QUESTION TEXT: A recent study showed that people who…
QUESTION TYPE: Necessary Assumption
CONCLUSION: Suppression of the immune system can cause or worsen gum disease.
REASONING: You’re more likely to have gum disease if you refuse to think about problems. Stress affects the immune system.
ANALYSIS: This question makes several big leaps. First of all, the first sentence doesn’t talk about stress. So it’s not clear that solving problems directly will reduce stress.
Secondly, the argument has, at best, established a correlation between stress/immune suppression and gum disease. It’s possible that there’s some other reason that those who solve problems quickly get less gum disease.
- This is totally off base. The argument didn’t even mention whether gum disease is painful.
- CORRECT. If refusing to think about problems doesn’t cause stress, then there’s no link between stress and gum disease.
Negation: Refusing to think about problems doesn’t cause stress.
- Actually, the argument implied that people who address problems quickly and directly don’t feel stress.
If you want to get technical, I suppose you can have a stressful life without succumbing to stress, but that’s irrelevant. The argument was talking about the stress that people feel.
- This shows an alternate reason that people who address problems get less gum disease. This weakens the argument if it’s true.
- It doesn’t matter why people avoid addressing problems. It only matters that they suffer stress because they avoid problems.
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