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# It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi

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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
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I know that I'm late to the party and some magnificently smart people have already weighed in... but just in case it helps, here's an extra two cents:
zoezhuyan wrote:
Hi mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, GMATNinja, MagooshExpert Carolyn, sayantanc2k,
This is a question that i stratch my head, genuinely need your help

#1 conclusion
IMO, the conclusion is " simply talking to other people suffices "
rather than "Evidence to this effect comes from a study showing that the more social contact people report, the better their mental skills."
Right?

You got it!

zoezhuyan wrote:
#2
I don't compleltely understand the question "Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the force of the evidence cited?"

Should i weaken the evidence or conclusion ?
Does "the force of the evidence cited" mean conclusion? i know premise/evidence supports conclusion, but i am not sure whether the force of the evidence cited means conclusion.

there are two evidence in the prompt, If the stem ask to weaken evidence, then i just need weaken one of the premises, no matter which one,
in other words, i need to weaken either premise 1 (engage intellectual activities can mantain mental sharpness) or premise 2 (more social activities, higher mental skills), right?

Yes, we have two "premises", but the passage specifically refers to one piece of "evidence": ""Evidence to this effect comes from a study showing that the more social contact people report, the better their mental skills."

We want to specifically weaken the force of that piece of evidence. The author uses that evidence to arrive at the conclusion, so if we weaken the force of that evidence, then we will ultimately weaken the conclusion too.

In other words, the author jumps from that evidence to the conclusion. We want something that gets in the way of that logical jump.

zoezhuyan wrote:
#3 causal relationship
Seems there are lots of people view this question as a causal relationship.
the last sentence "Evidence to this effect comes from a study showing that the more social contact people report, the better their mental skills."
Does it imply causal relationship? but it just imply the coreleration between more social activities and higher skills?

Now you are barking up the right tree! The evidence is that people who report more social contact have better mental skills. According to the author, this is evidence that social contact causes better mental skills. Sure, the evidence doesn't prove this, but it at least suggests that such a causal relationship is possible.

But is that necessarily the case? If one of the answer choices suggests otherwise, then we've found our answer.

zoezhuyan wrote:
#4 answer choice B Many medical conditions and treatments that adversely affect a person's mental sharpness also tend to increase that person's social isolation
what does B indicate? a third event causes two events, or a certain event cause a event mentioned in premise.
a third event causes two events -- a mendical condition and treatments cause both poor mental sharpness and social isolation.
or
a certain event cause a event mentioned in premise -- a certain medical condition and treatment that affact mential sharpness causes social isolation.

have a nice day
>_~

Choice (B) refers to medical conditions and treatments that cause worse mental skills. Many of those conditions/treatments ALSO cause social isolation. So social isolation is not causing worse mental skills. Instead, the conditions/treatments are causing both worse mental skills AND social isolation (or, as you put it, "a third event causes two events").

This explains why we would see a correlation between social contact and mental skills (i.e. explains the evidence). However, it strongly suggests that social contact levels are not actually CAUSING better/worse mental skills. The conditions/treatments are the cause.

So we have not changed the evidence, but we have come up with an alternate explanation that weakens the force of that evidence. Thus, (B) is the right answer.

I hope that helps!
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
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zoezhuyan wrote:
Hi Carolyn, MagooshExpert,
I still did not get why B can weaken.

The logic of the prompt is :
more social activities , higher mental skills. -----> engaging social activities is sufficient.

we need to weaken the connection between "more social activities, higher mental skills" and "engaging social activities is sufficient",
I donnot under why B is correct, although there are lots of discussions, i am afraid i am not convinced.

Why B causes the lower both social activities and mental skills, then B weakens
you said B is a third factor , like a medical condition or treatment, lowers both mental skills and social interaction, how does it implies that there is no causation between activity and mental skills?

B causes the lower both social activities and mental skills, but it is highly possibile that social activities causes mental skills, and a medical condition and treatment shows the tendency of isolation,

moreover, i dhon't understand why there are double negative words, "affact mental sharpness" and "social isolations",
if B is that Many medical conditions and treatments that adversely help a person's mental sharpness also tend to increase that person's social interactions, then b strengthens ?

