QUESTION TYPE: Method of Reasoning
CONCLUSION: It could be that stress causes both acne and the desire to eat chocolate.
REASONING: Studies show that stress causes hormonal changes that cause acne. And people who are stressed eat more chocolate.
ANALYSIS: This is a good argument. The evidence isn’t very definite, but neither is the conclusion. It does seem possible that stress is the cause of both eating chocolate and acne.
The method of reasoning is to show that there is a plausible alternative explanation, backed by scientific studies.
- There is no evidence for the position being challenged apart from the fact that there is a correlation between acne and eating chocolate. The stimulus agreed that happens.
- CORRECT. The argument’s evidence supports the fact that stress causes both chocolate eating and acne: that’s why they happen at the same time.
- No. Science has no “superior authority.” The argument uses evidence from science to make a case, but it doesn’t dismiss anything out of hand. It even admits the common explanation might be right.
- No. The stimulus even agrees that chocolate and acne go together. It just has an alternate explanation for the reason why.
- The position being criticized did not suppose that causes always preceded effects. And the stimulus’ alternate explanation says that stress (the cause) does precede its effects!
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