The advent of television : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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21 Sep 2010, 14:33
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Columnist: The advent of television helps to explain why the growth in homicide rates in urban areas began significantly earlier than the growth in homicide rates in rural areas. Television sets became popular in urban households about four years earlier than in rural households. Urban homicide rates began increasing in 1958, about four years earlier than a similar increase in rural homicide rates began.
Which one of the following, if true, most support the columnist’s argument?
(A) In places where the number of violent television programs is low, the homicide rates are also low.
(B) The portrayal of violence on television is a cause, not an effect of the violence in society.
(C) There were no violent television programs during the early years of television.
(D) The earlier one is exposed to violence on television, the more profound the effect.
(E) Increasing one’s amount of leisure time increases one’s inclination to act violently.

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21 Sep 2010, 15:46
I am choosing A

This choice seems to relate the cause and effect correctly.
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21 Sep 2010, 16:46
noboru wrote:
Columnist: The advent of television helps to explain why the growth in homicide rates in urban areas began significantly earlier than the growth in homicide rates in rural areas. Television sets became popular in urban households about four years earlier than in rural households. Urban homicide rates began increasing in 1958, about four years earlier than a similar increase in rural homicide rates began.
Which one of the following, if true, most support the columnist’s argument?
(A) In places where the number of violent television programs is low, the homicide rates are also low.
(B) The portrayal of violence on television is a cause, not an effect of the violence in society.
(C) There were no violent television programs during the early years of television.
(D) The earlier one is exposed to violence on television, the more profound the effect.
(E) Increasing one’s amount of leisure time increases one’s inclination to act violently.

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So the author is saying the area that got tv first has rise in homicide....
A. I dont think so - this is too specific - nothing about violent programming.
B. no.
C. then why raise the homicide rate?
D. I think this is it - since the urban area got tv 4 years earlier they were exposed a lot more.
E. irrelevant since leisure time doesnt have to be TV.

D?
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21 Sep 2010, 17:18
I also leaned towards D but I think A is also a strong candidate... others are working to weaken or irrelevant. D as a premise would support his argument while A also supports but the author didnt talk about programming and inverse effect here may not help
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21 Sep 2010, 17:47
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Looks like (B) to me.

noboru wrote:
Columnist: The advent of television helps to explain why the growth in homicide rates in urban areas began significantly earlier than the growth in homicide rates in rural areas. Television sets became popular in urban households about four years earlier than in rural households. Urban homicide rates began increasing in 1958, about four years earlier than a similar increase in rural homicide rates began.

Essentially, the author is stating that watching television leads to homicide. Her evidence is basically that urban areas received TVs in 1954 and homicide rates increased four years later, in 1958; similarly, television became available in rural areas in 1958, and the homicide rates increased four years later. So we have an A -> B statement: Television -> Violence. Which answer supports this theory?

Which one of the following, if true, most support the columnist’s argument?

(A) In places where the number of violent television programs is low, the homicide rates are also low. This option says the inverse of the statement, or ~A -> ~B. This is not logically equivalent and doesn't affect the theory.
(B) The portrayal of violence on television is a cause, not an effect of the violence in society. The author is claiming that television leads to violence - or in other words, television is a CAUSE of violence in society. If you wanted to dispute this, you could make the opposite claim - that violence in society is a cause of violence on television. But this answer confirms that violence on TV is, indeed, a cause of violence in society, and not the other way around. So this would support the argument.
(C) There were no violent television programs during the early years of television. The argument doesn't make any comparison of violence in the early years of television vs. violence in later years.
(D) The earlier one is exposed to violence on television, the more profound the effect. The article doesn't discuss the relative ages of people who were exposed to violence on TV.
(E) Increasing one’s amount of leisure time increases one’s inclination to act violently. This doesn't really follow, as you could immediately dispute this claim by stating that the increase in leisure time will lead to the individual watching more television, which will lead to more violence. Probably the second best answer, but (B) directly contradicts the claim and is a better answer.

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21 Sep 2010, 18:03
I go with D.