Have a nice day

Hi zoezhuyan!

Happy to help

Let's think of an easier example. Say we are looking at sales of ice cream and sales of lemonade. If we look at both of them over time, we might see that they are correlated -- when sales of ice cream go up, sales of lemonade also go up, and when sales of ice cream go down, sales of lemonade also go down. From just looking at that data, we might say that therefore sales of ice cream are actually causing the high lemonade sales -- so, maybe when people eat a lot of ice cream, they get thirsty, and then go out and buy lemonade.

However, there's actually a simpler explanation. In the summer, it's hot outside, and so people will be more likely to buy ice cream. They will also be more likely to buy lemonade. So if we consider this third factor, the weather, that explains the correlation between sales of ice cream and lemonade. That disproves the idea that the sales of ice cream are causing the sales of lemonade, because now the correlation between the two is explained by a third factor, the weather.

That's what's going on here -- if there is a third factor that explains the correlation between social interactions and mental sharpness, that weakens the idea that one is caused by the other.

Does that help? If not, let me know!
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
Hi mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, GMATNinja, MagooshExpert Carolyn, sayantanc2k,
Today, I reviewed this question again. I interpreted as a bit different reasoning, but I am not sure whether it is sound, please help confirm.

Situation:
someone proposes engage in intellectual activities will help maintain mental sharpness,
author argues that social interaction is sufficient, according to a study that shows more social activities, higher mental skills.

Goal
this is a weaken question, so I need to find one that prove the study won't lead to the conclusion that social interaction is sufficient, or direct find one weaken the conclusion by showing that social interaction is insufficient -- maybe intellectual activities is need, rather than mere social activities.

choice B states that some treatments and medial conditions will increase people's social isolation,
then i can infer that people unwilling to engage social activities. in other words, they need intellectual activities to maintain mental sharpness, meanwhile, the study doesnot work on the group who has social isolation. the study does not cover the group, it is not representative.

Choice E
First from the argument, i can infer that intellectual activities such as mathematics problems are higer level than simple social activities,
if E is true -- the tasks were evaluated by more mathematic problem (higher level), addition, the study shows that more social activities, higher mental skills,
then social activities can match the higher level,

then, i view social activities are sufficient,

hei, it stengthen.

Experts, please confirm my reasoning is correct or not.

Have a nice day
>_~
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
zoezhuyan wrote:
Hi mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, GMATNinja, MagooshExpert Carolyn, sayantanc2k,
Today, I reviewed this question again. I interpreted as a bit different reasoning, but I am not sure whether it is sound, please help confirm.

Situation:
someone proposes engage in intellectual activities will help maintain mental sharpness,
author argues that social interaction is sufficient, according to a study that shows more social activities, higher mental skills.

Goal
this is a weaken question, so I need to find one that prove the study won't lead to the conclusion that social interaction is sufficient, or direct find one weaken the conclusion by showing that social interaction is insufficient -- maybe intellectual activities is need, rather than mere social activities.

choice B states that some treatments and medial conditions will increase people's social isolation,
then i can infer that people unwilling to engage social activities. in other words, they need intellectual activities to maintain mental sharpness, meanwhile, the study doesnot work on the group who has social isolation. the study does not cover the group, it is not representative.

Choice E
First from the argument, i can infer that intellectual activities such as mathematics problems are higer level than simple social activities,
if E is true -- the tasks were evaluated by more mathematic problem (higher level), addition, the study shows that more social activities, higher mental skills,
then social activities can match the higher level,

then, i view social activities are sufficient,

hei, it stengthen.

Experts, please confirm my reasoning is correct or not.

