Although I got this question right. It was particularly difficult for me. Could you explain it? I used the approach of isolating the conclusion first which paraphrased stated that preventing alcohol made people want more. I easily eliminated A, B, C. D and E were my contenders. I was at first going to select "E' because it talked about preexisting conditions and those could have been things besides the prohibition that made people want more alcohol. I didn't select it because I was like they still wanted the alcohol at the end of the day. I selected "D" because I saw that this answer if anything supported the argument and left it unchanged. Am I correct in my reasoning? I really want to make sure my reasoning is correct so when I move to different challenging problems, I can attack with confidence.
#24 - Between 1951 and 1963, it was illegal in the country
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Thanks for the question Kdup. These EXCEPT questions can be difficult and time-consuming.
You were correct here to focus on the conclusion. Since this is a weaken EXCEPT question, we are looking for answer choices that do not weaken the conclusion, or in other words those that strengthen or have no logical effect on the conclusion. Additionally, this is a cause and effect question. So all wrong answer choices will weaken our causal conclusion in some way, while the correct answer choice will not weaken it.
Answer choice (A): This weakens the conclusion. It gives an alternate cause for the stated effect (death rate increase due to diseases).
Answer choice (B): This also weakens the conclusion by giving an alternate cause for diseases ("other kinds of behavior").
Answer choice (C): This weakens the conclusion by showing that the same effect occurred in other time periods even without the cause occurring.
Answer choice (D): This doesn't weaken the conclusion. It tells us where many people got alcohol from during the prohibition. Yet it doesn't tell us anything about whether these people wanted or used alcohol more during this time period as stated in the conclusion. In other words, (D) is irrelevant and has no logical effect on the conclusion. Which, in an EXCEPT question, makes it the right answer.
Answer choice (E): This weakens the conclusion by giving us another alternate cause for the effect (the "social stigma").
So in sum, I think your reasoning was correct here. Great job in getting this tough question right.
I'm concerned with the answer choice B as it's supposed to give an alternative cause to the problem. However, the premise stated that "the death rate from disease related to excessive alcohol" while B mentions "other kinds of behaviours". And I thought those other kinds of behaviours have nothing to do with the usage of alcohol and the death rate it brought about because people might have died cause of those behaviours such as murders or gunfires but the report was supposed to report the number of deaths caused by alcohol so those 2 rates are not the same.
I can see why answer choice B seemed at first glance to fall out of the scope of the stimulus, but notice the near perfect overlap between "the diseases that can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption" (answer choice B) and "the death rate from diseases related to excessive alcohol consumption" (stimulus). It can be inferred that the death rate statistic mentioned in the stimulus would capture the similar diseases that were caused by the "other behaviors" in answer choice B. There would be no way to distinguish between those two groups of similar diseases (some caused by alcohol and others not), so answer choice B weakens the argument by introducing an alternate cause for some portion of the death rate presented in the stimulus.
Hope that helps!
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