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Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects

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Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects  [#permalink]

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Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects who consistently chose sweetened drinks when offered a choice between salty and sweetened drinks were found, on average, to have significantly higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains than subjects who consistently chose salty drinks over sweetened drinks. Thus, an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain is likely to cause an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks.

Which one of the following, if true, most supports the argument?


(A) Craving sweetened drinks does not invariably result in a subject’s choosing those drinks over salty drinks.

(B) The brains of the subjects who consistently chose to drink sweetened drinks did not contain significantly more sugar than the brains of subjects that consistently chose salty drinks.

(C) The chemical components of Aldolase are present in sweetened drinks.

(D) The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks had higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains before they were offered sweetened drinks.

(E) In a study of subjects who drank one sweetened drink per day for an entire year, the concentrations of Aldolase in the brains of most subjects gradually increased over the course of the year.


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Originally posted by Vercules on 18 May 2013, 04:25.
Last edited by Bunuel on 16 Oct 2018, 03:04, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2017, 09:21
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This is a classic correlation vs. causation CR question. And as always, I like to start with a nice, clear restatement of the conclusion:
Quote:
Thus, an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain is likely to cause an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks.

This is strong, clear causal language: Aldolase causes the increase in cravings for sweetened drinks. And what's the reasoning given in the passage itself? Really, it's just one sentence that leads to the conclusion:

Quote:
In an experiment, subjects who consistently chose sweetened drinks when offered a choice between salty and sweetened drinks were found, on average, to have significantly higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains than subjects who consistently chose salty drinks over sweetened drinks.

The author assumes that Aldolase is the cause of the cravings for sweetened drinks, but as is often the case in correlation vs. causation questions, we might wonder if the direction of causality could also be reversed. The author says that Aldolase causes the cravings, but why couldn't the consumption of sweetened drinks lead to higher concentrations of Aldolase in the brain instead?

The question is just asking us to strengthen the conclusion ("an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain is likely to cause an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks.") One way to strengthen the conclusion might be to eliminate the possibility of a "causal reversal": that the sweetened drinks cause the increase in Aldolase in the brain, instead of Aldolase causing an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks. Also notice that we do not need a statement that PROVES that the conclusion is true; rather, we need a statement that SUPPORTS the argument.

Quote:
(A) Craving sweetened drinks does not invariably result in a subject’s choosing those drinks over salty drinks.

Statement (A) is tempting at first! At first glance, it seems it seems to eliminate the "causal reversal" we discussed above. The trouble is, (A) only addresses the link between craving sweetened drinks and choosing those drinks; it does nothing to link Aldolase to the cravings or the consumption of sweetened drinks. And as we'll see in a moment, (D) is a much stronger answer.

Quote:
(B) The brains of the subjects who consistently chose to drink sweetened drinks did not contain significantly more sugar than the brains of subjects that consistently chose salty drinks.

The argument discusses the concentration of Aldolase in the brains of subjects, but the amount of sugar in subjects' brains is irrelevant to the argument. We can eliminate (B).
Quote:
(C) The chemical components of Aldolase are present in sweetened drinks.

The argument claims that Aldolase in the brain causes subjects to crave sweetened drinks. Whether Aldolase is present in the drinks themselves is irrelevant to the argument. And even if we (improperly!) assume that drinking "the chemical components of Aldolase" leads to increased Aldolase in the brain, then this would work against the argument, since it would suggest that drinking sweetened drinks causes higher levels of Aldolase in the brain. Either way, (C) is gone.

Quote:
(D) The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks had higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains before they were offered sweetened drinks.

The answer strengthens the argument by eliminating the possibility that the stated causal relationship is reversed: if the subjects had higher concentrations of Aldolase prior to taking the sweetened drinks, then the sweetened drinks cannot be the cause of the higher concentration of Aldolase. This does not PROVE that the conclusion is true, but it certainly supports the argument.

Quote:
(E) In a study of subjects who drank one sweetened drink per day for an entire year, the concentrations of Aldolase in the brains of most subjects gradually increased over the course of the year.

(E) hurts the argument by suggesting that the causal relationship in the conclusion is reversed: if (E) is true, then drinking sweetened drinks would increase Aldolase levels in the brain, instead of the other way around.

