In a recent study, one group of participants watched video recordings of themselves running on treadmills, and a seco...

Devin on February 22, 2020

What do the twins have to do with anything.

I chose C and I can kind of understand how D might be a better option because it provides an alternate explanation for the phenomenon described. However, why would it weaken the argument if one twin watched the other twin? If the conclusion drawn is that is that watching a recording of yourself exercising can motivate you to exercise more and we're trying to weaken that by saying that an alternate explanation is that anyone watching themselves do something might over report how much they do it, why are we talking about twins. I felt like C would suggest that the conclusion is not true for everyone.

2 Replies

Skylar on February 23, 2020

@devinjax14, happy to help!

This is a tricky question. Essentially, answer choice (D) uses identical twins to show that participants are overreporting how much they exercise rather than actually exercising more.

The passage describes participants watching videos of themselves and subsequently reporting an increase in time spent exercising. The passage attributes this increase to the concept that "watching a recording of yourself exercising can motivate you to exercise more." However, how do we know that participants actually felt motivated and exercised more as a result? We don't. Perhaps participants are instead overreporting the time they spent exercising.

Answer choice (D) gives us a scenario in which one participant watched their identical twin read and then overreported how much they themselves read. This weakens the passage's conclusion that watching a recording of yourself perform a certain action can motivate you to perform that action more because the twin effectively watched a recording of herself reading (this is where the identical twin detail becomes relevant) and then overreported the time she spent reading. This casts doubt on the passage's argument, and though it is not an ideal answer, is the answer that "most weakens the argument."

Answer choice (C) is incorrect because we do not know anything about the participants who were already highly motivated to exercise. Since we do not know which group they were in, we cannot be sure of their effect on the argument.

Does that make sense? Please let us know if you have any other questions.

on January 10 at 01:59AM

I understand the explanation, but I still do not know how this answer would have any weight on the reasoning of the argument, since observing someone who looks very similar to you or identical to you is not the same as observing yourself and knowing it is yourself who is in the recording... The two studies are just so different that their results being different does not seem surprising to me and also strong enough for this difference to have an effect on the author's reasoning