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# A recent study of perfect pitch—the ability to identify the pitch of

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VP
Joined: 30 Jan 2016
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A recent study of perfect pitch—the ability to identify the pitch of  [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2018, 08:23
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A recent study of perfect pitch—the ability to identify the pitch of an isolated musical note—found that a high percentage of people who have perfect pitch are related to someone else who has it. Among those without perfect pitch, the percentage was much lower. This shows that having perfect pitch is a consequence of genetic factors.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

(A) People who have relatives with perfect pitch generally receive no more musical training than do others.
(B) All of the researchers conducting the study had perfect pitch.
(C) People with perfect pitch are more likely than others to choose music as a career.
(D) People with perfect pitch are more likely than others to make sure that their children receive musical training.
(E) People who have some training in music are more likely to have perfect pitch than those with no such training.

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Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 78
Location: India
Re: A recent study of perfect pitch—the ability to identify the pitch of  [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2018, 09:57
Akela wrote:
A recent study of perfect pitch—the ability to identify the pitch of an isolated musical note—found that a high percentage of people who have perfect pitch are related to someone else who has it. Among those without perfect pitch, the percentage was much lower. This shows that having perfect pitch is a consequence of genetic factors.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

(A) People who have relatives with perfect pitch generally receive no more musical training than do others.
(B) All of the researchers conducting the study had perfect pitch.
(C) People with perfect pitch are more likely than others to choose music as a career.
(D) People with perfect pitch are more likely than others to make sure that their children receive musical training.
(E) People who have some training in music are more likely to have perfect pitch than those with no such training.

Please provide the explanation of the choices
Intern
Joined: 01 Dec 2017
Posts: 14
Location: India
GMAT 1: 520 Q42 V22
GMAT 2: 490 Q47 V13
GPA: 2.4
Re: A recent study of perfect pitch—the ability to identify the pitch of  [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2018, 22:24
can anyone explain for this question
Intern
Joined: 18 May 2015
Posts: 12
GMAT 1: 580 Q47 V23
Re: A recent study of perfect pitch—the ability to identify the pitch of  [#permalink]

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02 Dec 2018, 21:23
This is an example of cause-effect type in critical reasoning.

The premise states that " having perfect pitch is a consequence of genetic factors".

Now to solidify this ,in the case of cause effect we need to show that there is no alternative cause which could have this effect.

Option A does exactly that... it shows us that alternate cause(more training than others) is not the cause for perfect pith.
(B) All of the researchers conducting the study had perfect pitch.--Not relevant
(C) People with perfect pitch are more likely than others to choose music as a career.--Again not relevant
(D) People with perfect pitch are more likely than others to make sure that their children receive musical training.-- This Opposite answer hurts the argument by suggesting that children whose
parents have perfect pitch receive more musical training, and may develop perfect pitch as a result
of such training. Because alternate causes weaken the argument, this type of wrong answer choice appears frequently in Strengthen questions.
(E) People who have some training in music are more likely to have perfect pitch than those with no such training.--If anything, this answer may hurt the argument by showing that having perfect
pitch is also correlated with (and may thus be the result of) musical training. However, because we
do not know if such training is the result of having relatives who have perfect pitch, this answer does
not contribute to the causal explanation of the correlation cited by the study.
VP
Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 1060
Re: A recent study of perfect pitch—the ability to identify the pitch of  [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2018, 09:37
Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen, CE. The correct answer choice is (A)

The conclusion of the argument suggests that having a perfect pitch is a consequence of genetic
factors:

Premise: A person who has perfect pitch has a higher chance of being related to
someone else who has it than a person without perfect pitch

Conclusion: Having a perfect pitch is a consequence of genetic factors

The relationship between premise and conclusion is a causal one, which can be diagrammed as:

GF = genetic factors
PF = perfect pitch

Cause ..... Effect
GF -----> ---PF

As with all causal arguments, you must critically evaluate the causality described in the conclusion.
The conclusion, which is easy to spot due to the conclusion indicator “this shows that,” is based on
a study that observed a correlation between having perfect pitch and having a relative who also has
perfect pitch. Correlations between two variables do not automatically imply that one causes the
other, as they may be coincidental effects of another cause, among other reasons. For instance, what
if people who have relatives with perfect pitch are more likely to attend concerts, study the piano,
or receive musical training? To strengthen the cause and effect relationship, look for answers that
eliminate such alternate causes and show that nothing else but genetics can explain why those who
have perfect pitch tend to be related to someone else who has it.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice, as it strengthens the argument by
eliminating an alternate cause for the stated effect. If people who have relatives with perfect pitch
are no more likely to receive superior musical training, their perfect pitch cannot be the result of
such training. Note that this answer choice does not prove the cause and effect relationship—it is
still possible that other causes could account for the stated effect. In Strengthen questions, your
choice should be based upon a comparative analysis between the five answer choices, and the correct
answer choice does not have to prove the conclusion 100% to be correct.

Answer choice (B): Whether the researchers conducting the study had perfect pitch is irrelevant to
our evaluation of the study’s conclusion. This answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (C): Discussing the implications of the stated effect (perfect pitch) is a digression that
neither strengthens nor weakens the causal argument.

Answer choice (D): This Opposite answer hurts the argument by suggesting that children whose
parents have perfect pitch receive more musical training, and may develop perfect pitch as a result
of such training. Because alternate causes weaken the argument, this type of wrong answer choice appears frequently in Strengthen questions.

Answer choice (E): If anything, this answer may hurt the argument by showing that having perfect
pitch is also correlated with (and may thus be the result of) musical training. However, because we
do not know if such training is the result of having relatives who have perfect pitch, this answer does
not contribute to the causal explanation of the correlation cited by the study.
_________________
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Re: A recent study of perfect pitch—the ability to identify the pitch of   [#permalink] 17 Dec 2018, 09:37
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