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Problems of Claims in Research

In a small and fictitious country, a researcher has found that the higher a person lives up the big mountain, the more intelligent that individual is. Is there a problem with the researcher claiming that living high on the mountain leads to a higher intelligence quotient (IQ)? Why? What if the researcher states that this happens because people who live higher are farther away from pollution? What are some problems with the researcher's claim?

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It would be wrong for a researcher to list this as fact for several reasons. I will give you a few. The research that was provided came from one mountain in one country. The researcher cannot report that living high on the mountain produces a higher IQ because he has not taken into account why living there produces a high IQ. He does not know if living high on the big mountain is the reason for higher IQ's or if this is due to other factors.

Maybe there is something in the water there that has nothing to do with the altitude that causes those who live there to have higher IQ's. Maybe the people who live farther away are testing lower than those on the big mountain because of some factor of their environment that has nothing to do with pollution. Maybe the people on the mountain have a different diet than others who live ...

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