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Prolonged exposure to sulfur fumes permanently damages one's sense of

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Prolonged exposure to sulfur fumes permanently damages one's sense of [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2017, 09:26
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Question Stats:

25% (01:25) correct 75% (01:49) wrong based on 249 sessions

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Prolonged exposure to sulfur fumes permanently damages one's sense of smell. In one important study, 100 workers from sulfur-emitting factories and a control group of 100 workers from other occupations were asked to identify a variety of chemically reproduced scents, including those of foods, spices, and flowers. On average, the factory workers successfully identified 10 percent of the scents compared to 50 percent for the control group.

Each of the following, if true, weakens the argument EXCEPT:

(A) The chemicals used in the study closely but not perfectly reproduced the corresponding natural scents.
(B) The subjects in the study were tested in the environments where they usually work.
(C) Most members of the control group had participated in several earlier studies that involved the identification of scents.
(D) Every sulfur-emitting factory with workers participating in the study also emits other noxious fumes.
(E) Because of the factories’ locations, the factory workers were less likely than those in the control group to have been exposed to many of the scents used in the study.

LSAT

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[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by Masshole on 30 Aug 2017, 12:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Prolonged exposure to sulfur fumes permanently damages one's sense of [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2017, 11:23
Masshole wrote:
Prolonged exposure to sulfur fumes permanently damages one's sense of smell. In one important study, 100 workers from sulfur-emitting factories and a control group of 100 workers from other occupations were asked to identify a variety of chemically reproduced scents, including those of foods, spices, and flowers. On average, the factory workers successfully identified 10 percent of the scents compared to 50 percent for the control group.

Each of the following, if true, weakens the argument EXCEPT:

(A) The chemicals used in the study closely but not perfectly reproduced the corresponding natural scents.
(B) The subjects in the study were tested in the environments where they usually work.
(C) Most members of the control group had participated in several earlier studies that involved the identification of scents.
(D) Every sulfur-emitting factory with workers participating in the study also emits other noxious fumes.
(E) Because of the factories’ locations, the factory workers were less likely than those in the control group to have been exposed to many of the scents used in the study.



LSAT


Apart from A , each option is giving a reason to doubt on the experiment ... both group have same food to smell..so balance ...

in B - test is performed in different Env...
C- kind of biased test
D-alternate cause of problem
E-again factory worker are not aware of many scents ...

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Re: Prolonged exposure to sulfur fumes permanently damages one's sense of [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2017, 02:50
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Task: Eliminate the four answers that weaken the argument (select the one answer that is irrelevant or strengthens)

Argument Core:

Conc -
prolonged exposure to sulfur permanently damages one's sense of smell

why?
Prem -
Study (100 sulfur workers vs. 100 other workers ... sulfur workers were less able to identify scents of foods, spices, flowers, etc.)

How might we Weaken this?

I typically start with important terms from the Conclusion and make sure they've been properly established in the Evidence or Linked to it.

How do we know these factory workers have suffered PERMANENT exposure?

How do we know that the sulfur workers have actually had PROLONGED exposure to sulfur fumes?

But I would also anticipate LSAT's usual bag of tricks in weakening an argument based on a Study / Explanation / Causality
- unrepresentative samples
- poor methodology
- anything else that suggests an alternative explanation for the study results / points to another significant difference between the two groups

(A) Hmmm, this doesn't seem to do much. Sure the chemical replacements weren't perfect, but that's an incredibly high standard. Plus, even if they were less than perfect, we still have to figure out why the sulfur workers did so much worse than the other workers. This brings up an attribute of the study that equally affects both groups. Keep it, this is probably the answer.

(B) This weakens by pointing to a significant difference between the two groups. If you took a smell test somewhere where there are heavy sulfur fumes hanging in the air (as the sulfur workers did), then OF COURSE it's hard to identify scents. All you can smell is the sulfur! That doesn't prove the sulfur workers have had their sense of smell damaged ... it just shows that the sulfur overpowered the scents that were being tested. Eliminate.

(C) Significant difference between the two groups! The control group was already good at this task ... they've been primed to perform better at this task by having previous experience with it.

(D) Alternative cause! Maybe the sulfur workers perform worse because some OTHER noxious fume at their work has damaged their sense of smell. Eliminate.

(E) Significant difference between the two groups! The sulfur workers aren't even familiar with some of the scents being tested, so they wouldn't be able to successfully identify them, whether or not their sense of smell had been damaged.

(A) is the correct answer. The easiest way to "feel" how it's different from all the others is to see that it points out a "sameness", whereas all the correct answers point out a DISTINCTION between the sulfur workers and the control group.

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Re: Prolonged exposure to sulfur fumes permanently damages one's sense of [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2017, 14:40
yes, although A is not the causal relation, A strengthens the argument.
D gives an alternative causes that may damage the sense ability.
B is an biased test.
C and E are clearly wrong.

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Re: Prolonged exposure to sulfur fumes permanently damages one's sense of   [#permalink] 14 Sep 2017, 14:40
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Prolonged exposure to sulfur fumes permanently damages one's sense of

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