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# "Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized by an inabilit

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Math Expert
Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 7954
"Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized by an inabilit  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 04 Mar 2019, 04:52
9
52
00:00

Difficulty:

95% (hard)

Question Stats:

24% (01:54) correct 76% (01:57) wrong based on 1059 sessions

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"Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized by an inability to focus on any topic for a prolonged period of time, and is especially common among children five to ten years old. A recent study has shown that 95 percent of seven-year-old children with this condition watch, on average, more than seven hours of television a day. It is therefore very likely that James, age seven, suffers from this condition, since he watches roughly eight hours of television a day.

The argument above is flawed because it

(A) cites as a direct causal mechanism a factor that may only be a partial cause of the condition in question

(B) fails to indicate the chances of having this condition among seven-year-old children who watch more than 7 hours of television a day

(C) limits the description of the symptoms of this condition to an inability to focus for a prolonged period of time

(D) fails to consider the possibility that James may be among the 5 percent of children who do not watch more than 7 hours of television a day

(E) does not allow for other causes of this condition besides television watching

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Originally posted by chetan2u on 02 Feb 2015, 19:59.
Last edited by Bunuel on 04 Mar 2019, 04:52, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Posts: 7954
Re: "Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized by an inabilit  [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2015, 20:15
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5
hi,
the question is of 700+ difficulty. reason : there is a subtle shift in focus/scope..
the argument basically tells us about TV watching habits of people suffering from ' inability to concentrate'. It never tells us that it is watching TV, a habit which is leading to this problem..
So its important that we donot fall prey to this subtle change and reread the stem to see through the problem...
now lets look at the choices available...

(A) cites as a direct causal mechanism a factor that may only be a partial cause of the condition in question..
Does the author ever mention that watching TV is the cause, partial or main. No, she doesn't.
She just says that these people watch TV for more than 7 hrs. So the most likely choosen wrong answer.

(B) fails to indicate the chances of having this condition among seven-year-old children who watch more than 7 hours of television a day
this statement tells us that the author has failed to establish a link of people suffering the disease to their watching TV. So correct
(C) limits the description of the symptoms of this condition to an inability to focus for a prolonged period of time
Can be easily eliminated
(D) fails to consider the possibility that James may be among the 5 percent of children who do not watch more than 7 hours of television a day
Can be eliminated as the author does say that he watches TV for more than 7 hrs
(E) does not allow for other causes of this condition besides television watching
same as A. Author never discusses watching TV as a cause
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Re: "Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized by an inabilit  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 07 Sep 2016, 14:14
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4
B it is
After sorting through all the blah blah in the argument;-
95% of 7 year old kids who suffer from Inability to focus (ITF) watch more than 7 hours of TV.

Assess this argument
95% of patient with anaemia have grey hair. (100 patient = 95 have grey hair=> quite possible)
Does it means that 95% of grey hair people suffer from Anaemia -No (1 billion old people with grey hair... are 950,000,000 anaemic => ABSURD )

Similarly
Having four legs and a tail defines an animal=yes
Does all normal cows have four legs and a tail=yes
Are all cows animal? = yes
Are all animals Cow?= No , the set of animals is huge and cow is just a subset of animals. So are dogs, monkeys, bears, cheetah... etc etc

Similarly
Water is a beverage=yes
Vodka is a beverage=yes
thus water is vodka = no

Coming back to our original question
95% of 7 year old patient = +7hours TV
Jimmy is 7 year old and watches 8 hour TV= Jimmy has ITF = no
Why= because Jimmy is not a patient Jimmy is a normal kid.
Argument tells us that 95% of ill kids watch more than 7 hour of TV
BUT the argument tell us nothing about what percent of total population of 7 year old are suffering from ITF. (Total kids = Healthy + Inability to focus )
OPTION B reinstates the same logic in other words.
(B) Fails to indicate the chances of having this condition among seven-year-old children who watch more than 7 hours of television a day

This is a classic case of mistaken syllogistic reversal that causes mistaken cause-effect error.

"Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized by an inability to focus on any topic for a prolonged period of time, and is especially common among children five to ten years old. A recent study has shown that 95 percent of seven-year-old children with this condition watch, on average, more than seven hours of television a day. It is therefore very likely that James, age seven, suffers from this condition, since he watches roughly eight hours of television a day.
The argument above is flawed because it
(A) cites as a direct causal mechanism a factor that may only be a partial cause of the condition in question
(B) fails to indicate the chances of having this condition among seven-year-old children who watch more than 7 hours of television a day
(C) limits the description of the symptoms of this condition to an inability to focus for a prolonged period of time
(D) fails to consider the possibility that James may be among the 5 percent of children who do not watch more than 7 hours of television a day
(E) does not allow for other causes of this condition besides television watching
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Posting an answer without an explanation is "GOD COMPLEX". The world doesn't need any more gods. Please explain you answers properly.
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Originally posted by LogicGuru1 on 19 Jun 2016, 05:24.
Last edited by LogicGuru1 on 07 Sep 2016, 14:14, edited 2 times in total.
##### General Discussion
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Re: "Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized by an inabilit  [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2015, 20:51
1
2
Ans : I feel , it is A

(A) cites as a direct causal mechanism a factor that may only be a partial cause of the condition in question-------YES , it makes sense because we cannot conclude that james suffers from this condition just because he is watching TV for more than 8 hours.Partial cause --> might exist pointing to the possibility that James falls in the 5% bracket

