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Find the assumption..

This topic has 4 expert replies and 8 member replies

Find the assumption..

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Smoking is a known cause of certain serious health problems, including emphysema and lung cancer. Now, an additional concern can be added to the list of maladies caused by smoking. A recent study surveyed both smokers and nonsmokers, and found that smokers are significantly more anxious and nervous than nonsmokers.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument rests?

A. Anxiety and nervousness can lead to serious health problems.
B. Anxiety and nervousness do not make individuals more likely to start smoking.
C. Equivalent numbers of smokers and nonsmokers were surveyed for the study.
D.Smokers are aware of the various health problems attributed to smoking, including lung cancer and emphysema.
E.Smokers who had smoked a cigarette immediately before responding to the survey were more anxious and nervous than smokers who had not smoked for several hours.

OA: B

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what i don't understand is the conclusion of the argument ? hence could not find the assumption !

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TkNeo wrote:
Smoking is a known cause of certain serious health problems, including emphysema and lung cancer. Now, an additional concern can be added to the list of maladies caused by smoking. A recent study surveyed both smokers and nonsmokers, and found that smokers are significantly more anxious and nervous than nonsmokers.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument rests?

A. Anxiety and nervousness can lead to serious health problems.
B. Anxiety and nervousness do not make individuals more likely to start smoking.
C. Equivalent numbers of smokers and nonsmokers were surveyed for the study.
D.Smokers are aware of the various health problems attributed to smoking, including lung cancer and emphysema.
E.Smokers who had smoked a cigarette immediately before responding to the survey were more anxious and nervous than smokers who had not smoked for several hours.

OA: B
This is a classic causation argument - very common on the GMAT.

You had trouble identifying the conclusion because it's not explicitly stated, we need to combine the last two sentences:

"Now, an additional concern can be added to the list of maladies caused by smoking."

and

"..found that smokers are significantly more anxious and nervous than nonsmokers."

So, the author is blaming smoking for the extra anxiety and nervousness. In other words, the author is concluding that the extra anxiety and nervousness found in the survey were caused by smoking.

In every causation argument, the author is making 2 key assumptions:

(1) cause-effect haven't been reversed; and
(2) there are no other causes.

Where the evidence is a correlation, it's often (1) that plays the largest role in finding the correct answer.

Study: smoking = more anxiety
Conclusion: smoking causes anxiety

However, why couldn't it be true that more anxiety is what causes people to start smoking in the first place?

To reach the conclusion that she did, the author has to be assuming that the cause-effect relationship only runs in the direction suggested by the conclusion. In other words, the author has to be assuming that anxiety does NOT lead to smoking: choose (B), a perfect match for our prediction.

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Your explanation makes sense except i don't understand why

"Smoking is a known cause of certain serious health problems"

is not the conclusion... The author starts by saying that ... and then mentions a study as an additional evidence.

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TkNeo wrote:
Your explanation makes sense except i don't understand why

"Smoking is a known cause of certain serious health problems"

is not the conclusion... The author starts by saying that ... and then mentions a study as an additional evidence.
The first sentence is just stated as a fact. "Is a known cause" refers to something that everyone agrees on - in other words, it doesn't require any support.

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Hi
I'm still not clear with the explaination. Would you pls tell me why choice 1 is not the answer .

I thought it like this:-

Since the statement says that smokers have anxiety then anxiety must be the cause of health problems. Where am I wrong?

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IMO the conclusion is 'nervousness is another malady'. The author does not conclude that smoking causes nervousness but a 'study' says so. How is this the author's conclusion?

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devp wrote:
IMO the conclusion is 'nervousness is another malady'. The author does not conclude that smoking causes nervousness but a 'study' says so. How is this the author's conclusion?
The study does NOT say that smoking causes nervousness.

The study "found that smokers are significantly more anxious and nervous than nonsmokers."

In other words, the study found that these two conditions go together; there's a correlation between them. It's the author who moves from correlation (two things occuring together) to causation (one of them actually caused the other).

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sorry - ignore my post

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TKNeo,
What is the source of this question?

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Stuart Kovinsky wrote:
TkNeo wrote:
Smoking is a known cause of certain serious health problems, including emphysema and lung cancer. Now, an additional concern can be added to the list of maladies caused by smoking. A recent study surveyed both smokers and nonsmokers, and found that smokers are significantly more anxious and nervous than nonsmokers.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument rests?

A. Anxiety and nervousness can lead to serious health problems.
B. Anxiety and nervousness do not make individuals more likely to start smoking.
C. Equivalent numbers of smokers and nonsmokers were surveyed for the study.
D.Smokers are aware of the various health problems attributed to smoking, including lung cancer and emphysema.
E.Smokers who had smoked a cigarette immediately before responding to the survey were more anxious and nervous than smokers who had not smoked for several hours.

OA: B
This is a classic causation argument - very common on the GMAT.

You had trouble identifying the conclusion because it's not explicitly stated, we need to combine the last two sentences:

"Now, an additional concern can be added to the list of maladies caused by smoking."

and

"..found that smokers are significantly more anxious and nervous than nonsmokers."

So, the author is blaming smoking for the extra anxiety and nervousness. In other words, the author is concluding that the extra anxiety and nervousness found in the survey were caused by smoking.

In every causation argument, the author is making 2 key assumptions:

(1) cause-effect haven't been reversed; and
(2) there are no other causes.

Where the evidence is a correlation, it's often (1) that plays the largest role in finding the correct answer.

Study: smoking = more anxiety
Conclusion: smoking causes anxiety

However, why couldn't it be true that more anxiety is what causes people to start smoking in the first place?

To reach the conclusion that she did, the author has to be assuming that the cause-effect relationship only runs in the direction suggested by the conclusion. In other words, the author has to be assuming that anxiety does NOT lead to smoking: choose (B), a perfect match for our prediction.
Hi Stuart ,why cant it be C?
If unequal numbers of smokers and nonsmokers are used,then the study is rendered invalid.
Or is the study taking percentage into consideration.

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mundasingh123 wrote:
Hi Stuart ,why cant it be C?
If unequal numbers of smokers and nonsmokers are used,then the study is rendered invalid.
Or is the study taking percentage into consideration.
So if they studied 1001 smokers and 999 non-smokers, the results would be invalid?

Nope, all the study requires is that a big enough sample from each group was included. Heck, even if they studied 1000000 smokers and 1000 non-smokers, as long as 1000 is a statistically significant sample (something we're not required to know for the GMAT), that would be fine.

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Hi experts,

This question confused me a lot.
I have not idea what's my reasoning bug, please elaborate further.

Here is my reasoning.
Smoking is a known cause of certain serious health problems, including emphysema and lung cancer. --- this is a fact.

Now, an additional concern can be added to the list of maladies caused by smoking.--- this is a conclusion

A recent study surveyed both smokers and nonsmokers, and found that smokers are significantly more anxious and nervous than nonsmokers. --- this is a premise. it shows support the conclusion.


here is a gap between more anxious and more nervous and maladies caused by smoking.

that's why i picked up A .Anxiety and nervousness can lead to serious health problems.

it confuses me alot not only my reasoning bug but also the causation from a survey. the survey is a fact, how can it be a conclusion.

Please help

thanks in advance

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