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A consumer magazine surveyed people who had sought

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A consumer magazine surveyed people who had sought [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2013, 02:13
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Difficulty:

  55% (hard)

Question Stats:

54% (02:36) correct 46% (01:42) wrong based on 224 sessions
A consumer magazine surveyed people who had sought
a psychologist’s help with a personal problem. Of those
responding who had received treatment for 6 months or
less, 20 percent claimed that treatment “made things a
lot better.” Of those responding who had received longer
treatment, 36 percent claimed that treatment “made
things a lot better.” Therefore, psychological treatment
lasting more than 6 months is more effective than
shorter-term treatment.
Which one of the following, if true, most seriously
weakens the argument?
(A) Of the respondents who had received treatment
for longer than 6 months, 10 percent said that
treatment made things worse.
(B) Patients who had received treatment for longer
than 6 months were more likely to respond to
the survey than were those who had received
treatment for a shorter time.
(C) Patients who feel they are doing well in
treatment tend to remain in treatment, while
those who are doing poorly tend to quit earlier.
(D) Patients who were dissatisfied with their
treatment were more likely to feel a need to
express their feelings about it and thus to
return the survey.
(E) Many psychologists encourage their patients to
receive treatment for longer than 6 months.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: A consumer magazine surveyed people who had sought [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2013, 19:11
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This critical reasoning question focuses on a flawed use of statistics. A higher percentage of people who received treatment for longer than 6 months felt a lot better than did those who received treatment for under 6 months. The interesting thing about this question is that one pool leads directly into the other. People must receive therapy for less than 6 months before converting into the other pool and receiving therapy for more than 6 months.

Answer choice C points this out and weakens the argument effectively. If people are more likely to stay in therapy longer if it is going well, then a higher percentage of those people in therapy for a longer time will respond positively than will those who receive therapy for shorter time periods. Thus it is not necessarily the longer therapy that is more effective, but rather that for people who find therapy effective they stay with therapy longer. This could be thought of as reverse causation of sorts. Instead of long therapy causing more positive results, more positive results will result in longer therapy.

I hope this helps!!!
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Re: A consumer magazine surveyed people who had sought [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2013, 19:46
Hi Brandon,

I was stuck between B & C. Could you please point out the flaw in the option B? Will appreciate. Thanks.

VeritasPrepBrandon wrote:
This critical reasoning question focuses on a flawed use of statistics. A higher percentage of people who received treatment for longer than 6 months felt a lot better than did those who received treatment for under 6 months. The interesting thing about this question is that one pool leads directly into the other. People must receive therapy for less than 6 months before converting into the other pool and receiving therapy for more than 6 months.

Answer choice C points this out and weakens the argument effectively. If people are more likely to stay in therapy longer if it is going well, then a higher percentage of those people in therapy for a longer time will respond positively than will those who receive therapy for shorter time periods. Thus it is not necessarily the longer therapy that is more effective, but rather that for people who find therapy effective they stay with therapy longer. This could be thought of as reverse causation of sorts. Instead of long therapy causing more positive results, more positive results will result in longer therapy.

I hope this helps!!!
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Re: A consumer magazine surveyed people who had sought [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2013, 05:43
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Answer choice B in this question is wrong because it does not specify anything about those who felt it helped being more or less likely to respond, but rather just focuses on those who have received therapy for a longer time period being more likely to respond. Basically it is not focused on the correct differentiator. If there were 100 people who received therapy for more than 6 months and 100 people who received therapy for less than 6 months, and 50 of the people who received therapy for more than 6 months replied, but only 30 of those who received therapy for under 6 months replied, this does not change the fact that a higher percentage of the respondents of the longer therapy were helped.

[quote="mba1382"]Hi Brandon,

I was stuck between B & C. Could you please point out the flaw in the option B? Will appreciate. Thanks.
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Re: A consumer magazine surveyed people who had sought [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2013, 07:36
Thanks Brendon. Indeed nice explanation :-)

VeritasPrepBrandon wrote:
Answer choice B in this question is wrong because it does not specify anything about those who felt it helped being more or less likely to respond, but rather just focuses on those who have received therapy for a longer time period being more likely to respond. Basically it is not focused on the correct differentiator. If there were 100 people who received therapy for more than 6 months and 100 people who received therapy for less than 6 months, and 50 of the people who received therapy for more than 6 months replied, but only 30 of those who received therapy for under 6 months replied, this does not change the fact that a higher percentage of the respondents of the longer therapy were helped.

mba1382 wrote:
Hi Brandon,

I was stuck between B & C. Could you please point out the flaw in the option B? Will appreciate. Thanks.
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Re: A consumer magazine surveyed people who had sought [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2013, 09:57
Well yes, initially it seems that answer c is wrong; However,option c is right as it directly affects the # of people surveyed ( who remained and who left) whereas the option b is more on doubt about the degree of likeliness to respond or surveyed but does not communicate whether they have actually participated in survey or not. But option C, if true, will surly affect the difference in # of respondents responded between the two groups.
Re: A consumer magazine surveyed people who had sought   [#permalink] 29 Nov 2013, 09:57
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