Merton: A study showed that people who live on very busy streets have higher rates of heart disease than average. I c...

filozinni on June 15, 2020

Why is E correct

Why is E the right answer? Isn't it missing a "not" (alternative explanations need NOT to be ruled out)? I am confused. Thank you!

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shunhe on June 16, 2020

Hi @filozinni,

Thanks for the question! So let’s take a look at the stimulus. Merton is saying that people on busy streets get heart disease more often than average people, and concludes this is because of air pollution. Then, Ortiz comes in, and says, but do we know if there are other lifestyle factors that might cause heart disease? For example, maybe people living on busy streets eat street food more, which increase rates of heart disease. The question is asking us for how Ortiz criticizes Merton’s argument. How does he do this? Well, he’s basically saying, you’re saying this higher heart disease rate happens because of air pollution, but what about other reasons? In other words, he’s saying that Merton needs to rule out alternative explanations for the study’s findings. So (E) actually should NOT have a not, what Ortiz does is suggest that alternative explanations for the study’s findings need to be ruled out, because otherwise, it’s possible to chalk up the findings to those other explanations.

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

filozinni on June 16, 2020

Ok, I understand now, thanks @Shunhe!