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# The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a

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Re: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink]

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09 Oct 2012, 22:38
I selected B. Learned that for questions that have survey/data points, the conclusion can't be too generalized. Thanks for the explanations given.
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25 Aug 2013, 11:35
jaituteja wrote:

Hi Jai

I'm happy to help.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
This question is about “sampling” like the technique used in statistic (Quant).
KEY point is: the sample used to generalize the whole set MUST be comprehensive enough.

ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

Fact: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO’s) in a large sample of companies is 57.
Fact: The average age of CEO’s in those same companies 20 years ago was approximately eight years younger.
Conclusion: CEO’s in general tend to be older now.

Which of the following casts the most doubt on the conclusion drawn above?

(A) The dates when the CEO’s assumed their current positions have not been specified.
Wrong. A may weaken or NOT. What if the CEO’s are appointed to their position at younger ages. Thus, A does not weaken the conclusion.

(B) No information is given concerning the average number of years that CEO’s remain in office.
Wrong. The average number of years in office DIFFERS from how old the CEO’s are when they are appointed to their positions.

(C) The information is based only on companies that have been operating for at least 20 years.
Correct. C weakens the conclusion by showing that the sample used to GENERALIZE the conclusion is not comprehensive. The argument just uses information of companies operating for at least 20 years to make a conclusion for every CEO’s.

(D) Only approximate information is given concerning the average age of the CEO’s 20 years ago.
Wrong. The conclusion may be still correct if the information of the average age of the CEO’s 20 years ago is COMPRESHENSIVE enough. It means the sample can represent the whole set.

(E) Information concerning the exact number of companies in the sample has not been given.
Wrong. Out of scope. We do not need information about how many companies in the sample. There are 20, or 200. We don’t know. Thus, E does not help.

Hope it helps.
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09 Oct 2013, 09:30
Why not E. If the number of the companies used for base of calculation of the average is different between the years, then the conclusion is wrong and weaken the argument. Still C is not understandable as it does not give us any hidden assumption regarding generalization of the companies to all market. I think we can not make such assumption.
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09 Oct 2013, 20:29
Fariz wrote:
Why not E. If the number of the companies used for base of calculation of the average is different between the years, then the conclusion is wrong and weaken the argument. Still C is not understandable as it does not give us any hidden assumption regarding generalization of the companies to all market. I think we can not make such assumption.

(E) is not correct.
The argument gives the following information:
"The average age of chief executive officers (CEO’s) in a large sample of companies is 57. The average age of CEO’s in those same companies 20 years ago was approximately eight years younger."

We know the sample is large and the same companies were a part of the research 20 yrs back too. As for the number of companies being a bit different, I don't see how that is a problem - say there were 100 companies last time and 90 this time (10 shut shop). These 90 are still representative of the previous 100.

The problem is that from this data we are generalizing - CEO’s in general tend to be older now.

What if these companies (which are at least 20 yrs old) are not representative of all companies. Then we cannot generalize. What if the newer companies have very young CEOs? Hence (C) weakens the argument.
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Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for $199 Veritas Prep Reviews Intern Joined: 04 Sep 2013 Posts: 3 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 8 Re: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink] ### Show Tags 10 Oct 2013, 00:12 Thanks. Please advice me how to improve my verbal understanding skills. I would like to register for the Veritas Prep courses. Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor Joined: 16 Oct 2010 Posts: 7125 Location: Pune, India Followers: 2136 Kudos [?]: 13655 [0], given: 222 Re: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink] ### Show Tags 10 Oct 2013, 20:48 Fariz wrote: Thanks. Please advice me how to improve my verbal understanding skills. I would like to register for the Veritas Prep courses. I have responded to your pm. Let me know if you need any other details. _________________ Karishma Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor My Blog Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for$199

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Re: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2013, 19:45
Good question Sudipto... I fell for B. Good reasoning by karishma. Now i know that wenevr I get a sample data question I am gonna view it conscientiously.
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The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2014, 08:26
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he average age of chief executive officers (CEO’s) in a large sample of companies is 57. The average age of CEO’s in those same companies 20 years ago was approximately eight years younger. On the basis of those data, it can be concluded that CEO’s in general tend to be older now.
Which of the following casts the most doubt on the conclusion drawn above?

Good question and this sort of reasoning is used in real life also.
Conclusion : CEOs are older now in general .
Arrived at this conclusion : By comparing ages of a specific group.
Assumption : This particular group is representative of the overall industry 20 years ago and even now.

Break this and you have your weaken answer. Say the sample excludes all the companies whose ceo is in his 20s. Then it is invalidated as it is not accurate representation of entire industry.

(A) The dates when the CEO’s assumed their current positions have not been specified. ---> I am not interested in writing history of a company . My conclusion is about ceos are older
(B) No information is given concerning the average number of years that CEO’s remain in office. ---> It is not talking about sample and ceos remain in office so what do get about if they are getting older or younger. Nothing
(C) The information is based only on companies that have been operating for at least 20 years. --> Breaks the sample. Think of it this way, in the last 20 years, if so many companies with young ceos have started operations then the sample is not taking these new changes but sticking to its old companies that were there 20 years back. So average age of ceo at present is lesser. Thus, this is right answer.
(D) Only approximate information is given concerning the average age of the CEO’s 20 years ago. --> ofs
(E) Information concerning the exact number of companies in the sample has not been given. --> ofs
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20 Oct 2014, 00:38
Great explanation!Thanks!+1
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20 Oct 2014, 11:17
for many of us the debate will be b/w C & E … If we look carefully at E it just states that the number has not been given
the answer can be 2 or 20000 in one case it strengthens but in the other case it weakens … thus E cannot be the correct weakener
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17 Feb 2016, 19:06
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08 May 2016, 03:04
C point out that companies in sample are older. NOT CEO older.

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Re: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a   [#permalink] 08 May 2016, 03:04

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