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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] New post 30 Mar 2004, 18:54
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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 illeness better than normal immune-system activity does.
B. Mental illness is similar to physical disease in its effects on body systems.
C. Peolple 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.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2004, 19:18
D would be required as assumption
If D is negated and mental illnesses do cause people's immune-system activity to decrease, then the conclusion that it is the immune system which protects against mental illnesses would be wrong.

ie if A then B is not equivalent to if B then A.

D has to be assumed.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2004, 19:41
Another vote for D

Do you I need to add anything if the question is already asnwered by
Paul or Anand :P
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2004, 19:52
I would go for D too.

Atleast I have started to answer correctly now. Special thanks to Paul and Anandnk for that.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2004, 20:36
monarc wrote:
What about B?????

B comes close but what if you negate B and say that "mental illness is different to physical disease in its effects on body systems"? This does little to directly attack the conclusion that the immune system can still protects against mental illness as well as against physical disease.

Let (I) = immune system
Let (B) = body system
Let (M) = mental illnesses
Let (P) = physical illnesses

The conclusion is that (I) protects against (M) as well as against (P)
Whether (M) or (P)'s effect on (B) is similar or different is irrelevant.
For instance, let's say that (M) give headaches and (P) give cramps. In this case, (M) and (P)'s effects on the (B) are different but they are irrelevant in destroying the claim that (I) can be as efficient in protecting against (M) as against (P). Hence, the conclusion still stands and B needs not be an assumption
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Thanks [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2004, 06:07
Official answer is D. Thanks all for answering especially Paul with your detailed explanation.
I fell for B as I did not spend enough time to read rest of the choices as I was doing this under time crunch. What threw me off what was the fact that there is an implicit assumption here that Immune system protects physical health simply because it is proven that it protects mental health. But I guess this is not a strong enough assumption comapred to D as without D, argument falls apart.
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2004, 10:47
I dont want to obscure the reasoning with jargon. However the question itself is a classic one.

Correlation b/w A and B --> A causes B. As known, one can draw many inferences from the correlation esp A --> B or B -->A. If one were to select A --> B, the other one B--> A would become a overriding rebuttal. In order to draw the conclusion the way it was drawn, one needs to assume "B does not cause A" or B --/--> A
  [#permalink] 12 Apr 2004, 10:47
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