"Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# "Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance

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24 Nov 2012, 03:02
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"Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance remains functional without breaking down. Sixty years
ago, average refrigerator durability was 15 years, whereas now refrigerators operate continuously for more than
40 years on average. Thus, at that time, people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their
operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years.

Which of the following, if true, undermines the argument above?

A: Today, many more households own refrigerators than did households sixty years ago.
B: Most of the improvements in durability in the past sixty years have been achieved through cutting down on the
number of refrigerators that break down in the first year of ownership.
C: Many of the refrigerators that last an extremely long time today do so only because of engineering technology
that was not available sixty years ago.
D: The proportion of refrigerators that break down when they are between 35 years and 40 years old is significantly
smaller today than is the proportion of refrigerators that break down after 40 years.
E: More refrigerators sixty years ago received regular service than receive it today.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: "Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2012, 04:08
gmatbull wrote:
"Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance remains functional without breaking down. Sixty years
ago, average refrigerator durability was 15 years, whereas now refrigerators operate continuously for more than
40 years on average. Thus, at that time, people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their
operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years.

Which of the following, if true, undermines the argument above?

A: Today, many more households own refrigerators than did households sixty years ago.
B: Most of the improvements in durability in the past sixty years have been achieved through cutting down on the
number of refrigerators that break down in the first year of ownership.
C: Many of the refrigerators that last an extremely long time today do so only because of engineering technology
that was not available sixty years ago.
D: The proportion of refrigerators that break down when they are between 35 years and 40 years old is significantly
smaller today than is the proportion of refrigerators that break down after 40 years.
E: More refrigerators sixty years ago received regular service than receive it today.

Y not C here???

C seems to be more Weaken the argument for me...
If there was good tech 60 yrs ago they would have had better life time for refrigerators....

Isn't this undermining argument???
Please explain
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Re: "Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2012, 05:43
shanmugamgsn wrote:
gmatbull wrote:
"Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance remains functional without breaking down. Sixty years
ago, average refrigerator durability was 15 years, whereas now refrigerators operate continuously for more than
40 years on average. Thus, at that time, people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their
operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years.

Which of the following, if true, undermines the argument above?

A: Today, many more households own refrigerators than did households sixty years ago.
B: Most of the improvements in durability in the past sixty years have been achieved through cutting down on the
number of refrigerators that break down in the first year of ownership.
C: Many of the refrigerators that last an extremely long time today do so only because of engineering technology
that was not available sixty years ago.
D: The proportion of refrigerators that break down when they are between 35 years and 40 years old is significantly
smaller today than is the proportion of refrigerators that break down after 40 years.
E: More refrigerators sixty years ago received regular service than receive it today.

Y not C here???

C seems to be more Weaken the argument for me...
If there was good tech 60 yrs ago they would have had better life time for refrigerators....

Isn't this undermining argument???
Please explain

Hi there

og-critical-reasoning-1-i-disagree-107699.html
refer to the link similar question....the above question is an interpretation of the question 1 CR section of OG 12 dealing with life expectancy....
hope that helps
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Re: "Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2013, 22:58
Could someone please explain this through options. I thought D was close.
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Re: "Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2013, 00:28
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Supernova29 wrote:
Could someone please explain this through options. I thought D was close.

Hi Supernova29

I'm glad to help.

ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

Fact: Sixty years ago, average refrigerator durability was 15 years,
Fact: Now refrigerators operate continuously for more than 40 years on average.
Conclusion: at that time, people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years.

Assumption: The comparison of average durability is valid. On the other hand, there is NO other factor that makes the estimation of average durability incorrect.

Question: Which of the following, if true, undermines the argument above?

ANALYZE EACH ANSWER:

A: Today, many more households own refrigerators than did households sixty years ago.
Wrong. "More refrigerators" says nothing about average durability increases or decreases. Thus, A does nothing to weaken the conclusion.

B: Most of the improvements in durability in the past sixty years have been achieved through cutting down on the number of refrigerators that break down in the first year of ownership.
Correct. B mentions that the comparison of the argument is INCORRECT because there is a factor virtually makes the average durability of refrigerators now increase than that of refrigerators in the past. Thus, B weakens the conclusion and is correct answer.

C: Many of the refrigerators that last an extremely long time today do so only because of engineering technology that was not available sixty years ago.
Wrong. TEMPTING but wrong. C does not weaken the conclusion, but rather strengthens the conclusion. Why? Because C means a refrigerator now can live longer because of improved engineering technology.
==> So if there is NO engineering technology the average durability of refrigerators now may be only 15 years or equal that of a refrigerator sixty years ago.
==> On the other hand, that the average durability 15 years in the past without engineering technology = average durability 40 years now with improved engineering technology is a CORRECT comparison.

D: The proportion of refrigerators that break down when they are between 35 years and 40 years old is significantly smaller today than is the proportion of refrigerators that break down after 40 years.
Wrong. D means almost refrigerators now can live for 40 years whereas those in the past can live only for 15 years. Thus, that 15 years in the past = 40 years now is a CORRECT comparison. D strengthens the conclusion. D is wrong.

