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In virtually any industry, technological improvements

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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2012, 20:55
mikemcgarry wrote:
betterscore wrote:
In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a paraphrase of one of the pieces of information provided in its support.
(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim information that is inconsistent with other evidence presented in support of the same claim.
(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.
(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.


Hi, there. I'm happy to help with this. :-)

Of course, this is OG13, CR #8, a new question that did not appear in the OG12. Let's look at this prompt.

GENERAL RULE: In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked.
FACT/EVIDENCE: In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries.
CONCLUSION: Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

We are told that technological improvements cause increases in labor productivity --- to use the language of formal logic, we know that technological improvements are sufficient for an increase in labor productivity. This is quite different from saying that: technological improvements are necessary for an increase in labor productivity. In other words, the argument is implicitly assuming that absolutely nothing else ---- labor conditions, local economic conditions, difference in shipping cost for materials or sale, etc. etc. --- would affect labor productivity. That's crazy. All kinds of other things also could affect labor productivity. Technological improvements are sufficient but not necessary for an increase in labor productivity.
Parland has higher labor productivity than does Vergia. One possible explanation could be a technological superiority, but again, there are a dozen other things that might differ between the two regions and might account for the difference in labor productivity.
The answer that best summarizes this flaw is (C) --- assuming that one particular cause is the only possible cause, or in other words, assuming that a sufficient cause is thereby also a necessary cause.

Does all this make sense? Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike :-)


Mike,
I am not sure what is wrong with answer choice D.

Does it say that the effect ( Technological advancement) causes the cause (Labor Productivity) ?
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2012, 09:40
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monsoon1 wrote:
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.

Mike,
I am not sure what is wrong with answer choice D.

Does it say that the effect (Technological advancement) causes the cause (Labor Productivity) ?

The argument is saying that:
CAUSE = technological improvements
EFFECT = increased labor productivity

Choice (D) does not reverse or change the order of fundamental causal relation. What choice (D) does is to introduce time. Choice (D) says:
It takes a condition (= increased labor productivity) to be the effect of something (= technological improvements) that happened only after the condition already existed

First of all, the argument gives absolute no information about time relationships, about what is before what. Furthermore, if technological improvements really are causing increased labor productivity. it simply makes no sense that labor productivity would have increased before any technological improvements. For these reasons, (D) is an unacceptable answer.

Does this make sense?

Mike :-)
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2013, 10:17
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If any of the users of this thread are interested in more practice, here's a set of GMAT CR practice questions recently released:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-criti ... questions/
Enjoy!
Mike :-)
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2014, 18:03
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2015, 06:25
betterscore wrote:
In virtually any industry, technological improvements
increase labor productivity, which is the output of
goods and services per person-hour worked. In
Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly
higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly,
therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be
further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the
following criticisms?

(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a
paraphrase of one of the pieces of information
provided in its support.

(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim
information that is inconsistent with other
evidence presented in support of the same claim.

(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be
the actual cause of that condition without
considering any other possible causes.

(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of
something that happened only after the
condition already existed.

(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the
truth of the conclusion that is to be established.



Please explain option D ? It seems so convoluted to me ..
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2015, 10:15
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samichange wrote:
Please explain option D? It seems so convoluted to me ..

Dear samichange,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Here's the prompt with choice (D).
8) In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.


Yes, this is a bit hard to decipher. Many times, the incorrect answer choices on the CR Argument Structure question have this flavor: they are speaking at a very abstract level.

A condition is just some set of circumstances we find in the real world. It's anything that's factual. For example,
"In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries."

To take a condition to be the effect of something ---- suppose I take the condition of a drought in California to be the effect of global climate change. Then I am saying global climate change is a CAUSE, and the drought in California is an EFFECT. To take a condition P to be the effect of Q: that is equivalent to the interpretation that Q caused P, that Q is the CAUSE and P is the EFFECT.

Now, my argument that "Q cause P" is going to run into trouble if it turns out that P was going on before Q ever existed. For example, suppose we have the following exchange:
Person A: "The price of tomatoes is very high. This must be due to the documentary last summer on the health benefits of lycopene, found in tomatoes."
Person B: "The price of tomatoes was high well before last summer."

