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# A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significan

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01 Jan 2019, 23:34
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45% (medium)

Question Stats:

67% (01:40) correct 33% (01:49) wrong based on 232 sessions

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A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significantly affect children’s preferences for breakfast cereals. The study compared two groups of children. One group had not watched television, and the other group had watched average amounts of television and its advertising. Both groups strongly preferred the sugary cereals heavily advertised on television.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the argument?

(A) The preferences of children who do not watch television advertising are influenced by the preferences of children who watch the advertising.
(B) The preference for sweets is not a universal trait in humans and can be influenced by environmental factors such as television advertising.
(D) Both groups rejected cereals low in sugar even when these cereals were heavily advertised on television.
(E) Cereal preferences of adults who watch television are known to be significantly different from the cereal preferences of adults who do not watch television.

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Re: A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significan  [#permalink]

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02 Jan 2019, 04:23
1
A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significantly affect children’s preferences for breakfast cereals. The study compared two groups of children. One group had not watched television, and the other group had watched average amounts of television and its advertising. Both groups strongly preferred the sugary cereals heavily advertised on television.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the argument?

NEGATION OF CONCLUSION: television advertising significantly affects children’s preferences for breakfast cereals
We are looking to support this negated conclusion.

(A) The preferences of children who do not watch television advertising are influenced by the preferences of children who watch the advertising.
CORRECT. direct or indirect causes, the television ads did affect the choice of cereals.

(B) The preference for sweets is not a universal trait in humans and can be influenced by environmental factors such as television advertising.
INCORRECT. Both the groups chose the same type of cereals. But one group had watched ads and the other had not. So there was no way that majority of first group would have been stimulated to choose sugary cereals.

INCORRECT. This answer choice is limited to one group. Not the best choice.

(D) Both groups rejected cereals low in sugar even when these cereals were heavily advertised on television.
INCORRECT. It does not support our negated conclusion and says that preference of sugar is the factor rather than television advertising for children selecting cereals.

(E) Cereal preferences of adults who watch television are known to be significantly different from the cereal preferences of adults who do not watch television.
IRRELEVANT
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Re: A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significan  [#permalink]

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02 Jan 2019, 10:32
(A) The preferences of children who do not watch television advertising are influenced by the preferences of children who watch the advertising.
: IMHO is correct, as it shows preferences of children who do not watch television advertising are dependent on preferences of children who watch television advertising so base on transitive relation preference of the former group depends on latter, hence conclusion is weaken

(B) The preference for sweets is not a universal trait in humans and can be influenced by environmental factors such as television advertising.
(D) Both groups rejected cereals low in sugar even when these cereals were heavily advertised on television.
(E) Cereal preferences of adults who watch television are known to be significantly different from the cereal preferences of adults who do not watch television.
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Re: A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significan  [#permalink]

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02 Jan 2019, 21:36
I chose A.

Conclusion : ads don't impact choice of cereals.
Premise : study of 2 groups,first didnt watch TV and ads. Second watched TV and ads of sugary cereal. Both groups preferred sugary cereal.

If the children who don't watch TV are influenced by those who do watch TV and its ads, then ultimately it's TV and ads which is influencing choice of cereals.

B sounds very general. E is talking about adults so out of scope. D is kind of strengthening the argument.

C isn't correct because it doesn't impact the conclusion which is kids are ad agnostic. Maybe they're aware of the cereals from the ads only.

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Re: A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significan  [#permalink]

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03 Jan 2019, 03:15
Nice question.Can get this wrong if we don't think straight.

Conclusion : Television does not affect children cereal eating

Weakening statement : television affects children eating.

A fits the bill.
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Re: A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significan  [#permalink]

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04 Jan 2019, 10:44
Top Contributor
A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significantly affect children’s preferences for breakfast cereals. The study compared two groups of children. One group had not watched television, and the other group had watched average amounts of television and its advertising. Both groups strongly preferred the sugary cereals heavily advertised on television.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the argument?

(A) The preferences of children who do not watch television advertising are influenced by the preferences of children who watch the advertising.
(B) The preference for sweets is not a universal trait in humans and can be influenced by environmental factors such as television advertising.
(D) Both groups rejected cereals low in sugar even when these cereals were heavily advertised on television.
(E) Cereal preferences of adults who watch television are known to be significantly different from the cereal preferences of adults who do not watch television.

A student asked me to comment on this question.

PREMISE: Two groups: TV watchers and non-TV watchers
PREMISE: Both prefer sugary cereals
CONCLUSION: TV ads have little effect on kids' cereal preferences
ASIDE: The idea here is that, if TV ads have an effect, then the TV watchers should want sugary cereal, and the NON-TV watchers should not want sugary cereal.

As we read the answer choices, we should remind ourselves of the conclusion

(A) The preferences of children who do not watch television advertising are influenced by the preferences of children who watch the advertising.
Does this weaken the conclusion that TV ads have little effect on kids' cereal preferences?
YES!
If the ads affect the TV watchers' cereal choices, and then those same TV watchers go on to influence the NON-TV watchers' cereal preferences, then we can see that the TV ads have (indirectly) influenced the NON-TV watchers.
As such, it seems that the ads HAVE, indeed, influenced both groups of children.

(B) The preference for sweets is not a universal trait in humans and can be influenced by environmental factors such as television advertising.
Does this weaken the conclusion that TV ads have little effect on kids' cereal preferences?
NO.
It just says that TV ads CAN have an effect, but the object of the study is the determine whether the ads actually DO have an effect.
ELIMINATE

Does this weaken the conclusion that TV ads have little effect on kids' cereal preferences?
NO.
The fact that the TV watchers have already seen the ads does not affect the conclusion that TV ads have little effect on kids' cereal preferences
ELIMINATE

(D) Both groups rejected cereals low in sugar even when these cereals were heavily advertised on television.
Does this weaken the conclusion that TV ads have little effect on kids' cereal preferences?
This actually strengthens the argument by suggesting that TV ads have little effect on kids' cereal preferences ALSO WHEN the cereals in question are low in sugar.
ELIMINATE

(E) Cereal preferences of adults who watch television are known to be significantly different from the cereal preferences of adults who do not watch television.
Does this weaken the conclusion that TV ads have little effect on kids' cereal preferences?
NO.
The conclusion is specifically about KIDS' cereal preferences.
The fact that adults behave differently from kids (with regard to cereal preferences) does not affect the CHILD-centered conclusion.

Cheers,
Brent
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Re: A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significan  [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2019, 00:59
Fact - The two groups had the same preference for cereals
Hypothesis - television advertising does not significantly affect children’s preferences for breakfast cereals.

To weaken, find an alternate explanation for the given fact. Why did we see equal preference in the two groups?
Choice A says that Children who watched television told about the cereal ads to the other children. That is why both groups had equal high preference and not because television ads have no influence on children.

The idea here is that from a given fact we can generate multiple hypothesis/ explanations. These arguments focus on just one hypothesis.
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Re: A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significan  [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2019, 01:35
Option A seems to be logically closely connected with the argument and upon which the argument fails, hence A.
Re: A recent study reveals that television advertising does not significan   [#permalink] 07 Jan 2019, 01:35
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