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The higher the average fat intake among the residents of a country, th

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 04:37
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The higher the average fat intake among the residents of a country, the higher the incidence of cancer in that country; the lower the average fat intake, the lower the incidence of cancer. So individuals who want to reduce their risk of cancer should reduce their fat intake.

Which one of the following, if true, most weaken the argument?


(A) The differences in average fat intake between countries are often due to the varying makeup of traditional diets.

(B) The countries with a high average fat intake tend to be among the wealthiest in the world.

(C) Cancer is a prominent cause of death in countries with a low average fat intake.

(D) The countries with high average fat intake are also the countries with highest levels of environmental pollution.

(E) An individual resident of a country whose population has a high average fat intake may have a diet with a low fat intake.

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 15:00
Bunuel wrote:
The higher the average fat intake among the residents of a country, the higher the incidence of cancer in that country; the lower the average fat intake, the lower the incidence of cancer. So individuals who want to reduce their risk of cancer should reduce their fat intake.

Which one of the following, if true, most weaken the argument?


(A) The differences in average fat intake between countries are often due to the varying makeup of traditional diets.

(B) The countries with a high average fat intake tend to be among the wealthiest in the world.

(C) Cancer is a prominent cause of death in countries with a low average fat intake.

(D) The countries with high average fat intake are also the countries with highest levels of environmental pollution.

(E) An individual resident of a country whose population has a high average fat intake may have a diet with a low fat intake.

Though many answer choices try to give the causal relationship between cancer and fat intake on a national lever, only C completely weakens the argument that national fat intake is causal to the incidence of cancer on a individual level.
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New post 19 Dec 2018, 20:13
Option C states that when the cause (average fat intake) is lesser , the effect is (cancer) is still there. This weakens the argument, does it not ? Please guide


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New post 19 Dec 2018, 21:22
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ShankSouljaBoi wrote:
Option C states that when the cause (average fat intake) is lesser , the effect is (cancer) is still there. This weakens the argument, does it not ? Please guide


Regards


Careful - you make a pretty big paraphrase in the way you interpret (C). (C) adds the concept of death to an argument that otherwise doesn't include it at all. The conclusion is just about reducing the risk of cancer, and the premises are about fat intake and cancer incidence. So right away I'd be super skeptical of adding "death."

Think about it this way - what if (and this may well be true) in those low fat intake countries, they don't eat a lot of fat because they just don't have much income and so they can't afford to eat foods that are high in fat...but that also means that they can't afford good healthcare. So if you get cancer - even if it's more rare than in other, wealthier countries - it's a guaranteed death sentence, so it's a leading cause of death. Whereas in the countries with higher fat intake, cancer certainly occurs more, but they're wealthier countries so doctors catch and treat cancer much more quickly. (C) Is still very true, but doesn't weaken the argument.

And that hypothetical is pretty specific - you don't need to come up with something like that on test day just to eliminate (C) - but hopefully it helps as an example. Really what's hugely important is that (C) doesn't measure fat intake and cancer incidence...it measures fat intake and cancer deaths. And cancer deaths are different than cancer incidence.
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New post 20 Dec 2018, 00:19
According to me It should be OA : C ..Only ....D is Out of scope ..
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New post 20 Dec 2018, 02:09
I know why C is not the correct option but can someone explain why D is the correct answer?

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 02:13
Hi harsh ,

I think you are talking about countries ... instead of country ..right ?

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 02:21
mittalmohit1995 wrote:
Hi harsh ,

I think you are talking about countries ... instead of country ..right ?

Posted from my mobile device


Hello Mohit,

Intially I was confused between countries and country. But all the options contain contries so that is not an issue. Right now my concern is how can we relate high fat intake to environmental pollution, as stated in option D. I mean if C is a Farfetched option then D also to seems to be.
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New post 20 Dec 2018, 02:25
I agree with you harsh ...I also have same doubt ...how we can relate hight fat with pollution ...

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 03:51
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vermaharsh147 wrote:
mittalmohit1995 wrote:
Hi harsh ,

I think you are talking about countries ... instead of country ..right ?

Posted from my mobile device


Hello Mohit,

Intially I was confused between countries and country. But all the options contain contries so that is not an issue. Right now my concern is how can we relate high fat intake to environmental pollution, as stated in option D. I mean if C is a Farfetched option then D also to seems to be.