Person B makes a devastating objection to Person A's argument.
Person A takes a condition (the high price of tomatoes) to be the effect of something (the documentary) that happened only after the condition (the high price of tomatoes) already existed. In other words, tomato prices were already before the documentary aired, so the documentary cannot possibly be the sole cause of the high price of the tomatoes.

For more practice with these question, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-cr-di ... questions/

Does all this make sense?

Mike :-)
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2015, 10:32
mikemcgarry wrote:
samichange wrote:
Please explain option D? It seems so convoluted to me ..

Dear samichange,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Here's the prompt with choice (D).
8) In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.


Yes, this is a bit hard to decipher. Many times, the incorrect answer choices on the CR Argument Structure question have this flavor: they are speaking at a very abstract level.

A condition is just some set of circumstances we find in the real world. It's anything that's factual. For example,
"In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries."

To take a condition to be the effect of something ---- suppose I take the condition of a drought in California to be the effect of global climate change. Then I am saying global climate change is a CAUSE, and the drought in California is an EFFECT. To take a condition P to be the effect of Q: that is equivalent to the interpretation that Q caused P, that Q is the CAUSE and P is the EFFECT.

Now, my argument that "Q cause P" is going to run into trouble if it turns out that P was going on before Q ever existed. For example, suppose we have the following exchange:
Person A: "The price of tomatoes is very high. This must be due to the documentary last summer on the health benefits of lycopene, found in tomatoes."
Person B: "The price of tomatoes was high well before last summer."

Person B makes a devastating objection to Person A's argument.
Person A takes a condition (the high price of tomatoes) to be the effect of something (the documentary) that happened only after the condition (the high price of tomatoes) already existed. In other words, tomato prices were already before the documentary aired, so the documentary cannot possibly be the sole cause of the high price of the tomatoes.

For more practice with these question, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-cr-di ... questions/

Does all this make sense?

Mike :-)



Many thanks Mike for such an elaborate explanation.

Your explanation contains all that I was looking for.
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2015, 08:48
Answer should be C.
It is clear from the argument that while making conclusion statement, author assumes that there could be no other explanation for the higher productivity.
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2015, 02:13
betterscore wrote:
In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?

(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a paraphrase of one of the pieces of information provided in its support.

(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim information that is inconsistent with other evidence presented in support of the same claim.

(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.

(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.

(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.

This is CR #8 in the OG13.


C it is because it presupposed a particular assumption and thought it is the reason for increase in Parland's industries .
He should have thought of other options.
Hence most vulnerable.
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In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2015, 20:08
technological improvements(sufficient condition) -> increases in labor productivity( necessary condition)

Conclusion of the argument is a mistaken reversal for conditional reasoning

Conclusion: Parland's industries' has higher labor productivity than Vergia ->Hence Parland industries are technologically more advanced.

C is the only one that states the argument confuses sufficient condition for necessary condition( another way to state that the flaw is a mistaken reversal)
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2015, 20:01
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More technology = more productivity

Productivity in Parland > productivity in Vergia

Technology in Parland > technology in Vergia

A--No; the conclusion is the combination of the two premises, not simply a restatement of one of them.

B--I do not see any inconsistencies in the evidence.

C--correct; it is entirely possible that other factors have led to Parland being more productive. Better resources, more education, etc.

D--we don't really have information about timing here.

E--nope, no circular reasoning going on here.
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2015, 01:40
Dear,
Can anyone please explain what "D)" means?
"(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed."

In my translation,
condition: technology improvement
effect: icrease in labor productivity
so, does it mean that there is ome some other condtion played in the role of increase in labor productivity?


And OE for D is "The argument does not mention how long Parland has had more productive labor, or when
technological improvements would have occurred"

I am not sure why OE mentions "how long..." and "when...." to justify that d) is incorrect.

question choice and OE both are just confusing.
Please someone help me understand.

thanks
Andy
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2015, 13:26
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andy2whang wrote:
Dear,
Can anyone please explain what "D)" means?
"(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed."

In my translation,
condition: technology improvement
effect: icrease in labor productivity
so, does it mean that there is ome some other condtion played in the role of increase in labor productivity?


