Bardis: Extensive research shows that television advertisements affect the buying habits of consumers. Some people c...

Kim on November 3, 2014

Please Explain

Please explain correct answer...

3 Replies

Melody on November 21, 2014

Bardis's conclusion is that "we can safely conclude that violent television imagery does not cause violence."

Why? We know that extensive research has shown that television advertisements affect the buying habits of consumers. Some people conclude from these results that violent television imagery can, therefore, cause violent behavior.

However, Bardis points out a difference between TV advertisements and violent television imagery: "the effectiveness of television advertisements could be a result of those televised images being specifically designed to later buying habits, whereas television violence is not designed to cause violent behavior."

So Bardis's method of reasoning is that on the basis of one issue in the argument that violent television images can cause violent behavior (the issue being that these violent images were not--unlike television advertisements--designed to alter one's behavior), the entire argument is false. However, this is not necessarily sufficient evidence to disprove a claim.

This is exactly what answer choice (D) states: "concludes that a claim is false on the basis of one purported fault in an argument in favor of that claim."

Bardis is concluding that a claim is false, i.e. that violent television imagery does not cause violence, on the basis of one purported fault in an argument in favor of that claim, i.e. that the effectiveness of television advertisements could be a result of those televised images being specifically designed to alter buying habits--whereas television violence is not designed to cause violent behavior.

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

Shiyi on February 3 at 03:54AM

Why are the other answer choices wrong?

Ravi on February 5 at 02:09AM

@Shiyi-Zhang,

Happy to help.

(A) says, "relies on an illegitimate inference from the fact that
advertisement can change behavior to the claim that advertisements can
cause violent behavior."

This answer choice is similar to the flaw that "some people" (from the
second sentence) make in their argument, but Bardis is not arguing
that the advertisements are causing violence. Therefore, this answer
choice is out.

(B) says, "fails to distinguish a type of behavior from a type of
stimulus that may or may not affect behavior."

In the argument, we do not have any confusion between type of stimulus
and behavior. Bardis' argument is about advertisements and TV and
whether or not they have an effect on behavior. We can eliminate (B).

(C) says, "undermines its own position by questioning the persuasive
power of television advertising."

Bardis is not questioning that commercials can affect behavior. Both
Bardis and the "some people" he references in the second sentence are
in agreement that advertisements/commercials affect behavior. We can
eliminate (C).

(E) says, "fails to consider the possibility that the argument it
disputes is intended to address a separate issue."

In the argument, there is no separate issue. Both Bardis and "some
people" agree that the issue is whether or not violent television
imagery causes violence. The disagreement is not about the issue, it's
about the answer to the issue (Bardis doesn't think that violent TV
causes violence, but "some people" do think it causes violence). (E)
is descriptively inaccurate, so we can get rid of it.

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