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QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people

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QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 271: Critical Reasoning


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Studies have shown that elderly people who practice a religion are much more likely to die immediately after an important religious holiday period than immediately before one. Researchers have concluded that the will to live can prolong life, at least for short periods of time.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the researchers' conclusion?

(A) Elderly people who practice a religion are less likely to die immediately before or during an important religious holiday than at any other time of the year.

(B) Elderly people who practice a religion appear to experience less anxiety at the prospect of dying than do other people.

(C) Some elderly people who do practice a religion live much longer than most elderly people who do not.

(D) Most elderly people who participate in religious holidays have different reasons for participating than young people do.

(E) Many religions have important holidays in the spring and fall, seasons with the lowest death rates for elderly people.


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QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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Since we are trying to strengthen the researchers' conclusion, let's start with their conclusion: "the will to live can prolong life, at least for short periods of time." The researchers base that conclusion on the following evidence: "elderly people who practice a religion are much more likely to die immediately after an important religious holiday period than immediately before one."

This is best explained with a somewhat somber example.

  • Grandma has lived a long and happy life, but she is getting old and faces many health problems associated with old age. She is not expected to survive another year, and in fact her death could come any day.
  • Grandma is Jewish, and Passover is an important Jewish holiday period. This year, Passover will take place early April.
  • According to the study, Grandma is much more likely to die right after the holiday period than right before the holiday period.
  • The implication is that Grandma wants to be alive for Passover. Maybe without this goal she would die in March, but knowing that Passover is coming up, Grandma wills herself to hold on until the holiday period is over. Once the holiday is over, she can die peacefully.

Obviously Grandma cannot change the fact that her death is imminent. But if the researchers are right, she CAN prolong her life just enough to enjoy one last Passover. This doesn't imply that she'll be able to extend her life for years and years to enjoy several more Passovers. But if Passover is only a couple weeks or months away, then perhaps she can use the will to live to prolong her life for a short period of time.

Now we need something that would strengthen the researchers' conclusion:

Quote:
(A) Elderly people who practice a religion are less likely to die immediately before or during an important religious holiday than at any other time of the year.

Dying just before or during the holiday would be the WORST case scenario for these people. So if they actually have the power to prolong their lives for short periods of time, surely they would try to use that power to avoid dying just before or during the holiday. If the researchers are right, then elderly people would be able to will themselves to stay alive until the holiday period is over. As a result, we should see lower than average death rates just before and during holiday periods (the worst time to die).

Choice (A) tells us that this is indeed the case, suggesting that these people actually were able to avoid dying just before or during important religious holidays. This strengthens the researchers' conclusion, so keep this one.

Quote:
(B) Elderly people who practice a religion appear to experience less anxiety at the prospect of dying than do other people.

We aren't interested in anxiety levels of elderly people. Regardless of whether they were more or less anxious, were elderly people who practice a religion able to will themselves to stay alive for important holidays? (B) doesn't tell us either way, so eliminate this one.

Quote:
(C) Some elderly people who do practice a religion live much longer than most elderly people who do not.

Since (C) only talks about SOME elderly people who do practice a religion, there's no way to conclude that religious people, in general, live longer than non-religious. Regardless, the researchers are only concerned with ability to prolong life for short periods of time. Perhaps religious people generally live longer (for a variety of reasons), but can they use the will to live to prolong their lives for a few extra weeks or months? Overall life expectancy statistics have no bearing on the researchers' conclusion, so (C) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(D) Most elderly people who participate in religious holidays have different reasons for participating than young people do.

We don't care about the reasons for participating in religious holidays. We are only concerned with the ability to prolong one's life in order to live through another holiday. (D) is irrelevant and can be eliminated.

Quote:
(E) Many religions have important holidays in the spring and fall, seasons with the lowest death rates for elderly people.

Notice that the second part of (E) refers to elderly people in general, not just elderly people who practice a religion. Also, many religions might ALSO have important holidays in the summer and winter. So, with (E), we can't even safely conclude that death rates, in general, are lower during holiday seasons.

Even if we could, what about death rates within those holiday seasons? Are death rates lower immediately before and during the holidays? Without this specific information, the conclusion is not supported. Eliminate (E).

