QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: Psychological treatment which lasts 6+ months is more effective than short term treatment.
REASONING: Two groups:
- Short term: 20% said treatment made things a lot better.
- 6+ months: 36% said treatment made things a lot better.
ANALYSIS: This is a causation correlation flaw. The author says “lengthy treatment ➞ successful patient”. But, it’s possible that people tend to stay in programs if they are seeing progress. If that’s true, then the causation would flow “successful patient ➞ lengthy treatment”! [People not making progress leave, so only the successful are left]
- So? We don’t know what percent of the short term group said treatment made them worse. Maybe it was similar.
- This is a trap answer. A higher response rate doesn’t necessarily mean people report success. Remember: you have to take answers at their worst. An answer is only correct if the least useful interpretation still weakens the argument.
[People could be responding to the survey at a high rate to say @it was [email protected]]
- CORRECT. If this is true, then success could be the cause of lengthy treatments! If people feel the program is helping, they’ll stick around – even if it’s a placebo! So over time, longer and longer programs have higher success rates.
- So? As far as we know this applies to both the short and the long term groups. So this doesn’t explain why the long term group had a higher success rate.
- So? This could refer to 30% of psychologists. It’s also possible that a separate 30% of psychologists urge patients not to stay too long in treatment. Also, we don’t know if patients listen to their psychologists!
Like B, you must interpret this answer at its least useful. It’s a very vague answer.
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