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According to a recent study, fifteen corporations

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According to a recent study, fifteen corporations in the United States that follow a credo of social responsibility are also very profitable. Because of their credos, these fifteen corporations give generously to charity, follow stringent environmental-protection policies, and have vigorous affirmative-action programs.

Which of the following can be correctly inferred from the statements above?
A.Following a credo of social responsibility helps to make a corporation very profitable.
B.It is possible for a corporation that follows a credo of social responsibility to be very profitable.
C.A corporation that gives generously to charity must be doing so because of its credo of social responsibility.
D.Corporations that are very profitable tend to gives generously to charity.
E.Corporations that have vigorous affirmative-action programs also tend to follow stringent environmental-protection polices.

What's the best approach to determine the answer?

OA B

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by DavidG@VeritasPrep » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:58 am
lheiannie07 wrote:According to a recent study, fifteen corporations in the United States that follow a credo of social responsibility are also very profitable. Because of their credos, these fifteen corporations give generously to charity, follow stringent environmental-protection policies, and have vigorous affirmative-action programs.

Which of the following can be correctly inferred from the statements above?
A.Following a credo of social responsibility helps to make a corporation very profitable.
B.It is possible for a corporation that follows a credo of social responsibility to be very profitable.
C.A corporation that gives generously to charity must be doing so because of its credo of social responsibility.
D.Corporations that are very profitable tend to gives generously to charity.
E.Corporations that have vigorous affirmative-action programs also tend to follow stringent environmental-protection polices.

What's the best approach to determine the answer?

OA B
We're given info about 15 corporations. We know they follow a credo of social responsibility. We know they're very profitable. Given this, B has to be true. If profitable companies with credos of social responsibility exist, it surely follows that what they've done is possible.
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by Akrita@Jamboree » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:18 pm
lheiannie07 wrote:According to a recent study, fifteen corporations in the United States that follow a credo of social responsibility are also very profitable. Because of their credos, these fifteen corporations give generously to charity, follow stringent environmental-protection policies, and have vigorous affirmative-action programs.

Which of the following can be correctly inferred from the statements above?
A.Following a credo of social responsibility helps to make a corporation very profitable.
B.It is possible for a corporation that follows a credo of social responsibility to be very profitable.
C.A corporation that gives generously to charity must be doing so because of its credo of social responsibility.
D.Corporations that are very profitable tend to gives generously to charity.
E.Corporations that have vigorous affirmative-action programs also tend to follow stringent environmental-protection polices.

What's the best approach to determine the answer?

OA B
This is an Inference question type. Such questions are pretty mathematical - probably the most "Maths-y" question type on the Verbal section of the GMAT. Therefore, if you love Math, you would love solving GMAT inference questions! One of the main ideas in an Inference question is that the GMAT is simply looking for an answer that is (more or less) a paraphrasing of the information given in the passage - i.e., something that MUST BE TRUE, or something that can be stated with a very high degree of certainty, according to the information given in the passage. Therefore, any option that incorporates additional information NOT given in the passage should be eliminated. Let us understand the above idea with an example:

Assume we have got the following statement:

John has read more books than Sam

Incorrect inferences to the above - which incorporates information not given in the passage - may look something like these:

John likes reading more than Sam - we don't know whether John actually likes reading (maybe someone forced him to read those books :))

John is more knowledgeable than Sam - perhaps John has been reading comic books whereas Sam has been reading scientific novels. Again, we cannot conclude anything about the knowledge levels of these individuals.

All the GMAT is looking for in terms of a valid inference is something that must, absolutely 100%, be true, according to this information. For example, a correct inference may very well be something as trivial as -

John has read at least one book - this must be absolutely true based on the statement "John has read more books than Sam".

Additionally, since an inference question asks us about "What MUST be true?" based on the information given in the passage, it is always better to look for an answer with weak quantifiers. The very same words that we reject in Strengthen/Weaken questions - 'some', 'few', 'may', 'might', 'could', 'possibly' - are the ones we want to select in an inference question. The idea here is that it is always easier to prove a weak statement than a strong statement. Let us understand this with an example:

Statement 1: Smoking causes cancer - This is a pretty tough statement to prove. If we want to prove this statement, we have to prove that, in every single instance, a person who smoked contracted cancer. Even if one smoker didn't contract cancer, the statement gets refuted.

Statement 2: Smoking may cause cancer - This is a much more weaker statement, and thus easier to prove. All we really need to do in order to make this statement valid is find one smoker who contracted cancer. Therefore, even if 99/100 smokers didn't contract cancer, the statement is still valid.

This is the approach we want to follow in this question too. According to the passage, we are told that 15 corporations follow a credo of social responsibility and are very profitable. We are also told that these companies, owing to their credos of social responsibility, donate generously to charity, follow stringent environmental policies, and have vigorous affirmative-action programs. We want to find a statement that must be absolutely true according to this info.

A.Following a credo of social responsibility helps to make a corporation very profitable - We don't know whether there is a causal relationship between credos and profitability; it could be simply coincidental that the two things are happening in parallel. This option incorporates outside assumptions. Eliminate

B.It is possible for a corporation that follows a credo of social responsibility to be very profitable - Perfect!. This is a statement with a very weak construction (possible), and as we discussed above, doesn't need too much evidence (even if 1 corporation following a credos of social responsibility is profitable, this statement is true) to be proved. According to the information in the passage, we have got 15 corporations that are following a credos of social responsibility and are profitable, so Option B is definitely something that can be concluded with a high degree of mathematical certainty. CORRECT

C.A corporation that gives generously to charity must be doing so because of its credo of social responsibility - Too strong! (see above example): We cannot generalize what 15 corporations are doing for ALL corporations. Eliminate

D.Corporations that are very profitable tend to gives generously to charity - Same as C; cannot generalize to ALL corporations. Eliminate

E.Corporations that have vigorous affirmative-action programs also tend to follow stringent environmental-protection polices - same as C and D. Eliminate

Therefore, option B is the most mathematically valid and probable answer choice and one that can be supported based on the 15 corporations given in the passage. This is the best answer.

Please let me know in case anything doesn't make sense.