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#4 - Limited research indicates that therapeutic

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Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen. The correct answer choice is (C)

The author recommends increased funding for intervention research that can mitigate the risk factors for mental disorders. The rationale for this recommendation lies in the idea that research could provide a potential means of cost-effectively helping people prone to such disorders. Since we have no information regarding the relative cost of prevention versus treatment, this recommendation is suspect. What if intervention research that mitigates the risk factors of mental disorders is a lot more expensive than treating them after they are manifested? To strengthen the argument, we need to ensure that it is cheaper to prevent than to treat.

Answer choice (A): Comparing the cost of treating mental disorders to other ailments provides no support to a conclusion that seeks to increase funding for intervention research. This answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (B): The feasibility of prevention research or the exact nature of the collaboration it requires play no role in this argument. This answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. If prevention is cheaper than treatment, it might make sense to increase funding for intervention research. (It is still possible that intervention research is not worthwhile, of course. It may be too costly to execute, or the likelihood of designing specific health care measures may be too low. Strengthen questions do not ask us to prove the conclusion 100% - our goal is merely to choose the answer choice that most supports it).

Answer choice (D): Comparing the current level of funding for intervention research to previous levels is irrelevant to the conclusion. If the current level is so high, maybe there is no need to make it any higher? At best, this answer choice provides no support for the conclusion. At worst, it weakens it slightly.

Answer choice (E): If complete cures are rare, the cost of long-term treatment may be high. Because this observation does not allow us to compare treatment costs to intervention costs, answer choice (E) does not provide adequate support for the conclusion.
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Would it be fair to say that answer choice E weakens the argument, just not as much as answer choice C?

Strengthen questions do not ask us to prove the conclusion 100%

Even though answer choice E isn't as strong of an answer as answer choice E, doesn't it still add some support because it makes it more likely that prevention is more cost effective than treating an illness that can rarely be cured and will have to be treated indefinitely?
Malila Robinson
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Hi Martin,
Answer choice E is tricky, but when you closely compare what it is saying to what is stated in the stimulus it does not strengthen the argument because it doesn't add anything that would allow us to determine whether preventative intervention is more cost effective.

The tricky part is that it seems to suggest (without proof) that if money would need to be spent for long-term treatment of the mental disorder it means that spending money on preventative intervention would be more cost effective because that would possibly occur over a shorter term (it is unknown how long it will take to gather the research on prevention, and how long treatment will be for prevention). This suggestion, without providing any comparative monetary amounts, means it is not adding anything that would actually show that preventative intervention is more cost effective than treatment (regardless of whether it is long or short term.)
Hope that helps,