Critical Reasoning Assumption Question

Research shows that adolescents who play video games on a regular basis are three times as likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome as are adolescents who do not play video games. Federal legislation that prohibits the sale of video games to minors would help curb this painful wrist condition among adolescents.

The doctor’s conclusion depends on which of the following assumptions?

A]The majority of federal legislators would vote for a bill that prohibits the sale of video games to minors.
B]Not all adolescents who play video games on a regular basis suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.
C]Playing video games is the only way an adolescent can develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
D]Most parents would refuse to purchase video games for their adolescent children.
E]The regular playing of video games by adolescents does not produce such beneficial effects as better hand-eye coordination and improved reaction time.

Answer should be (D). It’s a bit tricky.

Once you see the word “assumptions” in the question, you should look back at the paragraph to see what claim is being made.

Here’s the claim:
“Stopping sales of video games –> less carpel tunnel syndrome”

Well, wait a minute. Look at the long chain of reasoning here:

There are 3 components:
1) Sales of video games -> 2) playing video games -> 3) carpel tunnel syndrome

More detailed, it looks like this:
1) Legislation that stops sales of video games –(causes)–> 2) playing video games –(causes)–> 3) carpel tunnel syndrome

Here’s the doctor’s claim: “Federal legislation that prohibits the sale of video games to minors would help curb this painful wrist condition among adolescents. ”

According to the reasoning chain above, getting rid of item #1: “sales of video games” through legislation will mean #2 and #3 will not exist.

Well, that assumes that #1: “sales of video games” will lead to #2: “playing video games”
How do we know that blocking sales of video games will necessarily lead to less playing of video games?

Well, the doctor assumes that by making it illegal for minors to purchase to purchase the games, the minors would have no other way to play the games. Well, common sense tells you that the minors can always get their parents/guardians to get the games for them. So the author assumes that this is not possible since they assume “most parents would refuse to purchase the games for their kids.”

With answer choice (D), that’s what you get:

“Most parents would refuse to purchase video games for their adolescent children.”

I still think answer (C) is an assumption in the 3 part assumption chain I mentioned above although it’s not an assumption of the doctor’s claim—small subtlety.

Here’s why:

In the 3 part reasoning chain:
1) Sales of video games -> 2) playing video games -> 3) carpel tunnel syndrome

the doctor’s claim is that getting rid of #1, you will no longer have #3.
Answer (D) describes the assumption between #1 and #2.
Answer (C) describes the assumption between #2 and #3.

Since the doctor’s claim begins further to the left on the reasoning chain (#1), the assumption must include #1. Although (C) seems like a legitimate assumption to me, it is an assumption related to a different part of the reasoning chain (#2 and #3).

So it appears because of where we are on this reasoning chain, the answer is not (C) but rather (D).

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