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GRE Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)


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Expecting an expert opinion.. on this argument essay topic

Argument Topics

"A recent study of eighteen rhesus monkeys provides clues as to the effects of birth order on an individual's levels of stimulation. The study showed that in stimulating situations (such as an encounter with an unfamiliar monkey), firstborn infant monkeys produce up to twice as much of the hormone cortisol, which primes the body for increased activity levels, as do their younger siblings. Firstborn humans also produce relatively high levels of cortisol in stimulating situations (such as the return of a parent after an absence). The study also found that during pregnancy, first-time mother monkeys had higher levels of cortisol than did those who had had several offspring."

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.

Essay Starts Here:

In this study, the provided clues only came from eighteen rhesus monkeys, which is not a sufficient number to make any major decision.

The study also mentioned about encounter with unfamiliar monkey, but did not mention any observation about familiar encounter. Again there might be other factors influencing cortisol hormone.

There is no statistical value given for firstborn human either. Also no clarification on the amount of hormone and expert opinion has made the issue very tenuous.

The study also mentioned about first-time monkey pregnancy, but how many monkeys they studied is not pointed out and from which breed. Though at first a specific kind of monkey i.e. rhesus monkeys were mentioned but in the end only no specification on mother monkeys are mentioned.

Also for the high cortisol hormone, other factors might be the reason like climate, food etc.

So there is a lot of turbidity in this matter. Therefore no precise conclusion can be drawn here.

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