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What's the flaw(s) in this argument? Please help

LSAT DeterminedLSAT Determined Legacy Member
in General 199 karma
Hello,

Can someone please explain to me what's wrong with this argument?

Con: The amount of sleep one gets has minimal correlation to the amount of anxiety and depression he or she feels
Prem: A study showed that the top 5% of sleepers have the same level of anxiety and depression as those who are the bottom 5%

Here's the passage:

A study recently published in a leading magazine showed that, surprisingly, those who are in the top 5 percent in terms of the amount of sleep they get daily, have on average, about the same level of anxiety and depression as those who are in the bottom 5%. This proves conclusively that the amount of sleep one gets has minimal correlation to the amount of anxiety and depression one feels?

What's wrong with this argument and or support?

Comments

  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Legacy Inactive ⭐
    edited November 2015 2086 karma
    What if those in the study get about the same amount of sleep, and the difference between the top 5% v. the bottom 5% is minuscule?
    Think about it this way. 10 people surveyed, all of them get 7 hours of sleep, +-1 (and anything in between, i.e. 7.1 hrs, 7.5 hrs, etc).
    If that's the case, then the bottom and top 5% get about the same amount of sleep, and assessing their anxiety and depression via sleep patterns would yield unreliable results.
    You certainly couldn't say that there isn't a correlation between sleep and anxiety and depression.

    P.S. Not sure where you got that question, and if it has an official answer. The above is just my analysis.
  • iiiSpooniiiSpoon Alum Inactive ⭐
    277 karma
    Also, if oversleeping can do as much harm as not getting enough sleep.
  • c.janson35c.janson35 Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2398 karma
    The data does not prove that there is little correlation; for all we know, the data could prove a clear U-shaped correlation. For what it's worth, LSAC wouldn't ask a question like this, at least in my opinion. A more realistic question would conclude that "sleep does not affect depression or anxiety levels."
  • LSATConspiracyLSATConspiracy Legacy Member
    126 karma
    This is actually a somewhat common flaw on the lsat. The problem with it is that it deals with extremes without considering the majority that fall in the middle. Just like @c.janson35 said, it could be a U shape correlation.
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