For this question type, we are looking for a crucial piece of information that will allow us to decide whether an argument is valid or invalid. Therefore, the correct answer, usually asked in the form of a question, when properly applied (usually, you should answer the question with polar opposite answers) will be able to strengthen and weaken a conclusion made in the stimulus.
The facts in the stimulus are:
1) Widespread belief: Unusual animal behavior predicts impending earthquakes
2) Skeptics belief: No, the widespread belief is a mistaken relationship (unusual animal behavior -> credible predictions of earthquakes) for correlation (unusual animal behavior coincides with earthquakes). People simply remember that dogs behaved oddly just before an earthquake. Some of the world’s dogs behave oddly at any time.
What piece of information will help us decide if the skeptics' claim is correct or incorrect?
Answer (E) provides this key information.
Is the animal behavior supposedly predictive of earthquakes specific to impending earthquakes or can it be any kind of unusual behavior?
If there is any animal behavior specific to impending earthquakes, then there is some kind of relationship between animal behavior and animal behaviors having predictive qualities. For example, let’s say studies show after every earthquake in the past, dogs have closed their eyes and chased their tails seven times. That would mean, if my dog was to close his eyes and chase his tail seven times, there may be an ensuing earthquake on the rise. This behavior would be specific enough to not be a simple coincidence.
However, if there is any kind of unusual animal behavior before an earthquake, then we cannot conclude that any given animal behavior can predict an earthquake. Animals behave oddly all the time. There is no evidence of a relationship between odd animal behavior and an impending earthquake here.
Therefore, knowing the answer to the question posed by Answer (E) gives us the most important [information for] an evaluation of the skeptics position.