Air traffic controllers and nuclear power plant operators are not allowed to work exceptionally long hours, because t...

Avi on July 1, 2020

A vs C

I struggled a lot on this question, limiting the answers down to A and C. I eventually went with C. The issue I had with A was that perhaps even if there is an indispensable aspect to the long hours, the risk may not be worth the reward. C on the other hand, I thought was necessary for the argument because we aren't told very much about the limitations that Air traffic controllers and we need to know that long weeks affect performance, not just long days for example or overnight shifts ect. Please explain. Thanks.


Shunhe on July 2, 2020

Hi @avif ,

Thanks for the question! This is definitely a tough one, so let’s take a look at the stimulus. The author says that physicians shouldn’t be able to work 80-hour works because their work is of a life-or-death nature, similar to air traffic controllers and nuclear power plant operators. Now we’re asked for an assumption that the argument depends on.

So turning our attention to (C), if we assumed it was true, then it would certainly prove the conclusion. But this isn’t what we’re trying to do. This is an strengthen with necessary premise question; in other words, we need to see if (C) would disprove the conclusion if we negated it. So let’s negate (C). Well, then, let’s say that this correlation doesn’t exist between working hours and performing work satisfactorily. Does that weaken the conclusion? Well, not necessarily. There are other ways to have a negative correlation other than strictly by hours. For example, maybe there’s no effect until 70 hours in, and then a huge drop in work quality. Then it’s not necessarily true that the more hours one works, the worse one does, since there’d be no difference between 40 and 60 hours. So since the argument only requires that the performance is worse after 80 hours, the argument can still stand without (C), and so it isn’t the correct answer choice. (A) is definitely right because if we negate it, and there is an INDISPENSABLE aspect of residency that requires physicians to work exceptionally long hours, then it would damage the argument. Indispensable, by definition, means something that must be present and there’s no way of working around it.

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

Avi on July 3, 2020


Shunhe on July 3, 2020

Glad I could help!