# In a study, pairs of trained dogs were placed side by side and given a command such as "sit." After both obeyed the c...

kens on May 31, 2020

December 2014 SEC 1 Q21

Can someone explain why C is incorrect? Thanks in advance!

Skylar on May 31, 2020

@kenken, happy to help!

We are told that pairs of trained dogs were placed next to each other and given commands. When both obeyed, only one dog was given a treat. The study found that the dogs who were never rewarded began to disobey the command. The passage then concludes that this must mean "dogs have an aversion to being treated unfairly."

We should notice a gap in logic between the information offered and the conclusion. How do we know that the unrewarded dogs stopped obeying because of the unfair treatment? Perhaps the dogs stopped purely because of the lack of reward. It would be helpful to investigate this further before evaluating the argument.

(B) "Is there a decline in obedience if rewards are withheld from both dogs in the pair?"
This is the correct choice because it addresses the aforementioned gap. If the answer to this question is yes, there is a decline in obedience if rewards are withheld from both dogs, then this implies that the dogs stopped obeying because of the lack of reward and not because of unfair treatment (as both dogs would be treated equal- without reward- in this case). If the answer is no, there is not a decline in obedience if rewards are withheld from both, this supports the passage's conclusion that the dogs are reacting to unfair treatment.

(C) "Were dogs who received treats in one trial ever used as dogs that did not receive treats in other trials?"
This is the incorrect choice because the answer to this question is not applicable. So what if the dogs had been used in the opposite role in other trials? We can not assume what, if any, effect that has on the study at hand. Therefore, it is irrelevant.

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