Preptest 42 section 2 question 3 - about hypertension

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Offline Alabama Slama

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Preptest 42 section 2 question 3 - about hypertension
« on: September 29, 2010, 04:53:41 PM »
I'm stuck between answers D and E. I know that D is correct, but why is E incorrect? It sounds just as good to me for some reason.

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Offline lawdog

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Re: Preptest 42 section 2 question 3 - about hypertension
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2010, 04:23:38 PM »
This is a good example of an LSAT cause and effect scenario. The author notes that high blood pressure and nervousness/anxiety are correlated--people with high blood pressure tend to be more nervous and anxious. But the author then incorrectly assumes a causal link, presuming that nerves and anxiety cause high blood pressure. This is a weak argument, since there are other possible explanations (maybe high blood pressure causes increased anxiety, for example, or maybe a third variable contributes to both high blood pressure and a "hypertensive" personality).

Since the author incorrectly presumes a causal link, the right answer is choice D, which says that the author takes a correlation as proof of a cause.

Answer choice E might look enticing, almost like it presents alternative causes, but the author's mistake is not that other personality traits are left out. The author's mistake is looking at a correlation and presuming a cause/effect relationship. This choice suggests that the author should consider other correlations--but even if other personality trait correlations were considered, it would still be wrong to jump to a causal conclusion, as the author has done in the passage.

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Offline Alabama Slama

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Re: Preptest 42 section 2 question 3 - about hypertension
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 12:33:32 PM »
Thanks, lawdog. That definitely helped!