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# The suicide wave that followed the United States stock

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The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 23 Sep 2017, 02:45
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Difficulty:

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Question Stats:

66% (02:03) correct 34% (02:18) wrong based on 640 sessions

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The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?

(A) The suicide rate is influenced by many psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors during any given historical period.

(B) October and November have almost always had relatively high suicide rates, even during the 1920s and 1930s.

(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.

(D) During the years surrounding the stock market crash, suicide rates were typically lower at the beginning of any calendar year than toward the end of that year.

(E) Because of seasonal differences, the number of suicides in October and November of 1929 would not be expected to be the same as those for other months.

Source: LSAT

Originally posted by gurpreet07 on 16 Nov 2009, 10:18.
Last edited by broall on 23 Sep 2017, 02:45, edited 3 times in total.
Reformatted question, OA added
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2015, 17:25
4
2
I'm seeing lots of back and forth on this question, so I feel inclined to give a response with solutions and my reasoning behind the correct answer choice. I hope this is of some benefit to my fellow GMATWarriors.

______________________________________________
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?

Pre-thinking the answer: The conclusion is that the suicide wave following the US stock crash of OCT 1929 is more legend than fact. The main premises are that OCT and NOV 1929 have low suicide rates relative to the rest of that year's month's, with the exception of three other months. If I am to challenge the conclusion, I need to demonstrate that the suicide wave is high relative to some other factor such as previous years' Octobers and Novembers. If I can show, for example, that the suicide rate for the months of October and November in the years 1920-1928 were far lower than those for October and November of 1929, I could sufficiently show that there actually was an increase in suicides in October and November of 1929, thereby challenging the conclusion that the suicide wave was practically a non-event.

(A) The suicide rate is influenced by many psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors during any given historical period.

Incorrect - While true, it is unhelpful in challenging the question as it lacks any sort of evidence to suggest that the particular months of October and November in 1929 actually had a relatively high suicide rate. Remember, we need to identify something very particular in order to challenge the conclusion. This answer choice is far too broad.

(B) October and November have almost always had relatively high suicide rates, even during the 1920s and 1930s.

Incorrect - This actually solidifies the stimulus's conclusion. This answer choice basically states that there was practically no change in the relative suicide rate for the months of October and November. We need to state the precise polar opposite (not to be confused with logical opposite).

(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.

Correct - Let's say that, for the years 1920-1928, there are an average of 100 suicides every July verses an average of 15 and 10 for the months of October and November, respectively. So if in October and November of 1929 there is an average suicide rate of 60 and 40, respectively, the average for the months of October and November are still relatively low in comparison to July's 100 suicides. If, however, all Octobers and Novembers for the years 1920-1928 had only 10 suicides each per year, but in 1929 had 60 and 40, respectively, then we suddenly see that the suicide wave was in fact something far beyond the typical. That is precisely what this answer choice does for us, and, thus, it is the correct answer choice. Choice C demonstrates that the suicide rate is in fact relatively high because the October and November average was far higher relative to those months during the several preceding and following years.

(D) During the years surrounding the stock market crash, suicide rates were typically lower at the beginning of any calendar year than toward the end of that year.

Incorrect - Again, this actually supports the conclusion of the stimulus rather than challenge it.

(E) Because of seasonal differences, the number of suicides in October and November of 1929 would not be expected to be the same as those for other
months.

Incorrect - This does not speak to the relative frequency that we are hoping to challenge. This answer choice is therefore irrelevant for our purposes.
____________________________

I'm not sure that this question should be labeled as 700. The language can trip people up, but it certainly feels more appropriate to the 600-650 range.

I hope my responses helped some of you out there.

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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2009, 12:57
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gurpreet07 wrote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?
(A) The suicide rate is influenced by many psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors during any given historical period.
(B) October and November have almost always had relatively high suicide rates, even during the 1920s and 1930s.
(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.
(D) During the years surrounding the stock market crash, suicide rates were typically lower at the beginning of any calendar year than toward the end of that year.
(E) Because of seasonal differences, the number of suicides in October and November of 1929 would not be expected to be the same as those for other months.

Conclusion: The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact.

This is good one.. Little tricky one.

Definitely Answer between C and E. Other choices are stengthening the argument.

Choice E:
Premise : Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides
in October and in November was comparatively low .In only three other months were the monthly figures lower.

From the above premise Author assume that "All seasons/months will have same sucide rate - If there is no other factors." .

