# LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

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## #11- A recently completed study of several hundred subjects

ChicaRosa
• Posts: 111
• Joined: Aug 23, 2016
#30600
Why is D correct and not E?

I thought D neither strengthened not weakened the stimulus since it mentioned that the study was determined by random basis while E addressed the conclusion of increasing one's life span.

Thanks!
David Boyle
• PowerScore Staff
• Posts: 836
• Joined: Jun 07, 2013
#31269
ChicaRosa wrote:Why is D correct and not E?

I thought D neither strengthened not weakened the stimulus since it mentioned that the study was determined by random basis while E addressed the conclusion of increasing one's life span.

Thanks!

Hello ChicaRosa,

Answer E is not helpful; we really don't care why someone wants to exercise. Answer D is good because it helps preclude things like a reverse cause, e.g., it's not that the people who exercise become the healthiest (or tending to live the longest), it's that those who are already healthy then tend to exercise the most.

Hope this helps,
David
cmorris32
• Posts: 88
• Joined: May 05, 2020
#79340
Hi PowerScore!

Based on my understanding of this stimulus, it is Cause and Effect Reasoning, and the conclusion is that exercise can cause one's life span to increase.

I know that one of the ways to strengthen a causal argument is to show that a data/statistical problem does not exist. Would answer choice D fall under this category? I was kind of thrown off by this answer because I feel like this is an uncommon way to strengthen a causal argument.

In addition, if a survey is presented in a stimulus, is it reasonable to believe that it is accurate?

- Caroline
jdconnect
• Posts: 1
• Joined: May 28, 2020
#79553
I am also seeking help with this question. I think Caroline is on the right track by acknowledging that D) strengthens in that it accounts for statistical bias. Keeping in mind that the conclusion is that exercise can increase one's lifespan, if the subjects are randomly selected to either exercise or refrain from exercise, then the possibility that there was some ulterior cause which led some subjects both to die and to refrain from exercise is eliminated.

But doesn't AC B) also eliminate a similar weakening idea? AC B) attributes the lack of exercise to a lack of time, thereby avoiding some ulterior cause which could also have also led to a decrease in lifespan.

I can't convince myself that B) does not strengthen the argument.
Frank Peter
• PowerScore Staff
• Posts: 99
• Joined: May 14, 2020
#79655
Hi JD,

I think the problem with (B) is that it doesn't really have an impact on the argument. When we strengthen an argument we need to think about potential weaknesses with the argument and how we could eliminate those weaknesses. (D) eliminates the potential of a self-selection bias (i.e. the people who choose to exercise during the study may also engage in other healthy habits, making it difficult to say whether it's the exercise or some other habit causing an increased lifespan).

With (B), the reason why certain members of the study chose not to exercise doesn't really help us. Maybe if they found the time to exercise they would also have an increased lifespan, but we need to focus on tightening the connection between exercise and increased lifespan, and eliminating potential alternate causes. (D) does a better job at that because it eliminates one of the biggest weaknesses with the argument. And keep in mind, we are asked to choose the best answer choice. Even if we could think of some ways that (B) might help the argument out, (D) is a stronger choice.

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