QUESTION TEXT: Prolonged exposure to sulfur fumes permanently damages…
QUESTION TYPE: Weaken – Exception
CONCLUSION: Sulfur fumes permanently damage your sense of smell.
REASONING: Workers from a sulfur factory identified fewer scents than a control group did.
ANALYSIS: There are a million and one ways to weaken an argument like this. I didn’t bother pre-phrasing anything. I just opened my mind to possibilities, eliminated the easy answers, and focussed more narrowly on what was left.
- CORRECT. This would have been a factor for both the factory workers and the control group, so this couldn’t really have affected anything. Don’t let the term “not perfectly” throw you – this answer is useless. It sounds like the smells were close enough for the study to be useful.
- This means the sulfur workers were tested in a smelly factory. Maybe they couldn’t identify the smells because of the overpowering smells in the factory. It’s very reasonable to assume that the sulfur smell could overpower scents. Sulfur smells like rotten egg farts. You can use this kind of knowledge – true facts about the world are warranted assumptions.
- This shows the control group was experienced at identifying scents. That experience could explain why they identified more scents.
- Maybe the other noxious fumes cause loss of one’s sense of smell.
- This is like answer C. The factory workers don’t know as many smells, so it’s unreasonable to expect them to identify as many smells as the control group did.
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