Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Schools: UCLA (Anderson) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: Q V
, given: 12
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11 Jun 2011, 12:16
Princeton Review scored this as a 2. I wasn't necessarily expecting a 6, but the examples of a 2 I have seen are far inferior to this, in my opinion. Let me know what you think!
Prompt: “Since most people would rather talk than listen, there will always be miscommunication.”
Effective communication is essential to social, economic, familial, and political success in today's world. Every person has an opinion, and it is natural for one to believe that one's perspective is correct almost all of the time. One desires to sway others towards one's own point of view. The issue presented is controversial, but a closer examination reveals that it is perhaps overly broad.
The statement assumes that peoples' desire to talk rather than listen causes people to ignore each other and focus more on one way conversation than on a balanced, two-way exchange of ideas. For example: it is not uncommon to sit around an ordinary family dinner table and argue, converse, and talk rationally with friends and family. Although most participants certainly desire to get their views out in the open, it is folly to assume that there is automatically an inherent miscommunication that takes place. Miscommunication implies that the idea being expressed by one party is misunderstood or misinterpreted by the receiving party. This simply is not always the case, even in instances where two individuals clearly would rather talk to each other, argue, or even verbally spar, than listen to each other.
To illustrate this point, one needs only to examine a political debate. Two candidates, often with extremely polar opposite opinions on social, economic, and military issues, come together and spend hours talking past each other. One candidate states a position on an issue; the other proceeds to immediately punch holes in the first's argument. Granted, occasionally the candidates might misunderstand each other, but more often than not, they know exactly what their opponent is communicating and seek to tear the argument to pieces in front of the audience. There are few people in the world who would rather talk more than politicians, and when they go against each other one on one, they do not always miscommunicate. Sometimes this might be true, but to say that it always will happen is just too extreme of a statement.
Perhaps that is the best reason that this statement is simply invalid. Although there is a measure of truth in its words, the nature of its meaning is just too extreme to have merit. Saying something is always true implies that there is no possibility for any other outcome. There is a logical gap that exists between the premise, "most people would rather talk than listen," and the conclusion, "there will always be miscommunication." Without some solid evidence and an expressed rationalization for why this must be the case, the argument cannot be upheld as strong.
In summary, while the argument might sometimes be true, it is clear that it is far from accurate one hundred percent of the time. Certainly there could be a time when two people believe in their opinions so strongly that they simply could never understand or communicate effectively with each other. However, this is rare when compared with the average conversation and exchange between individuals on a day to day basis. Most people are able to at least understand what their friend or opponent is trying to communicate, whether the opinion is agreeable or not. Hence, it is better to take a more moderate approach than the one expressed in the statement. Were it to read "sometimes there will be miscommunication," it would be extremely accurate.