Choice E is Attacking this hole, But ask questions to yourself?? Is this affecting final Conclusion. (May be or May not) we are not sure.. This is not addressing Oct 1929 is lengend or fact.

Choice C :
Suice Rate in Oct and Nov of 1929 considerable high. So this is fact. This clearly undermines the Conclusion.

So C is the best answer.
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2009, 13:17
1
x2suresh wrote:
gurpreet07 wrote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?
(A) The suicide rate is influenced by many psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors during any given historical period.
(B) October and November have almost always had relatively high suicide rates, even during the 1920s and 1930s.
(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.
(D) During the years surrounding the stock market crash, suicide rates were typically lower at the beginning of any calendar year than toward the end of that year.
(E) Because of seasonal differences, the number of suicides in October and November of 1929 would not be expected to be the same as those for other months.

Conclusion: The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact.

This is good one.. Little tricky one.

Definitely Answer between C and E. Other choices are stengthening the argument.

Choice E:
Premise : Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides
in October and in November was comparatively low .In only three other months were the monthly figures lower.

From the above premise Author assume that "All seasons/months will have same sucide rate - If there is no other factors." .

Choice E is Attacking this hole, But ask questions to yourself?? Is this affecting final Conclusion. (May be or May not) we are not sure.. This is not addressing Oct 1929 is lengend or fact.

Choice C :
Suice Rate in Oct and Nov of 1929 considerable high. So this is fact. This clearly undermines the Conclusion.

So C is the best answer.

can u please explain answer choice D...
I actually marked D
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2009, 13:41
gurpreet07 wrote:

can u please explain answer choice D...
I actually marked D

According to D:
Typical case
Jan -> Dec (Suicide rate increasing )
So Rate of Oct or Nov > 9 months (Jan-Sep)
Premise says in 1929: October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower.
That means.. Oct, Nov rates are even lower than usual... Thant means.. Sucide rates are decreased.. So, conclusion is Legend and not a fact.
This strengthens the argument.
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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17 Apr 2015, 12:04
1
souvik101990 wrote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?

(A) The suicide rate is influenced by many psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors during any given historical period.

(B) October and November have almost always had relatively high suicide rates, even during the 1920s and 1930s.

(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.

(D) During the years surrounding the stock market crash, suicide rates were typically lower at the beginning of any calendar year than toward the end of that year.

(E) Because of seasonal differences, the number of suicides in October and November of 1929 would not be expected to be the same as those for other
months.

C indicates the hike in suicide rate in Oct Nov.

IMO, Answer C
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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11 May 2016, 22:17
gurpreet07 wrote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?
(A) The suicide rate is influenced by many psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors during any given historical period.
(B) October and November have almost always had relatively high suicide rates, even during the 1920s and 1930s.
(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.
(D) During the years surrounding the stock market crash, suicide rates were typically lower at the beginning of any calendar year than toward the end of that year.
(E) Because of seasonal differences, the number of suicides in October and November of 1929 would not be expected to be the same as those for other months.

I did not understand how option C weakens the conclusion - "the “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact"

Experts,
Please advise
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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11 May 2016, 22:35
2
smartguy595 wrote:
gurpreet07 wrote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?
(A) The suicide rate is influenced by many psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors during any given historical period.
(B) October and November have almost always had relatively high suicide rates, even during the 1920s and 1930s.
(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.
(D) During the years surrounding the stock market crash, suicide rates were typically lower at the beginning of any calendar year than toward the end of that year.
(E) Because of seasonal differences, the number of suicides in October and November of 1929 would not be expected to be the same as those for other months.

I did not understand how option C weakens the conclusion - "the “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact"

Experts,
Please advise

Hi,

first what is the conclusion- The suicide shock wave is MORE of a legend than a fact..
Premise to support that- In that year, after the crash, the Oct and Nov data was comparatively lower than OTHER months of THAT year. And ONLY 3 other months in that year were lower than these TWO months.

what is C?
(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.

what does it tell us?
the numbers may be lower as compared to other months BUT the numbers were much higher than IS usual for these months..
There may be some reasons why certain months may have a tendency to have higher suicide rate than other months of same year. reason could be related to season of harvesting, financial year closure , disease prone monthsleading to loss of near ones etc..
SO C shows this flaw in reasoning of CONCLUSION
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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09 Dec 2016, 11:26
gurpreet07 wrote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?
(A) The suicide rate is influenced by many psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors during any given historical period.
(B) October and November have almost always had relatively high suicide rates, even during the 1920s and 1930s.
(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.
(D) During the years surrounding the stock market crash, suicide rates were typically lower at the beginning of any calendar year than toward the end of that year.
(E) Because of seasonal differences, the number of suicides in October and November of 1929 would not be expected to be the same as those for other months.

