Critical Reasoning - Analogous Reasoning

GMAT® Verbal Practice Question

This GMAT verbal practice question is a critical reasoning question. The task at hand is to identify another argument where the reasoning employed is analogous to the one employed in this argument.

Question

There are several scientific studies and research findings that are constantly discussed and publicized in the news media. Some of these are contrary to other research studies that are published. This conflict in information makes people believe that either science is inaccurate or that they can ‘choose’ which scientific result they want to believe in. However, neither of these beliefs is accurate. Science is not inaccurate or subjective. Most of the time, scientific studies show inconsistent results either because of inaccuracies in methodology adopted or because of misrepresentation of actual results by the news media. For example, a recent study done on just 15 women showed that eating chocolate was not necessarily harmful during pregnancy and the media reported that chocolate was actually beneficial to the foetus.

Which of the following best further corroborate the author’s argument?

  1. A study result that shows that the effect of automobile pollution on global warming is marginal.
  2. An unverified study gaining popularity because it seemingly showed that red wine reduces the risk of cancer on a very small control group.
  3. A new study that further collaborates an earlier finding that the consumption of some types of berries lower the risk of heart failure.
  4. The news media highlighting the fact that a study had clearly proven that effects of certain drugs on rats need not be the same as on humans.
  5. People not knowing what to believe because one study shows that a certain disease is caused by genetic factors, while another shows that it also caused by lifestyle factors.

Explanatory Answer

Video explanation will be added soon.
  1. Step 1: Analyzing the Argument

    The author believes that scientific studies, when done right, are reliable and that the conflicting studies are the result of misrepresentation of data and inaccurate studies and not the problem with the scientific methodology itself.

    To further underscore the reasoning, the correct option must establish one more situation in which the methodology adopted in the study is inaccurate and/or the news media misrepresents the actual results of the study.

  2. Step 2: Eliminating Options

    • Option (A) presents a study result that has a conclusion that is seemingly wrong. However, there is nothing in the answer option that indicates that the study adopted inaccurate methodology. The answer might seem attractive because the information is contrary to real life information. However, real life information should not be brought into any critical reasoning question. The option can be eliminated.
    • Option (C) presents a study that further collaborates another study – there is no conflict and no sign of any inaccuracy in this option.
    • While Option (D) mentions that the news media made a study into a sensation, there is again nothing to indicate that the study was misrepresented or that the study involved incorrect methodology.
    • Option (E) indicates a seeming conflict in beliefs held by people. Again however, there is nothing to indicate that either of those studies are incorrect. There need not a conflict either, because the disease could be affected by both genetic and lifestyle factors.
    • Option(B) collaborates the author’s argument the best because it indicates that the study was done on a very small population and that the study, despite being unverified, is becoming popular. This extends the discussion in the argument and is the answer.
Option B is the correct answer.

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