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V21-01

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V21-01  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2018, 10:42
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39% (01:27) correct 61% (01:33) wrong based on 18 sessions

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Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects who consistently chose sweetened drinks when offered a choice between salty and sweetened drinks were found, on average, to have significantly higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains than subjects who consistently chose salty drinks over sweetened drinks. Thus, an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain is likely to cause an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks. Which one of the following, if true, most supports the argument?

A. Craving sweetened drinks does not invariably result in a subject’s choosing those drinks over salty drinks.
B. The brains of the subjects who consistently chose to drink sweetened drinks did not contain significantly more sugar than the brains of subjects that consistently chose salty drinks.
C. The chemical components of Aldolase are present in sweetened drinks.
D. The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks had higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains before they were offered sweetened drinks.
E. In a study of subjects who drank one sweetened drink per day for an entire year, the concentrations of Aldolase in the brains of most subjects gradually increased over the course of the year.

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V21-01  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2018, 10:42
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Aldolase is a protein found in the brain. In an experiment, subjects who consistently chose sweetened drinks when offered a choice between salty and sweetened drinks were found, on average, to have significantly higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains than subjects who consistently chose salty drinks over sweetened drinks. Thus, an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain is likely to cause an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks. Which one of the following, if true, most supports the argument?

A. Craving sweetened drinks does not invariably result in a subject’s choosing those drinks over salty drinks.
B. The brains of the subjects who consistently chose to drink sweetened drinks did not contain significantly more sugar than the brains of subjects that consistently chose salty drinks.
C. The chemical components of Aldolase are present in sweetened drinks.
D. The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks had higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains before they were offered sweetened drinks.
E. In a study of subjects who drank one sweetened drink per day for an entire year, the concentrations of Aldolase in the brains of most subjects gradually increased over the course of the year.

This is a classic correlation vs. causation CR question.

And as always, I like to start with a nice, clear restatement of the conclusion: Thus, an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain is likely to cause an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks.

This is strong, clear causal language: Aldolase causes the increase in cravings for sweetened drinks. And what's the reasoning given in the passage itself? Really, it's just one sentence that leads to the conclusion:In an experiment, subjects who consistently chose sweetened drinks when offered a choice between salty and sweetened drinks were found, on average, to have significantly higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains than subjects who consistently chose salty drinks over sweetened drinks.The author assumes that Aldolase is the cause of the cravings for sweetened drinks, but as is often the case in correlation vs. causation questions, we might wonder if the direction of causality could also be reversed.

The author says that Aldolase causes the cravings, but why couldn't the consumption of sweetened drinks lead to higher concentrations of Aldolase in the brain instead? The question is just asking us to strengthen the conclusion ("an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain is likely to cause an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks.") One way to strengthen the conclusion might be to eliminate the possibility of a "causal reversal": that the sweetened drinks cause the increase in Aldolase in the brain, instead of Aldolase causing an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks. Also notice that we do not need a statement that PROVES that the conclusion is true; rather, we need a statement that SUPPORTS the argument.

(A) Craving sweetened drinks does not invariably result in a subject’s choosing those drinks over salty drinks.

Statement (A) is tempting at first! At first glance, it seems it seems to eliminate the "causal reversal" we discussed above. The trouble is, (A) only addresses the link between craving sweetened drinks and choosing those drinks; it does nothing to link Aldolase to the cravings or the consumption of sweetened drinks. And as we'll see in a moment,

(D) is a much stronger answer.

(B) The brains of the subjects who consistently chose to drink sweetened drinks did not contain significantly more sugar than the brains of subjects that consistently chose salty drinks.The argument discusses the concentration of Aldolase in the brains of subjects, but the amount of sugar in subjects' brains is irrelevant to the argument. We can eliminate (B).

(C) The chemical components of Aldolase are present in sweetened drinks.The argument claims that Aldolase in the brain causes subjects to crave sweetened drinks. Whether Aldolase is present in the drinks themselves is irrelevant to the argument. And even if we (improperly!) assume that drinking "the chemical components of Aldolase" leads to increased Aldolase in the brain, then this would work against the argument, since it would suggest that drinking sweetened drinks causes higher levels of Aldolase in the brain. Either way, (C) is gone.

(D) The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks had higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains before they were offered sweetened drinks.The answer strengthens the argument by eliminating the possibility that the stated causal relationship is reversed: if the subjects had higher concentrations of Aldolase prior to taking the sweetened drinks, then the sweetened drinks cannot be the cause of the higher concentration of Aldolase. This does not PROVE that the conclusion is true, but it certainly supports the argument.

(E) In a study of subjects who drank one sweetened drink per day for an entire year, the concentrations of Aldolase in the brains of most subjects gradually increased over the course of the year.(E) hurts the argument by suggesting that the causal relationship in the conclusion is reversed: if (E) is true, then drinking sweetened drinks would increase Aldolase levels in the brain, instead of the other way around.So (D) is our answer.

Answer: D
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V21-01  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2018, 07:26
GMATNinja GMATNinjaTwo VeritasPrepKarishma generis

Conclusion:Causal one. an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain is likely to cause an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks
where cause:an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain
effect: an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks

How does author arrive here:
Quote:
In an experiment, subjects who consistentlychose sweetened drinks when offered a choice between salty and sweetened drinks were found, on average, to have significantly higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains than subjects who consistently chose salty drinks over sweetened drinks


Say a person X chose sweetened drink multiple times and a person Y who took salty drink multiple times,
then the level of concentrations of Aldolase is found higher in former than latter.

But first sentence of argument says: Aldolase is a protein found in brain.

How can multiple intakes of a drink / preference of one over another prompt author to arrive at such a conclusion?

Is not (D) an assumption as well?

Let me present two version of negations:

1.The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks did not have higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains before they were offered sweetened drinks.
(How does this affect my conclusion?)

2.The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks had higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains after they were offered sweetened drinks.
I feel second version of negation reverses the causal relationship and hence is it apt to say that conclusion now is invalid?
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Re: V21-01  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2018, 11:03
adkikani wrote:
GMATNinja GMATNinjaTwo VeritasPrepKarishma generis

Conclusion:Causal one. an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain is likely to cause an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks
where cause:an increase in the level of Aldolase in the brain
effect: an increase in cravings for sweetened drinks

How does author arrive here:
Quote:
In an experiment, subjects who consistentlychose sweetened drinks when offered a choice between salty and sweetened drinks were found, on average, to have significantly higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains than subjects who consistently chose salty drinks over sweetened drinks


Say a person X chose sweetened drink multiple times and a person Y who took salty drink multiple times,
then the level of concentrations of Aldolase is found higher in former than latter.

But first sentence of argument says: Aldolase is a protein found in brain.

How can multiple intakes of a drink / preference of one over another prompt author to arrive at such a conclusion?

Is not (D) an assumption as well?

Let me present two version of negations:

1.The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks did not have higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains before they were offered sweetened drinks.
(How does this affect my conclusion?)

2.The subjects that preferred sweetened drinks had higher concentrations of Aldolase in their brains after they were offered sweetened drinks.
I feel second version of negation reverses the causal relationship and hence is it apt to say that conclusion now is invalid?

adkikani, your first negation version is correct. Just because (D) is not true, does not necessarily mean that your second negation version is true. In other words, just because they did NOT have higher concentrations before, does not necessarily mean that they had higher concentrations after.

Check out the official explanation for (D) in this QOTD post. If you still have questions, please post them to that thread.

Thank you!
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Re: V21-01 &nbs [#permalink] 13 Mar 2018, 11:03
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