In the two previous posts we discussed two of the three argument types around which Strengthen-Weaken question of GMAT Critical Reasoning are posed — Plan of Action and X causes Y .The third type is also X causes Y but an argument built on Correlation-Causation and hence it is better to classify it as the Correlation-Causation type.
In the previous post on the Strengthen-Weaken question type, we discussed that there were three argument types around which strengthen-weaken type of questions are posed Plan of Action (PoA) X causes Y Correlation-Causation We discussed the PoA type of argument in that post, in this one we will look at the second type – X causes Y.
We have covered almost all the Critical Reasoning question types on the blog. A few readers had asked for specific posts on the Strengthen/Weaken Type, so the next few posts will cover these two question types in detail. Strengthen/Weaken question types together constitute the maximum number of questions out of the 13-15 Critical Reasoning questions you will encounter on the Verbal section of the GMAT. Strengthen/Weaken questions are usually broadly based on three types of argument structures: Plan of Action X causes Y Correlation-Causation We will take up one argument structure at a time and discuss the process to solve each type.
In the previous two posts, we saw how Weaken-Type Critical Reasoning questions based on correlation-causation passages can be solved in under a minute. Just to summarize, X and Y are correlated does not mean X is causing Y since there is no evidence to prove that the direction of causation is from X to Y, it can also be from Y to X So based on arguments that conclude that X is causing Y since X and Y are correlated, Assumption and Strengthen questions can also be asked. Assumption Type: The assumption is that Y is not causing X. A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of immune-system activity tend to score much lower on tests of mental health than do people with normal or high immune-system activity. The researcher concluded from this experiment that the immune system protects against mental illness as well as against physical disease. The researcher’s conclusion depends on which of the following assumptions? (A) High immune-system activity protects against mental illness better than normal immune-system activity does (B) …