Researcher: Each subject in this experiment owns one car, and was asked to estimate what proportion of all automobil...

Meredith on November 7 at 10:53PM

Choice B

Can someone explain in more common terms what choice B is saying please?

1 Reply

Skylar Friday at 03:14PM

@Meredith, thanks for your question!

(B) states "the argument treats a result that supports a hypothesis as a result that proves a hypothesis."

In this case, the result refers to people's overestimation of how common their make of car is nationally. The experiment described in the passage hypothesizes that if popular cars varied by region, people would overestimate the commonality of their own cars. Since people did this in the experiment, the passage takes this result as evidence that the proposed hypothesis must be true. However, this does not necessarily follow. Perhaps cars are distributed evenly across the population but people still tend to overestimate their own makes because the brain functions to make people disproportionately more likely to notice their own car, or perhaps most people do not have a solid grasp on the total number of car makes that exist. Therefore, the result that people overestimate their own makes could still be true, but the hypothesis would not be true.

You could think of (B) as saying that the argument treats a necessary condition as a sufficient condition. This is because, in order for the regional-variant hypothesis to be true, the result of overestimation is required. Yet, this result alone is not enough to guarantee the hypothesis is true. You could also think of (B) as saying that the argument takes for granted that a finding that COULD be used to support a hypothesis DOES support that hypothesis.

Does this help? Let us know if you have additional questions!