Scientist: A number of errors can plague a data-collection process. Since examining the collected data enables resear...

Lizzie on September 16, 2019

Correct Answer

Can you explain how to arrive at the correct answer to this type of question? Thank you.

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on September 19, 2019

Hello @Lizzie-Annerino,

We are looking for something that will explain why the the corrected data tends to match Jones's theory more than the raw data does. We need an answer choice that has something to do with the data corrections.

I like to think of what the answer might look like before I get to the answer choices.
"Maybe the scientists are corrupt and have a financial interest in Jones' theory being correct."
"Maybe Jones' theory is correct, and this makes it easy to identify errors when the data doesn't match."

Let's see if we can find something similar among our answer choices.

A) This answer choice suggests that researchers give the same weight to data opposing Jones and data aligning with Jones. We are looking for a discrepancy between these groups. The fact that the data is equal does not explain the correction trend given in the passage.

B) This is the right choice. It answers the question, "What could cause the corrected data to agree with Jones' theory?" Researchers focusing more heavily on data that opposes Jones' theory would cause them to find more errors in that group. Even if the same amount of raw data supports Jones' theory, researchers are less likely find errors in that group because they are not scrutinizing that data as heavily.

C) I would argue that this answer choice is outside the scope of our premise. We need an answer choice that has something to do with the data corrections. We weren't given a connection between the researchers' likelihood to pursue certain lines of research and the data collection process, so answer choice C does little to explain the data corrections.

D) This answer choice says that sometimes errors slip by undetected. This would help us if it said it's easier for errors to go unnoticed if they align with Jones' theory. It does not say that, so it is incorrect.

E) Incorrect. This answer has nothing to do with the data correction process.

I hope this helps.

on March 15, 2020

I am having trouble understanding how B helps explain the outcome where corrected data is more aligned with Jone's theory after correction than with lets say some theory X. Even if data that is not aligned with Jone's theory is more closely observed and as a result more errors are found, nothing in B tells us how those errors are being corrected.