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Re: A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and [#permalink]
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I would choose option D.

Lets break it into two pieces:-
1)When people are unhappy about their marriages,
2)they tend to adopt a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses.

1 is responsoble for 2 which is contrary to the conclusion in the para. :-)
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Can someone explain why A is incorrect?
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I also think it’s D.

A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and waking cycles differ from those of the other partner reveals that such couples share fewer activities with each other and have more violent arguments than do couples in a relationship in which both partners follow the same sleeping and waking patterns. Thus, mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously jeopardize a marriage.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?


(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments than can jeopardize the couple's marriage. (The argument concerns the impact of sw cycles, so this statement is irrelevant)

(B) The sleeping and waking cycles of individuals tend to vary from season to season. (Seasonality is not important for the argument)

(C) The individuals who have sleeping and waking cycles that differ significantly from those of their spouses tend to argue little with colleagues at work. (the argument concerns marriage, not work relationship)

(D) People in unhappy marriages have been found to express hostility by adopting a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses. (Yes! Here it is. Argument says that mismatched sleeping and waking cycles are one of the causes that could jeopardize a marriage. This statement, however, tells that this is not a cause, but an effect; i.e. unhappy marriage -> adopting of different sw cycles)

(E) According to a recent study, most people's sleeping and waking cycles can be controlled and modified easily. (says nothing about the effect of sw cycles on marriage)
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fozzzy wrote:
Can someone explain why A is incorrect?


A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and waking cycles differ from those of the other partner reveals that such couples share fewer activities with each other and have more violent arguments than do couples in a relationship in which both partners follow the same sleeping and waking patterns. Thus, mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously jeopardize a marriage.

This is one of the all time favorite things for the gmat.
This is a case of cause/reaction that can we reversed. What if the unhappy couples decided to sleep at different times, so that mismatched sleeping cycles are a RESULT of an unhappy marriage (not the cause)? The argument says "mismatched sleeping ==> jeopardized marriage", but what of "mismatched sleeping <== jeopardized marriage"

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments than can jeopardize the couple's marriage.
The argument does not states that "Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns" do not have arguments, it states that have FEWER arguments, so option A does not weaken the argument because the argument does not rely on this extreme position:
"Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns have no argument (...)"
(D) People in unhappy marriages have been found to express hostility by adopting a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses.
D is the correct answer because exposes the other possibility (that things happen the other way round).

Originally posted by Zarrolou on 24 Jul 2013, 04:57.
Last edited by Bunuel on 10 Oct 2018, 04:00, edited 2 times in total.
EDITED.
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Re: A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and [#permalink]
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A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and waking cycles differ from those of the other partner reveals that such couples share fewer activities with each other and have more violent arguments than do couples in a relationship in which both partners follow the same sleeping and waking patterns. Thus, mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously jeopardize a marriage.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple's marriage.
--The argument is about those couples that have different sleeping cycles. This option is out of scope

(B) The sleeping and waking cycles of individuals tend to vary from season to season.
--Out of scope

(C) The individuals who have sleeping and waking cycles that differ significantly from those of their spouses tend to argue little with colleagues at work.
--Argument with colleagues is out of scope

(D) People in unhappy marriages have been found to express hostility by adopting a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses.
--Correct. This reverses the causality i.e. sleeping cycles don't cause unhappiness but in-fact it is the opposite

(E) According to a recent study, most people's sleeping and waking cycles can be controlled and modified easily.
--Out of scope.
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Taku wrote:
A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and waking cycles differ from those of the other partner reveals that such couples share fewer activities with each other and have more violent arguments than do couples in a relationship in which both partners follow the same sleeping and waking patterns. Thus, mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously jeopardize a marriage.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?
(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple's marriage.

(B) The sleeping and waking cycles of individuals tend to vary from season to season.

(C) The individuals who have sleeping and waking cycles that differ significantly from those of their spouses tend to argue little with colleagues at work.

(D) People in unhappy marriages have been found to express hostility by adopting a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses.

(E) According to a recent study, most people's sleeping and waking cycles can be controlled and modified easily.


Conclusion: mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously jeopardize a marriage

That's not the case something else jeopardizes the marriage.

