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A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked

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A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 23 Jan 2019, 04:57
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A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked whether they took up smoking and how their mental health changed. After one year, the incidence of depression among those who had taken up smoking was four times as high as it was among those who had not. Since nicotine in cigarettes changes brain chemistry, perhaps thereby affecting mood, it is likely that smoking contributes to depression in teenagers.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?


(A) Participants who were depressed at the start of the study were no more likely to be smokers after one year than those who were not depressed.

(B) The study did not distinguish between participants who smoked only occasionally and those who were heavy smokers.

(C) Few, if any, of the participants in the study were friends or relatives of other participants.

(D) Some participants entered and emerged from a period of depression within the year of the study.

(E) The researchers did not track use of alcohol by the teenagers.


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Originally posted by smodak on 02 Aug 2011, 12:16.
Last edited by Bunuel on 23 Jan 2019, 04:57, edited 5 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2011, 01:20
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a) Participants who were depressed at the start of the study were no more likely to be smokers after one year than those who were not depressed.

This answer says that depression does not make the teenagers smoke. Defend the reverse cause-effect relationship. So, this is the correct answer.

Do you have any question? About your choice or confusion? Let's me know

Hope that helps.
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Re: A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2011, 13:43
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A) strengthens the the argument. It refutes the chances that depression leads to smoking. if there is correlation between smoking and depression and depression doesn't leads to smoking then argument is strengthened that smoking causes depression.
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Re: A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2011, 18:33
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+1 for A.

Its a classic Cause - Effect Strengthener question

According to the argument,
Cause : Smoking ; Effect: Depression

Smoking caused Depression.

A choice that strengthens can aim at proving any of the following

1) "Effect" did not cause "cause".
2) Effect and cause cannot occur independently.
3) There was no alternate cause for the effect.

Choice A strengthens by indicating "Effect" did not cause the "cause", ie depression did not cause people to take up smoking.

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Re: A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2012, 13:53
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eybrj2 wrote:
A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked whether they took up smoking and how their mental health changed. After one year, the incidence of depression among those who had taken up smoking was four times as high as it was among those who had not. Since nicotine in cigarettes changes brain chemistry, perhaps thereby affecting mood, it is likely that smoking contributes to depression in teenagers.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument? .



a) Participants who were depressed at the start of the study were no more likely to be smokers after one year than those who were not depressed. eliminate the reversal of cause effect ( smoking leads to depression ). Correct

b) The study did not distinguish between participants who smoked only occasionally and those who were heavy smokers. study talks abt participants who never smoked before the study. irelevent

c) Few, if any, of the participants in the study were friends or relatives of other participants. irelelvent to the conclusion

d) Some participants entered and emerged from a period of depression within the year of the study. weaken as it shows that data is not correct

e) The researchers did not track use of alcohol by the teenagers argument talks abt smoking. irrelevent. if it could do nything then it would weaken because it opens a new cause(alcohol) for depression (effect)
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Re: A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2012, 20:13
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Cause = smoking
Effect = Depression

To strengthen we will show that reverse is not true ---Depression does not lead to smoking

A
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Re: A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2017, 00:39
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smodak wrote:
Source : GMATPrep Default Exam Pack

A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked whether they took up smoking and how their mental health changed. After one year, the incidence of depression among those who had taken up smoking was four times as high as it was among those who had not. Since nicotine in cigarettes changes brain chemistry, perhaps thereby affecting mood, it is likely that smoking contributes to depression in teenagers.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

(A) Participants who were depressed at the start of the study were no more likely to be smokers after one year than those who were not depressed.

(B) The study did not distinguish between participants who smoked only occasionally and those who were heavy smokers.

(C) Few, if any, of the participants in the study were friends or relatives of other participants.

(D) Some participants entered and emerged from a period of depression within the year of the study.

(E) The researchers did not track use of alcohol by the teenagers.


Because Strengthen and Weaken questions require you to perform opposite tasks, to strengthen a causal conclusion you take the exact opposite approach that you would in a Weaken question.

In Strengthen questions, supporting a cause and effect relationship almost always consists of performing one of the following tasks:

A. Eliminate any alternate causes for the stated effect
Because the author believes there is only one cause (the stated cause in the argument), eliminating other possible causes strengthens the conclusion.

B. Show that when the cause occurs, the effect occurs
Because the author believes that the cause always produces the effect, any scenario where the cause occurs and the effect follows lends credibility to the conclusion.This type of answer can appear in the form of an example.

C. Show that when the cause does not occur, the effect does not occur
Using the reasoning in the previous point, any scenario where the cause does not occur and the effect does not occur supports the conclusion. This type of answer also can appear in the form of an example.

D. Eliminate the possibility that the stated relationship is reversed
Because the author believes that the cause and effect relationship is correctly stated, eliminating the possibility that the relationship is backwards (the claimed effect is actually the cause of the claimed cause) strengthens the conclusion.

Conclusion : smoking depression

(A) Participants who were depressed at the start of the study were NO MORE LIKELY to be smokers after one year than those who were not depressed.


E. Show that the data used to make the causal statement are accurate, or eliminate possible problems with the data
If the data used to make a causal statement are in error, then the validity of the causal claim is in question. Any information that eliminates error or reduces the possibility of error will support the argument.
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Re: A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2019, 04:57
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Re: A study followed a group of teenagers who had never smoked and tracked   [#permalink] 23 Jan 2019, 04:57
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