Tough assumption

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Tough assumption

by ssgmatter » Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:29 am
In the past decade, a decreasing % of money spent on treating disease X went to pay for standard methods of treatment, which are known to be effective though they are expensive and painful. An increasing % is being spent on nonstandard treatments, which caus

e little discomfort. Unfortunately,the nonstandard treatments have proved to be ineffective. Obviously, less money is being spent now on effective treatments of disease X than was spent 10 years ago.

Which one of the following if assumed, allows the concsulsion above to be properly drawn?

a) Varieties of disease X requiring expensive special treatment have become less common during the past decade

b) nonstandard methos of treating disease X are more expensive now than they were a decade ago.

c) of total medical expenditures, the percentage that is due to treatment of disease X increased during the past decade

d) Most of the money spent on treating disease X during the last decade went to pay for nonstandard treatments

e) The total amount of money spent on treating disease X slowly declined during the past decade
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by scoobydooby » Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:53 am
would go for D.

the conclusion would stand if increasing % spent on non standard treatments left less money available to spend on effective treatments

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by albatross86 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:00 am
Quite a tricky one, but if you wear GMAT blinders (though this is an LSAT question I'm sure :) ) you can crack it. Remember always with such percentage questions where conclusion deals with absolute values - you need to see that in the increasing-decreasing environment whether the total values have increased or decreased or not. This is crucial to be able to compare the individual absolute value proportions. See the examples below for a better understanding of this concept.

Standard treatment - expensive - painful - effective ---> Decreasing %
Non-standard - little discomfort - ineffective ---> Increasing %

Conclusion: Money spent on effective treatments today < that spent 10 years ago

Assumption = ?

A. Varieties of the disease have become less common. So what? Does this really bridge the evidence to the conclusion? We still need to have a clear picture of the actual amount of money spent on effective treatments or a comparison. Whether the disease itself is more or less common does not help us identify how much money is spent on its treatment directly.

B. Non-standard prices have gone up. But these only represent the ineffective treatments. What about the standard treatments - what if their prices have gone up even higher? This would call the conclusion into question and the assumption does not account for it.

C. Total medical expenditure is irrelevant and thus the proportion that is on disease X is not related to our argument.

D. "Most" of the money spent on treating disease X went to pay for non-standard treatments. Consider this scenario:

10 years ago: $10,000 spent on disease X out of which $6,000 (60%) was for non-standard and $4,000 (40%) for standard treatment.

Today: $20,000 spent on disease X out of which $15,000 (75%) was for non-standard and $5,000 (25%) for standard treatment.

So you can see that though the percentage of non-standard treatments is still higher, and most of the money was spent on non-standard, the amount spent on standard effective treatments has actually increased, breaking the conclusion. Thus this cannot be our assumption as it satisfies all criteria but attacks conclusion.

E. Total amount of money spent on treating disease X has slowly declined.

This is the only one out of all the 5 choices that actually helps us. It helps us home in on the actual absolute values rather than just play with percentages. It rules out the possibility above where the total amount spent had increased from 10k to 20k$.

Since the total price decreased, and the percentage spent on effective treatments has decreased, it can be ascertained that the TOTAL amount spent on effective treatments also DECREASED.

eg. 10 years ago: 10k$ --> 6,000 on non-std (60%) and 4,000 on std (40%)
Today: 8k$ ---> 6,000 on non-std (75%) and 2,000 on std (25%)

i.e. The actual total amount spent on effective treatments has reduced => Conclusion proved.

Pick E.
~Abhay

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by selango » Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:07 am
Abhay,

There are no words to speak..Ur explanations are outstanding :D
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by ssgmatter » Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:08 am
albatross86 wrote:Quite a tricky one, but if you wear GMAT blinders (though this is an LSAT question I'm sure :) ) you can crack it. Remember always with such percentage questions where conclusion deals with absolute values - you need to see that in the increasing-decreasing environment whether the total values have increased or decreased or not. This is crucial to be able to compare the individual absolute value proportions. See the examples below for a better understanding of this concept.

Standard treatment - expensive - painful - effective ---> Decreasing %
Non-standard - little discomfort - ineffective ---> Increasing %

Conclusion: Money spent on effective treatments today < that spent 10 years ago

Assumption = ?

