Psychologist: Though popularized by the media and even some ill-informed scientists, photographic memory is a myth. Most of the top competitors at this summer’s national memory championship have brains that are neurologically indistinguishable from those of the general population and cognitive abilities that are seldom more than a standard deviation above average.
Conclusion: Photographic memory does not exist.
Why?- Premise 1
: Most top competitors at the championship have brains similar to those of the general public (questions I ask:
should their brains be different from those of the general public? and are the competitors at the championship representative of people who may have photographic memory?)Premise 2:
Their cognitive abilities are seldom a std deviation above average (question i ask:
should one's cognitive abilities be higher than a std deviation for one to have photographic memory
Which of the following would LEAST strengthen the argument above?
The competitors at this summer’s championship are typical of the segment of the population thought to have photographic memory. This statement means that folks at the championship are representative of people who may have photographic memory. Hence the statement strengthens the argument
People with photographic memories would have brains that are neurologically distinguishable from those of the general population.If people with phoo memory would have brains that are distinguishable from those of the general population, Premise 1 of the argument is strengthened. Hence this statement's out.
Photographic memory requires cognitive abilities more than a standard deviation above average.This statement strengthens premise 2. Hence its out as well
Photographic memory was initially proposed by a scientist whose theories of mind have since been widely discredited.This statement discredits the abilities of the individual who proposed the theory. Hence, it strengthens (slightly) the argument's conclusion the theory is flawed
Photographic memory, if it exists, would be a requirement even to qualify for a national memory competition. Even if photographic memory were an implicit requirement (the reason i say implicit is because of the phrase "if it exists" in the Ans choice) to qualify for the championship (which according to the question had several participants), it provides no information on whether photographic memory is a myth. This statement, as per me, adds no value to the argument. Thus it least strengtens the conclusion.
My choice: E