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In a recent citywide poll, fifteen percent- Review Please

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In a recent citywide poll, fifteen percent- Review Please [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2012, 23:17
“In a recent citywide poll, fifteen percent more residents said that they watch television programs about the visual arts than was the case in a poll conducted five years ago. During these past five years, the number of people visiting our city’s arts museums has increased by similar percentage. Since the corporate funding that supports public television, where most of visual arts programs appear, is now being threatened with severe cuts, we can expect that attendance at our city’s museums will also start to decrease. Thus some of the city’s funds supporting arts should be reallocated to public television.”




The argument given states that funds supporting arts should be reallocated to public television because with the cut in corporate funding that supports public television where most of the visual arts programs are presented will impact indirectly on the number of people watching television program on visual arts and number of people visiting museums. The conclusion is unconvincing because it is based on several unsubstantiated assumptions of comparison of public television viewers and visitors to the city’s art museum. The council’s argument is seriously flawed as discussed below.

First the argument fails to show any correlation between people viewing television program on visual art and people visiting art museums. This is not evident that people who watch television programs on the visual arts also visit the art museums. It could be possible that increase in the attendance of the city’s museum was due to increase in tourist population frequenting the museum or because there was an increase in children between the age groups of 8 -12 years visiting the museum as a result of a number awareness programs initiated by the museum. So, it could be possible that though the number of programs on visual arts decreases, the number of people visiting museum will remain the same or increases.


Secondly the author assumes that the same group of people participated in the two polls. However there is no substantial information to state that the population of people who took part in the poll are the same. There could have been a surge of families who may have moved to the city within these five years who had nothing to do with the first poll.

Moreover author needs to state that whether decrease in corporate funding
For public television will cause a reduction of programs being aired on the television pertaining to visual arts. If corporate funding is normally geared towards programs on economic affairs & news, then it would be highly unlikely that the number of programs on visual arts would decrease. So an impact analysis needs to be done by the council before reaching any conclusion on the effect of the corporate funding cuts on the types of television programs being aired.



To conclude the main point about the relationship or the lack between TV viewer ship and museum visitors should appropriately taken up. Additionally the argument could be strengthened by showing clearer statistics regarding viewer ship and attendance, in terms of percentage of total population; Better understanding of the factors influencing the city’s interest in arts is needed. Without using such information the argument makes a hasty suggestion regarding city funds.
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Re: In a recent citywide poll, fifteen percent- Review Please [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2013, 13:19
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Fantastic question!

"First the argument fails to show any correlation between people viewing television program on visual art and people visiting art museums." --- to be fair, this is not quite true. The argument shows one very specific numerical correlation. However, I see what you mean. Indeed, as both sarb and kuttingchai correctly pointed out, we don't know if the increase in TV viewership and the increase in museum attendance are related - although the fact that both increased by 15% is something to think about. satb, another small correction: "Secondly the author assumes that the same group of people participated in the two polls." --- no, this was not an assumption.

However, let's assume that two are related. Let's assume that those are the same people who are going to the museums and watching visual arts on TV. In my personal opinion, it would be almost insane to assume that they are going to the museums because of watching TV. In my personal opinion, it is much more likely to be the other way round: people first start going to the museums and then later come to watch visual art on TV. Perhaps, those are just educated people interested in the culture. If visual arts program are removed from TV, it is likely to increase museum attendance rather than decrease - or, perhaps, people would just watch visual arts programs on the web.


I also like the point about corporate funding. sarb mentioned that this reduced funding may or may not decrease the number of programs on visual arts, whereas kuttingchai made a different point, noticing that this reduced funding may or may not decrease the attendance at the museums because commercials may still be shown. However, there is more to be said. First of all, we are not even sure that the funding will be reduced, it is only being threatened. Then, even if it will be reduced, and even if it will reduce the audience at the museums, it is not at all clear that some funds should be reallocated to public television. Why not directly to the museums or to the development of visual art websites in the Internet?

