Critical Reasoning: Boldface Type Questions
A recent study has revealed, through meticulous research, a link between the harmful hydrocarbons in air pollutants and the IQ test scores of children. The research involved measuring the quality of air that pregnant women breathed during the third trimester of pregnancy, and then following the children born from that pregnancy until an IQ test could be administered. Many external factors were taken into consideration, such as the mother's IQ and the family's home environment with regards to intellectual development. Health officials, having studied this information, plan to tackle the phenomenon by increasing public awareness on the matter through campaigns aimed at warning parents-to-be.
In the argument, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?
While this answer choice provides a correct definition for the first boldface portion, it fails to do the same for the second boldface portion. The fact that the research looked at many external factors, doesn't actually tell us anything about the logic that the researchers used to form a link between pollution and IQ.
In the conclusion we are told that the health officials are going to warn parents about the phenomenon. It follows that the officials must believe that the link presented in the first boldface portion is correct. Therefore, it cannot be said that the first boldface portion is contradicted by the conclusion. You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest.
Although this answer choice correctly defines the first boldface portion, it confuses the second with actual evidence. The second boldface portion is not a finding, something that the researchers discovered during their investigation. It is a fact about the research.
This information does not strengthen the correlation; the fact that "many factors were taken into account" could equally support the opposite idea that there is no link between pollution and IQ in children.
This answer choice correctly defines right about the first boldface portion, but not the second. The second boldface portion is basically a statement that tells us that the research was done thoroughly and as accurately as possible. This statement does not reduce the credibility of the research, but instead improves it.
The first boldface portion is what the research proved, or its result. The second boldface portion tells us that the researchers tried to consider all kinds of possibilities - to correct for any bias that might result from the influence of external factors - in order to reach the most accurate conclusion. Since these external factors were taken into consideration - one is less likely to doubt the accuracy of that analysis.