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Some statisticians believe that the method called extreme

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Some statisticians believe that the method called extreme [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2011, 10:26
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67% (00:00) correct 33% (01:40) wrong based on 6 sessions
Some statisticians believe that the method called extreme value theory (EVT) is a powerful analytical tool. The curves generated by traditional statistical methods to analyze empirical data on human longevity predict that some humans would live beyond 130 years. According to the curves EVT generates, however, the limit on human life spans is probably between 113 and 124 years. To date, no one has lived beyond the upper limits indicated by EVT analysis. Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the statements above?

(A) EVT is, in general, a more reliable method for projecting future trends based on past observations than are traditional statistical methods.
(B) EVT fits the data about the highest observed human life spans more closely than do traditional statistical methods.
(C) According to the findings derived through the use of EVT, it is physically impossible for any human being to live longer than 124 years.
(D) Given the results generated by EVT, there is no point in conducting research aimed at greatly extending the upper limit on human life spans.
(E) Traditional statistical methods of empirical data analysis should eventually be replaced by some version of EVT.

I am on B, but my trainer says A, please explain
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Re: critical reasoning question [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2011, 17:51
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The crucial difference between A and B is that A mentions projecting future trends, while B is about fitting in a pattern of observed data.

I generally find that for CR questions, it helps me to turn them into "equations" so I can just pull out the arguments without getting caught up in wording. The notation is up to you (arrows, math symbols, logic symbols, etc.)-- whatever helps you understand how the facts work together will work:

Traditional methods: predicts humans = 130+
EVT: predicts humans = 113-124
To date: humans != 124+

Every part of answer A matches with a piece of information given in the stem "EVT is, in general, a more reliable method for projecting future trends ("predict", humans = 113-124) based on past observations (humans != 124+) than are traditional statistical methods (predicts humans = 130+)."

Answer B ("EVT fits the data about the highest observed human life spans more closely than do traditional statistical methods.) is incorrect mainly because of the phrase "fits the data". The curves "analyze empirical data on human longevity [to] predict...", so they are creating predictions and new curves based on data (data --> curves) , not fitting existing curves to data (curves --> data). It's slightly out of scope.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions!
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Re: critical reasoning question [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2011, 18:29
margarette wrote:
Answer B ("EVT fits the data about the highest observed human life spans more closely than do traditional statistical methods.) is incorrect mainly because of the phrase "fits the data". The curves "analyze empirical data on human longevity [to] predict...", so they are creating predictions and new curves based on data (data --> curves) , not fitting existing curves to data (curves --> data). It's slightly out of scope.


I thought that the answer is B and didn't know why B isn't correct. So, your explanation is of great help for me! But I'm wondering I can eliminate incorrect alternatives as they way you did in the actual test...

I need to practice more! :?
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Re: critical reasoning question [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2011, 11:08
B but needed real good read of explanation to fix my doubt
Re: critical reasoning question   [#permalink] 26 Dec 2011, 11:08
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