So (D) is our answer.
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Re: Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects  [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2013, 06:56
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Conclusion : Aldolase causes subjects to crave sweet drinks.

It can be immediately seen that the argument is vulnerable to the criticism that it is maybe the sweet drinks that causes increased aldolase in the brain.

We can first browse through the answer choices to check if we can find one that eliminatesthis reverse causality.

Option D clearly serves this purpose. If there was already a high concentration of Aldolase in the brain before choosing the sweet drink, the reverse causality can be eliminated.

Answer is D.
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Re: Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects  [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2013, 14:56
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Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects that consistently chose to sweet drinks when offered a choice between salty and sweet drinks were found to have significantly higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains than did subjects that consistently chose salty drinks over sweet drinks.

This observation strongly supports the conclusion that Aldolase causes subjects to crave sweet drinks.

Which one of the following, if true, most supports the argument?

We have to prove that "Aldolase causes subjects to crave sweet drinks". I am looking for an answer that weakens the other possible theories such as the one that reverses the Aldolase=>Sweet Drinks relation into Sweet Drinks=>Adolase

D) The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks had the higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains before they were offered sweetened drinks.

D shows us that 1- it's not that "sweet drinks cause Aldolase" 2- Aldolase was present in the brain before, hence is not caused by sweet drinks.

IMO D
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Re: Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2013, 03:04
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Vercules wrote:
Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects that consistently chose to sweet drinks when offered a choice between salty and sweet drinks were found to have significantly higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains than did subjects that consistently chose salty drinks over sweet drinks. This observation strongly supports the conclusion that Aldolase causes subjects to crave sweet drinks.

Which one of the following, if true, most supports the argument?


This is a classic "X to Y" problem. We should look for AC that excludes alternate/reverse explanation for the conclusion.
Conclusion: Ald. causes subjects to crave sweet drinks.
Alternate/reverse: Sweet drinks boost Ald. level.

A) The craving for sweetened drinks does not invariably result in a subject’s choosing those drinks over salty drinks.
The experiment is based on the choices made. Hypothetical choices are irrelevant.
B) The brains of the subjects that consistently chose to drink sweetened drinks did not contain significantly more sugar than did the brains of subjects that consistently chose salty drinks.
Sugar level in brain is out of scope.
C) The chemical components of Aldolase are present in both sweetened and salty drinks.
And how on Earth would that support the argument?
D) The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks had the higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains before they were offered sweetened drinks.
Sweetened drinks did not boost the Ald. level. We were looking for this AC.
E) Subjects that metabolize sugar less efficiently than do other subjects develop high concentrations of Aldolase in their brains.
Metabolism is out of scope.
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Re: Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects  [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2017, 01:35
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souvik101990 wrote:
Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects who consistently chose sweetened drinks when offered a choice between salty and sweetened drinks were found, on average, to have significantly higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains than subjects who consistently chose salty drinks over sweetened drinks. Thus, an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain is likely to cause an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks.

Which one of the following, if true, most supports the argument?


(A) Craving sweetened drinks does not invariably result in a subject’s choosing those drinks over salty drinks.
This choice weakens the argument. If craving sweetened drinks doesn't result in choosing sweetened drinks over salty drinks, then an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain could have no effect on a subject’s choosing sweetened drinks over salty drinks.

(B) The brains of the subjects who consistently chose to drink sweetened drinks did not contain significantly more sugar than the brains of subjects that consistently chose salty drinks.
Irrelevant. The argument mentions about the level of Aldolase in the brain, not the level of sugar in the brain.

(C) The chemical components of Aldolase are present in sweetened drinks.
Irrelevan. The argument didn't mention anything about the level of Aldolase in these drinks.

(D) The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks had higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains before they were offered sweetened drinks.
Correct. This choice eliminates the case that drinking sweetened drinks leads to the increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain (reverse cause).

(E) In a study of subjects who drank one sweetened drink per day for an entire year, the concentrations of Aldolase in the brains of most subjects gradually increased over the course of the year.
This choice fails in explaning that the level of Aldolase in the brain could effect a subject's behavior in choosing sweetened drinks over salty drinks.
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Re: Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects  [#permalink]

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Re: Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects &nbs [#permalink] 16 Oct 2018, 03:05
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