In a recent study of arthritis, researchers tried but failed to find any correlation between pain intensity and any o...

Sangwook on March 15, 2014

Need your help

Please explain why (b) should not goes to the answer. Many thanks,

5 Replies

Melody on April 9, 2014

We are asked to find the answer choice that most logically completes the argument (i.e. the conclusion of this argument).

The evidence given to us is that researchers in a recent study of arthritis tried but failed to find any correlation between pain intensity and any of those features of the weather usually cited by arthritis sufferers as the cause of their increased pain. We are also told that those arthritis sufferers in the study who were convinced of the existence of such a correlation gave differing accounts of the time delay between the occurrence of what they believed to be the relevant feature of the weather and the increased intensity of the pain. So, all we can truly conclude is that due to there being no consistent accounts on the part of those arthritis sufferers who were convinced of the existence of the correlation, they must be mistaken in this belief.

Answer choice (B) is incorrect because we are not given any information on the arthritis sufferers' assessment of the intensity of their pain. Rather we merely have information on the lapse of time between when the specific weather feature occurred and when they experienced increased intensity of pain. Just because the time delays between the two things varied, does not mean that the arthritis sufferers' beliefs about the causes of the pain affected their assessment of the intensity of the pain.

Hope that was helpful! Let us know if you have any other questions.

Sangwook on April 9, 2014

Thank you so much!!!

Lori on August 27, 2017

Thank you for this explanation!

Shiyi on February 27 at 01:19AM

Regarding choice C, isn't the increased intensity of pain an assessment of the pain they feel?

Ravi on March 1 at 03:55AM

@Shiyi-Zhang,

Great question.

You're right—the increased intensity of pain is an assessment of the
pain they feel. However, the stimulus says, "Those arthritis sufferers
in the study who were convinced of the existence of such a correlation
gave widely varying accounts of the time delay between the occurrence
of what they believed to be the relevant feature of the weather and
the increased intensity of the pain." This suggests that there isn't a
correlation between pain intensity and features of the weather.

(C) says, "suggests that arthritis sufferers are imagining the
correlation they assert to exist"

This is totally compatible with the stimulus and is a statement that
could logically complete the argument. You're probably concerned with
(C) saying 'imagining the correlation,' and while this is a bit
strong, it's still congruent with the stimulus. The arthritis
sufferers could be accurately describing their pain intensity but
still imagining the correlation. Remember, the sufferers believed
there to be various features of the weather to be causing their pain,
so it's possible that although their descriptions of pain were
accurate, their thoughts of weather features that were causing their
pain are bogus.

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