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# Studies of trauma victims suggest that shock brought on by violent or

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Studies of trauma victims suggest that shock brought on by violent or  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2018, 02:28
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Studies of trauma victims suggest that shock brought on by violent or life-threatening situations causes damage to the hippocampi, structures in the brain that play a crucial role in learning and memory. Researchers found that in combat veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress symptoms, which include nightmares and vivid flashbacks, the hippocampi were eight percent smaller in volume than in combat veterans who suffered no such symptoms. The researchers concluded that the hippocampi had lost cell mass as a result of trauma.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the researchers' conclusion drawn above?

(A) In another study, subjects who had experienced the death of a close relative were found to have no reduction in the volume of their hippocampi when compared to those whose close relatives were all still living.

(B) In the study, the traumatized veterans were compared with other veterans of similar background, body size, and other characteristics that might have a bearing on brain size.

(C) Some individuals are born with hippocampi whose volume is smaller than average, and this reduced volume makes them more susceptible to posttraumatic stress symptoms.

(D) Combat veterans who experience post-traumatic stress symptoms perform significantly worse on tests of verbal memory compared with veterans who suffer no such symptoms.

(E) Further study revealed that veterans who had seen more intense combat and had more severe post-traumatic symptoms exhibited even greater reduction in the volume of their hippocampi.

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Re: Studies of trauma victims suggest that shock brought on by violent or  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2018, 03:15
Studies of trauma victims suggest that shock brought on by violent or life-threatening situations causes damage to the hippocampi, structures in the brain that play a crucial role in learning and memory. Researchers found that in combat veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress symptoms, which include nightmares and vivid flashbacks, the hippocampi were eight percent smaller in volume than in combat veterans who suffered no such symptoms. The researchers concluded that the hippocampi had lost cell mass as a result of trauma.

Reasoning
Shock damages hippocampi. Combat veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress had smaller hippocampi.
Conclusion:-
Hippocampi became smaller due to trauma.

We are looking for weakening conclusion......

(A) In another study, subjects who had experienced the death of a close relative were found to have no reduction in the volume of their hippocampi when compared to those whose close relatives were all still living.
the subjects may not have gone through trauma. Or others could have gone through similar trauma in some other sphere

(B) In the study, the traumatized veterans were compared with other veterans of similar background, body size, and other characteristics that might have a bearing on brain size.
this can act as a strengthener than weakener

(C) Some individuals are born with hippocampi whose volume is smaller than average, and this reduced volume makes them more susceptible to posttraumatic stress symptoms.
Now this tells us that the opposite is possible that is people with smaller hippocampi are likely to suffer trauma faster.... CORRECT as it weakens the conclusion that trauma resulted in smaller hippocampi

(D) Combat veterans who experience post-traumatic stress symptoms perform significantly worse on tests of verbal memory compared with veterans who suffer no such symptoms.
Out of scope

(E) Further study revealed that veterans who had seen more intense combat and had more severe post-traumatic symptoms exhibited even greater reduction in the volume of their hippocampi.
does not weaken. Rather strengthens the conclusion

C
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Studies of trauma victims suggest that shock brought on by violent or  [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2018, 04:12

Official Explanation

: Trauma Victims Distinguishing Features: Study, Causation, Alternative Possibility

Here we have a cause-and-effect argument presented in the context of a study. The trauma of the vets must have caused the loss of hippocampi cell mass, the doctors conclude, because those with stress symptoms had smaller hippocampi than those without the symptoms. We're looking for something that would weaken the argument, and a classic way of attacking cause-and-effect is illustrated by (C), which points out that the cause and effect could actually be working in reverse— it could be that the symptoms are the result of the small hippocampi, rather than vice versa. This should remind you of Nietzsche's Cornaro example presented a few pages back. (C) it is.
An 800 test taker knows all the potential weaknesses of a causal argument. When confronted with the proposition that X caused Y, he considers the possibility that Ymay have in fact caused X, that some third factor Zcaused both X and Y; or that the two things are merely correlated and thus not causally related at all.
(A) The argument concerns the effects of "violent or life-threatening" events. The death of a close relative is traumatic, of course, but it isn't "violent or life-threatening," as those terms are used here. So (A) is irrelevant.
(B) and (E) do the opposite of what we're looking for here. The very fact that (B) asserts the similarity among all the veterans studied tends to support, rather than weaken, the study's findings. And (E), if anything, strengthens the argument by cementing the connection between trauma and tiny hippocampi.
An 800 test taker keeps her eye on the ball at all times, and does not carelessly choose a strengthener when asked for a weakener, or vice versa.
(D) omits the main issue—the connection between trauma and hippocampi damage—and hence cannot have any effect on the reasoning.
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Studies of trauma victims suggest that shock brought on by violent or &nbs [#permalink] 22 Oct 2018, 04:12
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# Studies of trauma victims suggest that shock brought on by violent or

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