In a recent study, one group of participants watched video recordings of themselves running on treadmills, and a seco...

mws7129 on July 18, 2018


Is the answer to this question copied wrong? for it says reading instead of running which made me dismiss the answer as a possible choice.

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MichelleRod on July 20, 2018

Hey @mws7129 thanks for your question.

The answer is not copied wrong, but let me explain why the answer choice works.

We are trying to weaken the argument. Remember from the video lecture that way can weaken an argument is by providing a possible alternative explanation than for the observed phenomenon (that is, alternative to the one offered.)

Answer choice C weakens the argument by giving us an alternative explanation to why the experimental group reported higher rates of running. The alternative explanation is: people who observe themselves (or somebody who looks identical to them) performing an activity will overreport how much they themselves perform that activity in the future. The nature of the activity in this case is not important. This is just a POSSIBLE alternative explanation.

If this is the case, then those who observed themselves running would be reporting that they ran more than they actually did.

Hope that helps! Feel free to tag me if you have follow up questions

AnanyaK on October 14, 2018

I understand that this answer choice is pointing out an error in self reporting but it still doesn't make sense to me. I picked C and see why it is wrong because it says "watching a recording of yourself CAN motivate you" not "it WILL motivate you" but D makes no sense at all. Why does another study have to do with the study in the premise especially when they are not doing the same activity? I don't really understand how this answer choice is relevant aside from pointing out the self-reporting error. I feel like C is a stronger choice than D

Hunter on August 22, 2019

Please explain this question. The previous comments made real points that were not addressed. I don't see how I can reconcile this answer choice.

The study made two errors. It does assume that people were not lying about working out more. But what's more significant is that they've assumed group 1 increased the amount they worked out just because group 1 on average worked out more than group 2. It completely overlooks the possibility that group 1 always worked out more than group 2.

C addresses this issue. Though it's weak, you'd have to assume that none of the highly motivated people were in group 1 to make C not weaken.

On the other hand, D goes against common sense. Twins aren't the same people. A twin observing their brother or sister doesn't think they're observing themselves. "Identical" twin means that they have DNA, yet you'd also have to assume they LOOK identical. So, I am supposed to assume adult twins are maintaining the same weight, seeing the same barber, wearing the same makeup, sporting the same style, acting in the same manner, getting the same tans, etc., etc. I mean seriously to the point where they think watching their twin is no different than watching themselves?

But I don't care if there clones, because you are not your clone. You watching yourself on video doing something you were recorded doing is different than you watching an imposter doing something you don't have memory ever doing.

Twins are siblings, maybe it's motivating to watch yourself be successful, yet when you watch your twin do it, you're just jealous. So you lie as opposed to increasing the right behavior.

Also, the conclusion in the stimulus does not generalize this far. D is about reading a book.

Please help!

Hunter on August 23, 2019

I looked at it longer and ok. Makes sense. D doesn't require an assumption to weaken, but C does.