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Computer-based activities

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metallicafan Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Computer-based activities

Post Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:41 am
The growing popularity of computer-based activities was widely predicted to result in a corresonding decline in television viewing. Recent studies have found that, in the United States, people who own computers watch, on average, significantly less television than people who do not own computers. In itself, however, this finding does very little to show that computer use tends to reduce television viewing time, since_______.

(A) many people who watch little or no television do not own a computer.
(B) even though most computer owners in the United States watch significantly less television than the national average, some computer owners watch far more television than the national average.
(C) computer owners in the United States predominately belong to a demographic group that have long been known to spend less time watching television than the population as a whole does.
(D) many computer owners in the United States have enough leisure time that spending significant amounts of time on the computer still leaves ample time for watching television.
(E) many people use their computers primarily for tasks such as correspondence that can be done more rapidly on the computer, and doing so leaves more leisure time for watching television.

I have a doubt with A. I think that can be correct too. Let me explain, the author assumes that people watch television. If he doesn't make that assumption, he couldn't claim that people have not reduced the time dedicated to watch TV.

But, what happened if the respondents in the survey reported that they don't watch television. The author couldn´t claim that the time for computers activities has not replaced the time to watch TV because simply there is not replacement. There is not a competition between the time to watch TV and use computers.

OA: _E_

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agarwalmanoj2000 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:59 pm
Dear Mitch,

Thanks a lot for your great response.

I understand option E is wrong because it contradicts the premises of the argument. Can I generalize this and cancel the answer choices, if they contradict the premises of the argument in assumption, strengthen and weaken type CR question?

Please guide.

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:49 am
metallicafan wrote:
The growing popularity of computer-based activities was widely predicted to result in a corresonding decline in television viewing. Recent studies have found that, in the United States, people who own computers watch, on average, significantly less television than people who do not own computers. In itself, however, this finding does very little to show that computer use tends to reduce television viewing time, since_______.

(A) many people who watch little or no television do not own a computer.
(B) even though most computer owners in the United States watch significantly less television than the national average, some computer owners watch far more television than the national average.
(C) computer owners in the United States predominately belong to a demographic group that have long been known to spend less time watching television than the population as a whole does.
(D) many computer owners in the United States have enough leisure time that spending significant amounts of time on the computer still leaves ample time for watching television.
(E) many people use their computers primarily for tasks such as correspondence that can be done more rapidly on the computer, and doing so leaves more leisure time for watching television.

I have a doubt with A. I think that can be correct too. Let me explain, the author assumes that people watch television. If he doesn't make that assumption, he couldn't claim that people have not the time dedicated to watch TV.

But, what happened if the respondents in the survey reported that they don't watch television. The author couldn´t claim that the time for computers activities has not replaced the time to watch TV because simply there is not replacement. There is not a competition between the time to watch TV and use computers.

OA: _E_
It is given as a PREMISE -- as an undisputed FACT -- that people who own computers watch, on average, significantly less television than people who do not own computers.
The argument CONCLUDES, however, that this undisputed fact does very little to show that computer use tends to reduce television viewing time.

The correct answer must show that computer use has not REDUCED the television-viewing time of the people in the studies.

Answer choice C: Computer owners in the United States predominately belong to a demographic group that have long been known to spend less time watching television than the population as a whole does.
This answer choice REVERSES THE CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP: it suggests that buying a computer does not cause people to watch less TV but that PEOPLE WHO WATCH LESS TV BUY COMPUTERS. If the people in the demographic group that buys computers were already watching less TV -- even BEFORE they bought a computer -- then the studies cannot conclude that computer use REDUCES television-viewing time.

The correct answer is C.

Reasons to eliminate:

(A) Many people who watch little or no television do not own a computer.
Outside the scope. The passage is only about COMPUTER OWNERS.

(B) Even though most computer owners in the United States watch significantly less television than the national average, some computer owners watch far more television than the national average.
This answer choice only supports the premise that, ON AVERAGE, computer owners watch less TV.
Avoid the word SOME, which could mean only 1-2 people.

(D) Many computer owners in the United States have enough leisure time that spending significant amounts of time on the computer still leaves ample time for watching television.
What these "many" owners do is irrelevant. It is given as a FACT that people who own computers watch, on average, significantly less television than people who do not own computers

(E) Many people use their computers primarily for tasks such as correspondence that can be done more rapidly on the computer, and doing so leaves more leisure time for watching television.
What these "many" people do is irrelevant. It is given as a FACT that people who own computers watch, on average, significantly less television than people who do not own computers.

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ice_rush Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:12 pm
I am not sure how (E) is the correct answer. I picked (C)..Can you double check the OA?

You can strike out (A) because it 1) does not talk about people who OWN a computer. It talks about people who do not own a computer - we are not concerned with that. 2) more specifically does not talk about people who own a computer in the US.

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venkart89 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Post Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:56 pm
The argument is about the people who own computer,watch less T.V when compared to those without Computer.

You are certainly correct about the assumption but inadvertently the author assumes the usage of T.V ( I meant duration of watching the T.V)

When you consider Option A it does not gives any information about the computer owners.

Actually there is a sampling assumption.
To attack the sampling assumption , you should prove the sampling is wrong.


Option E is irrelevant.

So Option C does the work.

Hence OA is C

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