Have a nice day
>_~

zoezhuyan wrote:
choice B states that some treatments and medial conditions will increase people's social isolation,
then i can infer that people unwilling to engage social activities. in other words, they need intellectual activities to maintain mental sharpness, meanwhile, the study doesnot work on the group who has social isolation. the study does not cover the group, it is not representative.

zoezhuyan, I wouldn't say that the study does not cover the group. The problem is that the data will be skewed by those people. Researchers will look at those people and say, "well, they are socially isolated and they have lower mental skills, so their social isolation must be causing lower mental skills." Choice (B) tells us that the social isolation does not cause the lower mental skills. Instead, the medical conditions cause both the social isolation and the lower mental skills.

zoezhuyan wrote:
First from the argument, i can infer that intellectual activities such as mathematics problems are higer level than simple social activities,

I'm not sure about this part... the passage doesn't say that mathematics problems are HIGHER level than simple social activities. Rather, the passage says that social interaction "engages many mental and perceptual skills" and suggests that this might have the same effect as engaging in intellectual activities such as solving crossword puzzles or mathematics problems.

This explanation of choice (E) might help.

I'm not sure if that answers your questions, but I hope it helps!
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
GMATNinjaTwo wrote:
zoezhuyan wrote:
choice B states that some treatments and medial conditions will increase people's social isolation,
then i can infer that people unwilling to engage social activities. in other words, they need intellectual activities to maintain mental sharpness, meanwhile, the study doesnot work on the group who has social isolation. the study does not cover the group, it is not representative.

zoezhuyan, I wouldn't say that the study does not cover the group. The problem is that the data will be skewed by those people. Researchers will look at those people and say, "well, they are socially isolated and they have lower mental skills, so their social isolation must be causing lower mental skills." Choice (B) tells us that the social isolation does not cause the lower mental skills. Instead, the medical conditions cause both the social isolation and the lower mental skills.

zoezhuyan wrote:
First from the argument, i can infer that intellectual activities such as mathematics problems are higer level than simple social activities,

I'm not sure about this part... the passage doesn't say that mathematics problems are HIGHER level than simple social activities. Rather, the passage says that social interaction "engages many mental and perceptual skills" and suggests that this might have the same effect as engaging in intellectual activities such as solving crossword puzzles or mathematics problems.

This explanation of choice (E) might help.

I'm not sure if that answers your questions, but I hope it helps!

Thanks so much, GMATNinjaTwo
I got it.
the correlation between social activities and mental sharpness. but it does not necessary causalation-- social activities cause mental sharpness.
mostly, I cannot congitate the key problem question.
this case, the conclusion is social activities is sufficient, but i did not catch it is causal - effect relationship,
I do NOT know why i missed the key of this question, and how to solve in my future CR questions.

any suggestion?

Have a nice day
>_~
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
zoezhuyan wrote:
GMATNinjaTwo wrote:
zoezhuyan wrote:
choice B states that some treatments and medial conditions will increase people's social isolation,
then i can infer that people unwilling to engage social activities. in other words, they need intellectual activities to maintain mental sharpness, meanwhile, the study doesnot work on the group who has social isolation. the study does not cover the group, it is not representative.

zoezhuyan, I wouldn't say that the study does not cover the group. The problem is that the data will be skewed by those people. Researchers will look at those people and say, "well, they are socially isolated and they have lower mental skills, so their social isolation must be causing lower mental skills." Choice (B) tells us that the social isolation does not cause the lower mental skills. Instead, the medical conditions cause both the social isolation and the lower mental skills.

zoezhuyan wrote:
First from the argument, i can infer that intellectual activities such as mathematics problems are higer level than simple social activities,

I'm not sure about this part... the passage doesn't say that mathematics problems are HIGHER level than simple social activities. Rather, the passage says that social interaction "engages many mental and perceptual skills" and suggests that this might have the same effect as engaging in intellectual activities such as solving crossword puzzles or mathematics problems.

This explanation of choice (E) might help.

I'm not sure if that answers your questions, but I hope it helps!

Thanks so much, GMATNinjaTwo
I got it.
the correlation between social activities and mental sharpness. but it does not necessary causalation-- social activities cause mental sharpness.
mostly, I cannot congitate the key problem question.
this case, the conclusion is social activities is sufficient, but i did not catch it is causal - effect relationship,
I do NOT know why i missed the key of this question, and how to solve in my future CR questions.

any suggestion?

Have a nice day
>_~

I can't say I have an easy answer, but have you read the Ultimate CR Guide for Beginners?