In fact, I do not even see why the funds should be reallocated at all. Decreased attendance at the museums is something we can live with. If indeed those were the people who came because of TV commercials and do not have much appreciation for the museums otherwise, fine. Let's not force them into attending museums. Perhaps, this is not their cup of tea. Of course, it may be argued that museums would lose some profits without these TV programs. Even if this is the case, investing city's funds supporting arts into TV programs with the purpose of making profit from the city's museums is not necessarily a wise solution. If the objective is to generate profit, then there should be wiser ways to invest.

kuttingchai, "Also, author should provide statistical evidence on how reduction in corporate funding that supports visual arts television program will negatively impact the attendance at city's art museum." --- a small correction. There cannot be statistical evidence on something that has not yet happened ("...will negatively affect..."). Statistical evidence is only available for past events, not for the future. Statistical evidence can only help us to predict the effect of the reduction on the museum's attendance.


I think kuttingchai's response is a little bit stronger. This response makes it more clear that the issue is the connection between the programs shown on TV and the attendance at the museums. sarb's response is similar, but a little less clear, including some typos and some unfinished sentences. The last sentence could be more polished: "Without using such information the argument makes a hasty suggestion regarding city funds." The expression "using such information" is wordy and unclear. Also, "hasty" suggestion is a judgment, possibly unjustified.

Both responses demonstrate critical thinking and can be improved by incorporating stronger critical thinking. For example, instead of just mentioning that correlation between TV program viewership and museum attendance does not imply causation, it is also possible to consider causation in the opposite direction: perhaps, people watch visual arts on TV after or because they attend museums. It is also always good to keep the big picture in mind: just because the attendance at the museums decreased does not mean that there is necessarily a problem to fix. Even if we are to fix the problem (of the decreasing attendance at the museums), we do not have to fix it in the same way as before. New ways of attracting people to museums may be appropriate including, but not limited to, creating quality content for the Internet.

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Re: In a recent citywide poll, fifteen percent- Review Please [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2012, 04:31
I am no expert to judge your essay, but I would like to share what i have written----

In this argument the author concludes that some of the city's funds for supporting the arts should be reallocated to public television. The conclusion is based on the premises that there is an increase in the number of residents visiting city's art museums over 5 years due to 15% increase in residents who watch visual arts television program in comparison to the residents who watched visual arts television program five years ago and there is a reduction in coorporate funding that supports visual arts television program. This arguments is not convincing due to following reasons.

To start with, the author has assumed that the increase in the number of residents to Virtual arts museum is due to 15% more residents now watch the virtual arts television program. The author has not provided any details to show the link between virtual arts television watchers and peoples visiting the virtual arts museum. Just as likely, the people visiting the arts museum might not be one who watch virtual arts television program. Might be that, the Director at museum has added new artifacts in the museum's collection that interest particular age group, causing the increase in the number of people visiting museum.

In addition, the author states that the reduction in corporate funding that supports visual arts television program will negatively impact the attendance at city's art museum. The author has not provided any evidence to support this claim. It can be that the city's art museum's advertisements will still be shown on the television. To be fair, however, we must recognize that the author’s assumption is a special case of a more general one that television viewing affects people’s attitudes and behavior. Common sense and observation tell me that this is indeed the case. After all, advertisers spend billions of dollars on television ad time because they trust this assumption as well.

To conclude there are lack of evidences to support the conclusion that the city's funds for supporting the arts should be reallocated to public television. To strengthen the argument author provide link between virtual arts television watchers and peoples visiting the virtual arts museum. Also, author should provide statistical evidence on how reduction in corporate funding that supports visual arts television program will negatively impact the attendance at city's art museum.
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Re: In a recent citywide poll, fifteen percent- Review Please [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2014, 22:55
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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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Re: In a recent citywide poll, fifteen percent- Review Please   [#permalink] 23 Jan 2014, 22:55
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