And OE for D is "The argument does not mention how long Parland has had more productive labor, or when
technological improvements would have occurred"

I am not sure why OE mentions "how long..." and "when...." to justify that d) is incorrect.

question choice and OE both are just confusing.
Please someone help me understand.

thanks
Andy

Dear Andy,
I'm happy to help. :-) Yes, this is a tricky official question.

Here's the text of the question again.
In virtually any industry, technological improvements increase labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per person-hour worked. In Parland's industries, labor productivity is significantly higher than it is in Vergia's industries. Clearly, therefore, Parland's industries must, on the whole, be further advanced technologically than Vergia's are.

The argument is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It offers a conclusion that is no more than a paraphrase of one of the pieces of information provided in its support.
(B) It presents as evidence in support of a claim information that is inconsistent with other evidence presented in support of the same claim.
(C) It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.
(D) It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.
(E) It makes a distinction that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that is to be established.


First, let's think about the nature of the objection that (D) holds. Here are a series of extremely bad arguments.
Faulty argument #1: The Dred Scott decision (1857) was a direct response to the election of Abraham Lincoln (1860).
Faulty argument #2: The election of Ronald Reagan (1980) was a direct result of the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989)
Faulty argument #3: By answering your question, I caused you to ask the question.
All three of these are disastrous bad arguments, and all three make the same mistake. All three of these would be vulnerable to the objection that (D) makes. In order for X to cause Y, X must come earlier in time than Y. A cause may come immediately before an effect, or there may be a gap of minutes, hours, days, or even millions of years.
Striking a match immediately causes the match to burst into flame.
Not remembering to put gas in one's car will cause the car, a few hours or few days later, to run out of gas.
A habit of cigarette smoking, started in one's teen years, cause either cancer or heart disease over the course of decades.
The Second Amendment of the US Constitution (1789) causes American citizens today to have the gun rights they have.
The separation of N & S America from Europe & Africa, 175 million years ago, cause Columbus & the 16th century explorers to find very different animals & plants in the New World and the Old World.

The cause could happen any time before the effect, but it absolutely can't happen after the effect.

That's what (D) says.
It takes a condition to be the effect of something that happened only after the condition already existed.
In other words, the argument is interpreting a certain condition to be the effect of a particular cause, but this reputed cause took place after the condition, the supposed effect, was already happening. It's a very powerful objection to a cause-effect argument if we can demonstrate that the reputed cause took place after the effect.

Why is (D) not the OA? Well, we get no information about when any of these things happened. Time isn't discussed at all. We know Parland's industries have higher labor productivity ---that's the effect the argument is trying to explain. We have no evidence about when in time Parland started using advanced technology, or whether they use it at all. (D) would be a very power objection if a time sequence were explicitly present in the argument, but it is not.

OK, let's go back to the argument.
Parland has a higher level of labor productivity than does Vergia. This difference is what we want to explain. Why does Parland have higher labor productivity?

The argument tells us that one way to increase labor productivity is to use advanced technology. Is this the absolutely only way on earth to increase labor productivity? Absolutely not! In some cases better educated or better trained workers might be more productive, or better equipment or better supplies or better materials might help. There are many things that can contribute to labor productivity, and advanced technology is one of them.

We want to explain why Parland has higher labor productivity. It could be because Parland has more advanced technology. That could be the cause, but it doesn't have to be. The argument fallaciously assumes that advanced technology must be the cause, the only cause, of Parland's higher labor productivity.

This is another very powerful objection. If I say, "Here's a case of B. Since A causes B, A must have caused this instance of B," then a very powerful objection would be simply to point out that B has other causes besides A. Yes, we all see an instance of B, but was it caused by A or C or D? We don't know, and we can't automatically assume the one cause was responsible and not the others.

This is exactly what (C) says:
It takes one possible cause of a condition to be the actual cause of that condition without considering any other possible causes.

Part of what is hard about this is the abstract wording. Part of what is challenging, though, is that you have to have a good intuitive sense about how the business world works. Presumably you are taking the GMAT so that you can get into business school. Well, if a candidate applies to business school and then, on the interview, doesn't give any evidence of understanding how the business world works, that's not going to look good. It's very important to build your understanding of how the business world works---what factors might influence labor productivity, for example. See this blog article:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/gmat-criti ... knowledge/

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: In virtually any industry, technological improvements   [#permalink] 14 Nov 2015, 13:26

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