The brain area that enables one to distinguish the different sounds made by a piano tends to be larger in a highly sk...

Tori on October 10, 2019

why not A?

I chose A because the stimulus talks about piano players, and then jumps to a conclusion that includes all musicians, not just piano players, which describes the flaw of one small population(piano players) representing the whole (all musicians). How is B the correct answer? I thought that the practicing on and playing the musical instrument to become highly skilled altered the brain area size, not that it was already altered and thus a person becomes highly skilled. Does this make sense?

2 Replies

on October 10, 2019

Hello @tori06koto,

A does seem appealing, because there are a lot of flaw-in-reasoning questions in which the flaw is drawing a broad conclusion from an insufficient sample. However, I'll explain why this question is not one of them.

The premise is not only about pianists. Rather, it is about an area of the brain that distinguishes sounds made by a piano. This area tends to be larger in a highly skilled musicians than in those who don't play an instrument. Highly skilled musicians in general have this trait. This is why A is incorrect.

The flaw in this argument is a classic misunderstanding of correlation vs. causation. How do we know that playing an instrument alters the brain structure? What if people who are born with this enlarged portion of the brain tend have a propensity to play instruments? We can't say for certain that playing an instrument alters the brain. B is correct.

on December 24, 2019

Is answer choice C similar to answer choice B?