- PowerScore Staff
- Posts: 8203
- Joined: Feb 02, 2011
Evaluate the Argument—CE. The correct answer choice is (C)
In the recent study discussed by the journalist in this stimulus, people who drink three cups of decaffeinated coffee per day were compared with people who drink three cups of regular, caffeinated coffee per day. The group of decaffeinated coffee drinkers were twice as likely to develop arthritis (inflamed joints that result from damaged connective tissue). The author concludes that decaffeinated coffee must contain ingredients that can damage connective tissue and cause arthritis:
- Premise: Regular consumers of decaf coffee were found to be twice as likely to develop arthritis, a condition resulting from damaged connective tissue.
Conclusion: Decaffeinated coffee must have ingredients that cause damaged connective tissue.
Answer choice (A): This choice attempts to introduce another consideration—regular exercise—but the question of whether regular exercisers drink decaf is not relevant to this study, which assessed two groups with very specific drinking habits: exactly three cups of either regular or decaffeinated coffee, depending on the group. The tendencies of regular exercisers is not relevant to the argument made by the journalist, which is limited to the comparison of two specific groups, so this choice should be ruled out of contention for this Evaluate the Argument question.
Answer choice (B): This choice deals with how often decaffeinated coffee drinkers tend to drink coffee, as compared with regular coffee drinkers. These tendencies, however, are not relevant to the journalist’s argument, which is focused on people who drink a very specific amount of their chosen coffee. Since the study discussed dealt exclusively with people who drink exactly three cups of coffee per day (be it caffeinated or decaffeinated), this answer choice would not be helpful in evaluating the journalist’s argument.
Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. The question of whether caffeine can slow the degeneration that causes arthritis is certainly a relevant one; if caffeine is able to slow degeneration, then that would provide another possible explanation of the survey’s results: the author concludes that the decaf drinkers were consuming something that was detrimental, but perhaps in reality, the regular coffee drinkers were giving themselves an extra advantage.
Answer choice (D): The study discussed by the journalist deals only with people who drink three cups of coffee per day, so the issue of whether most coffee drinkers consume more is irrelevant. Since this choice is not helpful in evaluating the journalist’s argument, it should be ruled out of contention for this Evaluate question.
Answer choice (E): Whether the arthritic are very likely, or exceedingly unlikely, to consume coffee does not matter in this case, since the study in the stimulus focuses on the differences between people who drink three cups of regular coffee per day, and those who drink three cups of decaffeinated coffee per day. Since the issue presented in this choice is irrelevant to the journalist’s argument, it cannot be the right answer to this Evaluate question.