Chapters 13 and 14 Groupwork Key

Q1. Pg 508-6 Some theories arise from anecdotal evidence that is difficult to confirm. In The LeftHander Syndrome (1992), Stanley Coren sought to evaluate the common belief that lefthanded persons die sooner than right-handers. But death certificates or other public records very rarely mention the hand preferred by the deceased. What could serve as a reliable data source with which that hypothesis could be tested? Coren searched baseball records, noting which hand baseball pitchers threw with, and then recording their ages at death. Right-handed pitchers, he found, lived an average nine months longer than lefties. Then, in a follow-up study, he and a colleague telephoned the relatives of people named on death certificates in two California counties, to ask which hand the deceased favored. Right-handed people (that study found) lived an average of nine years longer than lefties. The Method of Agreement. 1. Right-handed pitchers lived on average nine months longer than lefties, 2. Right-handed people, involved in the California study, lived an average of nine years longer than lefties Both studies show the same result (right-handed people live longer than left-handed people), agreeing that the circumstance (handedness of the person) is the cause of the given phenomenon (timing of death). However, the analysis is not proof of the phenomenon. There have been other studies concerning left vs. right handed people and early death. The question must also be, “Is the circumstance sufficient to be the cause of the phenomenon?” Subsequent studies have disproved this concept.

False cause - An informal fallacy in which the mistake arises from treating as the cause of something that which is not really its cause. Note: This is not the Method of Difference because there were no differences between the results of the two studies. Nothing was subtracted from the first set of circumstances to see if there was a difference in the results. This is not the Method of Residues because again no known causal relationships were subtracted from the results. Also, this is not the Method of Concomitant Variation because there is no increase or decrease in some circumstance in the studies.

Q2. We can legitimately infer cause from effect only in the sense of: a) proximate cause. b) sufficient condition. c) necessary condition. d) remote cause. c) necessary condition is the correct answer. Q3. Which, of the choices below, is the least important reason for scientists to pursue their fields? a) They want to satisfy their curiosity. b) The want to find practical solutions to human problems. c) They want to increase the total amount of information available to humanity. d) They want to unify knowledge and make it simpler. c) is the correct answer.

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