(B) fails to indicate the chances of having this condition among seven-year-old children who watch more than 7 hours of television a day--------- WRONG---The argument explicitly mentions that 95 % of children watching more than 7 hours of TV a day

(C) limits the description of the symptoms of this condition to an inability to focus for a prolonged period of time----WRONG---We are not bothered of symptoms here

(D) fails to consider the possibility that James may be among the 5 percent of children who do not watch more than 7 hours of television a day---WRONG--The arguments explicitly mentions -James watch TV roughly 8 hours a day

(E) does not allow for other causes of this condition besides television watching---WRONG---The final statement in the argument(conclusion ) says that--"It is therefore very likely that James, age seven, suffers from this condition, since he watches roughly eight hours of television a day."----So , there is a sense of only possibility here by using the words " very likely". So we cannot conclude--The argument does not allow for other causes....

Please correct me if I am wrong

Kudos if this helps :D
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Re: "Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized by an inabilit  [#permalink]

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04 Feb 2015, 02:45
chetan2u wrote:
1. "Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized by an inability to focus on any topic for a prolonged period of time, and is especially common among children five to ten years old. A recent study has shown that 95 percent of seven-year-old children with this condition watch, on average, more than seven hours of television a day. It is therefore very likely that James, age seven, suffers from this condition, since he watches roughly eight hours of television a day.
The argument above is flawed because it
(A) cites as a direct causal mechanism a factor that may only be a partial cause of the condition in question
(B) fails to indicate the chances of having this condition among seven-year-old children who watch more than 7 hours of television a day
(C) limits the description of the symptoms of this condition to an inability to focus for a prolonged period of time
(D) fails to consider the possibility that James may be among the 5 percent of children who do not watch more than 7 hours of television a day
(E) does not allow for other causes of this condition besides television watching

Kudos for best explanation

I have to admit that I was torn between A and B. I ended up chosing B.

A) "a factor that may only be a partial cause" The only factor provided by the study is "kid's television watching". Now we could cast some doubt on the study, saying that it is not accurate, or that there are other studies portraying different results, but there is no trace of these two anywhere in the argument. Thus we don't have evidence to belie the studies' findings and if we don't have evidence to belie them, then they shuold be accurate. If they are accurate this statement is false.

B) the argument concludes that: "It is very likely that James suffers from this condition". We are not sure whether james suffers of this condition in the first place.In other terms His staying 8 hours a day in front of a tv screen doesn't assure us that he suffers of this condition. The argument is faulty of assuming it, thus this is the flaw and the correct answer.
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Re: #Top150 CR: "Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2015, 23:44
3
"Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized by an inability to focus on any topic for a prolonged period of time, and is especially common among children five to ten years old. A recent study has shown that 95 percent of seven-year-old children with this condition watch, on average, more than seven hours of television a day. It is therefore very likely that James, age seven, suffers from this condition, since he watches roughly eight hours of television a day.

The argument above is flawed because it

A. cites as a direct causal mechanism a factor that may only be a partial cause of the condition in question
here is a correlation vs causation issue. While it can be true in reality that TV may induce some focus problems here the issue os of correlation not of partial or direct causation.

B. fails to indicate the chances of having this condition among seven-year-old children who watch more than 7 hours of television a day
People with inability may accidentally watch more TV but that does not indicate or decide their condition.
So whoever watches more TV may not necessarily have the same condition.

C. limits the description of the symptoms of this condition to an inability to focus for a prolonged period of time........there is no mention of symptoms here in the argument.

D. fails to consider the possibility that James may be among the 5 percent of children who do not watch more than 7 hours of television a day...........it is mentioned that he watches it for 8hr on average per day so even if he belongs to remaining 5% this does not define the flaw in the conclusion based on his inability.

E. does not allow for other causes of this condition besides television watching..............this does not explain the inherent flaw.
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Re: #Top150 CR: "Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2017, 21:13
1
My 2 cents:
Assume, # of 7 years old kids = 1000
# of 7 years old kids with "Inability to concentrate" = 100
95% of there kids (i.e. 95 kids) watch > 7 hrs of TV
other 5 may with "Inability to concentrate" may watch > or < 7 hrs of TV

But other 900 kids may watch > or < 7 hrs of TV but still MAY NOT suffer from "Inability to concentrate"
So it is flawed to draw conclusions based on such a small sample size of observed kids.
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Re: #Top150 CR: "Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized  [#permalink]

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13 Oct 2018, 02:38
To me B seems to be the best choice;

Unless we know the general probabilities for 7 years olds that watch more than 7 hours of TV each day to suffer from attention deficiency we cannot judge the chances of the given child to be affected.

There could be only 5% of 7 years old suffering from that condition, hence even if our given child engages in activities that hind to suffering from the condition, there is still a massive chance that he belongs to the "other 95%", regardless of his behavior.
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Re: #Top150 CR: "Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized  [#permalink]

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13 Oct 2018, 10:05
To summarize the argument in simpler words: 95% of 7-year olds with condition A watch television more than 7 hours a day. A 7-year old boy watches TV more than 7 hours a day. Therefore, he has condition A.

We can transform this argument into a simpler one to make the flaw more obvious:

95% of Italians eat pasta. James eats pasta. Therefore, James is an Italian.

We then need to find the answer choice that describes this flaw. B is super-convoluted, but it does exactly that.
Re: #Top150 CR: "Inability to concentrate" is a condition characterized   [#permalink] 13 Oct 2018, 10:05
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