A recent survey of 250 adults between 30-45 showed an association between the number of hours adults spend online each day and self reporting of symptoms commonly associated with depression. The survey found that adults who spend 30 hours or more online each week were twice as likely as others to report that they “frequently” had trouble concentrating. Of adults who reported spending more than 30 hours per week online, 20% also reported that they had felt “sad, down or blue” at least three times within last month.
These results suggest that spending too much time online is linked to depression and people who want to improve their well-being should strictly limit the time they spend online.
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
In this argument, the author believes that spending too much time online is the cause of depression among adults. To buttress this claim, the author cites a recent survey of 250 adults between the age group of 30 and 45 that correlates the number of hours spent online and the chances of depression. The author, therefore suggests that people should limit their time spent online to ensure well-being. At first glance, this argument appears convincing. However, closer examination indicates that the argument is based on a number of vague assumptions and unanswered questions and hence not convincing.
Firstly, the author makes his argument based on a survey of 250 people in the age group of 30 to 45. The size of survey is too small and limited to a specific age group. Similarly, the survey does not provide additional details such as gender, family background, education, employment status etc. It is quite likely that the participants of the survey may not have adequately represented the minimum needed variation in survey data. In short, this survey is of questionable authenticity.
Secondly, the author states that adults who spend 30 hours or more online each week were twice as likely as others to report frequent trouble in concentration. The term 'frequently' is vague and can be interpreted in a number of ways. Considering its a scientific survey, use of such vague terms again questions authenticity of the survey.
Thirdly, the author claims that 20% of the survey people who spend more than 30 hours online per week reported sad, down or blue at least three times in the past month. Given the entire size of the survey i.e. 250 people, 20% is too small to make any significant contribution to the study.
Lastly, the author merely assumes that spending more time online is the primary cause of depression. The author does not take into account other probable causes of depression like family problems, financial insecurity, academic failures etc.
To conclude, this argument is flawed because of its number of vague assumptions and unanswered questions. To strengthen it, the author should provide well-reasoned answers to the aforementioned questions.
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Sentence: Considering its a scientific survey, use of such vague terms again questions authenticity of the survey.
Description: The tag a determiner, possessive is not usually followed by a
Suggestion: Refer to its and a
Attribute Value Ideal
Score: 2.5 out of 6
Category: Poor Excellent
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No. of Spelling Errors: 0 2
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No. of Words: 355 350
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Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.341 4.7
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Sentence Length SD: 8.385 7.5
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Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.091 0.07
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