QUESTION TYPE: Strengthen
CONCLUSION: Cognitive psychotherapy is likely to be more effective at helping patients fix their problems. (Compared to other types of psychotherapy which focus on changing unconscious beliefs and desires.)
REASONING: Direct conscious control ➞ conscious beliefs
(and therefore, unconscious beliefs and desires aren’t under direct conscious control)
ANALYSIS: This is almost like a necessary assumption question. The author mentions that conscious beliefs are the only ones we can consciously, directly control.
But so what? We have no idea how “direct conscious control” is relevant. To strengthen the argument, we should show that direct conscious control is important, and helps patients fix problems.
- This weakens the argument. The author was saying that cognitive therapy was the best kind of psychotherapy. And cognitive therapy focusses on conscious beliefs.
- CORRECT. If this is true, then it is difficult for the “other forms of psychotherapy” to succeed: they don’t focus on mental states under conscious control.
- It doesn’t matter if there are other types of psychotherapy which focus on conscious beliefs. The author was only making a comparison between cognitive psychotherapy and unconscious psychotherapy.
- You might have thought that this answer helped show that some some types of unconscious psychotherapy are effective.
Not so. This answer adds a necessary condition. Adding a necessary condition makes something harder, not easier. Fulfilling a necessary condition doesn’t move you towards success, and it gives you another way to fail. Which statement is easier to comply with?
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The second group will obviously be smaller than the first. Fewer necessary conditions makes something more likely.
- I don’t even know what this refers to.
1. Why does it matter if all conscious beliefs are under conscious control? Psychotherapy might be effective even if only 90% were under conscious control.
2. Why does it matter about all other states? The competing forms of psychotherapy only focus on unconscious beliefs. There might be some third states, neither conscious nor unconscious, and this answer might refer to those. But those states are irrelevant to the stimulus.
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