Psychologist: It is well known that becoming angry often induces temporary incidents of high blood pressure. A recen...

Gilbert on September 8, 2014

Why Not C?

Can I get an explanation please?

1 Reply

Melody on September 15, 2014

Here we have a Correlation/Causation Weaken question. We are given a couple correlations: "people who are easily angered are significantly more likely to have permanently high blood pressure than are people who have more tranquil personalities," and "those with permanently high blood pressure are especially likely to have heart disease." From this we conclude: "the recent findings indicate that heart disease can result from psychological factors."

However, we know that a correlation does not necessarily indicate a specific cause and effect relationship. Just because X occurs more often with Y does not mean that X necessarily caused Y. Y could have caused X or a completely separate third factor Z could have caused both X and Y.

Answer choice (E) states: "The physiological factors that cause permanently high blood pressure generally make people quick to anger."

Answer choice (E) points out one of the options we discussed above, i.e. it is, in fact, not that being easily angered causes one to have permanently high blood pressure--which makes it more likely to have heart disease--but, that having permanently high blood pressure causes one to be quick to anger.

Answer choice (C) states: "People with permanently high blood pressure who have tranquil personalities virtually never develop heart disease."

This does not weaken the psychologist's argument because our argument is focused on those who are easily angered. The evidence used to prove the conclusion is that those who are easily angered are more likely to have permanently high blood pressure than those who have more tranquil personalities.

Information about those who have permanently high blood pressure who have tranquil personalities is irrelevant. Regardless of this being the case, it is still true that those who are easily angered are more likely to have permanently high blood pressure than those who have tranquil personalities; and this still leads us to the conclusion that "the recent findings indicate that heart disease can result from psychological factors."

Thus, answer choice (C) is irrelevant.

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