5) Considering the current economy, the introduction of a new brand of cereal is unlikely to expand total sales of cereal, but rather will just cause some existing buyers of cereal to switch brands. So it makes no sense for the Coolidge Corporation to introduce another brand of cereal, since they will only hurt sales of the brands of cereal they already produce.
Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the argument above?
(A) Total sales of cereal will increase as the total population increases.
(B) Many new brands of cereal sell extremely well for the first year of their existence.
(C) Coolidge Corporation currently produces fewer brands of cereal than do its competitors.
(D) Some cereal buyers regularly switch from brand to brand, even when no new brands have been introduced.
(E) Research indicates that the new brand will attract more buyers of competitors’ cereals than buyers of other
Conclusion of the argument is: Coolidge Corporation should not introduce another brand of cereal so as not to hurt sales of its own existing brands of cereal.
The evidence shown here is: Introduction of new brand of cereal will not expand total sales but cause existing customers to switch brands.
The underlying assumption here is that the new brand of cereal will attract only the existing customers of Coolidge Corporation and no (or hardly any) customer of competitor’s brands of cereal will switch to buy the new brand of cereal of Coolidge Corporation.
The question is asking for a statement to weaken the conclusion. This can be done if the underlying assumption can be proved wrong.
A) Even if the total sales increase, we cannot conclude whether the new brand of cereal will benefit Coolidge Corporation. Wrong.
B) If customers just change from one brand to another brand of cereal of Coolidge Corporation, the total customer base of Coolidge Corporation will remain unchanged and thus the new brand of cereal will not give any advantage to the company. Wrong.
C) May it be fewer brands of cereal that Coolidge Corporation has, this fact does not prove that a new brand of cereal will attract the customers from the company’s competitors. Wrong.
D) Irrespective of introduction of a new brand, if switching brands is usual phenomenon, we cannot say whether introduction of a new brand by Coolidge Corporation will be advantageous for the company. Wrong.
E) Correct. Here the statement proves that the underlying assumption is wrong.Correct Answer is E.