(A) is the best answer.
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Re: QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2018, 02:16
E
As the option substantiate the conclusion by giving us the data a abt death rates during important religious holidays

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Re: QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2018, 22:24
answer is A.
E. it is a general statement. As "people's will" is the main point in the argument, we need to strengthen that point, in option E there is no mention of death rate before and after religious holiday. Not considering other factors too.
A. even though this statement is repeated in the original argument, it is the only option stating about before and after case and even mentions during the holidays also.
Please let me know if my approach is wrong.
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Re: QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2018, 03:18
Experts - I have a very fundamental doubt here ... Can an option that only repeats the premise be a valid strengthen choice ?
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Re: QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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spetznaz wrote:
Experts - I have a very fundamental doubt here ... Can an option that only repeats the premise be a valid strengthen choice ?


It doesn't just repeat the premise. It adds more detail to the premise, detail that goes on to strengthen that premise and therefore the argument.
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Re: QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2018, 08:27
spetznaz wrote:
Experts - I have a very fundamental doubt here ... Can an option that only repeats the premise be a valid strengthen choice ?

I think you should read more carefully, specially this part --- ' less likely to die immediately before or during an important religious holiday.' look again that this part is not written in question stem. Is it Strengthening the conclusion, Indeed it is. Is it an assumption? Certainly it is. Among other choices it is the best contender.
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Re: QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2018, 08:10
Hello,
I am confused about distinguishing between options A & E. Can you please elaborate?
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Re: QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2018, 11:24
Quote:
(A) Elderly people who practice a religion are less likely to die immediately before or during an important religious holiday than at any other time of the year.

(E) Many religions have important holidays in the spring and fall, seasons with the lowest death rates for elderly people.


This was a tough question. Between A and E, I found E to be too broad/general to support the premise.
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QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2018, 12:23
I'm opting for B. The question asks support for conclusion, which is about will to live. Only option B says anything about will to live. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


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QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2018, 15:34
Got it wrong after 3:01 mins then banged my head on the wall for next 3 mins for missing this easy one :hurt: .

(A) Elderly people who practice a religion are less likely to die immediately before or during an important religious holiday than at any other time of the year. - Correct. We need focus on the argument "Researchers have concluded that the will to live can prolong life, at least for short periods of time." The will to live is more in elderly people when 1) before: a religious day is approaching, even if they are dying, their will says "just 2 more days and then you can die peacefully". 2) During: the important religious day their will says "the function is for one more day after that you can die peacefully". So, basically be it before or after the religious days its their "will" helping them to live for a shorter period. Hence, this strengthens the researchers argument.
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Re: QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2018, 03:06
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 271: Critical Reasoning


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Studies have shown that elderly people who practice a religion are much more likely to die immediately after an important religious holiday period than immediately before one. Researchers have concluded that the will to live can prolong life, at least for short periods of time.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the researchers' conclusion?

(A) Elderly people who practice a religion are less likely to die immediately before or during an important religious holiday than at any other time of the year.

(B) Elderly people who practice a religion appear to experience less anxiety at the prospect of dying than do other people.

(C) Some elderly people who do practice a religion live much longer than most elderly people who do not.

(D) Most elderly people who participate in religious holidays have different reasons for participating than young people do.

(E) Many religions have important holidays in the spring and fall, seasons with the lowest death rates for elderly people.


Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.


IMO

A) Elderly People are less likely to die immediately before or during an important religious holiday than at any other time of the year. It means they are more likely to die after rekigious holiday--let's keept it
B) it comparely elderly people who practice a religion to other people --- OUT OF SCOPE
C) same reason as B --- OUT OF SCOPE
D) Young people have nothing to do with question --- OUT OF SCOPE
E) This weakens the argument

So by POE, it's A
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Re: QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people [#permalink]

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New post 11 May 2018, 22:11
Conclusion- will to live can prolong life, at least for short periods of time.

Let's evaluate answer choices

B-nothing about anxiety is mentioned in argument.OUT

C- talking about some people.some includes more than one
So can't say it include majority or not .OUT

D-argument doesn't talk about difference between young and elderly people so OUT

E-it is tempting.elderly people have lowest death rates means some other say young can have higher death rates.

But within elderly death rates rate is increasing or decreasing we don't know so E is OUT

A- clearly strengthen that during religious event death rate is low means will prolong life for short duration of time

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Re: QOTD: Studies have shown that elderly people   [#permalink] 11 May 2018, 22:11
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