A study of adults who suffer from migraine headaches : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# A study of adults who suffer from migraine headaches

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A study of adults who suffer from migraine headaches [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2007, 02:03
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A study of adults who suffer from migraine headaches revealed that a significant proportion of the study participants suffer from a complex syndrome characterized by a set of three symptoms. Those who suffer from the syndrome experienced excessive anxiety during early childhood. As adolescents, these people began experiencing migraine headaches. As these people approached the age of 20, they also began to experience recurring bouts of depression. Since this pattern is invariant, always with excessive anxiety at its beginning, it follows that excessive anxiety in childhood is one of the causes of migraine headaches and depression in later life.
The reasoning in the argument is vulnerable to criticism on which one of the following grounds?
(A) It does not specify the proportion of those in the general population who suffer from the syndrome.
(B) It fails to rule out the possibility that all of the characteristic symptoms of the syndrome have a common cause.
(C) It makes a generalization that is inconsistent with the evidence.
(D) It fails to demonstrate that the people who participated in the study are representative of migraine sufferers.
(E) It does not establish why the study of migraine sufferers was restricted to adult participants.

Please give ur POE explanations on this one...I often get such questions wrong.
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06 Apr 2007, 02:47
This is a tough one.

I beleive that we are dealing with the complex syndrome. Since we do not know how many people who do not experience migranes also suffer from this complex syndrome, we cannot make any conclusive evidence of how the complex syndrome is related to the migrane.

It is like saying, a significant number of migrane sufferes wipe their nose all to often in public, therefore those who wipe their nose in public are more prone to migranes.

Therefore I would go with A
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06 Apr 2007, 16:17
[b]B[/b]

premises: the 3 symptoms that characterize the current state of certain people

conclusion: one of the symptoms is the cause of another of the symptoms and the current state of the people.

each of the symptoms could be caused by something else, thus it is incorrect to conclude that the symptom is the cause, thus B.

proportion is irrelevant in making conclusions from a small set to the entire population, true, but B pokes a better hole than A.

generalization may or may no be inconsistent with the evidence, we dont know about the truth of the conclusion. C eliminated

D is wrong, states clearly that it was a study of adults who had migraines

the reason why the study was restricted to adults is because this study requires data across childhood adolescence and adluthood, so the reason is inherent in the argument and need not be specified. E eliminated.
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06 Apr 2007, 21:06
The answer is B.

The argument assumes that B follows A-->B-->C. It can be criticise if it is proven that

D-->A
D-->B
D-->C

This is what B tells.
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06 Apr 2007, 21:48
surbab wrote:
The answer is B.

The argument assumes that B follows A-->B-->C. It can be criticise if it is proven that

D-->A
D-->B
D-->C

This is what B tells.

Wow... you have presented an EXCELLENT graphical representation of the explanation. Makes it really easy to understand.
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Re: CR-A study [#permalink]

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07 Apr 2007, 02:14
vineetgupta wrote:
A study of adults who suffer from migraine headaches revealed that a significant proportion of the study participants suffer from a complex syndrome characterized by a set of three symptoms. Those who suffer from the syndrome experienced excessive anxiety during early childhood. As adolescents, these people began experiencing migraine headaches. As these people approached the age of 20, they also began to experience recurring bouts of depression. Since this pattern is invariant, always with excessive anxiety at its beginning, it follows that excessive anxiety in childhood is one of the causes of migraine headaches and depression in later life.
The reasoning in the argument is vulnerable to criticism on which one of the following grounds?
(A) It does not specify the proportion of those in the general population who suffer from the syndrome.
(B) It fails to rule out the possibility that all of the characteristic symptoms of the syndrome have a common cause.
(C) It makes a generalization that is inconsistent with the evidence.
(D) It fails to demonstrate that the people who participated in the study are representative of migraine sufferers.
(E) It does not establish why the study of migraine sufferers was restricted to adult participants.

Please give ur POE explanations on this one...I often get such questions wrong.

B
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07 Apr 2007, 06:01
Thanks qxjmba...u really have a good CR...its B indeed.
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09 Apr 2007, 16:27
B .. I think the key to answering these types of questions is to understand that a correlation does not imply causation (very common principle in stats). If you realize this, then solving similar types of questions become quick and efficient - that is, you don't have to wase time analyzing each case. In this case, anxiety is associated with the syndrome. However, we have insufficient evidence to make any causual predictions.
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09 Apr 2007, 20:51
alfyG wrote:
I think the key to answering these types of questions is to understand that a correlation does not imply causation (very common principle in stats).

Hey alfy... can u pls give some examples to explain this principle?
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10 Apr 2007, 22:14
If two things are related, ex. migraine headaches and anxiety, then it follows that either anxiety causes depression, or depression causes anxiety, or that some other factor causes both to happen. In this case the statement that "the pattern is invariant" is a clue that narrows down the possiblities to only one. That is, we know that anxiety comes first but we cannot infer that it's the cause of depression. Therefore, it must be the case that some other factor is mediating this relationship.

If this were a cause-and-effect scenario, the argument would be in the form of, if x then y. In other words, y always follows x. Alternatively, if not y, then not x. If you require more info then google "correlation vs causation" and you'll get some very good explanations. The key here is not to introduce new information to what is already given. In CR, only what is given is relevant.

Last edited by alfyG on 10 Apr 2007, 22:16, edited 1 time in total.
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10 Apr 2007, 22:14
oops double post ..sorry
10 Apr 2007, 22:14
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# A study of adults who suffer from migraine headaches

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