QUESTION TEXT: Most antidepressant drugs cause weight gain. While…
QUESTION TYPE: Most Strongly Supported
FACTS: Anti-depressants tend to cause weight gain. Dieting can help, but it’s virtually inevitable that you’ll gain some weight.
ANALYSIS: It seems very obvious, but the stimulus supports the idea that people will likely gain weight if they take antidepressants.
- Hard to say. It might be more important to prevent depression even if the patient will gain weight.
- This is sort of like A. Treating depression might be even more important than weight gain for those patients.
- CORRECT. The entire stimulus supports the idea that some people will likely gain weight.
- We have no idea what causes the weight gain. If they gain it as a result of a pill then it’s unlikely diet is the main cause.
- We have no idea. Maybe there are some patients who could not safely diet.
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This question gave me some troubles! The issue was I think at least one line of reasoning supports B. But there is a quirk to C which I think makes it right by elimination anyway, a quirk which I don’t know if you noticed.
I initially went with B because I reasoned something like this: We’re not told whether or not people in general have a desperate need for antidepressants. All we know about the drugs and the people that take them is that the patients will likely gain weight because *most* of the drugs cause weight gain. The rest of the text just seems like filler. Thus, without any further information, I thought it was not legitimate to assume that people *need* the antidepressants – we’re just not told! B then presents us with people who are trying to lose weight. That’s a new assumption about our patients. I then combined that with my intuition that we cannot simply assume that these patients have some conflicting inherent *need* of the drugs and thought ‘yeah, if your goal is to lose weight and these drugs likely cause weight gain you shouldn’t ask for antidepressants. Case closed.’ (so in a way I’m not sure I agree/understand your justification for B).
In my blind review of the question though I correctly switched to C. I noticed that B specifically says ‘an antidepressant’. But the question stem says only that ‘most’ antidepressants cause weight gain. Thus, it’s not true that *all* anti depressants cause weight gain, and thus is might not be unreasonable to ask for ‘an antidepressant’, or in other words, *some specific* antidepressant, one which might not cause weight gain. Thus, B is not supported by the stimulus. With C as the only reasonable choice left I went with C (whatever else I thought of it).
As an aside, I went for a combined -11 across the LR sections of #36. This was a rough one for me.
Whoops, I meant a quirk to B not C!
TutorLucas (LSAT Hacks) says
Thanks for your analysis of this question! Although you’re right to say that the stimulus doesn’t explicitly state that patients need anti-depressant drugs and therefore we shouldn’t make that assumption when we look at (B), this is a most strongly supported question. So, we also can’t assume that people who are trying to lose weight should prioritize weight loss over taking the drug. That’s going too far beyond the letter of the passage and answer choice. Also, I wouldn’t make the case against (B) on the basis of it saying “an anti-depressant drug”, because, again, then you’d have to assume that the patient was asking specifically for a drug that doesn’t cause weight gain.
(C) is much more strongly supported because the first sentence tells us that most anti-depressants cause weight gain. When we combine that with some weight gain being unlikely to be preventable, we can say that (C) is closer to what we’re actually given in the passage.