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# A politician wrote the following: "I realize there are some

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A politician wrote the following: "I realize there are some [#permalink]  10 May 2012, 06:43
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Difficulty:

65% (hard)

Question Stats:

52% (02:20) correct 48% (01:19) wrong based on 280 sessions
This question is special because requires to know the differences between "most" and a "large number". Please confirm whether my reasoning is correct.

A politician wrote the following: "I realize there are some short-comings to the questionnaire method. However, since I send a copy of the questionnaire to every home in the district, I believe the results are quite representative...I think the numbers received are so large that it is quite accurate even though the survey is not done scientifically."

The writer of the above statement makes which of the following assumptions:
(A) Most people who received the questionnaire have replied.
(B) Most people in the district live in homes.
(C) The questionnaire method of data collection is unscientific.
(D) The large number of replies means that a high proportion of those sampled have replied.
(E) A large, absolute number of replies is synonymous with accuracy.

OA is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
E.

Yes, the OA is easy. But please confirm whether my process of elimination for the other choices was correct:
(A) Most people who received the questionnaire have replied.- The conclusion says that the author received a large number, but "large" doesn't necesarily mean "most". 1 million of answers is a large number but it could represent only 1% of the population. Therefore, "most" is not a required assumption. - WRONG
(B) Most people in the district live in homes.- Same as in A.
(C) The questionnaire method of data collection is unscientific. - If we use the negation technique: "IT IS NOT TRUE THAT the questionnaire method of data collection is unscientific". This new assumption doesn't weaken the conclusion. WRONG
(D) The large number of replies means that a high proportion of those sampled have replied. - Same as in A.
(E) A large, absolute number of replies is synonymous with accuracy. - BINGO
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: A politician - Special question! [#permalink]  10 May 2012, 09:24
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Expert's post
Responding to a pm:

A politician wrote the following: "I realize there are some short-comings to the questionnaire method. However, since I send a copy of the questionnaire to every home in the district, I believe the results are quite representative...

After reading this sentence, my first thought was: "Sending a copy to every home doesn't mean that every home participated and sent the questionnaire back. So the results may not be representative."

I think the numbers received are so large that it is quite accurate even though the survey is not done scientifically."

Here I thought: "It doesn't have anything to do with numbers actually. A large number of people did participate. But he is assuming that the survey is ACCURATE based on a large number of participants. Now there's an assumption. Point is, if we were trying to establish whether the results are representative, we could have debated on how many people replied from which strata etc. But the argument is actually trying to establish that the results are accurate based on a large number of replies. If you don't ask the right questions, you may not get the right answers, no matter how many people reply. Hence, the assumption is the connection between accuracy and number of people "

Remember, an assumption is a missing premise. This premise is necessary for the conclusion to be true. The argument needs to give us something like "If large number of people reply, the results are accurate." Since it doesn't, it is an assumption in this argument.

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Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for $199 Veritas Prep Reviews GMAT Club Legend Joined: 01 Oct 2013 Posts: 5482 Followers: 567 Kudos [?]: 111 [0], given: 0 Re: A politician wrote the following: "I realize there are some [#permalink] 23 Dec 2013, 20:33 Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot! Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos). Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email. Intern Joined: 14 Dec 2013 Posts: 19 GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V47 Followers: 5 Kudos [?]: 64 [0], given: 5 Re: A politician - Special question! [#permalink] 24 Dec 2013, 02:49 While selecting E, you make another assumption...that the politician does NOT know that higher accuracy depends on "high proportion" of responses and not "large number" of responses........ However if you assume that the politician knows that for accuracy you need high proportion rather than large number, then answer A or D could be correct. Isn't it?...In that case how do we decide whether the politician knows it or not? VeritasPrepKarishma wrote: Responding to a pm: A politician wrote the following: "I realize there are some short-comings to the questionnaire method. However, since I send a copy of the questionnaire to every home in the district, I believe the results are quite representative... After reading this sentence, my first thought was: "Sending a copy to every home doesn't mean that every home participated and sent the questionnaire back. So the results may not be representative." I think the numbers received are so large that it is quite accurate even though the survey is not done scientifically." Here I thought: "It doesn't have anything to do with numbers actually. A large number of people did participate. But he is assuming that the survey is ACCURATE based on a large number of participants. Now there's an assumption. Point is, if we were trying to establish whether the results are representative, we could have debated on how many people replied from which strata etc. But the argument is actually trying to establish that the results are accurate based on a large number of replies. If you don't ask the right questions, you may not get the right answers, no matter how many people reply. Hence, the assumption is the connection between accuracy and number of people " Remember, an assumption is a missing premise. This premise is necessary for the conclusion to be true. The argument needs to give us something like "If large number of people reply, the results are accurate." Since it doesn't, it is an assumption in this argument. Current Student Joined: 03 May 2013 Posts: 352 Location: India Concentration: Operations, Human Resources Schools: ISB '16, IIMA (M) GPA: 4 WE: Human Resources (Human Resources) Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 82 [0], given: 68 Re: A politician wrote the following: "I realize there are some [#permalink] 24 Dec 2013, 09:09 A politician wrote the following: "I realize there are some short-comings to the questionnaire method. However, since I send a copy of the questionnaire to every home in the district, I believe the results are quite representative...I think the numbers received are so large that it is quite accurate even though the survey is not done scientifically." THE LAST SENTENCE IS IMPORTANT- I think the numbers received are so large that it is quite accurate even though the survey is not done scientifically." [b]Premise[/b] - Since the numbers received is large''''' Counter premise - even though the survey is not done scientifically''''''' CONCLUSION[/b]- The result is quite accurate. New element in conclusion "accurate result'. To find the assumption- this new element has to be related to the premise. Hense one of the assumptions could be----[b]LARGE NUMBERS OF REPLIES MEANS THE RESULT IS ACCURATE.. ... ONLY 'E' MATCHES. HENCE CORRECT ANSWER. The writer of the above statement makes which of the following assumptions: (A) Most people who received the questionnaire have replied. CANNOT BE ASSUMED. It is given that numbers received is large. (B) Most people in the district live in homes. NOT AN ASSUMPTION. (C) The questionnaire method of data collection is unscientific. INCORRECT. ONLY THE survey is not done scientifically. (D) The large number of replies means that a high proportion of those sampled have replied. CANNOT BE ASSUMED. (E) A large, absolute number of replies is synonymous with accuracy. JOINS NEW TERM TO PREMISE.... CORRECT..... THIS COULD BE CALLED A SLIGHTLY ABSTRACT METHOD...... KUDOS IF YOU PLEASE....... Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor Joined: 16 Oct 2010 Posts: 5962 Location: Pune, India Followers: 1524 Kudos [?]: 8405 [0], given: 193 Re: A politician - Special question! [#permalink] 30 Dec 2013, 22:53 Expert's post sayantanc2k wrote: While selecting E, you make another assumption...that the politician does NOT know that higher accuracy depends on "high proportion" of responses and not "large number" of responses........ However if you assume that the politician knows that for accuracy you need high proportion rather than large number, then answer A or D could be correct. Isn't it?...In that case how do we decide whether the politician knows it or not? You are mistaken here. High proportion does not imply high accuracy. It may to an extent imply that data is representative provided the proportion of replies is similar from all strata of the society. Whether the questionnaire method gives accurate results depends on many other things such as the questions asked, what all they covered, whether the wording used was precise, whether people put in enough time to answer etc. It doesn't matter how many people or what proportion of people participate in the questionnaire method. The results obtained may not be accurate. _________________ Karishma Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor My Blog Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for$199

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Re: A politician - Special question!   [#permalink] 30 Dec 2013, 22:53
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