Situation: The Censor Board maintains that movies and the violence they depict are responsible for the rise in incidents of violence among our youth. The Movie Association responds by arguing that statistics show that home television viewership is ten times that of movie theatres and that television is more to blame for this violence.
Reasoning: We’re asked to weaken the argument, so we look for an answer that shifts the blame back to the movie producers.
(A) Incorrect: Boys and girls have no bearing on the argument about television versus movies.
(B) Incorrect: Without information about violence in other countries, this information doesn’t help us.
(C) Correct: The Movie Association attempts to shift blame for violent content from itself to the TV stations. This answer choice points out that the Movie Association is also responsible for much home television content, and so their defense no longer stands scrutiny.
(D) Incorrect: Correlation is not causation, and this answer doesn’t even give us a correlation — we do not know how long the recent trend of violence has been occurring, so we cannot possibly correlate it to a ten-year trend of violent movies.
(E) Incorrect: We have no information about the location of TV and movie viewers, so information about the locations of violence isn’t helpful.
C is the correct answer.
The “third person effect” suggests that most people believe that the vast majority of people are less susceptible to televised depictions of violence than the average person is. Of course, they can’t all be right.