LSAT 46 – Section 2 – Question 12

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT46 S2 Q12
Most strongly supported +MSS
+Harder 144.676 +SubsectionEasier

The question stem reads: The researcher's statements, if true, most strongly support which one of the following? This is a Most Strongly Supported Question.

The stimulus describes a study that occurred over six months. During those six months, the experimental group engaged in a daily afternoon exercise routine, while the control group engaged in "little to none." In an Ideal Experiment, the point of experimental groups and control groups is to isolate a "cause." In this problem, the experiment isolates "afternoon exercise" as a potential cause. So we can expect the experiment to produce results on the effects of "afternoon exercise." What effects does the stimulus state? Well, according to the study, the exercise group got 33% more deep sleep than the control group. The results here suggest that afternoon exercise leads to 33% more deep sleep than not exercising. Why? The stimulus says that exercising in the afternoon increases a person's body temperature before bedtime, and an increase in body temperature induces deeper sleep. So the proposed mechanism of action is that an increase in body temperature causes this deeper sleep, and exercise is one way to bring about that increase in body temperature.

Notably, while we have isolated exercise as an independent variable, we have no information on the body temperature of the control group. It is possible that the control group also experienced an increase in body temperature before bed by doing activities besides exercise. If that were the case, the study would suggest that the cause of the deeper sleep among exercisers might be something else other than the increase in body temperature. Perhaps exercise increases fatigue, and that’s actually the cause of deeper sleep.

The stimulus does not lead to any obvious prephase, so we can go ahead and dive into the answer choices using the process of elimination.

Answer Choice (A) makes multiple mistakes. First, the study suggests that afternoon exercise is sufficient (enough) to bring about this 33% increase in deep sleep. That doesn’t mean it is required. There may be additional ways to bring about an increase in deep sleep without exercise. Second, we know nothing about what constitutes "adequate deep sleep." We know that the exercise group got more deep sleep compared to the control group. However, we do not know if that is an adequate amount of deep sleep. It’s possible both groups got an adequate amount of deep sleep. It’s possible both groups failed to get an adequate amount of deep sleep.

Answer Choice (B) makes a very strong claim. The study is limited just to the effects of afternoon exercise on deep sleep. We have no data to support any claims about morning exercise. Since we can’t infer this information from the stimulus, (B) isn’t supported.

Answer Choice (C) makes an error by drawing a general claim from a specific case. We cannot draw conclusions about the "best" way to achieve something from a single instance. The stimulus claims that increasing body temperature is one way to induce deeper sleep, but we cannot then conclude that it is the "best" way, so (C) isn’t supported.

Answer Choice (D) claims that no one in the control group experiences a rise in body temperature. We discussed earlier how we do not know if this is the case, so (D) is incorrect.

Correct Answer Choice (E) says that raising body temperature with a warm bath before bedtime would likely lead to deep sleep. This looks great. The stimulus says that extra heat induces deeper sleep, which supports the idea that a warm bath would lead to deeper sleep. Why? Because the bath increased the body temperature.Therefore, this answer choice is supported based on the information in the stimulus.

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