Now if we look at the options, one could have been down to A and D
(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple's marriage.
so its changing the condition itself, they have same sleeping and waking patterns, IMO makes the case different from what we are discussing.

(D) People in unhappy marriages have been found to express hostility by adopting a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses.
so Even when they have different sleeping and waking cycles, it is the hostility which is jeopardizing the marriage.
Correct Answer.
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Re: A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and [#permalink]
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Quote:
A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and waking cycles differ from those of the other partner reveals that such couples share fewer activities with each other and have more violent arguments than do couples in a relationship in which both partners follow the same sleeping and waking patterns. Thus, mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously jeopardize a marriage.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?


Conclusion: Mismatched sleeping and waking cycles cause marriage problems.
A weakner would be reverse statement of this. Marriage problems cause mismatched sleeping and waking cycles.

Quote:
(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple's marriage.

We are interested in married couples with different sleeping and waking patterns.

Quote:
(B) The sleeping and waking cycles of individuals tend to vary from season to season.

We are specifically talking about married couples. We are not interested in sleeping and waking cycles of 'Individuals'.

Quote:
(C) The individuals who have sleeping and waking cycles that differ significantly from those of their spouses tend to argue little with colleagues at work.

The individuals's behaviour towards colleagues at work is immaterial.

Quote:
(D) People in unhappy marriages have been found to express hostility by adopting a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses.

Correct

Quote:
(E) According to a recent study, most people's sleeping and waking cycles can be controlled and modified easily.

It is irrelevant whether most people's sleeping and waking cycles can be controlled and modified easily or not.
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Dear VeritasKarishma GMATGuruNY IanStewart MartyTargetTestPrep AtlanticGMAT,

Why is choice A. wrong?

IMO, choice A. suggests that an alternative cause exists apart from mismatched sleeping cycle.
In some questions, presenting an alternative cause weakens the argument. Why is it not the case here?
I'm very confused.

Dear GMATNinja,
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple's marriage.

The author does not claim that mismatched sleep cycles are the ONLY cause of arguments that can jeopardize a marriage. Partners with the same sleeping/waking patterns might also have serious arguments, but does having mismatched sleep cycles lead to an increase in violent arguments? Choice (A) doesn't suggest otherwise, so it does not weaken the argument. Eliminate (A).

Do you mean that presenting an alternative cause doesn't weaken the causal argument at all??
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varotkorn wrote:
Dear VeritasKarishma GMATGuruNY IanStewart MartyTargetTestPrep AtlanticGMAT,

Why is choice A. wrong?

IMO, choice A. suggests that an alternative cause exists apart from mismatched sleeping cycle.
In some questions, presenting an alternative cause weakens the argument. Why is it not the case here?
I'm very confused.

Dear GMATNinja,
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple's marriage.

The author does not claim that mismatched sleep cycles are the ONLY cause of arguments that can jeopardize a marriage. Partners with the same sleeping/waking patterns might also have serious arguments, but does having mismatched sleep cycles lead to an increase in violent arguments? Choice (A) doesn't suggest otherwise, so it does not weaken the argument. Eliminate (A).

Do you mean that presenting an alternative cause doesn't weaken the causal argument at all??


The conclusion says "A causes B". It doesn't say "Only A causes B"
Option (A) says "Other things can also cause B". It does not conflict with our conclusion. We have to find whether A causes B or not.
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varotkorn wrote:
Why is choice A. wrong?

IMO, choice A. suggests that an alternative cause exists apart from mismatched sleeping cycle.
In some questions, presenting an alternative cause weakens the argument. Why is it not the case here?
I'm very confused.

Dear GMATNinja,
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple's marriage.

The author does not claim that mismatched sleep cycles are the ONLY cause of arguments that can jeopardize a marriage. Partners with the same sleeping/waking patterns might also have serious arguments, but does having mismatched sleep cycles lead to an increase in violent arguments? Choice (A) doesn't suggest otherwise, so it does not weaken the argument. Eliminate (A).

Do you mean that presenting an alternative cause doesn't weaken the causal argument at all??

There are multiple key things to notice here.

The most important thing to notice is the effect of the cause mentioned in the argument. The effect is not exactly violent arguments. Notice that the passage says that couples with differing sleep cycles have "more violent arguments." So, the effect of the cause is an increase in the number of violent arguments. So, the argument implies that there are causes of violent arguments other than differences in sleep cycles.

