QUESTION TEXT: In a study, pairs of trained dogs were placed side…
QUESTION TYPE: Argument Evaluation
CONCLUSION: Dogs don’t like being treated unfairly.
REASONING: Pairs of dogs were given a command. When both dogs obeyed, only one dog was rewarded. Eventually, the dogs that didn’t receive treats stopped obeying.
ANALYSIS: This question is talking about trained dogs. You surely know that dogs are often rewarded with treats or affection for obeying commands.
This argument has given a possible explanation for the dogs lack of obedience. Perhaps they did indeed feel they were being treated unfairly. But the argument didn’t rule out a likely alternative explanation: The dogs expected treats for obedience, and stopped obeyed when there were no treats (regardless of what happened to the other dog).
- This is irrelevant. The stimulus is only talking about situations where both dogs obey, initially.
- CORRECT. This addresses an alternative explanation. It’s quite possibly that the dogs stopped obeying simply because they weren’t being rewarded. If both dogs went unrewarded and still stopped obeying, then that rules out fairness as an explanation. Both dogs received an equal, fair amount of treats: zero.
- The reverse of this answer would be interesting. If some dogs who didn’t receive treats were then given treats in later trials, that might affect the experiment. But this answer is only talking about dogs who receive treats and then later do not receive treats.
- “Any cases” is quite useless. You need to take vague answers at their weakest. If one dog became more inclined to obey, what does that prove?
- Who cares? The number of repetitions required doesn’t change the underlying theory. It’s not as if five repetitions would indicate unfairness was the cause, while ten repetitions would indicate that lack of reward was the cause.
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