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Difficult to approach- Easy task Hard task CR

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Neilsheth2 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Difficult to approach- Easy task Hard task CR

Post Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:19 am
In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task. Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly. Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly. But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Which of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.
(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.
(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.
(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.

How should one approach this question. It is very difficult to understand the Solution as per Official Answer A
Expert reply needed.

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Post Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:25 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
GMATGuruNY - I'm still BIT confused on this.

In your first quote you said that OA is FACT, whereas in your 2nd quote you've mentioned that OA of an assumption CR need NOT be a FACT. Could you please clarify this ?
I've removed the word fact from my post above.
An assumption is a statement that MUST BE TRUE.

Quote:
Also,please let me know that in an ASSUMPTION/STRENGTHEN/WEAKEN CR the OA should be a NEW information/premise which is not present in the passage but in the scope of the ARGUMENT. Right ?
If so, then isn't a premise a FACT itself ?
An assumption is a statement that MUST BE TRUE for the argument to be valid.
A strengthener/weakener is NEW INFORMATION that would strengthen or weaken the link between the premises and the conclusion.
I would avoid using the word "fact" to describe an assumption or a strengthener/weakener.

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Post Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:40 pm
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Similarly, the hypothetical in the OA tells us a FACT about some of the volunteers.
What KIND of volunteers?
Volunteers who would have said that it was unfair for someone else to chose the easy task.
GMATGuruNY wrote:
The GMAT does not describe the correct answer to an assumption CR as a fact.
I suggest that you avoid usage of this word, which is only causing confusion.
Rather, the GMAT refers to the correct answer as an ASSUMPTION or as a STATEMENT THAT MUST BE TRUE.
GMATGuruNY - I'm still BIT confused on this.

In your first quote you said that OA is FACT, whereas in your 2nd quote you've mentioned that OA of an assumption CR need NOT be a FACT. Could you please clarify this ?

Also,please let me know that in an ASSUMPTION/STRENGTHEN/WEAKEN CR the OA should be a NEW information/premise which is not present in the passage but in the scope of the ARGUMENT. Right ?
If so, then isn't a premise a FACT itself ?

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Post Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:25 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
GMATGuruNY - I'm still BIT confused on this.

In your first quote you said that OA is FACT, whereas in your 2nd quote you've mentioned that OA of an assumption CR need NOT be a FACT. Could you please clarify this ?
I've removed the word fact from my post above.
An assumption is a statement that MUST BE TRUE.

Quote:
Also,please let me know that in an ASSUMPTION/STRENGTHEN/WEAKEN CR the OA should be a NEW information/premise which is not present in the passage but in the scope of the ARGUMENT. Right ?
If so, then isn't a premise a FACT itself ?
An assumption is a statement that MUST BE TRUE for the argument to be valid.
A strengthener/weakener is NEW INFORMATION that would strengthen or weaken the link between the premises and the conclusion.
I would avoid using the word "fact" to describe an assumption or a strengthener/weakener.

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Post Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:40 pm
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Similarly, the hypothetical in the OA tells us a FACT about some of the volunteers.
What KIND of volunteers?
Volunteers who would have said that it was unfair for someone else to chose the easy task.
GMATGuruNY wrote:
The GMAT does not describe the correct answer to an assumption CR as a fact.
I suggest that you avoid usage of this word, which is only causing confusion.
Rather, the GMAT refers to the correct answer as an ASSUMPTION or as a STATEMENT THAT MUST BE TRUE.
GMATGuruNY - I'm still BIT confused on this.

In your first quote you said that OA is FACT, whereas in your 2nd quote you've mentioned that OA of an assumption CR need NOT be a FACT. Could you please clarify this ?

Also,please let me know that in an ASSUMPTION/STRENGTHEN/WEAKEN CR the OA should be a NEW information/premise which is not present in the passage but in the scope of the ARGUMENT. Right ?
If so, then isn't a premise a FACT itself ?

