Complete Question Explanation
Resolve the Paradox. The correct answer choice is (B)
The stimulus presents a scenario. Alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure and in turn heart disease, but people who drink moderately actually have a lower incidence of heart disease than do people who drink not at all.
The situation is not as contradictory as it might seem, because it could be true that moderate drinkers are inherently different from teetotalers, or that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial even though higher consumption would be harmful. Since you are asked to resolve the paradox, you should focus on such possibilities.
Answer choice (A): If people who do not consume alcohol at all are likely to exercise and eat well, that might make it even more difficult to understand why people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol are better off when it comes to heart disease. This choice could make the discrepancy worse rather than resolve it, so this choice is wrong.
Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. Even though it is reasonable to expect other resolutions, if most of the non-drinkers had previously been heavy drinkers, they might have developed heart disease already, which could explain why the non-drinker group has a higher incidence of heart disease than the moderate-drinker group, even though drinking is linked to heart disease.
Answer choice (C): If the moderate drinkers occasionally drank large quantities of alcohol, it becomes more difficult to understand why they are not worse off, rather than better off, than the non-drinkers, so this choice is wrong.
Answer choice (D): You are asked to explain why there is a difference in heart disease, not to address blood pressure. Furthermore, the stimulus states that high blood pressure leads to heart disease, so if you assumed that this choice means that on average moderate drinkers have high blood pressure, you should have concluded that this choice makes it more difficult to understand why moderate drinkers are better off. In fact, since “some” means “at least one,” this incorrect response indicates little about the averages and tells you just about nothing.
Answer choice (E): If the two groups of people are very similar in a variety of factors, that makes it more likely that the groups can be reliably compared to each other. However, the general similarity of two groups does not provide an explanation for any differences, so this choice is wrong.