Another thing to notice is that, since the effect is "more violent arguments," choice (A) does not provide an alternate cause, not even an implied alternate cause, because choice (A) is about people "occasionally" having violent arguments, not about people having "more violent arguments."

One key takeaway here is that an effect of a cause mentioned in an argument is not always a discrete effect. Sometimes, the effect of the cause mentioned is a change in degree or amount of something.
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varotkorn wrote:
Dear GMATGuruNY,

Why is choice A. wrong?


Generally:
If an answer choice for a strengthen/weaken/evaluate CR includes the word some -- or a similar word such as sometimes or occasionally -- the answer choice will be WRONG.
A: Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple's marriage.
Here, occasionally could mean ONCE EVERY TEN YEARS.
As.a result, option A could serve to STRENGTHEN the argument:
Whereas the couples in A might have a bad argument once every ten years, the couples with mismatched cycles share fewer activities and have more violent arguments AS A GENERAL RULE -- strengthening the conclusion that mismatched cycles can jeopardize a marriage.
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Re: A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and [#permalink]
Very informative and very helpful . i really appreciate your hardwork for sharing this us .
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varotkorn wrote:
Dear MartyTargetTestPrep,

Your explanation is pure gem! Very crystal clear sir. Thanks again :)

I just wonder whether you have come across an OG question in which an alternate cause does NOT weaken the causal argument?

Some expert says causal argument does allow for alternate explanation. (https://gmatclub.com/forum/?href=-og-203-i ... l?start=15)
Quote:
Heavy smoking causes lung cancer.
In this case, the first thing you've listed above is meaningless; e.g., if you show me a bunch of people who have lung cancer from, say, working in a coal mine, that does nothing to weaken the case. On the other hand, the second thing is a thing: if you find me a bunch of heavy smokers who never developed lung cancer, then you've got something there.


However, an alternative cause DOES weaken in this OG (https://gmatclub.com/forum/journalist-i ... 02509.html)

In light of contradicting evidence, I'm VERY confused here.
How can I know which causal argument allows for alternative cause and which does not?

Could you please provide us some guidance?

I don't recall seeing a question in which an alternate cause is not the weakener in a cause-and-effect Weaken question. However, that I haven't seen one doesn't mean that no such question exists or could exist.

In any case, here's the thing. You have to consider the specifics of each scenario.

GMAT Critical Reasoning is not a simple game. It's fairly sophisticated. So, arriving at correct answers, at least in answering higher difficulty Critical Reasoning questions, is often going to take more than simply pointing out standard patterns. So, to master Critical Reasoning, you have to consider multiple aspects of the logical relationships between facts.

For instance, let's think about the coal mining and lung cancer scenario. If we take 200 people and 100 of them smoke, and the ones who smoke all have lung cancer, while the 100 who don't smoke don't have lung cancer, then we have a case for believing that smoking causes lung cancer.

Now, what if someone says that coal mining also causes lung cancer, or that radiation also causes lung cancer? These are alternative causes of lung cancer, but do they matter? We have to consider the specifics of the situation.

Do we have information indicating that the 100 people who smoke also mine coal, and that the 100 who don't smoke do not mine coal? In such a case, we would have reason to wonder whether smoking or coal mining was the cause of the difference in health outcomes.

However, on its own, the statement that coal mining causes lung cancer would not really weaken our argument. If we don't have a reason to believe that the 100 people who developed lung cancer were mining coal, then we don't really have an alternate cause for the observed difference in health incomes. We have another cause for lung cancer IN GENERAL, but not an alternate cause for the difference in health outcomes observed in those 200 people.

Right?