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Phoenix7 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:35 pm
ceilidh.erickson wrote:
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
In GMAT CR the BOTTOM-LINE is:

1. For ASSUMPTION CR - the OA is a MUST BE TRUE STATEMENT, which has to be also a NEW INFORMATION at the same time.
I think that you have a good general understanding of the idea, but just to be semantically precise...

An ASSUMPTION does not have to be NEW information. The right answer can contain new information, but usually only if it's RULING OUT alternative possibilities. Consider:

Quote:
OG 2016 #40:

Argument: If the county continues to collect residential trash at current levels, landfills will soon be overflowing and parkland will need to be used in order to create more space. Charging each household a fee for each pound of trash it puts out for collection will induce residents to reduce the amount of trash they create; this charge will therefore protect the remaining county parkland.

Assumption: The collection fee will not induce residents to dump their trash in the parklands illegally.
Dumping trash in the park is new info, and the right answer specifies that it will NOT happen.

In this next example, I would argue that the right answer isn't really "new" information, it's a reinterpretation / clarification of the information given:

Quote:
OG 13/2015 #77:

Argument: A recent report determined that although only 3 percent of drivers on Maryland highways equipped their vehicles with radar detectors, 33 percent of all vehicles ticketed for exceeding the speed limit were equipped with them. Clearly, drivers who equip their vehicles with radar detectors are more likely to exceed the speed limit regularly than are drivers who do not.

Assumption: Drivers who are ticketed for exceeding the speed limit are more likely to exceed the speed limit regularly than are drivers who are not ticketed.
Here, the argument hinges on the specification of the word "regularly."

For your second point,
Quote:
2. For STRENGTHEN/WEAKEN CR - the OA is just a NEW INFORMATION only. But NOT necessarily, a FACT or PREMISE.
I would reword this to say:

2. For STRENGTHEN CR - the OA is just NEW INFORMATION that makes the link between premise and conclusion (and the the argument as a whole) MORE LIKELY to be true... but it is NOT something that MUST be true for the argument to be valid.
For WEAKEN CR - the OA is NEW INFORMATION that makes the link between premise and conclusion (and the the argument as a whole) LESS LIKELY to be true.... but it is NOT something that DISPROVES the argument.
Hi Ceilidh

Thanks for the clarification - I have seen that knowing such fine distinctions between the right and wrong approaches makes all the difference. I would really appreciate your feedback on the following points:
In Assumption questions, when we use the Negation method, is it necessary that the argument should completely fall apart given the negated statement or is it enough that the argument is weakened to identify the required assumption?
If it is enough that the argument is weakened, there could be two options that when negated, weaken the argument. What is the right way to identify the correct assumption then?

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Phoenix7 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:35 pm
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Neilsheth2 wrote:
In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task. Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly. Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly. But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Which of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.
(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.
(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.
(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.
Premise:
Most volunteers said they had acted fairly, but when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair.
Conclusion:
Most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

An assumption is WHAT MUST BE TRUE for the conclusion to be valid.
Apply the NEGATION TEST.
When the correct answer choice is negated, the conclusion will be invalidated.

A, negated:
NONE of the volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
Here, all the volunteers who said they had acted fairly would also consider it fair for SOMEONE ELSE to choose the easy task, invalidating the conclusion that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.
Since the negation of A invalidates the conclusion, A is the correct assumption: WHAT MUST BE TRUE for the conclusion to be valid.

The correct answer is A.
Hi Mitch

Thanks for the clear explanation - negation seems to be quite effective in such cases.
I have a doubt though - when you negate option A, it basically says that none of the volunteers who chose the easy task for themselves would consider it unfair if others also chose the easy one for themselves. This would undermine the conclusion of the argument. But, the argument doesn't fall apart entirely by negating option A because it also depends on the feedback of the other group of volunteers - "But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair". Can you please help me to resolve this paradox?
Also, consider option C. If you negate it, you get "There were NO volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair". This seems to completely negate the argument because if the people who got the short end of the stick, so to speak, are not complaining then what is the basis for claiming that the actions of the people who chose the easy tasks for themselves were unfair? So to me it seems that C is the better option, though A is the OA apparently. I would really appreciate your analysis and insight on these points.

