Flawed reasoning. Identify the flaw(s) in reasoning in the following scenarios. Explain what the individuals in the study should have done differently if they wanted to make such strong conclusions.
(a) Students at an elementary school are given a questionnaire that they are asked to return after their parents have completed it. One of the questions asked is, “Do you find that your work schedule makes it difficult for you to spend time with your kids after school?” Of the parents who replied, 85% said “no”. Based on these results, the school officials conclude that a great majority of the parents have no difficulty spending time with their kids after school.
(b) A survey is conducted on a simple random sample of 1,000 women who recently gave birth, asking them about whether or not they smoked during pregnancy. A follow-up survey asking if the children have respiratory problems is conducted 3 years later. However, only 567 of these women are reached at the same address. The researcher reports that these 567 women are representative of all mothers.
(c) An orthopedist administers a questionnaire to 30 of his patients who do not have any joint problems and finds that 20 of them regularly go running. He concludes that running decreases the risk of joint problems.
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