(D) The earlier one is exposed to violence on television, the more profound the effect.
Since television (and violent programming) reached urban areas earlier than rural areas, the growth in homicide rates in urban areas began significantly earlier than the growth in homicide rates in rural areas.
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21 Sep 2010, 18:06
siyer wrote:
I go with D.

(D) The earlier one is exposed to violence on television, the more profound the effect.
Since television (and violent programming) reached urban areas earlier than rural areas, the growth in homicide rates in urban areas began significantly earlier than the growth in homicide rates in rural areas.

But the time difference between receiving TV and the increase in homicide rates was identical (4 years) for both areas. The article doesn't discuss the age of violent offenders.
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21 Sep 2010, 18:59
TehJay wrote:
siyer wrote:
I go with D.

(D) The earlier one is exposed to violence on television, the more profound the effect.
Since television (and violent programming) reached urban areas earlier than rural areas, the growth in homicide rates in urban areas began significantly earlier than the growth in homicide rates in rural areas.

But the time difference between receiving TV and the increase in homicide rates was identical (4 years) for both areas. The article doesn't discuss the age of violent offenders.

I don't see how the time difference of 4 years matters.

Urban homicide rates began increasing in 1958, about four years earlier than a similar increase in rural homicide rates began. So, rural homicide rates increased in 1962.

Television sets became popular in urban households about four years earlier than in rural households

This does not give any exact year in which TV sets became popular(in urban or rural households).

All we know is that both, homicide rates and popularity of television, increased in urban areas first followed by rural areas 4 years later , BUT not necessarily in the same 4 years.

Anyways, I can see how option D speaks about how early in life a person is exposed to violence. Yes, the argument does not mention ages. So D is out.

B seems to the best option as it directly blames television as a cause of the violence in society.

Great question Noburu.
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21 Sep 2010, 20:54
noboru wrote:
Columnist: The advent of television helps to explain why the growth in homicide rates in urban areas began significantly earlier than the growth in homicide rates in rural areas. Television sets became popular in urban households about four years earlier than in rural households. Urban homicide rates began increasing in 1958, about four years earlier than a similar increase in rural homicide rates began.
Which one of the following, if true, most support the columnist’s argument?

(A) In places where the number of violent television programs is low, the homicide rates are also low.
this implies it's not the advent of tv but the violent programs that caused homicide
(B) The portrayal of violence on television is a cause, not an effect of the violence in society.
-correct-IMO. violence shown tv caused homicide.
(C) There were no violent television programs during the early years of television.
(D) The earlier one is exposed to violence on television, the more profound the effect.
(E) Increasing one’s amount of leisure time increases one’s inclination to act violently.

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22 Sep 2010, 02:52
A for me.
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22 Sep 2010, 03:16
siyer wrote:
TehJay wrote:
siyer wrote:
I go with D.

(D) The earlier one is exposed to violence on television, the more profound the effect.
Since television (and violent programming) reached urban areas earlier than rural areas, the growth in homicide rates in urban areas began significantly earlier than the growth in homicide rates in rural areas.

But the time difference between receiving TV and the increase in homicide rates was identical (4 years) for both areas. The article doesn't discuss the age of violent offenders.

I don't see how the time difference of 4 years matters.

Urban homicide rates began increasing in 1958, about four years earlier than a similar increase in rural homicide rates began. So, rural homicide rates increased in 1962.

Television sets became popular in urban households about four years earlier than in rural households

This does not give any exact year in which TV sets became popular(in urban or rural households).

All we know is that both, homicide rates and popularity of television, increased in urban areas first followed by rural areas 4 years later , BUT not necessarily in the same 4 years.

Anyways, I can see how option D speaks about how early in life a person is exposed to violence. Yes, the argument does not mention ages. So D is out.

B seems to the best option as it directly blames television as a cause of the violence in society.

Great question Noburu.

The article says that the two areas had the same increase in violence, the same amount of time after receiving television. If (D) were relevant, then the areas that received television first would have a more profound increase in crime, not the same increase as the areas which received television later on.