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Post Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:14 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
In GMAT CR the BOTTOM-LINE is:

1. For ASSUMPTION CR - the OA is a MUST BE TRUE STATEMENT, which has to be also a NEW INFORMATION at the same time.
I think that you have a good general understanding of the idea, but just to be semantically precise...

An ASSUMPTION does not have to be NEW information. The right answer can contain new information, but usually only if it's RULING OUT alternative possibilities. Consider:

Quote:
OG 2016 #40:

Argument: If the county continues to collect residential trash at current levels, landfills will soon be overflowing and parkland will need to be used in order to create more space. Charging each household a fee for each pound of trash it puts out for collection will induce residents to reduce the amount of trash they create; this charge will therefore protect the remaining county parkland.

Assumption: The collection fee will not induce residents to dump their trash in the parklands illegally.
Dumping trash in the park is new info, and the right answer specifies that it will NOT happen.

In this next example, I would argue that the right answer isn't really "new" information, it's a reinterpretation / clarification of the information given:

Quote:
OG 13/2015 #77:

Argument: A recent report determined that although only 3 percent of drivers on Maryland highways equipped their vehicles with radar detectors, 33 percent of all vehicles ticketed for exceeding the speed limit were equipped with them. Clearly, drivers who equip their vehicles with radar detectors are more likely to exceed the speed limit regularly than are drivers who do not.

Assumption: Drivers who are ticketed for exceeding the speed limit are more likely to exceed the speed limit regularly than are drivers who are not ticketed.
Here, the argument hinges on the specification of the word "regularly."

For your second point,
Quote:
2. For STRENGTHEN/WEAKEN CR - the OA is just a NEW INFORMATION only. But NOT necessarily, a FACT or PREMISE.
I would reword this to say:

2. For STRENGTHEN CR - the OA is just NEW INFORMATION that makes the link between premise and conclusion (and the the argument as a whole) MORE LIKELY to be true... but it is NOT something that MUST be true for the argument to be valid.
For WEAKEN CR - the OA is NEW INFORMATION that makes the link between premise and conclusion (and the the argument as a whole) LESS LIKELY to be true.... but it is NOT something that DISPROVES the argument.

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Post Sat May 14, 2016 8:32 pm
In GMAT CR the BOTTOM-LINE is:

1. For ASSUMPTION CR - the OA is a MUST BE TRUE STATEMENT, which has to be also a NEW INFORMATION at the same time. But NOT necessarily, a FACT or PREMISE.

2. For STRENGTHEN/WEAKEN CR - the OA is just a NEW INFORMATION only. But NOT necessarily, a FACT or PREMISE.

@Verbal Experts - Is my above understanding correct ?

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Post Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:39 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
NOT able to get this clearly!
How an If..then... statement, which is a CONDITIONAL usage, can be a FACT ? I mean,a FACT is something that is MUST BE TRUE or NOT DEBATABLE ; so how we can say that the above CONDITIONAL If..then... statement is a FACT ? (I guess, it seems to be more of an OPINION)
The GMAT does not describe the correct answer to an assumption CR as a fact.
I suggest that you avoid usage of this word, which is only causing confusion.
Rather, the GMAT refers to the correct answer as an ASSUMPTION or as a STATEMENT THAT MUST BE TRUE.

In the CR above, it must be true that -- had the volunteers been given the opportunity to judge another person who chose the easy task -- they would have deemed that person's actions unfair.
As shown in my initial post, if this statement is NOT true, then the conclusion of the argument is invalidated.
Thus, the statement in the OA is the correct assumption -- even though this statement is phrased as a hypothetical.

