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Critical Reasoning: Investigation Questions

In a psychological experiment, an irregular and attractively shiny object was placed in front of infants aged 10 to 12 months. The reactions of each infant were recorded, and the results of the experiment showed that almost 90% of the infants, although not failing to recognize the presence of the object, did not choose to touch it in any way. It can be deduced that infants that age are still not curious about objects that are foreign to them.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the argument?



This factor is irrelevant. The argument deals with an infant's ability to reach out and touch an object. Therefore, vocal abilities are not required and cannot affect the conclusion.



This question is beyond the scope of the argument. The experiment offers two outcomes: contact with the object, or no contact with the object. Once the object has been touched the result is recorded. Therefore, whatever the infant does beyond the point where he/she chooses to touch the object is irrelevant.



This answer choice does not relate to the conclusion. Since the argument focuses on a shiny object, sound is an irrelevant issue.



This answer choice fails to refer to the author's conclusion. The experiment deals with a specific ability - touching a foreign object. Therefore, distinguishing people based on facial features is beside the point.



This answer choice brings forward a factor that may influence the author's claim. If infants observe rather than touch objects they are curious about, then maybe the conclusion is wrong and those infants were curious about the object. If this is not the case, it becomes more likely that the infants are not curious about unfamiliar objects.

Whether the infants chosen for the experiment underwent screening that could eliminate those with vocal disabilities
Whether the remaining 10% of the infants chose to place the object in the vicinity of their mouths after touching it
Whether such infants react with curiosity to stimuli that are presented to them in the form of audio signals  
Whether infants aged 10 to 12 months have the ability to distinguish people familiar to them based on facial features alone
Whether infants that age show a tendency to study objects of interest visually