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#7 - Although most people know what their bad habits are and

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:28 am
by mpoulson

I don't understand how to arrive at Answer A. How do you get from the text to the answer? It doesn't seem to follow a logical pattern or method or reasoning.



Re: Question 7

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:52 pm
by Emily Haney-Caron
Hi Micah,

I'm happy to help you with this one! Can you explain how you approached the question and which answer you chose? That will help me tailor my answer a bit and make it more helpful.

Re: #7- Although most people know what their bad habits are

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:14 am
by mpoulson
Sure. I read the passage and gathered that it is difficult to change a habitual behavior because it is vividly painful and the future benefits are hard to picture. I didn't recognize any conditional reasoning or something that would alert me to do something specific. Nevertheless, I read through the answer choices looking for something that was supported by the statement. I read A and it seemed like a novel idea but I couldn't see anything that would ensure that people would be able to change their habits. B seemed strong in that if people see there pain in the future from there habits then they might discover the pain of keeping them is worse then breaking them. C seemed somewhat useful in that if people got through the pain of breaking habits before maybe they could do it again. D seemed largely unhelpful and E I didn't really give much thought. Ultimately, I chose B, but not because I was particularly confident in the answer. I just couldn't see any specific thing that led to A being the answer and so here we are.


Re: #7- Although most people know what their bad habits are

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:21 pm
by BethRibet
Hi Micah,

Thanks for elaborating.

The stimulus tells us that it is hard to quit bad habits for two reasons -- immediate pain, and the benefits seem remote.

So for instance, if you've ever been getting into going to the gym or working out, when you're really out of shape, it's immediately painful and difficult, and even though abstractly you know that later you'll feel stronger and healthier, what's right in your face is that your muscles ache and you're tired.
So if you're not good at staying focused on and being able to picture the long-term goal -- meaning how later you're going to be all toned up and feel strong -- then it would be hard to get past the immediate pain to keep working out. But if you're good at imagining the future in which your hard work will pay off, then it would be easier not to quit working out.

Answer choice A is similar, it's basically telling us that the people who are better at imagining the benefit (being free of a bad habit, in this case) are going to be the most successful at staying with their goals. This makes logical sense -- one of the two reasons it's hard to quit is that the benefits seem remote. So people who are better at working around that obstacle, would be better at quitting.

Hope this helps!

Re: #7- Although most people know what their bad habits are

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:42 am
by mpoulson
I follow your logic, but what would make A better B or E. I am not tracking why A specifically is the best answer provided. I see that why A would be useful, but I think I am missing a key point that makes it clear. Are you saying that A gets rid of one of the reasons for why bad habits are hard to quit and that's what makes it more helpful?

Re: #7 - Although most people know what their bad habits are

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:16 pm
by Nikki Siclunov

The stimulus suggests that cessation of habitual behavior is difficult for two reasons: 1) the immediate cost is "vividly painful", whereas 2) the long-term benefit is "perceived only dimly because it is remote." Most people are obviously short-sighted: for them, the cost of cessation outweighs the benefits. Inversely, those who can play a long game stand a better chance of success.

Precisely what kind of a "long game" are we talking about? It is clear that something "immediately and vividly painful" tips the scales against pursuing the course of action that will cause such pain. It stands to reason, therefore, that something immediately and vividly beneficial will have the opposite effect - it will motivate us to act. Unfortunately, the benefits of cessation are "dimly perceived" and "remote," which is exactly the opposite to what we need (hence, the problem). But, what if someone can imagine such benefits as "vivid," given the power that vividness and immediacy seem to be having on us? Cessation is still going to be painful, but such a person stands a much better chance at succeeding: the benefits are no longer dimly perceived or remote.

Answer choice (B): Vividly imagining your present pain in the future will only make matters worse: working out sucks now, but you can also imagine it will suck in the future. Such people are going to be the least likely to succeed.

Answer choice (E): Remembering pain from the past - even if vividly - may spur action; however, there is no reason to believe that such people will be most successful in the future. Is cessation still painful in the present? Yes. Is the benefit of cessation still "dimly perceived" and "remote"? Unfortunately, yes.

Basically, as you pointed out yourself, answer choice (A) gets rid of one of the reasons why quitting is so hard. None of the other answer choices do that.

Hope this clears things up!

Re: #7 - Although most people know what their bad habits are

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 5:06 pm
by Khodi7531
My issue with A was that I didn't like how it still spoke of a "remote" benefit. I thought that was part of the issue. Obviously the attainable benefit I liked about it but got rid of A and chose B because imagine a still "remove attainable benefit" was still playing into the argument reasoning.

I wanted an answer that said it IS NOT remote..

Thoughts on this?

Re: #7 - Although most people know what their bad habits are

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 5:44 pm
by Emily Haney-Caron
Hi Khodi,

Remote is actually critical here, and inclusion of that language is part of the reason answer A is correct!

Here, "remote" means distant in time - far off in the future (in contrast to immediate). To be successful, people need to be able to really feel the possible benefit of ending a bad habit, even though it is remote.

We can't take out the remote language; it's in the stimulus, and this is a Must Be True question. We're stuck with it. :-D

Does that make sense?