People who listen to certain recordings of music are in danger of being unduly influenced by spoken messages that have been recorded backwards on the records or tapes.
A conclusion can be drawn from the above is that
1) the spoken messages must be louder than the music on the recordings
2) backwards messages can be added to a recording while still preserving all the musical qualities of the recorded performance
3) the recordings on which such messages appear are chosen for this purpose either because they are especially popular or because they induce a trancelike state
4) if such messages must be comprehended to exert influence, then people must be able to comprehend spoken messages recorded backwards
5) when people listen to recorded music, they pay full attention to the music as it plays
As always with CR, let's start with the question itself!
This is a Draw a Conclusion
question, and when it comes to this question type, here's the golden rule:
Pick the Conclusion that follows directly from the givens.
And so we're on to step two: understand those givens!
Here's what we know:
- There are musical recordings with backwards message.
- Listening to certain examples of such music may result in one being influenced by the message.
... and really, that's it. We don't have much to work with here! That actually carries a major pro on Draw a Conclusion
– any answer choice that tries to claim "too much" should be tossed aside. Let's dive in ...1) the spoken messages must be louder than the music on the recordings.
Remember that we're trying to draw
a conclusion from what they have told us. There is nothing in the passage about volume. Wrong.2) backwards messages can be added to a recording while still preserving all the musical qualities of the recorded performance
Same problem as (A). We're just told that people who do listen to these may be influenced by the message. We have no idea how good they sound! Wrong.3) the recordings on which such messages appear are chosen for this purpose either because they are especially popular or because they induce a trancelike state
Why were these particular recordings chosen to have such messages? We don't know anything
about where the message came from or who recorded them, let alone why
they did it. Wrong.4) if such messages must be comprehended to exert influence, then people must be able to comprehend spoken messages recorded backwards
Now finally we have a real contender! Notice the overlap in language between this choice and the original passage – they both talk about "such message" and "exert[ing] influence". Let's break down what (D) is really saying. Note that it is of the form "if P, then Q," where
P = such messages must be comprehended to exert influence
Q = people must be able to comprehend spoken messages recorded backwards
(Note that I tend to think pretty Quantitatively, even on the Verbal section!) Well, what do we know about influence from the passage? We know that some people are influenced by these messages. If we take P as given (people must understand the messages for them to be influenced by the messages), and we know that some people are
influenced by the messages, then we can safely conclude Q (those people are able to understand the messages).
Note that in choosing choice (D), we are only concluding the if/then statement "if P, then Q". We are actually not
concluding Q itself (people can understand the messages), nor can we!! We are just saying that, "if people must understand to be influenced, AND people actually are getting influenced, then we can say that people must understand."
It's pretty subtle, but hopefully that makes sense. (D) is in fact the correct answer, but really the better way to go here is to just try eliminating (E)! Let's take a look ...5) when people listen to recorded music, they pay full attention to the music as it plays
The passage never says that we have to pay full attention to the music (or the message, for that matter) to be influenced by the message. All we know is that there are messages and some people are influenced by them. That's it. Wrong.
I think the original post says (E) for the correct answer, but it's definitely (D)!
Hope that helps!
Mark Sullivan | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | Seattle, WA
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