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A major network news organization experienced a drop in view

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RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member Default Avatar
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A major network news organization experienced a drop in view

Post Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:51 am
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    A major network news organization experienced a drop in viewership in the week following the airing of a controversial report on the economy. The network also received a very large number of complaints regarding the report. The network, however, maintains that negative reactions to the report had nothing to do with its loss of viewers.

    Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the network’s position?

    (A) The other major network news organizations reported similar reductions in viewership during the same week.

    (B) The viewers who registered complaints with the network were regular viewers of the news organization's programs.

    (C) Major network news organizations publicly attribute drops in viewership to their own reports only when they receive complaints about those reports.

    (D) This was not the first time that this network news organization has aired a controversial report on the economy that has inspired viewers to complain to the network.

    (E) Most network news viewers rely on network news broadcasts as their primary source of information regarding the economy.


    OA : A

    P.S: @ Verbal Experts - Although I got this one, it appears to be BIT weird to me that how A is the OA because it seems that A JUST stands out as the BEST of the lot. (I think, GENERALLY such answer choice in GMAT is considered OUT of SCOPE, but as the other choices even fail to be in consideration, A comes out as OA)

    Please share your analysis and explanation for this CR.

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    Marty Murray Legendary Member
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    Post Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:21 pm
    RBBmba@2014 wrote:
    @ Verbal Experts - Although I got this one, it appears to be BIT weird to me that how A is the OA because it seems that A JUST stands out as the BEST of the lot. (I think, GENERALLY such answer choice in GMAT is considered OUT of SCOPE, but as the other choices even fail to be in consideration, A comes out as OA)

    Please share your analysis and explanation for this CR.
    Often on the GMAT critical reasoning answers are considered out of scope when they talk about something that happened or is happening in a situation that is not the situation being discussed.

    For instance, the focus of the argument in a CR question could be the effects of a tax increase in one country. Often the effects of a tax increase in another country would be deemed out of scope.

    In this case, however, there are multiple reasons why an answer choice that discusses situations that are not the specific situation being discussed is the OA.

    For one thing, as RBBmba@2104 mentioned, there is no other answer choice that fits at all. We are looking for the best answer here. So one that could somehow be seen to be strengthening the argument will have to do. That answer is the best answer available.

    At the same time, there is another specific, logical reason why answer choice A is maybe more valid than some other answer choices that discuss situations other than that discussed in the argument.

    Choice A discusses not just one possibly irrelevant situation, but rather an industry wide trend in which all of the networks experienced reductions in viewership at the same time. This clearly is more relevant than something like, "Another network experienced a reduction in viewership at the same time."

    A parallel situation would be one in which a clothing manufacturer said that reduced sales in a particular month were not the result of a change in its product line, and we find that that month there was a decline in clothing sales overall. Clearly that decline in overall clothing sales is relevant.

    Maybe one takeaway here is that as much as people might try to make scoring high on the GMAT a matter of following simple rules, the truth is that while using a cookie cutter approach to answering GMAT questions works sometimes, it certainly does not work all of the time. So be careful about seeking to impose some sort of rule driven framework on a test that is often too tricky or sophisticated to warrant being handled in that way.

    Regarding the other answer choices,

    B does not provide any information that strengthens the argument. If anything it weakens it.

    C discusses motivation or typical responses rather than any factors relevant to the argument.

    D adds nothing to this discussion. The argument is about a lack of connection between complaints and reduced viewership, and the fact the people have complained before does not prove anything related to the argument.

    E Says nothing that is really relevant to the argument at hand.

    So A it is.

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    Post Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:40 am
    Hi Marty - that's a GREAT explanation.

    A quick question on the OA :

    What if other major network news organizations reported similar reductions in viewership during the same week because of airing of a controversial report on the economy -- doesn't that (re the RED part especially) WEAKENS the conclusion OR it's an EXTREME case (and we should generally avoid such EXTREME cases on GMAT CR ?)

    Please let me know your thoughts!

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    Post Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:34 am
    RBBmba@2014 wrote:
    A quick question on the OA :

    What if other major network news organizations reported similar reductions in viewership during the same week because of airing of a controversial report on the economy -- doesn't that (re the RED part especially) WEAKENS the conclusion OR it's an EXTREME case (and we should generally avoid such EXTREME cases on GMAT CR ?)
    What you put in red actually seems to maybe fit what you were originally talking about. Unless they all aired the same report, the fact that other stations experienced a decline after airing controversial reports on the economy may not prove much.

    At the same time, if we were looking for a way to weaken the argument and there were no other answer choice that weakens it at all, then maybe what you wrote could be the best answer to a weakening question.

    Regarding what you said about extreme cases, it sounds as if you are seeking to get CR questions right by using a simple but imperfect rule.

    Avoiding extreme cases sounds like something someone would do instead of actually seeing the logic of what is going on. If you really want to get CR questions right consistently, you need to see the logic of what is going on.

    That thing about avoiding extreme cases is not sure fire. It's a semi effective way of eliminating some answers if you don't really see what is going on.