I would underlie all the strategy.
Conclusion: The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Here legend means something other than the fact, something that is not true. Legend also means a myth. So author wants to say "there was no such suicide wave for real. It was an ordinary thing. It might have been a false propaganda."

Question Type: Weaken the conclusion: Anything that states the authenticity of the term suicide wave by demonstrating this was not a usual occurrence.

A) This is generally true. But how this tells that suicides of October were not a common occurrence.
B) This actually strengthens the argument by stating that observed phenomena is a usual one. Notice the word - 'always'
C) Suicide rate was considerably higher than in any other occurrences of similar fashion (October and November). This could describe that such a thing was never seen before. Note suicide rates in months of October and November 1929 are compared to the suicide rates of same months in preceding years. This is correct.
D) We are concerned about the suicide wave mentioned in the passage. -October 1929
E)This would happen in all the years not only 1929. Again this is too general and doesn't comment on the main thing - suicide wave
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2017, 04:29
gurpreet07 wrote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?

(A) The suicide rate is influenced by many psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors during any given historical period.

(B) October and November have almost always had relatively high suicide rates, even during the 1920s and 1930s.

(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.

(D) During the years surrounding the stock market crash, suicide rates were typically lower at the beginning of any calendar year than toward the end of that year.

(E) Because of seasonal differences, the number of suicides in October and November of 1929 would not be expected to be the same as those for other months.

Source: LSAT

October and November had low suicide totals + Summer months when the stock market was up had higher totals ----> The "suicide wave" story is a legend

(A) isn't much of a weaken. The stock market crash might be included in psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors. If it is, this strengthens.

(B) strengthens. It gives us another reason why the suicide figures are a bit higher in October and November (because they always are). Maybe people really don't like Halloween and Thanksgiving.

(C) is our weaken. If October and November of 1929 had significantly more suicides than the several years before and after, it seems that the "suicide wave" was more than a legend.

(D) doesn't clearly strengthen or weaken. We don't know if the suicide figures are different from the years surrounding. We don't know anything about December and we don't know anything about the beginning of the year.

(E) also strengthens. It tells us that we shouldn't expect October and November to be the same as other months. But we have no idea if it should be higher or lower. All we know is they aren't "normal" months.

Answer C
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The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2018, 23:13
generis nightblade354 VeritasKarishma GmatDaddy Harshgmat

Please help with argument understanding and identification of the conclusion.

Quote:
Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?

I need to weaken the conclusion.

Quote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Can you help me to identify what does author want me to believe in here?

Quote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact.

I took this as a fact, or a background information.
As per my view, the author is exaggerating the after-effects of the market crash of Oct in the year 1929

Quote:
Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

I could not understand what is going on here.
• Oct, Nov, 1929: Lower than the remaining 10 months
• 3 other months (No idea, which months author is talking about): 3 other months than Oct / Nov, the suicides were fewer - - - - (2)
• Summer (again, no idea of specific months) : number of suicides was much higher than (2)

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The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2018, 23:58
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Hi adkikani

I will try to help you.
See below my explanations and let me know if they are of any help.

Quote:
Quote:
Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?

I need to weaken the conclusion.

You are absolutely correct.

Quote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Quote:
Quote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact.

I took this as a fact, or a background information.
As per my view, the author is exaggerating the after-effects of the market crash of Oct in the year 1929

While solving the question, I took this as the conclusion. It is not a fact, but an inference that the author draws and later defends in the argument.

Quote:
Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Author here tries to support his inference with facts. He mentions some facts.

Quote:
I could not understand what is going on here.

Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low.
We dont know which average is the author talking about ? Perhaps the yearly average perhaps not. we need to read further to understand this.

In only three other months were the monthly figures lower
Whatever this average was, we know that in total only 5 months fall below the average.

During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.
Author uses this fact deduce that there must be some reason of suicides other than stock market crash, a the no of suicides were more when the stock was still flourishing.

I like the answer choices in this question, they are spread wide apart in terms of reasoning.

