Background for Sample Thinking Skills Questions 1-3

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Woman in red blouse working out on exercise equipment

For Sample Questions 1, 2 and 3 Please consider this information : A scientific study compared two matched groups of college women. The women in both groups were presented with information about the benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise. The women in one group were paired up with one another and encouraged to work as two-person teams to help each other stick with the recommended healthy regimen of smart eating and regular vigorous exercise. The women in the other group were encouraged to use the same recommended regimen, but they were also advised to work at it individually, rather than with a partner or teammate. After 50 days the physical health and the well-being of all the women in both groups were evaluated. On average the women in the first group (with teammates) showed a 26 point improvement in measures of cardiopulmonary capacity, body strength, body fat reduction, and sense of well-being. On average the women in the other group (encouraged to work as individuals) showed a 17 point improvement on those same measures. Using statistical analyses the researchers determined that the probability that a difference of this size had occurred by chance was less than one in 1000.

Sample Thinking Skills Question #1.

If true, these research findings would tend to support which of the following assertions?

 A = A college woman cannot achieve optimal health functioning without a teammate.
 B = Universities should require all students living in campus residence halls to participate in a health regime of smart eating and regular vigorous exercise.
 C = A healthy diet will cause one to have better mental health and physical strength.
 D = This research study was funded by a corporation that makes exercise apparel.
 E = A regimen of smart eating and regular exercise is related to better health.

Sample Thinking Skills Question #2.

If the information given in the case above were true, which of the following hypotheses would not need to be ruled out in order to confidently claim that for the majority of young adults a regimen of smart eating and regular vigorous exercise will result in significant improvements in one’s overall health.

 A = This study was about women, the findings cannot be generalized to include men.
 B = Since the study began to solicit willing participants before the Research Ethics Review Committee of the college gave the research project its formal approval to gather data, the findings are invalid.
 C = Some women in the study over-reported their compliance with the eating and exercise regimen, which led the researchers to underestimate the full impact of the regimen.
 D = Since many of those studied described themselves as overweight or out of shape when the study began, a similar regimen will not benefit people who are healthier to start with.
 E = The performance tests used to evaluate the health and well-being of females may not be appropriate for evaluating the health and well-being of males.

Sample Thinking Skills Question #3.

Consider the claim, “Working with a teammate or partners on a health regimen is better than working individually.” Which of the following additional pieces of information would not weaken that claim?

A = Most of the women in the group that was encouraged to work individually actually worked with friends and partners who were not part of the study.
 B = Most of the pairings and teams created in the first group (with teammates) fell apart after a few days and the women in that group actually worked individually.
 C = There was something about the women in the first group (with teammates) that the researchers overlooked, thus invalidating the intended matching of the two groups.
 D = Men are more likely to work alone, so any recommendation that men find a teammate or partner to support them in sticking with the regimen will be ignored.
 E = The study was undertaken when there were no exams or major projects due, thus the results about working with a teammate do not apply to more stressful times of the year.

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