As for identifying the conclusion, try to ask yourself, "Does everything else in the passage support this statement?" In other words, does everything else "build up" to that statement? Or does that statement actually serve as "build up" to another statement? The goal is to get inside the author's head, so to speak... make sure you understand why he/she wrote the passage (the heart of the passage) and the structure of their argument (i.e. his/her logic). The Ultimate CR Guide expands on these concepts, so hopefully you'll find that article useful!
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
Hey EMPOWERgmatVerbal KarishmaB GMATNinja GMATNinjaTwo MagooshExpert mikemcgarry

Any recommendations for theory/questions which address how to deal with double negatives in CR? I feel more practice can help me in understanding this better. Thank you for you help
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
SugandhaM wrote:

Any recommendations for theory/questions which address how to deal with double negatives in CR? I feel more practice can help me in understanding this better. Thank you for you help

Sure, here's one brand new example from the OG 2019:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/boreal-owls- ... l#p2098211

Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls of similar size. Scientists have hypothesized that it is scarcity of prey that leads the owls to range so widely. This hypothesis would be hard to confirm directly, since it is not possible to produce a sufficiently accurate count of the populations of small mammals inhabiting the forests where boreal owls live. Careful study of owl behavior has, however, shown that boreal owls do range over larger areas when they live in regions where food of the sort eaten by small mammals is comparatively sparse. This indicates that the scientists’ hypothesis is not sheer speculation.

Here we have: "Not sheer speculation"

Processing Double Negatives:
We have two mechanisms to process double negatives.

1) Understanding how to translate to a logical opposite
This gets pretty involved and technical---and is actually a major skill required to beat the LSAT. Accordingly, I'd really only recommend getting into this if you're at V40 and are looking to advance from there.

That said, the basic idea is taking the opposite but you have to understand the nuances. For example, "not bad" can not simply be translated to good. "Not bad" technically means anything other than bad (okay-good).

"Not sheer speculation" means beyond speculation, so that could include reasonable, or even plausible.

2) CONTEXT!
By interpreting a statement in the context of the prompt, we gain a quick and effective understanding of a double-negative. Here in this prompt, we see how the new evidence lends credence to the theory, thus we learn that "not sheer speculation" means that it's not far fetched---it's reasonable, it's worth considering as a serious theory.

Bigger Picture
Ultimately, as with anything on Verbal, you have to READ CAREFULLY. If you're skimming, you're losing points. Read to understand, and things such as double negatives actually vanish as a thing you need to train for specifically.
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
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WillGetIt wrote:
It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activities such as solving crossword puzzles or mathematics problems in order to maintain mental sharpness as they age. In fact, however, simply talking to other people—that is, participating in social interaction, which engages many mental and perceptual skills—suffices. Evidence to this effect comes from a study showing that the more social contact people report, the better their mental skills.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the force of the evidence cited?

(A) As people grow older, they are often advised to keep exercising their physical and mental capacities in order to maintain or improve them.

(B) Many medical conditions and treatments that adversely affect a person's mental sharpness also tend to increase that person's social isolation.

(C) Many people are proficient both in social interactions and in solving mathematical problems.

(D) The study did not itself collect data but analyzed data bearing on the issue from prior studies.

(E) The tasks evaluating mental sharpness for which data were compiled by the study were more akin to mathematics problems than to conversation.

Let us say there is a common problem which is self confidence. The argument is, this affects both your mental sharpness and your social abilities. So you cannot use social skills to solve the problem of mental performance.

If you try to improve your confidence may be both the problems of mental performance and social isolation could be addressed. But cant it be solved directly either through puzzle solving or social interactions? Solving puzzles and engaging with people are two different intellectual tools to solve the problem. The author himself says that social interaction is an intellectual task. So saying that anything that reduces sharpness also reduce the ability to interact as choice B does, is superfluous. If you social ability is hampered , so is your puzzle solving skill. So If puzzle solving can help, why not social interactions?
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
HI GMATNinja,

Quote:
(E) The tasks evaluating mental sharpness for which data were compiled by the study were more akin to mathematics problems than to conversation.
According to the study, if you had more social contact, then you generally had better mental skills. But how were those mental skills measured? What if the tasks used to evaluate mental sharpness were more akin to CONVERSATION than to math problems? All that would show is that people with more social contact are better at conversation (duh!). That doesn't really support the idea that social contact can REPLACE math problems and crossword puzzles as a way to maintain mental sharpness.

if the choice E is mentioned as "if the tasks used to evaluate mental sharpness were more akin to CONVERSATION than to math problems" would it be a good weakener ?

