Sometimes when their trainer gives the hand signal for "Do something creative together," two dolphins circle a pool i...

Jack on April 4, 2016

Explain please

Is this a cause and effect argument? How would (b) strengthen this in cause and effect terms? I chose it as the answer but I'm not quite sure if its a cause and effect relationship

2 Replies

Shiyi on March 1 at 09:14PM

Why is E incorrect?

Ravi on March 6 at 06:31PM

@zwa39 and @Shiyi-Zhang,

Happy to help. This is a strengthen question.

@zwa39, yes, this is a cause and effect argument in the sense that the
argument is putting forth causes as premises and concluding there will
be a certain effect. However, I wouldn't worry too much about this.
It's more important to focus on the argument and what is going on in
it—that's what will help you to most easily see which answer choice
strengthens it.

Let's take a look at the stimulus.

We're told in the stimulus that dolphins' synchronized behaviors
aren't merely a result of training; rather, dolphins are actually
capable of higher cognitive functions. The argument's evidence for
this conclusion is that when dolphins are given the hand signal to "do
something creative together," they perform different types of actions.

The questions asks, "Which one of the following, if true, most
strengthens the argument?" Before we look at the answer choices, it's
important to note that the argument contains an important assumption:
it's assuming that dolphins' different behaviors in response to the
same hand signal is good evidence that they're capable of higher
cognitive functions. It's very possible that the correct answer will
strengthen this assumption, so let's keep an eye out for that.

@Shiyi-Zhang, you asked why (E) is incorrect.

(E) says, "Some of the behaviors mentioned are exhibited by dolphins
in their natural habitat."

(E) actually weakens the stimulus because if it were true, then it
would be much harder to believe that the dolphins' actions in response
to the same hand signal were creative. Thus, we can get rid of this
answer choice since it weakens, rather than strengthens, the argument.

(B) says, "The dolphins often exhibit complex new responses to the hand signal."

If the dolphins are often coming up with complex new responses to the
hand signal, this adds good support for the assertion that the
dolphins are working with one another to plan something creative, and
this is exactly what the argument's conclusion believes is the case.
If (B) is true, the argument is strengthened because it's more likely
the dolphins are actually doing something creative in response to the
hand signal.

Does this help? Let us know if you have any more questions!