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#23034
Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen. The correct answer choice is (C)

The stimulus explains that infant mortality is an acceptable indicator of a society's general health status. The stimulus then reports that in some US localities, the mortality rate is higher than in many developing countries, but the overall US rate is declining. The stimulus then cautions (concludes) that US babies are not necessarily healthier on average than they were before.

The cautionary conclusion is not illogical, because it simply reserves judgment. You are asked to support the cautionary conclusion, and generally when you reserve judgment despite having some evidence, it is because you know there may be other factors. The correct response should bring in another factor relevant to infant mortality and infant health.

Answer choice (A): The stimulus already infers that average US figures mask local deficiencies, and restating the stimulus will not improve it. Furthermore, you are supposed to explain why the average mortality figures do not necessarily indicate anything on average about US infant health; you are not supposed to explain why a few localities may not experience improving health.

Answer choice (B): This response discusses what might cause much infant mortality, but you are supposed to explain why a decreasing mortality rate does not necessarily indicate increasing health.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct choice. It is likely that the usual connection between infant mortality and health is taken to be causal. If in the US technology saves a great many unhealthy babies that would otherwise likely die, that challenges the causal connection between health and mortality when in the US, explaining why decreasing US mortality rates do not necessarily stem from, and therefore do not necessarily indicate, increasing health.

Answer choice (D): The fact that the infant mortality rate decreased in 11 states does not explain why generally lower infant mortality rates do not necessarily indicate better health.

Answer choice (E): This incorrect choice explains that infant mortality is not the only cause of infant health, but the stimulus more likely requires support for the idea that infant health is not the only cause of infant mortality. Furthermore, this choice states that if babies do not receive proper care, they will not thrive. Since neither the stimulus nor this choice rules out that the infants receive the proper care, this choice does not explain why health does not improve.
 biskam
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#40190
Here I want to be sure the order of the causal connection... are you saying it's IMF --> health or health --> IMF. I interpret the stimulus as saying the latter.

Thank you!
 biskam
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#40191
biskam wrote:Here I want to be sure the order of the causal connection... are you saying it's IMF --> health or health --> IMF. I interpret the stimulus as saying the latter.

Thank you!
I'm getting confused how this is being seen as causal. I see it more as a paradox q, but if it is causal I want to make sure I'm not missing something big.

Here's my thought process: this q is a sort of paradox--if the IMR is declining, why is health not any better? C describes one such situation--we're saving more babies, so declining IMR, but doesn't mean they're necessarily healthier-- we're seeing more are preemies and underweight babies
 nicholaspavic
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#40201
Hi biskam,

This is definitely a causal issue with "This decline does not necessarily indicate..." Although this is phrased as a traditional Strengthening question, there is something of a paradox going on with decreasing US mortality rates not necessarily stemming from increasing health. It appears that you got the question correct and may just be concerned with the form of the stimulus and question? Remember that the question of "Which one of the following reasons, if true, most strongly supports the claim made above about the implications of the decline?" is definitely a classical strengthening question which is why we classified it as such.

Thanks for the great question and I hope this helped! :-D
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 KwakuS
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#95934
Hello,

Thanks for all the previous responses. I understand the logic for the answer, which is that saving unhealthy babies does not necessarily mean an increase in health. I don't know if I agree with that though. If a country gets better at saving those who aren't healthy, hasn't its health increased? If that is not an example of increasing health, what would increased health look like for this question?

Thanks,
Kwaku

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