Thanks GMATNinja a lot for your help.
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
kshitijgarg wrote:
HI GMATNinja,

Quote:
(E) The tasks evaluating mental sharpness for which data were compiled by the study were more akin to mathematics problems than to conversation.
According to the study, if you had more social contact, then you generally had better mental skills. But how were those mental skills measured? What if the tasks used to evaluate mental sharpness were more akin to CONVERSATION than to math problems? All that would show is that people with more social contact are better at conversation (duh!). That doesn't really support the idea that social contact can REPLACE math problems and crossword puzzles as a way to maintain mental sharpness.

if the choice E is mentioned as "if the tasks used to evaluate mental sharpness were more akin to CONVERSATION than to math problems" would it be a good weakener ?

Yes. As I mentioned above, this phrasing would fail to support the idea that social contact can replace math problems and crossword puzzles as a way to maintain mental sharpness. This would weaken the force of the evidence presented.
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
After reading all your posts, I am still very confused why B because it brings to the context an entire new group of population (only the people on "medial treatments" - if someone is on medical treatment, then no mental sharpness and social interaction for you), while the thesis/conclusion focuses on everyone (as long as someone have more "social interaction" then more "mental sharpness")

This is so tricky
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with the statement, mental sharpness might actually the cause for social interactions which challenge the assumption of the vice versa.
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
tunguyen31 wrote:
After reading all your posts, I am still very confused why B because it brings to the context an entire new group of population (only the people on "medial treatments" - if someone is on medical treatment, then no mental sharpness and social interaction for you), while the thesis/conclusion focuses on everyone (as long as someone have more "social interaction" then more "mental sharpness")

This is so tricky

The question asks which answer choice "most seriously weakens" the force of the evidence cited. We do not need to find an answer choice that completely destroys the evidence -- we just need to decide which answer choice weakens the evidence more than the other answer choices.

None of the other options weaken the evidence at all, so we can say that (B) most seriously weakens the force of the evidence even though it focuses on a smaller population than the one discussed in the passage.

An explanation for why (B) weakens the evidence can be found in this post.

I hope that helps!
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
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It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activities such as solving crossword puzzles or mathematics problems in order to maintain mental sharpness as they age. In fact, however, simply talking to other people—that is, participating in social interaction, which engages many mental and perceptual skills—suffices. Evidence to this effect comes from a study showing that the more social contact people report, the better their mental skills.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the force of the evidence cited?

Pre-thinking:
This is a classic cause-effect scenario where

Cause: social contact with people
Effect: improvement of mental skills, sharpness....

Our task is to weaken this relation and we can do that in different ways.

#1 The cause is the effect and the effect is the cause. For more clarity let's assume that as soon improves their mental skills they become more sociable, talkative and inclined to have social contact. In this case the argument is no more valid and it breaks.

N.W.: you can also reverse this scenario by stating that as someone's mental skills decrease, their time devoted to social contact decreases as well

#2 No cause - effect. In this scenario it could be the case in which someone with no social contact is able to improve significantly their mental ability by themselves.

#3 cause - no effect. Let's say that another study is made on another group of people and no matter how much does people talked and had social contact their mental abilities remained the same. This would suggest that the findings of the argument study are probably wrong.

