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Left-handed persons have an advantage over right-handed

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Re: CR: tough one [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2008, 10:36
grumpyoldman wrote:
What is the source of this question? I will be very surprised if it is an official GMAC question, because choice A is wrong, and it is not quite clear whether choice D is correct. (If it is a Kaplan question, please tell me ASAP. I work for Kaplan, and we don't like to leave errors lying around in our materials.)

The fact that left-handed people have an advantage in painting simply does not prove that a larger proportion of left-handed people actually BECOME PAINTERS (choice A). An inference question does require an inevitable inference, and this one is not.

D may be inevitable, depending on how we interpret the statement that left handers contract viruses "more frequently" than right handers. If it means that ALL left handed people contract viruses more frequently than ALL right handed people, then D is clearly inevitable: Every left handed person, whether a painter or not, must be more susceptible than every right handed person. Therefore, left handed painters (just because they ARE left handed, not because they are painters) must be more susceptible than "the general population", which contains both righties and lefties.

If that is the intended meaning of "more frequently", then D could even say "all", not just "most". If "all" is inevitable, then "most" is inevitable as well, and so D is still correct.

But if "more frequently" is a statistical statement -- i.e., left handers are more susceptible ON AVERAGE, but the distributions of susceptibility may overlap -- then we cannot even conclude "most". We can't even conclude "any". Not only do we not know whether there are more righties than lefties in the overall population (as others have noted); we do not know where the left-handers who are painters may sit within the overall "susceptibility" distribution of left-handers. If they all happen to be at the low end of that distribution, they COULD be less susceptible than the overall population, which is made up of all the right handers and all the left handers including the most susceptible ones.

I think that we are supposed to interpret "more frequently" as an absolute statement, not statistical, even though we know that it would be statistical in the real world. Given that interpretation, D is inevitable, and so is the correct answer.



No, the source of this question is Bellcurves.com
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Re: CR: tough one [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2008, 10:41
In my opinion, I honestly believe that the tougher is the question, the more you will have to rely on POE.
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Re: CR: tough one [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2008, 10:39
bump. very interesting convo. Can we get someone from bellcurves.com to explain this.
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Re: CR: tough one [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2008, 04:27
Gr8 and bit confusing :-D discussion is going on on this CR.....

tarek99 can you tell us what is the source of OA and where did you get the scale of the question which you have posted......

Can anybody let us know where can we get questions as per the scale for practice except actual GMAT test?

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Re: CR: tough one [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2008, 11:38
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grumpyoldman wrote:
What is the source of this question? I will be very surprised if it is an official GMAC question, because choice A is wrong, and it is not quite clear whether choice D is correct. (If it is a Kaplan question, please tell me ASAP. I work for Kaplan, and we don't like to leave errors lying around in our materials.)

The fact that left-handed people have an advantage in painting simply does not prove that a larger proportion of left-handed people actually BECOME PAINTERS (choice A). An inference question does require an inevitable inference, and this one is not.

D may be inevitable, depending on how we interpret the statement that left handers contract viruses "more frequently" than right handers. If it means that ALL left handed people contract viruses more frequently than ALL right handed people, then D is clearly inevitable: Every left handed person, whether a painter or not, must be more susceptible than every right handed person. Therefore, left handed painters (just because they ARE left handed, not because they are painters) must be more susceptible than "the general population", which contains both righties and lefties.

If that is the intended meaning of "more frequently", then D could even say "all", not just "most". If "all" is inevitable, then "most" is inevitable as well, and so D is still correct.

But if "more frequently" is a statistical statement -- i.e., left handers are more susceptible ON AVERAGE, but the distributions of susceptibility may overlap -- then we cannot even conclude "most". We can't even conclude "any". Not only do we not know whether there are more righties than lefties in the overall population (as others have noted); we do not know where the left-handers who are painters may sit within the overall "susceptibility" distribution of left-handers. If they all happen to be at the low end of that distribution, they COULD be less susceptible than the overall population, which is made up of all the right handers and all the left handers including the most susceptible ones.