Honestly, (D) is so unconnected with the article that I'm having trouble articulating why it doesn't work. Basically any argument you can make which uses (D) as evidence isn't actually touched on by the article (age of exposure to television, severity of increase in violence), and I'm having difficulty drawing the connections you are.
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22 Sep 2010, 03:59
An argument is not the same thing as the conclusion. We use an argument to arrive at a conclusion.

The conclusion here is Television influences homicide.

A is a supporting statement for the conclusion. A is incorrect as

B supports the author's argument.
The argument is esablishing the relationship between advent of Television with the increase of Homicide rates.

C is not really relevant as it states a fact but does not connect it to the argument or the conclusion.

D can be rejected as C.

E out of scope as it brings in a third concept i.e. leisure time.

Hence the correct answer is B.
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22 Sep 2010, 08:10
I think we are comparing an increase in homicide rates in urban versus increase in homicide rates in rural. We are not looking for comparisons by how much the increase in homicide rates shot up in each area. So as long as we see an increase against an increase we should be good.

D says that an increase occurs earlier the exposure to television happens and deeper is the effect. So if city A was exposed to crime rate before city B it would have deeper effect wrt to crime rates proportional to the time difference.

Proposing an alternate way of thought i feel option B is a half right and half wrong answer.

(B) The portrayal of violence on television is a cause, not an effect of the violence in society.

It correctly mentions that violence is caused by television but it negates it as an effect on society. But i guess the effect on society is spoken about here. Now we are making an assumption that society is part of the people in the different areas and it combines both urban and rural areas. It gets difficult to differentiate and latter part is a weak statement.

Hence i feel D is a strong contender.
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22 Sep 2010, 09:28
sauravdas wrote:
I think we are comparing an increase in homicide rates in urban versus increase in homicide rates in rural. We are not looking for comparisons by how much the increase in homicide rates shot up in each area. So as long as we see an increase against an increase we should be good.

D says that an increase occurs earlier the exposure to television happens and deeper is the effect. So if city A was exposed to crime rate before city B it would have deeper effect wrt to crime rates proportional to the time difference.

Proposing an alternate way of thought i feel option B is a half right and half wrong answer.

(B) The portrayal of violence on television is a cause, not an effect of the violence in society.

It correctly mentions that violence is caused by television but it negates it as an effect on society. But i guess the effect on society is spoken about here. Now we are making an assumption that society is part of the people in the different areas and it combines both urban and rural areas. It gets difficult to differentiate and latter part is a weak statement.

Hence i feel D is a strong contender.

You're misunderstanding B. B explicitly states that violence on television CAUSES violence in society - which is exactly what the article is claiming. It says that violence on television is not an EFFECT of violence in society, which is the reverse. Cause -> effect. If violence on television were an effect of violence in society, then that would mean that an increase in violence in society is directly causing an increase in violence on television.
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22 Sep 2010, 09:42
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TehJay wrote:
sauravdas wrote:
I think we are comparing an increase in homicide rates in urban versus increase in homicide rates in rural. We are not looking for comparisons by how much the increase in homicide rates shot up in each area. So as long as we see an increase against an increase we should be good.

D says that an increase occurs earlier the exposure to television happens and deeper is the effect. So if city A was exposed to crime rate before city B it would have deeper effect wrt to crime rates proportional to the time difference.

Proposing an alternate way of thought i feel option B is a half right and half wrong answer.

(B) The portrayal of violence on television is a cause, not an effect of the violence in society.

It correctly mentions that violence is caused by television but it negates it as an effect on society. But i guess the effect on society is spoken about here. Now we are making an assumption that society is part of the people in the different areas and it combines both urban and rural areas. It gets difficult to differentiate and latter part is a weak statement.

Hence i feel D is a strong contender.

You're misunderstanding B. B explicitly states that violence on television CAUSES violence in society - which is exactly what the article is claiming. It says that violence on television is not an EFFECT of violence in society, which is the reverse. Cause -> effect. If violence on television were an effect of violence in society, then that would mean that an increase in violence in society is directly causing an increase in violence on television.

