People who browse the web for medical information often cannot discriminate between scientifically valid information ...

Nivens on March 17 at 02:08AM

Why is E wrong?

Please explain the difference between B and E?

1 Reply

Andrea on March 17 at 05:57AM

Hi @nivensdc,

Let me see if I can help with this one!

Let’s start by breaking down the question type. This is a necessary assumption (strengthen with necessary premise) question. That means our correct answer choice is going to give us information that needs to be true for the conclusion of the argument to be possible.

Our conclusion says: People who rely on the web when attempting to diagnose their medical conditions are likely to do themselves more harm than good.

Our evidence for that? That people who browse the internet can’t differentiate between quackery and valid information, and quackery is oh so appealing to your average non-medical school joe because it’s easier to comprehend than the high-level scientific stuff.

Answer choice B says:
People who attempt to diagnose their medical conditions are likely to do themselves more harm than good UNLESS they rely exclusively on scientifically valid information.

That’s conditional language, so from a diagraming standpoint, you could write this answer choice like this:

If you don’t rely exclusively on scientifically valid information (in other words meaning you rely on at least some scientifically invalid information i.e. quackery) —> then you are likely to do yourself more harm than good

If you’re not likely to do more harm than good —> then you relied exclusively on scientifically valid information (i.e. no quackery)

Since people who browse the web often can’t differentiate between scientifically valid information and not scientifically valid information, in order for it to be possible that they are likely to do themselves more harm than good (conclusion), you would need to know that relying on at least some not scientifically valid information means you do more harm than good.

Answer choice E, on the other hand, links the evidence to the conclusion backwards. Answer choice E says: People attempting to diagnose their medical conditions will do themselves more harm than good ONLY IF they rely on quackery.

A person attempting to diagnose their medical condition will do him or herself more harm than good —> he or she certainly relied on quackery.

The thing is, if you’re attempting to diagnose your medical condition, you could do yourself more harm than good in a lot of ways. You could do yourself more harm than good just by overthinking! So relying on quackery is one way you could do yourself more harm than good, but not necessarily the only way you could do yourself more harm than good.

Hope this helps! Feel free to follow up if you have anymore questions.