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Post Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:53 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
If the car were less expensive, more people would buy it.
This hypothetical statement tells us a FACT about the car.
What KIND of car?
A car that would sell better at a lower price.
NOT able to get this clearly!
How an If..then... statement, which is a CONDITIONAL usage, can be a FACT ? I mean,a FACT is something that is MUST BE TRUE or NOT DEBATABLE ; so how we can say that the above CONDITIONAL If..then... statement is a FACT ? (I guess, it seems to be more of an OPINION)

How we can be sure that this -- A car that would sell better at a lower price -- is actually a FACT ?

Please help!

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Post Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:58 am
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Post Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:02 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
Mitch - although I got this one, but took 3.5+ minutes to nail it. I was mostly confused on the TENSE used in OA.

WOULD HAVE seems to refer to HYPOTHETICAL scenarios, I think. But as the ASSUMPTION is a MUST BE TRUE Premise/Fact, so just would like to know how a HYPOTHETICAL statement fits into as an OA for ASSUMPTION CR ?

Could you please shed some light on this ? Where I'm getting it wrong ?
An assumption is a statement that MUST BE TRUE for the argument to be valid.

The OA indicates that the following hypothetical must be true:
Given the opportunity to judge someone else who chose the easy task, at least some of the volunteers would have deemed that person's actions unfair.
As shown in my post above, if this hypothetical is NOT true, then the conclusion of the argument is invalidated.
Thus, the hypothetical in the OA is the correct assumption: what MUST BE TRUE for the argument to be valid.

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Last edited by GMATGuruNY on Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:04 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:32 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Neilsheth2 wrote:
In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task. Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly. Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly. But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Which of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.
(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.
(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.
(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.
Premise:
Most volunteers said they had acted fairly, but when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair.
Conclusion:
Most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

An assumption is WHAT MUST BE TRUE for the conclusion to be valid.
Apply the NEGATION TEST.
When the correct answer choice is negated, the conclusion will be invalidated.

A, negated:
NONE of the volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
Here, all the volunteers who said they had acted fairly would also consider it fair for SOMEONE ELSE to choose the easy task, invalidating the conclusion that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.
Since the negation of A invalidates the conclusion, A is the correct assumption: WHAT MUST BE TRUE for the conclusion to be valid.

The correct answer is A.
Mitch - although I got this one, but took 3.5+ minutes to nail it. I was mostly confused on the TENSE used in OA.

WOULD HAVE seems to refer to HYPOTHETICAL scenarios, I think. But as the ASSUMPTION is a MUST BE TRUE Premise/Fact, so just would like to know how a HYPOTHETICAL statement fits into as an OA for ASSUMPTION CR ?

Could you please shed some light on this ? Where I'm getting it wrong ?

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Post Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:27 am
Neilsheth2 wrote:
Guru,
I need some help here. I tend to see that you generally paraphrase(Summarise) the CR argument into important two lines . Generally into a premise and a Final conclusion. The conclusion is also written in your words highlighting the same meaning as per the argument. I find it very difficult sometimes .You have also used this approach in the second Question which makes it so easy ,the line 'To maintain mental sharpness...social interaction suffices' is not explicitly stated in the passage too. . Could you please help is there any specific way how you tend to approach any argument. And what you consider important and what you generally don't? I really love the way your approach is to the problem. Do you any article where you have explained your way of approaching if yes, please share me the link.
Virtually every assumption, strengthen, weaken, evaluate and flaw CR is structured the same way:
The premise is about A.
The conclusion is about B.
The argument assumes that A is LINKED to B.

When I evaluate one of these argument types, my goal is ascertain the LINK that the argument is trying to establish.
To determine the link, I ask myself WHY the argument believes that the conclusion is true.

In the CR above:
The argument concludes that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.
WHY does the argument believe that this conclusion is true?
Because most volunteers said they had acted fairly, but when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair.

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