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# Absenteeism among employees has decreased steadily over the

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28 Apr 2012, 21:18
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Absenteeism among employees has decreased steadily over the past several years. Two possible explanations have been offered. First, improved health insurance has allowed employees to maintain better health. Second, improved working conditions have improved morale, leading to less desire to avoid work. However, since absenteeism has also decreased at companies with poor or no health insurance and poor working conditions, one must conclude that the cause of the decrease is the increased tendency of employers to deduct missed days from employees’ paychecks.

Which of the following indicates a flaw in the reasoning above?

A) Employees who lack health insurance often have low morale.
b) Companies with poor working conditions are most likely to deduct pay for missed work days
c) Most employees are not honest about the reasons that they miss work
d) The definition of absenteeism is not clear
e) Improved health care, improved working conditions, and fear of losing money are not the only possible explanations for decreased absenteeism

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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05 Sep 2013, 03:24
The correct answer is E. The conclusion is that the cause of the lower rate of
absenteeism is fear of losing money. The basis for that claim is that two other
possible explanations – improved health insurance and improved working
conditions – are not present in every case. This argument falsely assumes,
however, that these three factors are the only possible explanations.
(A) This answer choice does not address the fact that there may be other factors
causing absenteeism to go down. If anything, it simply strengthens the idea that
not having health insurance should contribute to more absenteeism.
(B) This answer choice does not address the fact that there may be other factors
causing absenteeism to go down. Furthermore, the argument concludes that
absenteeism has gone done across the board, for all types of companies and
that the reason is fear of reduced pay. This choice seems to suggest that
somehow that this fear is more of an issue for those companies with poor
working conditions.
(C) Employees being honest about the reasons they miss work has little to do
with the claim of the argument about why employees are missing work. The
premises cited to do not rely on employee disclosure.
(D) The definition of absenteeism has little to do with the explanation of why it is
occurring. Furthermore, there seems to be little ambiguity here with the definition.
(E) CORRECT. This addresses the argument's primary assumption that these
three are the only possible explanations for absenteeism
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05 Sep 2013, 04:32
This is a common flaw on the GMAT - the premises provide two possible explanations for a fact and the author eliminates one of the explanations therefore coming to the conclusion that the other explanation must be correct. However, the author has never clearly stated that the first to explanations are the only ones. Thus the flaw is that there could be additional explanations and eliminating one does not make the other necessarily true. Thus E is the correct answer.
GetThisDone wrote:
Absenteeism among employees has decreased steadily over the past several years. Two
possible explanations have been offered. First, improved health insurance has allowed
employees to maintain better health. Second, improved working conditions have improved
morale, leading to less desire to avoid work. However, since absenteeism has also decreased
at companies with poor or no health insurance and poor working conditions, one must
conclude that the cause of the decrease is the increased tendency of employers to deduct
missed days from employees’ paychecks. Which of the following indicates a flaw in the
reasoning above?
A) Employees who lack health insurance often have low morale.
b) Companies with poor working conditions are most likely to deduct pay for missed work days
c) Most employees are not honest about the reasons that they miss work
d) The definition of absenteeism is not clear
e) Improved health care, improved working conditions, and fear of losing money are not the
only possible explanations for decreased absenteeism

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03 Dec 2014, 23:09
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16 Mar 2016, 01:55
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).

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19 Jun 2016, 13:33
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Explaination :-
People who have studied fallacies will solve this question in under 10 seconds.
This argument commits the fallacy of False Dichotomy:- It states that apart from these two reason no other reason exist for the said cause and all other possible reasons are absent. Essentially False dichotomy presents 2 reasons for every phenomenon as either because of this or because of that.

Now since you know that this argument commits the fallacy of false dichotomy you can see the correct answer yourself in 5 seconds.
(E) Improved health care, improved working conditions, and fear of losing money are not the only possible explanations for decreased absenteeism
The argument assumes that there are no other reason for people being LESS ABSENT other than :-
(1)Improved Health care and working condition
(2) Pay Cut

There can be a dozen other reasons for people being LESS ABSENT:- Improved transportation, Flexible working hours, Lack of domestic responsibilities like taking kids to doctor, having a sexy personal assistant that one wants to see every day, close vicinity between work place and home, ..blah blah etc etc

So defnitely OPTION E brings out the flaw in the argument.