    A better way to use extreme cases is as red flags. While maybe I would not eliminate an answer choice merely because it involves an extreme statement, the fact that it does involve such a statement can be used as an alert that likely there is something wrong with it. Still, it could be the best answer somehow, and the only way to really determine whether it is is via actually figuring out what is going on with the argument and answer choices.

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    Post Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:46 am
    Marty - I understand your explanation on how to deal with the EXTREME cases in GMAT CR.Thanks!

    But, would like to get further clarity on my concern on A -

    Marty Murray wrote:
    Unless they all aired the same report, the fact that other stations experienced a decline after airing controversial reports on the economy may not prove much.
    Yes, I meant EXACTLY this situation.

    Other major network news organizations ALL aired the SAME REPORT -- this might be possible as the controversial report is on the economy -- and as a result of it they had reductions in viewership during the same week... So, now will A still STRENGTHEN the argument ?

    Look forward to your clarification!

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    Post Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:49 am
    RBBmba@2014 wrote:
    Marty - I understand your explanation on how to deal with the EXTREME cases in GMAT CR.Thanks!

    But, would like to get further clarity on my concern on A -

    Marty Murray wrote:
    Unless they all aired the same report, the fact that other stations experienced a decline after airing controversial reports on the economy may not prove much.
    Yes, I meant EXACTLY this situation.

    Other major network news organizations ALL aired the SAME REPORT -- this might be possible as the controversial report is on the economy -- and as a result of it they had reductions in viewership during the same week... So, now will A still STRENGTHEN the argument ?
    That is a cool twist. You are basically asking whether a possibly out of scope situation weakens a strengthen answer.

    My answer is yes. If choice A were what you wrote above, it would no longer strengthen the argument. I mean if choice A said that all the networks aired the story simultaneously and all of them simultaneously experienced declines in viewership, that answer choice would clearly no longer support an argument that the decline is not related to airing the story, would it? Before it said that, the story and the decline had been separated. One network aired the story, but all experienced the decline. With the change, the story and the decline are no longer separated. They still might not be connected, by the way, but since they are no longer separated, choice A would no longer strengthen the argument. That's for sure, and one might even be able to make the case that in the new form choice A weakens the argument, though that case is not as clear cut.

    (Notice I used the word would where you used the word willboth of which I put in bold face. You could refer to this article to get some insight into the use of the word would. http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-grammar-the-subjunctive-tense/)

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    Post Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:23 am
    Couple of quick questions -

    1. Can you please EXPLAIN why you say this -- the RED part in the below quote ?

    Marty Murray wrote:
    ...You are basically asking whether a possibly out of scope situation weakens a strengthen answer.My answer is yes...
    2. As for WILL and WOULD, yes I think I understand what you try to mean - WOULD here represents HYPOTHETICAL situation. Right ?

    But my question is why we'd consider it as HYPOTHETICAL situation ? Isn't such situation NOT LIKELY to occur ? Can't ALL other major network news organization air same controversial report same time when it's on ECONOMY (and have reductions in viewership subsequently) ? Is such situation too far stretched ?

    Please shed light!

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    Post Sat Sep 26, 2015 1:30 pm
    RBBmba@2014 wrote:
    Couple of quick questions -

    1. Can you please EXPLAIN why you say this -- the RED part in the below quote ?

    Marty Murray wrote:
    ...You are basically asking whether a possibly out of scope situation weakens a strengthen answer.My answer is yes...
    I merely meant that since often in the context of GMAT questions things going on in situations outside of the one being discussed are considered out of scope, there could be some question initially as to whether discussion of what is going on at other networks is within the scope of the discussion about the particular network mentioned in the argument.

    RBBmba@2014 wrote:
    2. As for WILL and WOULD, yes I think I understand what you try to mean - WOULD here represents HYPOTHETICAL situation. Right ?

    But my question is why we'd consider it as HYPOTHETICAL situation ? Isn't such situation NOT LIKELY to occur ? Can't ALL other major network news organization air same controversial report same time when it's on ECONOMY (and have reductions in viewership subsequently) ? Is such situation too far stretched ?

    Please shed light!
    What you described is not "too far stretched" and therefore necessarily hypothetical. What is hypothetical is the idea that that that wording would appear in the answer choice. If the answer choice were written that way, then x would be the case. That's the hypothetical, rather than implausible, situation.

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    Post Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:41 am
    OK. So bottom line of my concern about Option A is why can't we construe that it's a potential WEAKENER (with this interpretation - Other major network news organizations ALL aired the SAME REPORT and as a result of it they had reductions in viewership during the same week) rather than a STRENGTHENER ?

    I'm still NOT getting this straight & clear. Could you please help in anyway ?

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    Post Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:38 am
    Ohh. I see. You are saying that A could be interpreted that way? even though what you are saying is not stated?

    If so, here is a KEY thing to remember when doing CR questions.

    You have to stick to things that are either said or than can be clearly and directly inferred from what is said.

    Nowhere is it said that they all aired the same story and there is no reason, really, to infer that. So you can't go with that.

    I see people do this all this time. They come up with possible scenarios and wonder whether those scenarios are significant in determining which answer choice is best.

