Psychologist: Research has shown that a weakened immune system increases vulnerability to cancer. So, cancer-patient...

Kathleen on February 16 at 08:27PM

What is the difference between C and E?

I narrowed it down to C and E, but wasn't sure how to distinguish between the two. Thank you!

2 Replies

on February 16 at 09:02PM

Hello @Kathleen,

Let's break down the argument.

Conclusion: Cancer-patient support groups may indeed have genuine therapeutic value.
Why?
Premise: Participation in such groups reduces stress levels.
Premise: Research shows that a weakened immune system increases vulnerability to cancer.

The argument is missing a link between stress and the immune system. The author is assuming something that is not written in the stimulus.

You are on the right track with C and E. But, what is the difference between them?

The author is arguing that reduced stress will help cancer patients.

E. Stress is a symptom of a weakened immune system.
If this is assumed, then a weakened immune system has two symptoms:
1. Stress
2. Increased vulnerability to cancer

In this case, support groups would only help with stress. Treating this particular symptom does not help the other one. The weakened immune system remains, and so does the cancer vulnerability.

C. Stress can weaken the immune system.
If this is assumed, we have identified a possible cause of a weakened immune system: stress. If the support group reduces stress, then it protects the immune system, which in turn helps the cancer patients. This is what makes C the correct answer.

Kathleen on February 16 at 10:05PM

This helps a lot, thank you!