A. Varieties of the disease have become less common. So what? Does this really bridge the evidence to the conclusion? We still need to have a clear picture of the actual amount of money spent on effective treatments or a comparison. Whether the disease itself is more or less common does not help us identify how much money is spent on its treatment directly.

B. Non-standard prices have gone up. But these only represent the ineffective treatments. What about the standard treatments - what if their prices have gone up even higher? This would call the conclusion into question and the assumption does not account for it.

C. Total medical expenditure is irrelevant and thus the proportion that is on disease X is not related to our argument.

D. "Most" of the money spent on treating disease X went to pay for non-standard treatments. Consider this scenario:

10 years ago: $10,000 spent on disease X out of which $6,000 (60%) was for non-standard and $4,000 (40%) for standard treatment.

Today: $20,000 spent on disease X out of which $15,000 (75%) was for non-standard and $5,000 (25%) for standard treatment.

So you can see that though the percentage of non-standard treatments is still higher, and most of the money was spent on non-standard, the amount spent on standard effective treatments has actually increased, breaking the conclusion. Thus this cannot be our assumption as it satisfies all criteria but attacks conclusion.

E. Total amount of money spent on treating disease X has slowly declined.

This is the only one out of all the 5 choices that actually helps us. It helps us home in on the actual absolute values rather than just play with percentages. It rules out the possibility above where the total amount spent had increased from 10k to 20k$.

Since the total price decreased, and the percentage spent on effective treatments has decreased, it can be ascertained that the TOTAL amount spent on effective treatments also DECREASED.

eg. 10 years ago: 10k$ --> 6,000 on non-std (60%) and 4,000 on std (40%)
Today: 8k$ ---> 6,000 on non-std (75%) and 2,000 on std (25%)

i.e. The actual total amount spent on effective treatments has reduced => Conclusion proved.

Pick E.
Perfect...it is E and this is from LSAT...Thanks
Best-
Amit

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by albatross86 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:15 am
selango wrote:Abhay,

There are no words to speak..Ur explanations are outstanding :D
Haha thanks Anand, glad to help :)

I think my explanation of B might be a bit off... it's not about whether or not the prices of these treatments has increased or decreased, it's about the total amount spent on them. We don't care if the price was 10$ and 50 were bought 10 years ago and today it's 100$ but only 5 were bought, we only care about the total prices.

Hope that helps!
~Abhay

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by reply2spg » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:30 am
Thanks Abhay, you are great. Just one question, how can we do all these calculations within 2 minutes?
Sudhanshu
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by albatross86 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:37 am
reply2spg wrote:Thanks Abhay, you are great. Just one question, how can we do all these calculations within 2 minutes?
Hey, you don't really need to get into so much detail on test-day. I just put it down for those who missed that particular possibility.

All you really need to realize is that you are comparing the values of money spent on effective treatments 10 years ago, and today. You need to get from percentages to actual values. What would help? Something about the actual values, especially something that confirms that it has reduced. If percentage has reduced (we know this from stem), the only guarantee that the actual value has reduced is if the total value (effective+ineffective) has remained the same, or has reduced.

E gives us in clear terms that the total amount has reduced. Since the percentage of effective treatment out of this total amount is reduced - we can clearly conclude that money spent on effective has also reduced => E is something that bridges the evidence to the conclusion, which is (EUREKA!) the very definition of an "assumption"

Hope that helps! :)
~Abhay

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by reply2spg » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:44 am
Thanks Abhay. You are great :)
albatross86 wrote:
reply2spg wrote:Thanks Abhay, you are great. Just one question, how can we do all these calculations within 2 minutes?
Hey, you don't really need to get into so much detail on test-day. I just put it down for those who missed that particular possibility.

All you really need to realize is that you are comparing the values of money spent on effective treatments 10 years ago, and today. You need to get from percentages to actual values. What would help? Something about the actual values, especially something that confirms that it has reduced. If percentage has reduced (we know this from stem), the only guarantee that the actual value has reduced is if the total value (effective+ineffective) has remained the same, or has reduced.

E gives us in clear terms that the total amount has reduced. Since the percentage of effective treatment out of this total amount is reduced - we can clearly conclude that money spent on effective has also reduced => E is something that bridges the evidence to the conclusion, which is (EUREKA!) the very definition of an "assumption"

Hope that helps! :)
Sudhanshu
(have lot of things to learn from all of you)