Agreed on C. But are we really evaluating the effect on the society. It sounds too far fetched to me and over stretched option.

D is correctly speaking about the time difference which what the author's argument is all about. What do you think?
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22 Sep 2010, 10:18
sauravdas wrote:
TehJay wrote:
sauravdas wrote:
I think we are comparing an increase in homicide rates in urban versus increase in homicide rates in rural. We are not looking for comparisons by how much the increase in homicide rates shot up in each area. So as long as we see an increase against an increase we should be good.

D says that an increase occurs earlier the exposure to television happens and deeper is the effect. So if city A was exposed to crime rate before city B it would have deeper effect wrt to crime rates proportional to the time difference.

Proposing an alternate way of thought i feel option B is a half right and half wrong answer.

(B) The portrayal of violence on television is a cause, not an effect of the violence in society.

It correctly mentions that violence is caused by television but it negates it as an effect on society. But i guess the effect on society is spoken about here. Now we are making an assumption that society is part of the people in the different areas and it combines both urban and rural areas. It gets difficult to differentiate and latter part is a weak statement.

Hence i feel D is a strong contender.

You're misunderstanding B. B explicitly states that violence on television CAUSES violence in society - which is exactly what the article is claiming. It says that violence on television is not an EFFECT of violence in society, which is the reverse. Cause -> effect. If violence on television were an effect of violence in society, then that would mean that an increase in violence in society is directly causing an increase in violence on television.

Agreed on C. But are we really evaluating the effect on the society. It sounds too far fetched to me and over stretched option.

D is correctly speaking about the time difference which what the author's argument is all about. What do you think?

I don't agree. Here's how I interpreted the author's argument. She looked at an issue - there was an increase in the homicide rates of both urban and rural areas, but the urban area's increase happened first, in 1958. Why? Then she looked at common occurrences of both areas and saw that urban areas received televisions in 1954, while rural areas received televisions in 1958 (four years later). Then she saw that four years after the urban areas received TV, their homicide rates went up, and four years after the rural areas received TV, their homicide rates ALSO went up, and by a similar amount.

To me, the conclusion the author is drawing is that, based on this parallel, it was the televisions that caused the increases in homicide rates: the urban areas had a homicide increase first because they received TV first. This is what (B) says. She explicitly states that the homicide rates went up by a SIMILAR amount, while if (D) were true, the homicide rate in the urban areas should have gone up MORE than the rate in the rural areas, due to receiving the television earlier.

You raise good points though, your post really made me rethink my argument. I'm sticking with B.

Last edited by TehJay on 22 Sep 2010, 10:32, edited 1 time in total.
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22 Sep 2010, 10:29
wow so roughly 2 A, 4 B and 4D....
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22 Sep 2010, 10:33
shaselai wrote:
wow so roughly 2 A, 4 B and 4D....

It has to be B
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22 Sep 2010, 13:23
B Used POE and narrowed down to A & B. First I thought it was A, but then realized that if we say that the television is a cause, we can support the statement that due to advent of television the homicide rate went up.

However, not a very clear question. Not a GMAT standard question. Choices are focusing on violent television programs and the statement says nothing related to these kind of programs !

Statement does not talk about exposure to television being proportional to the homicide rate (A) In places where the number of violent television programs is low, the homicide rates are also low.

Supports that television causes violence (B) The portrayal of violence on television is a cause, not an effect of the violence in society.

Out of scope (C) There were no violent television programs during the early years of television.

Out of scope X(D) The earlier one is exposed to violence on television, the more profound the effect.

Irrelevant X(E) Increasing one’s amount of leisure time increases one’s inclination to act violently.
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22 Sep 2010, 15:21
I will go for B. We are trying to find a relation between homicide rates and watching television. If watching television causes violence in society (and not the logical opposite i.e. violence in society causes production of action/violent programs) then it there is a strong causal relationship between introduction of TV and increase in violence.

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