QUESTION TYPE: Most Strongly Supported
FACTS: Lots of nursing home residents suffer from depression. A study found that those who bond with pets are less likely to have depression.
ANALYSIS: We know one thing. Pets helped reduce depression.
That doesn’t mean pets are the best method. Nor does it mean that pets will completely solve the problem. Likewise, we can’t conclude that pets are essential to solving the problem.
We just know that pets help. They’re solving a problem. Presumably, the people in nursing homes lack personal bonds, and pets help make up for that.
- Careful. Maybe depression is a serious problem for everyone, not just nursing home residents. The question didn’t compare nursing home residents to any other groups.
- This goes too far. The question only told us
that pets help. The question didn’t compare
pets to any other methods: maybe human companionship is even more effective.
- CORRECT. This is fairly well supported. If you form a personal bond with a pet, then you have a new companion. The fact that pets reduce depression show that nursing home residents may be lacking companionship.
- This goes too far. There might be people who are happy without animal companions. For instance, maybe people with many human companions don’t need pets in order to be happy.
- This goes too far. We know that pets helped. That doesn’t mean they can eliminate the problem entirely.
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