A weakener of a causal claim can be that Z caused X and Y both. D states just that.
Ask yourself, what if pollution lead to cancer and cancer led to high fat diet consumption.

D is a weakener.
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New post 20 Dec 2018, 04:54
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mittalmohit1995 wrote:
Hi harsh ,

I think you are talking about countries ... instead of country ..right ?

Posted from my mobile device



A country is not specific. Had it been the country, then it would have been a specific case.

I hope this clarifies your issue
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New post 20 Dec 2018, 06:33
ShankSouljaBoi wrote:
vermaharsh147 wrote:
mittalmohit1995 wrote:
Hi harsh ,

I think you are talking about countries ... instead of country ..right ?

Posted from my mobile device


Hello Mohit,

Intially I was confused between countries and country. But all the options contain contries so that is not an issue. Right now my concern is how can we relate high fat intake to environmental pollution, as stated in option D. I mean if C is a Farfetched option then D also to seems to be.



A weakener of a causal claim can be that Z caused X and Y both. D states just that.
Ask yourself, what if pollution lead to cancer and cancer led to high fat diet consumption.

D is a weakener.


I understand this logic. But aren't we "assuming" here that environmental pollution increases risk of cancer? Shouldn't we NOT rely on outside knowledge and NOT assume things that aren't mentioned in the paragraph?
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New post 20 Dec 2018, 09:29
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This problem does a great job of setting up a Correlation vs. Causation logical flaw, so that's a big lesson you should take away (even outside of the C vs. D debate). The premises show that fat intake and cancer incidence occur together (correlation), but then the conclusion makes an inference about causality (if you reduce your fat intake you'll reduce your likelihood of cancer incidence, basically assuming that fat intake is the reason for cancer).

When you see Correlation vs. Causation logical gap (X and Y occur together, so X causes Y), the most likely correct Weaken answers will be:

1) X doesn't cause Y; instead Y causes X --> the opposite of the conclusion is true

2) Actually Z causes Y (and maybe also causes X) --> there's an alternate cause of the effect (and maybe of both effects)

Here choice (D) is written to hit that #2 type of correlation/causation Weaken answer - environmental pollution is given as the alternate cause.

So that's the lesson to take from this one. For anyone thinking "hey that's a pretty big assumption to make that pollution and cancer are connected" I think I'd agree with you, but keep in mind that official questions are so carefully developed and statistically researched that they'll (almost) always get it right (well, at least if they're the non-experimental ones that count toward your score). So here even if you don't think D is a perfect fit, if you see how it fits the Correlation/Causation template you've learned the lesson and are ready to apply it to future problems.
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Re: The higher the average fat intake among the residents of a country, th  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 09:57
VeritasPrepBrian wrote:
This problem does a great job of setting up a Correlation vs. Causation logical flaw, so that's a big lesson you should take away (even outside of the C vs. D debate). The premises show that fat intake and cancer incidence occur together (correlation), but then the conclusion makes an inference about causality (if you reduce your fat intake you'll reduce your likelihood of cancer incidence, basically assuming that fat intake is the reason for cancer).

When you see Correlation vs. Causation logical gap (X and Y occur together, so X causes Y), the most likely correct Weaken answers will be:

1) X doesn't cause Y; instead Y causes X --> the opposite of the conclusion is true

2) Actually Z causes Y (and maybe also causes X) --> there's an alternate cause of the effect (and maybe of both effects)

Here choice (D) is written to hit that #2 type of correlation/causation Weaken answer - environmental pollution is given as the alternate cause.

So that's the lesson to take from this one. For anyone thinking "hey that's a pretty big assumption to make that pollution and cancer are connected" I think I'd agree with you, but keep in mind that official questions are so carefully developed and statistically researched that they'll (almost) always get it right (well, at least if they're the non-experimental ones that count toward your score). So here even if you don't think D is a perfect fit, if you see how it fits the Correlation/Causation template you've learned the lesson and are ready to apply it to future problems.


Thanks Brian. Your explanation helps understand how much assumption is sometimes alright.

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Re: The higher the average fat intake among the residents of a country, th   [#permalink] 20 Dec 2018, 09:57
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