E: More refrigerators sixty years ago received regular service than receive it today.
Wrong. E means the quality of refrigerators in the past is worse than in the current. Thus, if a refrigerator lived for 15 years sixty years ago, we definitely considered the refrigerator near the end of its life. Thus, E does not weaken the conclusion.

Hope it helps.
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Re: "Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2013, 03:21
hi pqhai,
Thanks so much. It does help. I found the question a little twisted with clarity lacking in its stimulus and the question stem.
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Re: "Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2014, 22:25
shanmugamgsn wrote:
gmatbull wrote:
"Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance remains functional without breaking down. Sixty years
ago, average refrigerator durability was 15 years, whereas now refrigerators operate continuously for more than
40 years on average. Thus, at that time, people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their
operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years.

Which of the following, if true, undermines the argument above?

A: Today, many more households own refrigerators than did households sixty years ago.
B: Most of the improvements in durability in the past sixty years have been achieved through cutting down on the
number of refrigerators that break down in the first year of ownership.
C: Many of the refrigerators that last an extremely long time today do so only because of engineering technology
that was not available sixty years ago.
D: The proportion of refrigerators that break down when they are between 35 years and 40 years old is significantly
smaller today than is the proportion of refrigerators that break down after 40 years.
E: More refrigerators sixty years ago received regular service than receive it today.

Y not C here???

C seems to be more Weaken the argument for me...
If there was good tech 60 yrs ago they would have had better life time for refrigerators....

Isn't this undermining argument???
Please explain

I too fell for "C", but I guess "C" would be more appropriate had the question asked us to weaken/undermines the CONCLUSION but not the argument..
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09 Aug 2014, 06:08
Amit0507 wrote:
shanmugamgsn wrote:
gmatbull wrote:
"Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance remains functional without breaking down. Sixty years
ago, average refrigerator durability was 15 years, whereas now refrigerators operate continuously for more than
40 years on average. Thus, at that time, people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their
operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years.

Which of the following, if true, undermines the argument above?

A: Today, many more households own refrigerators than did households sixty years ago.
B: Most of the improvements in durability in the past sixty years have been achieved through cutting down on the
number of refrigerators that break down in the first year of ownership.
C: Many of the refrigerators that last an extremely long time today do so only because of engineering technology
that was not available sixty years ago.
D: The proportion of refrigerators that break down when they are between 35 years and 40 years old is significantly
smaller today than is the proportion of refrigerators that break down after 40 years.
E: More refrigerators sixty years ago received regular service than receive it today.

Y not C here???

C seems to be more Weaken the argument for me...
If there was good tech 60 yrs ago they would have had better life time for refrigerators....

Isn't this undermining argument???
Please explain

I too fell for "C", but I guess "C" would be more appropriate had the question asked us to weaken/undermines the CONCLUSION but not the argument..

Well, the conclusion is basically stating the author's claim ---> which is the heart of the argument.
So, the conclusion is pretty much the argument.

C would be correct if this were a strengthen question. This choice is just an additional fact that aids the author's argument --- telling us that refrigerators do indeed live longer nowadays.

Instead, the correct answer is B.

B tells us that the cutdown on faulty refrigerators after the first year is one of the reasons for the improvement in refrigerator durability.
This tells us that even recently, there were refrigerators that don't last 40 years. In fact, they don't even live past the first year.
This fact completely destroys the argument, telling us that there are refrigerators nowadays that can't live past 40 years.
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25 Dec 2014, 14:07
Was confused between B and C.. But finally picked B
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07 Sep 2015, 07:40
I chose B (Most of the improvements in durability in the past sixty years have been achieved through cutting down on the number of refrigerators that break down in the first year of ownership) with the following reasoning.

In the past, few refrigerators were breaking down in the 1st year itself. This brought down the avg to 15 yrs. So there were refrigerators which were functional past 15/20 years.

In the current time period, refrigerators which break down in the 1st year have been removed.

The argument says "at that time, people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years.". This means that if somebody had a refrigerator which was 15 yrs old, they would have thought that its nearing its end. However the avg(15 yrs) has been brought down significantly because of refrigerators which were breaking down in 1st yr. Option B addresses this and thus weakens the conclusion.

hope this reasoning is correct
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Re: "Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2015, 01:03
Success2015 wrote:
I chose B (Most of the improvements in durability in the past sixty years have been achieved through cutting down on the number of refrigerators that break down in the first year of ownership) with the following reasoning.

In the past, few refrigerators were breaking down in the 1st year itself. This brought down the avg to 15 yrs. So there were refrigerators which were functional past 15/20 years.

In the current time period, refrigerators which break down in the 1st year have been removed.

The argument says "at that time, people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years.". This means that if somebody had a refrigerator which was 15 yrs old, they would have thought that its nearing its end. However the avg(15 yrs) has been brought down significantly because of refrigerators which were breaking down in 1st yr. Option B addresses this and thus weakens the conclusion.

hope this reasoning is correct

Responding to a pm:
The reasoning is correct.
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Re: "Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance   [#permalink] 10 Sep 2015, 01:03
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