The kind of thoughts that keep a person from falling asleep can arise in either half of the brain. Therefore, a pers...

Mansi on August 13, 2015

Help

Can you please diagram and explain this

Replies

Melody on September 2, 2015

This passage does not contain any Sufficient & Necessary statements. So there is nothing to diagram. Since we are faced with an argument, we must first break it down.

Conclusion: a person being prevented from sleeping solely by such thoughts would be able to fall asleep by closing the eyes and counting sheep

Why? We are told that the kind of thoughts that keep a person from falling asleep can arise in either half of the brain. Further we are told that the activity of closing ones eyes and counting sheep fully occupies the left half of the brain with counting and the right half of the brain with imagining sheep, thereby excluding the sleep-preventing thoughts.

Answer choice (C) states: "Thoughts of sheep would not keep the person awake at that time."

We are told that imagining sheep will occupy the right half of the brain, while counting them will occupy the left half of the brain because that will prevent the kind of thoughts that keep a person from falling asleep. However, if - for some reason - the thought of sheep was the exact thought keeping a person awake, then the act of picturing sheep will not exclude sleep-preventing thoughts, i.e. thinking of sheep will only continue to keep the person awake.

Thus, answer choice (C) is the correct answer.

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

Amiracle on November 23, 2015

Why could it not be D?

Rebecca on September 21, 2018

Hello! I've gone ahead and read all of the explanations but I'm still a bit lost. (D) initially seemed like the most reasonable answer even though "whenever" is much broader than what the passage discusses. Thank you

Mehran on September 21, 2018

@sojiman @Rebeccas-Alvarado the problem with (D) is that it is not necessarily true. We are not talking about "thoughts of sheep", we are talking about counting sheep.

Additionally, nothing in the stimulus supports this notion that any time a person thinks about sheep, sleep will be induced.

Hope that helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Maria on March 8, 2020

Hello!! I would like to understand why it cannot be "B"

Maria on March 8, 2020

Hello!! I would like to understand why it cannot be "B"

Shunhe on March 28, 2020

Hi @Maria-Marin,

Thanks for the question! Let’s take a look at what the passage is telling us. We’re told that sleep-preventing thoughts can be excluded by counting sheep because doing so occupies both sides of the brain, and thus, counting sheep can help people who can’t sleep solely because of those thoughts. The passage then asks us which of the following statements must be true. Notice that nowhere in the passage does it state that a person has to normally have a difficult time falling asleep. Perhaps a person can normally fall asleep, but one night, they have sleep-preventing thoughts for whatever reason. There’s nothing in the passage that suggests that that person wouldn’t be able to fall asleep by employing the sheep counting strategy, since it’s likely that they would still be able to occupy both halves of their brain by counting sheep, which would exclude the thoughts and help them sleep. We definitely can’t conclude that only people who normally have a difficult time falling asleep can employ the sheep counting strategy, and so (B) cannot be the right answer.

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

Aneesh on May 31 at 02:20PM

Hi @Shunhe,

Can you please tell me the flaw in my logic here:

With reference to answer choice (B), the stimulus says that "a person being prevented from sleeping solely by such thoughts would be able to fall asleep... by counting sheep", however, if someone does not have such thoughts, (since they are prevented from falling asleep 'solely' by such thoughts), then there would be no obstacle to falling asleep. Thus, the person must be someone who has difficulty falling asleep in order for this method to work.

I felt that (C) could not be the correct answer because of the part of the stimulus that says "this activity fully occupies the left half of the brain with counting and the right half of the brain with imagining sheep, thereby excluding the sleep–preventing thoughts", indicating that this activity prevents sleep-preventing thoughts.

I've read your answer above but I feel like my justification for the answer is not addressed there. Could you please help me understand why my logic is incorrect? Also, any pointers that could help me avoid this mistake in the future would be helpful.

Emil on June 7 at 11:36PM

Hi AneeshU,

While you are right that, regarding (C), the argument tells us that counting sheep will prevent external thoughts from keeping one awake, it does not address the possibility of the act of counting sheep keeping one awake. Perhaps the counting of sheep is exactly the kind of thought that would keep one awake.

I think your reasoning about (B) is strong, however, it does not account for the "normally" part of (B). Just because one only rarely has trouble falling allspeap has no bearing on the argument. We only care about the person's ability to sleep that night- it is irrelevant if they regularly have trouble falling asleep.

Aneesh on June 8 at 08:46AM

Thanks Emil. That makes things a bit clearer for me. I understand the 'normally' flaw now.

Just a follow-up question on language, though. With regard to the following quote,

"activity fully occupies the left half of the brain with counting and the right half of the brain with imagining sheep, thereby excluding the sleep–preventing thoughts"

...how can the activity exclude sleep-preventing thoughts if the activity is itself the source of a sleep-preventing thought? If counting sheep were a sleep-preventing thought, the above quote could not be true. How are we able to conclude that the sleep-preventing thoughts referred to above do not include this one specific thought? At first I thought that the distinction between 'THE sleep preventing thoughts' and 'sleep preventing thoughts' would help me understand why this option is wrong, but 'the sleep preventing thoughts' being referred to are 'the kinds of thoughts that keep a person from falling asleep' (line 1). Without any further information, counting sheep, if it prevents a person from falling asleep, is a thought that falls under this purview.

Can you please give me some pointers here?

Emil on June 10 at 07:55PM

Hi AneeshU,

I think you are right to say that it would be incorrect to consider the activity of counting sheep to be a sleep preventing thought if we accept the argument. However, intrusive thoughts are not the only thing that can prevent sleep. Perhaps a neighbor is blasting music, or you had just chugged a red bull. These things would all prevent sleep, but would not be thoughts. Counting sheep could be in this category, something that is not a thought but still prevents sleep.