(A) As people grow older, they are often advised to keep exercising their physical and mental capacities in order to maintain or improve them.
What people are advised when they get older is irrelevant since we don't know how this could impact the conclusion. Always remember that our task is to weaken a relation. Hence incorrect

(B) Many medical conditions and treatments that adversely affect a person's mental sharpness also tend to increase that person's social isolation.
Here the cause is the decrease in mental sharpness and the effect is isolation. This is in line with our weakener #1 since the relation is inverses. Now the cause is the effect and the effect is the cause. Hence correct

(C) Many people are proficient both in social interactions and in solving mathematical problems.
This answer choice does not give us any clue on the relation. According to this statement these factors could be independent or related but we don't know. Hence incorrect

(D) The study did not itself collect data but analyzed data bearing on the issue from prior studies.
Whether the data is new or taken from previous studies is irrelevant. Hence incorrect

(E) The tasks evaluating mental sharpness for which data were compiled by the study were more akin to mathematics problems than to conversation.
This statement says that in order to evaluate mental skills the study used more math than conversation. But we don't know HOW the people evaluated got that level of mental sharpness. Hence incorrect

Originally posted by auradediligodo on 14 Aug 2019, 01:38.
Last edited by auradediligodo on 07 May 2020, 00:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
Hi team,

why is option E wrong.

since 'E' establishes that study is more related towards math than social conversations??? So the survey is flawed

the official answer given is B. But medical conditions affect adversely mental sharpness and leads to social isolation--- is this same what is mention in the premise

Can you clarify a bit??

It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activities such as solving crossword puzzles or mathematics problems in order to maintain mental sharpness as they age. In fact, however, simply talking to other people—that is, participating in social interaction, which engages many mental and perceptual skills—suffices. Evidence to this effect comes from a study showing that the more social contact people report, the better their mental skills.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the force of the evidence cited?

(A) As people grow older, they are often advised to keep exercising their physical and mental capacities in order to maintain or improve them.

(B) Many medical conditions and treatments that adversely affect a person's mental sharpness also tend to increase that person's social isolation.

(C) Many people are proficient both in social interactions and in solving mathematical problems.

(D) The study did not itself collect data but analyzed data bearing on the issue from prior studies.

(E) The tasks evaluating mental sharpness for which data were compiled by the study were more akin to mathematics problems than to conversation.
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Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
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guest1708 wrote:
Hi team,

why is option E wrong.

since 'E' establishes that study is more related towards math than social conversations??? So the survey is flawed

the official answer given is B. But medical conditions affect adversely mental sharpness and leads to social isolation--- is this same what is mention in the premise

Can you clarify a bit??

It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activities such as solving crossword puzzles or mathematics problems in order to maintain mental sharpness as they age. In fact, however, simply talking to other people—that is, participating in social interaction, which engages many mental and perceptual skills—suffices. Evidence to this effect comes from a study showing that the more social contact people report, the better their mental skills.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the force of the evidence cited?

(A) As people grow older, they are often advised to keep exercising their physical and mental capacities in order to maintain or improve them.

(B) Many medical conditions and treatments that adversely affect a person's mental sharpness also tend to increase that person's social isolation.

(C) Many people are proficient both in social interactions and in solving mathematical problems.

(D) The study did not itself collect data but analyzed data bearing on the issue from prior studies.

(E) The tasks evaluating mental sharpness for which data were compiled by the study were more akin to mathematics problems than to conversation.

Let us look at what happened? Older people have better mental skills/sharpness

BUT why does it happen? Because the argument says, social interaction causes it.

We need to see why social interaction is not a reason for the mental skills to improve. Or why mathematical skills are the only way to improve mental skills.

There is no mention of the TYPES of mental sharpness/skills here.

We cannot, therefore, differentiate between mental sharpness FOR math problems and mental sharpness FOR conversation. What we need to see is if this mental sharpness is BY (solving) math problems or BY conversation.

E gives you types of mental sharpness which is not the scope of what we are expected to do here i.e. weaken the argument.

Let me give an analogy:

It was believed that driving fast causes accidents. However, research tells it is not driving fast but breaking rules that cause accidents.

If we are to weaken this argument then we need to show either (a) how driving fast doesn't cause accidents (b) how breaking rules causes accidents.

Now, if we are presented with an answer option that says "Accidents that were severe were caused by driving fast" it doesn't matter because the argument doesn't differentiate between types of accidents.

I hope this helps,
Re: It is widely assumed that people need to engage in intellectual activi [#permalink]
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