Though ice cream is an excellent source of calcium, dairy farmers report that during the past ten years there has bee...

Serra on May 3, 2019

Why is E wrong?

Could someone please explain this argument, and why E is wrong?

3 Replies

Ravi on May 5, 2019


Happy to help.

The stimulus makes a strong claim that decreasing ice cream sales must
have been the result of people switching over to eating cheddar cheese
instead of ice cream. The problem with this conclusion is that it's
mistaking correlation for causation (it's a causal flaw). The argument
is basically saying that just because these two things happened
simultaneously (decreasing ice cream sales and increasing cheddar
cheese sales), one of them must be driving the other. We're looking
for the answer choice that can bring to attention the fact that there
could be a ton of other reason that ice cream sales are dropping a

You asked about (E).

(E) says, "presumes, without providing justification, that people who
eat cheddar cheese never eat ice cream"

We know that the author believes that people are replacing ice cream
in their diets with cheddar cheese. While this answer appears good at
first, the word "never" is far too strong and is not supported by the
information given to us in the stimulus. Just because there may be
some people that are replacing ice cream with cheddar cheese does not
imply that people who are eating cheddar cheese are never eating ice
cream. We can get rid of (E).

(B) says, "fails to consider alternative explanations of the decline
in sales of ice cream"

We know that the passage's author only takes into consideration one
potential explanation and ultimately makes the claim that this
particular explanation is the real reason for the decrease in ice
cream sales. (B) paraphrases this well, and it matches our
anticipation that was mentioned in our analysis of the stimulus. There
are a multitude of potential reasons for why ice cream sales may be
fallen so much. Rising sales of cheddar cheese is simply one of a
whole bunch of possibilities, and this is the flaw of the argument.
(B) is the correct answer.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any more questions!

Serra on May 6, 2019

Perfect explanation thank you!

Ravi on May 6, 2019

@msaber, happy to help!