A study found that patients referred by their doctors to psychotherapists practicing a new experimental form of thera...

Brooke on June 15 at 03:46PM

Pleas explain

Hi I am having troubling deciphering the answer. Can you please explain the question setup/ thought process to find the answer? Thanks!

1 Reply

Shunhe on June 16 at 02:48PM

Hi @btlev,

Thanks for the question! So here, we have a study. We’re told that patients who get sent to special psychotherapists (doing some new form of therapy) make more progress than patients send to normal psychotherapists (with traditional forms of therapy). The argument then concludes that therapists practicing the new therapy are more effective than therapists practicing traditional therapy.

Now, we’re asked for something that describes a flaw in the argument. And doing a bit of pre phrasing, you should be able to come up with at least one or two possibilities. One thing is that maybe the patients who are being sent to the special psychotherapists are different and have problems that are just overall easier to treat. For example, if they were testing out their new forms of therapy on patients with less severe issues (since the techniques are new). Then it wouldn’t necessarily be the case that the special psychotherapists are better, they just get easier cases. And this is why (B) tells us, the argument ignores the possibility that patients referred to special psychotherapists “had problems more amenable to treatment” (aka, easier to solve problems) than patients referred to traditional psychotherapists.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.