Laura Damone
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Elle Woods
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Q22 - Insurers and doctors are well aware

by Laura Damone Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:07 pm

Question Type:
Weaken

Stimulus Breakdown:
Conclusion: Office furniture and equipment are not properly designed to promote workers' health. Premise: Low back injuries are more common among office workers who sit a lot than among folks who do physical labor.

Answer Anticipation:
This conclusion is causal: it attributes the difference in incidence of back injuries to the office equipment and furniture. Since this is a Weaken question, we should be thinking "could it be something else?" Maybe no matter how well-designed the furniture and equipment is, sitting all day makes you prone to back injury. Or perhaps they have the causality backwards: maybe office workers choose that kind of work over physical labor because they already have bad backs.

Correct answer:
E

Answer choice analysis:
(A) This answer supports the argument by ruling out a relevant difference (amount of time spent sitting on home furniture rather than office furniture) that could be an alternate cause for back injury.

(B) Who cares? This doesn't address the comparison or the causality.

(C) If this is true, it might seem to explain a low incidence of back injury in physical labor jobs. But it doesn’t explicitly relate mitigating the stress to the back with a reduction in the incidence of injury. That makes this one tempting but ultimately wrong.

(D) Injuries occurring on vs. off the job is an irrelevant comparison.

(E) If this is true, it provides an alternative explanation for the low incidence of back injury among physical laborers: exercise is preventative. In so doing, it weakens the argument that the higher incidence of back injury among office workers must be because of the furniture.

Takeaway/Pattern:
Alternate causes are the most common causal weakeners, so whenever you see a causal weaken question, think "could it be something else?" This one is made more difficult by the fact that it's also comparative: the thing you're trying to weaken is an explanation of one thing being higher than another. That means you could weaken by showing another reason the higher thing could be higher or another reason the lower thing could be lower.

#officialexplanation
 
AJE770
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Vinny Gambini
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Re: Q22 - Insurers and doctors are well aware

by AJE770 Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:26 am

I don't understand why E is correct. Who says the laborers are the ones doing the exercise and the office workers aren't? Don't you have to add that assumption to make this correct? I feel like C is better because of this (although I see its issue). Thanks!
 
MonicaH111
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Vinny Gambini
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Re: Q22 - Insurers and doctors are well aware

by MonicaH111 Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:59 am

I am also not seeing how E is a better choice than C. Physical labor is not necessarily the same thing as physical exercise and we don't know that the people who sit at desks aren't exercising.