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# A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of

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A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2011, 07:43
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A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of immune system activity tend to score much lower on tests of mental health than do people with normal or high immune-system activity. The researcher concluded from this experiment that the immune system protects against mental illness as well as against physical disease.

The researcher's conclusion depends on which of the following assumptions?

(A) High immune-system activity protects against mental illness better than normal immune-system activity does.
(B) Mental illness is similar to physical disease in its effects on body systems.
(C) People with high immune-system activity cannot develop mental illness.
(D) Mental illness does not cause people's immune-system activity to decrease.
(E) Psychological treatment of mental illness is not as effective as is medical treatment.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2011, 07:52
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the stimulus states a correlation that : low level of immune system => bad mental health.
now option D, if false would state the exact oppsotie ie : bad mental health => low level immune system
so, for our conclusion to stand option D should be true.
Ans D

whats the OA, masterBaten80? (sorry, just could resist making the pun)

hope my explanation helped
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2011, 09:34
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2011, 02:30
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wats wrong with C?
on negation, it also destroys the conclusion...
plz explain
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2011, 05:17
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siddharthasingh wrote:
wats wrong with C?
on negation, it also destroys the conclusion...
plz explain

Well, negation technique cannot be used for all the options. Because, on negating, some out-of-scope and irrelevant answers could also come true.

So, it is recommended that negation technique be used after you've eliminated the out-of-scope and irrelevant to the argument options.

Assuming that you've had C and D as close contenders,

C is wrong because it generalizes that high immune people cannot become mentally-ill. However, the question stem talks only about 'protection' in the conclusion.
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2011, 02:29
Imo D
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2011, 20:43
+1 for D. Gud Question.

Negate D & the argument falls apart. Negation is a strong technique to confirm the correct answer.
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2012, 02:30
Why not B? If B is negated then also the argument falls flat..also if we dont use negation technique, option B is more apt than option D (IMO)

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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2012, 19:13
Expert's post
B is a very tempting answer here because the conclusion bundles together mental health and physical disease. This problem type, however, is a very specific CR assumption subtype. In this subtype, the argument will present two factors that demonstrate correlation - in this case Immune System and Mental Illness. The conclusion asserts a causation (without any rationale) from one factor to the next - here the argument concludes that the Immune System protects against Mental Illness. The implicit assumption in that line of reasoning is that the causation does NOT go in the other direction or in other words you have to assume that Mental Illness does not impact the immune system. Answer choice D states that assumption correctly.

KW
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2013, 12:15
This is one of the best OG CR question.

Here the main point is,
mental illness is prevalant not only in lower immune-system but also in higher or normal immune-system.

But Higher or Normal immune-system has less level of mental illness than Lower immune system.

So, good(normal and high) Immune system help to avoid/reduce Mental illness.

Thus, if we reduce the immunity is reduced due to Mental illness , it proves the research is wrong,therefore the assumption is it does not.
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2013, 12:59
Expert's post
Marcab wrote:
wats wrong with C?
on negation, it also destroys the conclusion...
plz explain

ppl with high immune system can cause mental illness... now thats grossly wrong
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2013, 22:12
Even though experts have poured in their thoughts on why (D) is correct, no one has stated why (B) is incorrect.

On my first thought I never got involved in correlation-causation. I thought it was the last criterion after I apply the GAP/HOLE in the argument.

When I look at the assumption question, I just found out one HOLE in the argument.

Premise: Score on TOMH LI<HI
Conclusion: IS protects against MI as well as PD

PD=Physical disease , IS=Immune system, TOMH=tests of mental health, LI=Low immunity,MI=Mental illness.

Nowhere the argument mentioned PD in premises. However, it mentions the same directly in the conclusion.

So, is the leap from TOMH to MI and PD is genuine.

So why (B) cannot be correct one?

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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2013, 08:53
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Hi TGC,

Actually Kyle above did a good job of explaining it. But I'll try again in a different format to see if that helps.

The key issue here is the exact phrasing of the question:

The researcher's conclusion depends on which of the following [b]assumptions
?[/b]

I've highlighted the key words. It means that for the answer to be correct, the answer choice has to be dependant

With Answer B that is not the case - whilst if it were true it would certainly help the argument, the argument does not depend on it. For example there could be a way that the mental and physical ailments affect the body very differrently, but that the immune system still looks after both.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2013, 11:30
Hi Plumber,

My query pertains to the FACT that is the LEAP from

"Mental Health"
To
"Physical Disease"
is CORRECT?

Premise talks about "tests of Mental Health" and Conclusion talks about "Immunity and Physical disease relation".

Is that correct?
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2013, 14:21
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TGC-

In your previous post you mentioned the key without realizing it. The premise discusses the connection between the immune system and mental illness. You said "Nowhere the argument mentioned PD (Physical Disease) in the premises". Physical Disease is only in the conclusion. Assumptions are the logical gaps between Premises and the Conclusion. Since Physical Disease isn't mentioned in the premises, there isn't a logical gap between premise and conclusion related to Physical Disease. Really, Physical Disease in the conclusion is acting as a distractor in the question. You could read the conclusion like this: "..the immune system protects against mental illness (just like it protects against physical disease)". The core of the conclusion is immune system PROTECTING against mental illness.

