Psychologist: Psychotherapists who attempt to provide psychotherapy on radio or television talk shows are expected t...

Annaliese on September 16, 2014

Why Is E Right

Hi there, Can you please explain why e is right and and c is wrong? I don't see too much of a difference between the two Thank you!

1 Reply

Melody on September 22, 2014

Here we have a strengthen with necessary premise question. Remember that a premise is necessary for a conclusion if the falsity of the premise guarantees or brings about the falsity of the conclusion. First we check to see if the answer choice strengthens the passage, and then, if it does strengthen, we negate the answer choice to see if its negation makes the argument fall apart. If the answer choice does both those things then it is our correct answer.

The conclusion of the argument is: "psychotherapists should never provide psychotherapy on talk shows."

Why? We are told that psychotherapists who attempt to provide psychotherapy on radio or television talk shows are expected to work in a way that entertains a wide range of the audience. But, we also know that satisfying this demand usually clashes with providing high-quality psychological help.

Answer choice (C) states: "Psychotherapy should never be provided in a context in which there is any chance that the therapy might be of less than high quality."

Does this strengthen the argument? Yes. This is a very broad statement. If psychotherapy should NEVER be provided in a context in which there is ANY chance that the therapy might be of less than high quality, then it would support the conclusion that psychotherapists should never provide psychotherapy on talk shows since there is a chance that they would not be providing high-quality psychological help because they are expected to provide psychotherapy in a way that would entertain a broad audience, which is "nearly always incompatible with providing high-quality psychological help."

Does the negation of this answer choice make the argument fall apart? No. Negation: Psychotherapy should sometimes be provided in a context in which there is any chance that the therapy might be of less than high quality. This negation is too broad to effect the conclusion. Remember, the conclusion states that PSYCHOTHERAPISTS should NEVER provide psychotherapy on talk shows.

Answer choice (C) touches upon when psychotherapy should be provided generally, BUT it does not specify by whom. It could still be the case that psychotherapists should never provide psychotherapy on talk shows, while psychiatrists should sometimes provide therapy even if it might be of less than high quality. Because answer choice (C) does not touch upon how PSYCHOTHERAPISTS should act in such a situation--while the conclusion is on psychotherapists not providing psychotherapy on talk shows--answer choice (C) does not necessarily need to be assumed in order for the psychologist's conclusion to be properly drawn.

Again, just because psychotherapy can sometimes be provided in a context in which there is any chance that the therapy might be of less than high quality does not mean that psychotherapists should sometimes practice psychotherapy in a manner that might be of less than high quality.

Answer choice (E) states: "Psychotherapists should never attempt to provide psychological help in a manner that makes it unlikely to be of high quality."

Does this answer choice strengthen the argument? Yes. Since we know that psychotherapists conduct psychotherapy on radio or television talk shows in way that entertains a broad audience, which is nearly always incompatible with providing high-quality psychological help, this answer choice supports the conclusion that psychotherapists should never provide psychotherapy on talk shows since it is in a manner that makes it unlikely to be of high quality.

Does the negation of the answer choice make the argument fall apart? Yes. Negation: Psychotherapists should sometimes attempt to provide psychological help in a manner that makes it unlikely to be of high quality. Well if psychotherapists should sometimes conduct psychotherapy in a manner that makes it unlikely to be of high quality, then the conclusion of the argument no longer stands because it is not necessarily true that psychotherapists should NEVER provide psychotherapy on talk shows--answer choice (E)'s negation states that sometimes psychotherapists should attempt to do this.

Therefore, since answer choice (E) both strengthens the argument and makes the argument fall apart when it is negated, it is our correct answer.

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