    The truth is that one could conceivably make many answer choices right or wrong depending on what scenario one constructs. In this case, what if there were a storm that knocked out power to much the city and the people wanted to watch the news but many could not because their televisions were not powered? Maybe that's it!

    Obviously that's going even further afield than you did, but I am making a point. Nothing was said about a storm, and nothing was said about all the networks airing the same story. Further, there is little reason to believe that the other networks aired that same story. Yes, it's possible that they did and certainly would make sense, but we can't go with the theory that that is the case.

    So here's the upshot.

    While what you described could be the case, there is no clear reason to believe that it is in fact the case. I could see how one could argue that the existence of the possibility that what you described is the case undermines the case that choice A strengthens the argument. That's interesting. Hmm. For all we know they all aired the story. So what is said in choice A may somehow not really strengthen the argument.

    On the other hand, there basically no way that the existence of that possibility is sufficient for rendering choice A a weakener.

    Maybe the salvation of this question lies in the fact that none of the other answer choices can in any reasonable way be construed as strengtheners. So A is all we have.

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    Post Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:16 am
    Thanks for the inputs.

    But,as we're NOT dealing with ASSUMPTION CR here, so MUST BE TRUE should't be the case we should consider. Right ?

    And if yes, then why we can't consider could be the case or MIGHT BE TRUE scenarios ? (You even made a point that what I construe could/Might be TRUE)

    P.S: It seems to be a really hard nut to crack for me! It appears that we'll have to CONSIDER Option A a STRENGTHENER because GMAC guys have done so...!



    Last edited by RBBmba@2014 on Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:46 am; edited 1 time in total

    Post Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:46 am
    RBBmba@2014 wrote:
    Other major network news organizations ALL aired the SAME REPORT
    to be CONTROVERSIAL means to express a view with which others DISAGREE.
    If other networks air the SAME REPORT, then there is AGREEMENT among the networks -- implying that the report is NOT controversial.
    Contrary to your interpretation, the airing of a CONTROVERSIAL report serves to indicate that the report was NOT aired by other networks.

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    Post Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:25 am
    GMATGuruNY wrote:
    RBBmba@2014 wrote:
    Other major network news organizations ALL aired the SAME REPORT
    to be CONTROVERSIAL means to express a view with which others DISAGREE.
    If other networks air the SAME REPORT, then there is AGREEMENT among the networks -- implying that the report is NOT controversial.
    Contrary to your interpretation, the airing of a CONTROVERSIAL report serves to indicate that the report was NOT aired by other networks.
    @ GMATGuruNY - a quick question on your above reply.

    Is it NO WAY possible (OR AT LEAST in this CR) for other major networks to air a CONTROVERSIAL report ? Can't the report be from any THIRD PARTY, which ALL major networks decide to air same time as it's on ECONOMY ?

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    Post Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:07 pm
    RBBmba@2014 wrote:
    Thanks for the inputs.

    But,as we're NOT dealing with ASSUMPTION CR here, so MUST BE TRUE should't be the case we should consider. Right ?

    And if yes, then why we can't consider could be the case or MIGHT BE TRUE scenarios ? (You even made a point that what I construe could/Might be TRUE)
    What is not about some GMAT rule really. This is about solid logic, and here is my point. If you want the logic of why you pick an answer choice to be solid, you have to be careful about how you use possible scenarios.

    For example, I saw someone talking about a question involving competition among retail stores. He came up with some possible scenario for how the competition would play out and chose an answer based on that scenario. Now here is the KEY thing. Had he come up with an EQUALLY POSSIBLE scenario, he would made the exact same answer choice have an entirely different effect on the argument. Get it? We can come up with possible scenarios all day long, and each one will add up to something different. For instance, via using various possible scenarios the same answer choice can be extended in such a way as to become a strengthener or a weakener.

    The same answer choice.

    So you can't go extending things that way and then deciding that you have the answer.

    Yes, there can be multiple possible scenarios that one can associate with a particular answer choice, and such scenarios often have to be considered, maybe generally as ways to eliminate answer choices, but you can't choose ONE POSSIBLE scenario of many EQUALLY POSSIBLE scenarios and decide that somehow that one scenario DEFINES an answer choice.

    That's what I am getting at.

    So, for instance, if the question being discussed in this thread were a weaken question, it would not make sense to extend choice A so that it becomes a weakener, because there is no clear reason to believe that the extension you created is actually the case, and you could just as easily have extended it in a way that does not make it a weakener. The right answer choice to a weaken question will be not be one that you could creatively add to in such as way as to make it a weakener. It will be either a weakener on its own or one from which clearly and logically follows an extension that defines it as a weakener.

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    Post Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:37 am
    RBBmba@2014 wrote:
    Can't the report be from any THIRD PARTY, which ALL major networks decide to air same time as it's on ECONOMY ?
    You are suggesting that a third party did all of the following:
    conducted research
    assembled and edited film footage
    added narration

    sent to the networks the finished product.
    Then each network broadcast the same finished product with no changes, with the result that all of the networks aired the SAME REPORT.
    This suggestion defies common sense.

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