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Half of the subjects in an experiment the experimental group

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Half of the subjects in an experiment the experimental group [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2011, 11:30
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C
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E

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81% (02:10) correct 19% (00:35) wrong based on 90 sessions
Half of the subjects in an experiment—the experimental group—consumed large quantities of a popular artificial sweetener. Afterward, this group showed lower cognitive abilities than did the other half of the subjects—the control group—who did not consume the sweetener. The detrimental effects were attributed to an amino acid that is one of the sweetener’s principal constituents.

Which of the following, if true, would best help explain how the sweetener might produce the observed effect?
(A) The government’s analysis of the artificial sweetener determined that it was sold in relatively pure form.
(B) A high level of the amino acid in the blood inhibits the synthesis of a substance required for normal brain functioning.
(C) Because the sweetener is used primarily as a food additive, adverse reactions to it are rarely noticed by consumers.
(D) The amino acid that is a constituent of the sweetener is also sold separately as a dietary supplement.
(E) Subjects in the experiment did not know whether they were consuming the sweetener or a second, harmless substance.

Should E be an assumption the conclusion need ? I wonder why E is wrong.
I eliminated B because we do not know if the experimental group consumes a significant amount of sweetener to add to the "high level of amino acid"

What do you think?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Sweentener [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2011, 13:09
Half of the subjects in an experiment—the experimental group—consumed large quantities of a popular artificial sweetener. Afterward, this group showed lower cognitive abilities than did the other half of the subjects—the control group—who did not consume the sweetener. The detrimental effects were attributed to an amino acid that is one of the sweetener’s principal constituents.

Large quantites of the sweetener corresponds to the high level of amino acid in the blood (if true).

My comment on E):
It's kind of standard to conduct experiments with one controll group whom receives placebo-pills/"sugar pills".
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Re: Sweentener [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2011, 15:09
+1 B
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Re: Sweentener [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2011, 15:11
Expert's post
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Re: Sweentener [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2011, 07:44
yeah, agreed
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Re: Sweentener [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2011, 22:38
I went for B and got it right.
I found it very confusing though.
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Re: Sweentener [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2011, 02:28
B.

I don't see a rationale for E. The question asks, how does the sweetner CAUSE the effect.

E has no cause, it merely explains the experiment procedure. As it has overtones of avoiding the placebo affect, it is a natural draw, but the question very clearly asks for a cause.

E is almost like choosing an option that says "both groups were given different drugs", ok, but so what? There is no causal link there that the question asks for.

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Re: Sweentener [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2011, 04:39
B for me too..
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Re: Sweentener [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2011, 04:51
Why B is correct?
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Re: Sweentener [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2011, 09:50
b . whats the doubt ?
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Re: Sweentener [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2011, 09:56
B is correct.
The question asks a reason to explain why the sweetner caused lower cognitive ability?
Premise given is that an amino acid contained in the sweetner caused the detrimental effect.
High consumption of sweetner = high levels of amino acid because it's the principal constituent.
and B says that high levels of amino in blood causes brain malfunction. and Hence B is the answer.
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Re: Sweentener [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2011, 20:06
The conclusion: The detrimental effects were attributed to an amino acid that is one of the sweetener’s principal constituents. shows the cause-effect relationship: An amino acid in the sweetener ---> detrimental effects (lower cognitive ability)

I think it is a Strengthen, not an Assumption question.

Choice E does not strengthen the conclusion. The fact that subjects know what they are consuming or not does not shed any light about the cause-effect relationship above.
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Re: Sweentener   [#permalink] 27 Apr 2011, 20:06
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