NandishSS wrote:

Recent research shows that training programs that include emphases on flexibility, highlighting activities such as yoga and pilates, are significantly more effective at preventing injury in athletes than are training programs that solely focus on strength and speed. The Bournemouth Football Club suffered fewer injuries than the Haleford Football Club this past season, so it can be concluded that Bournemouth's training program featured more flexibility activities than did the program at Haleford.

The argument is most vulnerable to criticism because it:

(A) generalizes from too few data points.

(B) uses its own conclusion as one of its major premises.

(C) assumes that the consequence of one set of circumstances would not be produced by another.

(D) fails to consult alternative research studies.

(E) does not distinguish between incidence of injury and degree of injury.

VERITAS PREP OFFICIAL SOLUTION:

When you look at how this argument is built, recognize a few major points:

1) The only comparison drawn between methods of injury prevention pits "flexibility training" against "strength and speed training." You don't at all know that flexibility training is the best of all possible injury prevention techniques (rest? nutrition? hydration?). What if Bournemouth just did a better job of prioritizing the other, unnamed injury prevention techniques, but didn't do as much flexibility training as Haleford?

2) The amount of flexibility training is not part of the comparison - the comparison just pits "programs that include flexibility training" (whether it's a small amount of flexibility training or a large amount) against "programs that solely focus on strength and speed." The given premise does not allow for a "more vs. less" flexibility training conclusion, as it is just "has" vs. "does not have" data.

3) You don't know whether Haleford has more players, or played more games - you don't know whether the real number data (more vs. fewer injuries) is balanced enough to draw a conclusoin.

As you go to the answer choices, you'll see that choice C summarizes the flaw outlined in 1) above - the conclusion doesn't allow for other factors to be the drivers behind the injury difference. And no choices summarize 2) or 3), so C must be correct. Among the incorrect choices:

A points out the wrong data flaw - there is a flaw in using real numbers of injuries without a per-capita or percentage direct comparison, but the problem isn't necessarily "too few data points."

B is not the case, as the conclusion is not one of the premises - it stands alone as its own new piece of information.

D is not necessarily a flaw, as there is no reason to suspect that the studies consulted are insufficient to establish the notion that flexibility can help prevent injuries.

And E is not a flaw here as the premises and conclusion are all consistent in using the number/incidence of injuries (did an injury occur). The argument as constructed has no need to focus on severity of injury.

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