QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: Adequate prenatal care significantly decreases the risk of low birth weight babies.
REASONING: Hospital records indicate that babies born prematurely are more likely to have low birth weights. The same records note that mothers who received prenatal care were less likely to give birth to an underweight baby.
ANALYSIS: This is a causation-correlation error. There could be some other cause. Perhaps healthy, conscientious mothers (who are likely to have healthy babies) have prenatal care because they think they are supposed to.
That would mean it is the traits of the mothers that leads to healthy babies, not pre-natal care.
That’s just one alternative explanation. The right answer instead shows that doctors aren’t keeping good records.
- This was to be expected. The doctor didn’t say prenatal care would eliminate low birth weights. He just said it would decrease their likelihood.
- CORRECT. This shows that doctors have biased the hospital records. When a baby is underweight they simply assume that there was no prenatal care.
- This doesn’t tell us about pre-natal care.
- As with answer choice A this is to be expected. The doctor said prenatal care produced better results but he didn’t claim it produced perfect results.
- This strengthens the argument. We want to weaken it.
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