Advertisement: A leading economist has determined that among people who used computers at their place of employment l...

on January 19, 2022

Please help

Could you please explain why the answer is C?

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Emil on January 21, 2022

Hi @yckim2180, The argument tells us that since people with laptops tend to make more money, having a laptop causes one to earn more money. This is a classic causation flaw. We are told that there is a correlation (that people with laptops earn more on average than those who do not), and from this correlation, the author decides that one thing caused the other thing. Really, we are unable to make a valid consultation about x causing y or y causing x only on the basis that there is a correlation. With this flaw the right answer will often be phrased as "mistaking correlation for causation," however, that is not an answer choice here.

C tell us that the author assumed one thing caused another when the evidence is consistent with causation going the other direction. In this cause, that would mean that the author mistakenly assumed that laptops caused their owners to have higher wages, when in reality the evidence suggests that people who make more money are simply more likely to be able to afford laptops. This does indeed make sense. We should note that this would still not be a valid conclusion as it makes a conclusion about one thing causing another based only on a correlation and a hypothetical relationship with disposable income. However answer choice C does not state this as a conclusion, only a much weaker "the evidence is consistent."