Advice columnist: Several scientific studies have shown that, when participating in competitive sports, those people...

Zia on August 11, 2020


Can someone please explain the right answer?

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Shunhe on August 12, 2020

Hi @zia305,

Thanks for the question! So let’s take a look at what the argument is telling us. Basically, it says that people who experience major stress are more likely to get seriously hurt when participating in competitive sports. Risking serious injury is unwise, the argument tells us. And thus, the advice columnist concludes, no sports activity should be used to cope with stress.

Now we’re asked for a principle that would help justify this reasoning. And we should notice something peculiar about what the advice columnist did there. She went from talking about how stress is bad in competitive sports to “if you’re stressed, don’t do ANY sports.” OK, sure, her argument might apply to competitive sports, like wrestling or muay thai. But why include noncompetitive sports too? Things like golf or billiards or jogging have to be avoided too? That seems like a gap that we should be covering with a principle.

Now take a look at (A), which tells us that the principle that helps shore up this reasoning is that if people recently under stress should avoid a subset of activities of a certain type, they should avoid all activities of that type. Well, the type of activity here would be “sports.” And the “subset” refers to “competitive sports”! If this is true, then we can actually extrapolate from competitive sports to all sports. People under stress should avoid competitive sports, so they should avoid all sports. That’s pretty much what the advice columnist is saying. So (A) helps justify this argument, and is the correct answer choice here.

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

Zia on August 13, 2020

@Shunhe Thanks so much for the help!