Evidently, watching too much television can lead people to overestimate the risks that the world poses to them. A rec...

Preston on June 4, 2015

I don't understand

Why is a wrong?

1 Reply

Melody on June 5, 2015

Conclusion: "watching too much television can lead people to overestimate the risks that the world poses to them."

Why? Results of a recent study showed that people are more likely to think that they will be victims of a natural disaster if they watch an above-average amount of television than if they do not.

So, the reasoning calls upon Cause & Effect. If someone watches an above-average amount of television, they are more likely to think that they will be victims of a natural disaster.

We are looking to choose an answer choice that weakens the reasoning of the argument. And how do we weaken a Cause & Effect argument? (1) Show that instead of X causing Y, Y causes X, (2) show an example of X that does not lead to Y, or (3) show that a third factor, Z, caused both X and Y.

Answer choice (A) does nothing to the argument. Whether or not some people (remember "many" equates to "some") overestimate the dangers that the world poses to them regardless of the amount of television they watch has no impact on our argument. We want to weaken the conclusion that watching too much television can lead people to overestimate the risks that the world poses to them. What happens to those who may or may not watch a lot of television doesn't matter.

Answer choice (E), on the other hand, definitely weakens the argument. Answer choice (E) explains that those who watch a lot of television may do so because they live in an area that is prone to natural disasters. Thus, this could skew the idea that watching a lot of television can cause people to overestimate the risk of disaster, because it could be the other way around: those who are constantly thinking about the risk of disaster (due to the area they live in) are more likely to watch an above-average amount of television, i.e. it is not X that is causing Y, but Y that is causing X.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.