One a similar note fallacy of false dichotomy is different from fallacy of causal oversimplification:- In Causal Oversimplication th argument ignores conjoint causes and attributes the effect to a single cause. See this example
The average life spam of todays generation is 10 years more than older generation, therefore it must be that advancement in medical science has increased the average life span.
Now here again there can be 20 different reason for increase in Average Life Span but the argument just ignores all other reasons and accepts medicine as the only one reason for the effect. The true reasons can be many such as :- Better Food, Safer Transportation, Better Warning systems to save people from natural disaster, more laughter because of many comedy shoes and also better medical care.

HOPE IT'S CLEAR TO ALL

Absenteeism among employees has decreased steadily over the past several years. Two possible explanations have been offered. First, improved health insurance has allowed employees to maintain better health. Second, improved working conditions have improved morale, leading to less desire to avoid work. However, since absenteeism has also decreased at companies with poor or no health insurance and poor working conditions, one must conclude that the cause of the decrease is the increased tendency of employers to deduct missed days from employees’ paychecks.

Which of the following indicates a flaw in the reasoning above?

A) Employees who lack health insurance often have low morale.
b) Companies with poor working conditions are most likely to deduct pay for missed work days
c) Most employees are not honest about the reasons that they miss work
d) The definition of absenteeism is not clear
e) Improved health care, improved working conditions, and fear of losing money are not the only possible explanations for decreased absenteeism
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13 Aug 2016, 12:15
Hello LogicGuru1,

Sorry for the dumb question, but the difference between the fallacy of False Dictomy and the fallacy of Causal Oversimplification is that the former accepts 2 reasons and the latter accepts only 1?

I didn't really get the difference between the two of them.

Thank you
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13 Aug 2016, 14:16
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ramonguib wrote:
Hello LogicGuru1,

Sorry for the dumb question, but the difference between the fallacy of False Dictomy and the fallacy of Causal Oversimplification is that the former accepts 2 reasons and the latter accepts only 1?

I didn't really get the difference between the two of them.

Thank you

Yes .. exactly.. more or less that is the difference in layman's term .
False Dichotomy also called as False Dilemma assumes that there are only two outcome of a situation and no other alternative exist apart from those two outcomes .
Example:- Allow me to marry the girl I like or I will be unhappy for the rest of all the years of my life.
This argument assumes that there are only two outcomes if the person is not allowed to marry the girl. There are many more possibilities.such as :- he will be miserable all his life or he will forget the girl soon and fall in love again or that he will get so focused in something else that he will become famous and that fame will bring him happiness and love or that he will commit suicide and thus won't live long to be sad forever.

Fallacy of Oversimplification as the name states tries to undermine other options and try to contribute the effect of a phenomenon to a single dominant effect. For example :- Since Bob is a wold class coach, his appointment as a hockey coach will now help country x to win an olympic gold. THIS IS WRONG :- apart from world classs coach, one needs world class players, training facility, monetary resources and many other factors to win a gold medal.
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14 Aug 2016, 01:20
LogicGuru1 wrote:
ramonguib wrote:
Hello LogicGuru1,

Sorry for the dumb question, but the difference between the fallacy of False Dictomy and the fallacy of Causal Oversimplification is that the former accepts 2 reasons and the latter accepts only 1?

I didn't really get the difference between the two of them.

Thank you

Yes .. exactly.. more or less that is the difference in layman's term .
False Dichotomy also called as False Dilemma assumes that there are only two outcome of a situation and no other alternative exist apart from those two outcomes .
Example:- Allow me to marry the girl I like or I will be unhappy for the rest of all the years of my life.
This argument assumes that there are only two outcomes if the person is not allowed to marry the girl. There are many more possibilities.such as :- he will be miserable all his life or he will forget the girl soon and fall in love again or that he will get so focused in something else that he will become famous and that fame will bring him happiness and love or that he will commit suicide and thus won't live long to be sad forever.

Fallacy of Oversimplification as the name states tries to undermine other options and try to contribute the effect of a phenomenon to a single dominant effect. For example :- Since Bob is a wold class coach, his appointment as a hockey coach will now help country x to win an olympic gold. THIS IS WRONG :- apart from world classs coach, one needs world class players, training facility, monetary resources and many other factors to win a gold medal.

Nice example used for False Dichotomy.
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14 Aug 2016, 05:24
Got it now LogicGuru1!! Thank you for the explanation!
Re: Absenteeism among employees has decreased steadily over the   [#permalink] 14 Aug 2016, 05:24
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