Journalist: Newspapers generally report on only those scientific studies whose findings sound dramatic. Furthermore, ...

Jacob on November 6, 2017

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Can you please explain the correct answer choice

1 Reply

Mehran on November 13, 2017

Hi @JayDee8732, thanks for your post. This is an Errors in Reasoning question. Let's first assess the stimulus.

The journalist presents an argument. Her conclusion is "a small observational study must be more likely to have dramatic findings than a large randomized trial."

Why? The premises offered are:
P: Newspapers generally report on only those scientific studies whose findings sound dramatic.
P: Newspaper stories about small observational studies, which are somewhat unreliable, are more frequent than newspaper stories about large randomized trials, which generate stronger scientific evidence.

Why does the journalist reach this conclusion? Because newspapers more frequently report on small observational studies. The journalist concludes that this must be because such small studies have more dramatic findings - but perhaps they are more frequently reported upon because they are just more common than large randomized trials.

Answer choice (D) identifies this flaw in the reasoning. Hope this helps!