(A) The suicide rate is influenced by many psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors during any given historical period.
This lists factors which influence the suicide rate. I was not able to make out if this actually weakens the conclusion, so kept it as a contender.

(B) October and November have almost always had relatively high suicide rates, even during the 1920s and 1930s.
Strengthens the conclusion. drop it.

(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.
This somewhat hints at our confusion, that the actual suicide in the preceding years was much less and it actually rose in October and November. Solid reasoning to prove author wrong. Keep it.

(D) During the years surrounding the stock market crash, suicide rates were typically lower at the beginning of any calendar year than toward the end of that year.
but we dont know what happens in the middle of the year. this choice neither weakens nor strengthens. Drop it.

(E) Because of seasonal differences, the number of suicides in October and November of 1929 would not be expected to be the same as those for other months.
ok. so what should we expect ? to increase or decrease ? No answer. Drop it.

So we are left it 2 contenders. A and C.
If you look at both of them, obviously C is a better choice.
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2018, 02:46
adkikani wrote:

Hi adkikani

GmatDaddy has provided the excellent detailed analysis.

Let us know if you still have any confusion.

Guys adkikani, GmatDaddy keep rocking like this. This is what makes GC special.
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2018, 22:40
gurpreet07 wrote:
The “suicide wave” that followed the United States stock market crash of October 1929 is more legend than fact. Careful examination of the monthly figures on the causes of death in 1929 shows that the number of suicides in October and in November was comparatively low. In only three other months were the monthly figures lower. During the summer months, when the stock market was flourishing, the number of suicides was substantially higher.

Which one of the following, if true, would best challenge the conclusion of the passage?

(A) The suicide rate is influenced by many psychological, interpersonal, and societal factors during any given historical period.

(B) October and November have almost always had relatively high suicide rates, even during the 1920s and 1930s.

(C) The suicide rate in October and November of 1929 was considerably higher than the average for those months during several preceding and following years.

(D) During the years surrounding the stock market crash, suicide rates were typically lower at the beginning of any calendar year than toward the end of that year.

(E) Because of seasonal differences, the number of suicides in October and November of 1929 would not be expected to be the same as those for other months.

Source: LSAT

Conclusion: Suicide rate of Oct 1929 is more legend than fact
Weaken: Prove it is not legend
How: Show past rate of Suicide for Oct month is high
If you show it is low, it will strengthen the conclusion with the fact that for few months for some reason suicide rate is ALWAYS low.
If we prove that suicide rate can change/vary - It does not become the legendary thing
Options: C and E
E- CANNOT BE SAME(stated) - Question raised- will it be low or high, and if it is low, is it low always?
C- Resolves the question raised in E

Answer: C
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock  [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2018, 05:36
OE from Powerscore

Weaken. The correct answer choice is (C)

In this stimulus, the author provides limited information from which an overly broad conclusion (that "the suicide wave... is more legend than fact") is drawn. The author compares the number of suicides after the crash to those from the previous summer, when the stock market was flourishing. Because the number of suicides after the crash was actually lower than it had been during the previous summer, the author concludes that the stock market crash did not in fact lead people to suicide.

The problem is that the information provided gives us only a small piece of the puzzle. For example, if suicides in winter are less common than suicides in summer, then the author's conclusion may not be valid. For a more accurate assessment, we may wish to compare the suicide figures of October 1929 to those of previous Octobers.

Answer choice (A): The many factors that affect the suicide rate in general are irrelevant to the author's question of whether the crash of '29 caused an increase in suicides.

Answer choice (B): This choice strengthens the argument: If we could normally expect to see high suicide rates during October, then the fact that the rates of October 1929 were lower than those of the preceding summer suggests that the author may be right.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. If during the weeks following the crash there were many more suicides than we might normally expect to see during that time of the year, then this weakens the argument by making it more likely that some of those suicides were attributable to the crash.

Answer choice (D): Like incorrect answer choice (B) above, this answer choice strengthens the argument, because it would lead us to expect rates in October to be higher—not lower—than those of the preceding summer.

Answer choice (E): Without specifics, the mere fact that we should expect to see some seasonal variation in suicide rates has no effect on the author's argument. Should we normally expect higher rates in October than in the summer, or lower? The information provided in this answer choice provides no insight into the credibility of the author's argument.
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Re: The suicide wave that followed the United States stock   [#permalink] 26 Sep 2018, 05:36
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# The suicide wave that followed the United States stock

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