- Thu Jun 08, 2023 1:19 pm
It appears from your interpretations that you're assuming that the chess program DID increase the students' academic achievements. The problem is that we don't actually know that at all based on the evidence. This is what the argument concludes, but like most causal arguments, it is inherently flawed.
Here's what we know.
A small group of children learned to play chess in an experimental program and then most had an increase in their academic achievement. Based on that (and nothing more), the argument concludes that the skills developed by learning chess caused the increase in the students' academic performances.
It's important to note that the causal argument is specifically about the "reasoning power and spatial intuition" developed from chess caused the students' improved academic performance. In other words, a situation like Answer C which suggests that the students were motivated to get better grades in order to be on the school chess team does not fall within this causal explanation.
Maybe the chess skills caused the academic improvement, maybe they didn't. There could be any number of possible explanations for the students' improvement that have nothing to do with chess. We just don't know either way.
You mentioned that chess skills could be improving academic performance simultaneously with Answer C, but it is also possible that the skills developed learning chess had nothing to do with the students' improvement and that all of the students' improvement was due to some other cause (such as a desire to join the chess team, as mentioned in Answer C.) Given that this is a possibility (even if we are not certain that is what really happened), it weakens the claim that chess skills by themselves improve academic performance.