earlier doesn't mean that TV popularity causes an increase in homicide. What if, conversely, the rate of homicide caused the popularity of violent TV shows to increase? Or, what if some third factor caused both increases?

The key is to affirm the causal relationship between TV watching and murder rates. (B) does just this, by informing us that TV is in fact the cause of violence in society and not the other way around.

(A) doesn't do anything to clarify the assumed relationship - it could be that the low homicide rates cause the low # of violent TV programs. Or they could merely be an example of correlation without causation.

(C) This doesn't do much to the argument. If anything, it weakens it because if there were no violent TV programs during the advent of television, then it is unlikely that these programs caused the spikes in homicide rates.

(D) This is irrelevant because it talks about the age of the viewer, which is not mentioned in the argument and does nothing to affirm the causal relationship.

(E) Incorrect because there is no evidence that the advent of TVs had an impact on the amount of one's leisure time. It is possible that people just substituted some of their old leisurely activities with watching TV.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Preptest #23 (LR), Section 2, #18

Postby Anaconda » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:09 am

Keep in mind strengthen/weaken questions allow you to add outside information/evidence. This question is a little tricky for a 2 star, but A is wrong because it doesn't prove the relationship is causal, whereas B does clearly. Once you read both A and B it's clear B is the one that strengthens the conclusion.

The answer choices for weaken/strengthen can mess around with the scope of what's explicitly being discussed a tiny bit (such as in this question) as long as it doesn't go outside of it. That's why violence on television is fair-game even though it's not in the stimulus.


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Re: Preptest #23 (LR), Section 2, #18

Postby NaturalLawyer » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:03 pm

Thanks for the responses. Yeah -- the modification of the scope of the issue (violence on television, rather than just television) did throw me off a bit.

But it makes sense now.

I appreciate all the answers!

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