I think that we are supposed to interpret "more frequently" as an absolute statement, not statistical, even though we know that it would be statistical in the real world. Given that interpretation, D is inevitable, and so is the correct answer.


I personally agree with the OA.

The prompt tells us that left-handed people have an advantage in tasks controlled by the right side of the brain. Painting is a task governed by the right side of the brain.

It follows then that if a person is left-handed then they will have an advantage in painting. The contrapositive of this statement is "If a person does not have an advantage in painting, then that person is not left-handed." These two conclusions supports A.

Choice D on the other hand I feel has no backing at all. The prompt tells us that left-handed people contract viruses more frequently than right-handed people. We also inferred that if a person is left-handed they will have an advantage in painting. Putting these two statements does not infer anything about left-handed painters and their susceptibility in comparison to right-handed people let alone the population as a whole. Secondly I think the whole word change from contraction to susceptibility is kind of sketchy.

My two cents.

Also this question reminded me of a question that I have seen from a paper GMAT. I think it was paper test 37.

I have contacted Bell Curves for a more in-depth explanation.
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Re: CR: tough one [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2008, 14:08
scthakur wrote:
tarek99 wrote:
Left-handed persons have an advantage over right-handed persons on tasks that are controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain and painting, for most people, is a task mostly governed by the right hemisphere of the brain. However, left-handed persons contract viruses, such as influenza, more frequently than do right-handed persons.

The information above, if true, best supports which of the following hypotheses?

(A) There is a greater proportion of left-handed persons among painters than there is among non-painters.

Reverse causation[color=#00FF00]. Stimulus says LHPs have advantage in painting not vice versa.[/color]

(B) Most people who contract influenza or other viruses are left-handed rather than right-handed.
Reverse causation. Stimulus says LHPs contract influenza, not vice versa.
(C) If a left-handed person contracts a virus similar to influenza, that person will probably be a painter
May be, but the conclusion is weak. Hold On.
(D) Most left-handed painters are more susceptible to influenza than is the population as a whole.
Strongest contender. Both the premises support this.
(E) There are a greater proportion of left-handed persons among painters than there are right-handed persons among non-painters.
May be. But, concluson is weak.

Hence, D.


please explain


since you say that A is reverse causation would that not support that A is the correct answer? isnt' the reverse causation always true. does not If A then B, not imply that if not B then not A.
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Re: CR: tough one [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2008, 23:08
That gives me some relief as I had also opted 4 D and cldnt find OE very convincing. anyways, we must admit dat it was a good question leading to good amt of brainstroming :)
grumpyoldman wrote:
There's a good reason why you have a hard time understanding the OA: Choice A is not the right answer.
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Re: CR: tough one [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2008, 22:36
Kaitesh wrote:

"I personally agree with the OA.

The prompt tells us that left-handed people have an advantage in tasks controlled by the right side of the brain. Painting is a task governed by the right side of the brain.

It follows then that if a person is left-handed then they will have an advantage in painting. The contrapositive of this statement is "If a person does not have an advantage in painting, then that person is not left-handed." These two conclusions supports A."

Actually, these two conclusions do NOT "support" A, as far as an inference question is concerned. In an inference question, the correct answer choice must logically and necessarily follow from the information in the paragraph.

Kaitesh is correct in saying that the paragraph proves that left-handed people have an advantage in painting. Choice A, however, does NOT say that left-handers have an advantage in painting: It says that proportionally more of them actually ARE painters. This definitely does NOT logically follow from the fact that they have an advantage. It is possible, perhaps even likely, but it is not a logically necessary deduction from the information in the paragraph. Therefore, it is not the answer to the inference question.

As I said earlier, my preferred choice (D) is not a correct inference either if we interpret the phrase "more frequently" as a statistical statement, which I think is a more reasonable interpretation. Because of that, I suspect that this question doesn't have a proper answer at all.
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Re: CR: tough one   [#permalink] 27 Nov 2008, 22:36
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