So, the key takeaway here is that, to rock Critical Reasoning, YOU HAVE TO REASON. You aren't going to rock Critical Reasoning by simplistically applying basic rules over and over. You have to consider each situation on its own and analyze the logical effects of the facts presented. So, yes, it's helpful to understand that support for a cause-and-effect conclusion can be weakened by information indicating that it may be the case that an alternate cause causes the observed effect. At the same time, you have to incorporate such a concept into a methodology that also involves sophisticated logical analysis.
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A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and [#permalink]
As per the argument, mismatch sleep cycles-> couples share fewer activities + more arguments-> jeopardizes relation ship

we need a statement which breaks the above chain

(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple's marriage.
the argument never said that the couples with similar sleep cycle never have arguments. So this statement doesn't weaken the argument

(B) The sleeping and waking cycles of individuals tend to vary from season to season.
sleep cycles variation, in general, is not the scope of the discussion of the argument

(C) The individuals who have sleeping and waking cycles that differ significantly from those of their spouses tend to argue little with colleagues at work.
how the couple reacts at the workplace is not the scope of the discussion of the argument

(D) People in unhappy marriages have been found to express hostility by adopting a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses.
this breaks the relation stated in the argument. It rather says, jeopardizes relation ship -> mismatch sleep cycles

(E) According to a recent study, most people's sleeping and waking cycles can be controlled and modified easily.
How to alter sleep cycles is not the scope of the discussion of the argument

IMO D
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Re: A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and [#permalink]
Conclusion: “mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously jeopardize a marriage” [, drawing on the point that when partners have different sleeping/waking cycles -> share fewer activities and more arguments (than do couples who follow the same sleeping/waking patterns]
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple's marriage.
Tempting but no. The degree of this seems too mild, compared to that of D. Okay, so these couples that have the same sleeping/waking patterns occasionally have fights. The conclusion within the argument is a lot stronger (i.e., “mismatched sleeping/waking can SERIOUSLY JEOPARDIZE a marriage”)

(B) The sleeping and waking cycles of individuals tend to vary from season to season.
Out of scope – this doesn’t address the core of the conclusion at all. If it were true or false, the conclusion would still hold within the argument.

(C) The individuals who have sleeping and waking cycles that differ significantly from those of their spouses tend to argue little with colleagues at work.
Strengthener, if anything. They have different sleeping cycles, and since they don’t argue with their colleagues, they argue with their partners.

(D) People in unhappy marriages have been found to express hostility by adopting a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses.
Bingo; reversal answer. This shows that it’s not the sleeping/waking cycles that cause problems (and “seriously jeopardize”) a marriage, but the other way around. It’s the bad marriage that causes the different sleeping/waking patterns.

(E) According to a recent study, most people's sleeping and waking cycles can be controlled and modified easily.
Out of scope – there’s a clear (misguided) causal relationship within the conclusion: mismatched sleeping/waking -> jeopardize marriage. This option does not hit on either the cause or the effect. But let’s go down the rabbit hole and see. Will people with mismatched sleeping/waking cycles even recognize that it is cycles that are jeopardizing their marriage? Are they willing to do something about it even if they realize that it’s a thing? There’s a lot of logical leaps you need to make. D is the clearest with the reversal of logic answer.
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Re: A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and [#permalink]
A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and waking cycles differ from those of the other partner reveals that such couples share fewer activities with each other and have more violent arguments than do couples in a relationship in which both partners follow the same sleeping and waking patterns. Thus, mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously jeopardize a marriage.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?


(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple's marriage. X

OK but we need to vehemently attack the idea that cycles can seriously damage a marriage.

(B) The sleeping and waking cycles of individuals tend to vary from season to season. X

OK, but it’s unclear what effect this is supposed to have on the argument. Are we saying that we captured this evidence at the wrong time and if we were to do so at another time that we wouldn’t have seen this effect? It’s hard to say. Be careful not to draw up convoluted stories.

(C) The individuals who have sleeping and waking cycles that differ significantly from those of their spouses tend to argue little with colleagues at work. X

Keep the focus on marriages. Who cares about work-place relationships.

(D) People in unhappy marriages have been found to express hostility by adopting a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses. CORRECT

This is a classic cause and effect argument. The conclusion is that mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously jeopardize a marriage. However, the author fails to consider the possibility of reverse causality. i.e. The mismatched cycles are a consequence/effect of what is a poor and dysfunctional marriage to begin with.

(E) According to a recent study, most people's sleeping and waking cycles can be controlled and modified easily. X

HOW cycles can be controlled is inconsequential.
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Re: A study of marital relationships in which one partner's sleeping and [#permalink]
The answer is C,The individuals who have sleeping and waking cycles that differ significantly from those of their spouses tend to argue little with colleagues at work. Because argument with colleagues is not in the Passage.

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