Now, let's explore option B just a bit to get fully comfortable that it's not the assumption. B states "Mental illness is similar to physical disease in its effects on body systems." Remember that assumptions are the logical gaps between premises and the conclusion.

Premise: People with low immune system score lower on mental health tests (low immune system and low mental health show up together)
Assumption - GAP
Conclusion: Therefore the immune system PROTECTS against mental health (like it PROTECTS against physical disease)

Is there a logical gap involving the effects? Do we have to assume that the EFFECTS of mental illness have to be the same as the EFFECTS of physical disease to assume that the immune system PROTECTS against mental health? No - the effects are out of the scope of the argument. We are concerned about immune system protecting against mental health problems. The immune system can PROTECT against two things that have very different effects (for example - my front door protects my home & family from the weather and from burglars, which have very different effects on my home & family).

Remember to look at the GAP between premise and conclusion. Premise says that IS & MH happen together & the conclusion states that the immune system PROTECTS against mental health. To believe that conclusion we have to assume that bad mental health doesn't impact the immune system (choice D)

KW
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2013, 21:32
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Expert's post
I'm responding to a PM on this and thought the response would be valuable for all...

"Hi,
I agree that B may not be the right choice, But can you explain why [C] cannot be right? Here is my line of thought:
-C.People with High Immune system cannot develop mental illness.
As taught, let us assume this is true. If yes, it establishes a direct relation between Mental Illness and Immune system. Incase we negate it [i.e.-People w/ high immunity CAN be mentally ill], the Authors conclusion breaks apart. However, people say that this answer choice is "really strong and unfounded".
However, the same can be said for answer D too. Also, I think answer D weakens the authors argument as if we are to assume mental illness does not cause low immunity, it does not support the conclusion that 'Immune sytem protects agains both physical and mental illness'...
Kindly explain."

People are right when they say that C is "really strong". C goes beyond what was concluded by the argument. The conclusion says that the immune system PROTECTS against mental illness as well as against physical disease. We know that the protection provided by the immune system against physical disease is not without some faults (we all get sick, right?). Therefore, the conclusion is stating that the immune system is REDUCING the incidence or severity of mental illness, not that mental illness cannot develop. Answer choice C goes beyond the conclusion and therefore cannot be the GAP between the premise and the conclusion.

Now, I'll talk about answer choice D. It's a recognizable pattern on GMAT CR problems that goes back to correlation vs. causation. The argument's premise is that there is a correlation between the immune system and mental illness. Then in the conclusion the author is moving from a "correlation" to an actual causation and that it is the immune system that is "causing" the difference in mental illness. Nothing in the argument is stating that it's the immune system that is impacting mental health, so we have to assume that the causation is not in the other direction - Mental Illness does not cause changes in the immune system.

KW
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2014, 02:05
KyleWiddison wrote:
B is a very tempting answer here because the conclusion bundles together mental health and physical disease. This problem type, however, is a very specific CR assumption subtype. In this subtype, the argument will present two factors that demonstrate correlation - in this case Immune System and Mental Illness. The conclusion asserts a causation (without any rationale) from one factor to the next - here the argument concludes that the Immune System protects against Mental Illness. The implicit assumption in that line of reasoning is that the causation does NOT go in the other direction or in other words you have to assume that Mental Illness does not impact the immune system. Answer choice D states that assumption correctly.

KW

But why the author mentioned about "physical disease"? It's really confusing
Thx.
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2015, 08:13
Expert's post
boris54 wrote:
But why the author mentioned about "physical disease"? It's really confusing
Thx.

That is precisely why physical disease is added - to confuse you. It is a distractor from the core issue of the argument...the direction of the causation.

KW
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2015, 17:23
Expert's post
A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of immune system activity tend to score much lower on tests of mental health than do people with normal or high immune-system activity. The researcher concluded from this experiment that the immune system protects against mental illness as well as against physical disease.

The researcher concludes that the immune system has a protective effect against mental illness because people score lower on mental health tests than the people with normal to high immune-system activity.

The researcher's conclusion depends on which of the following assumptions?

(A) High immune-system activity protects against mental illness better than normal immune-system activity does. The argument compares normal to high versus low levels so this doesn't affect the argument.
(B) Mental illness is similar to physical disease in its effects on body systems.doesn't affect the argument that normal to high immune-system is protective
(C) People with high immune-system activity cannot develop mental illness.argument only goes as far as to say that it is protective, not that it eliminate the possibility of mental illness
(D) Mental illness does not cause people's immune-system activity to decrease.This is necessary, as otherwise it would reverse the purported causal relationship.
(E) Psychological treatment of mental illness is not as effective as is medical treatment.doesn't affect argument
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Re: A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of   [#permalink] 17 Jul 2015, 17:23
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