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A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu

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A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 10 Oct 2018, 23:34
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A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year. The program was clearly a success. Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

Which of the following assumptions underlies the argument in the passage?


(A) Cigarettes are detrimental to one’s health; once people understand this, they will quit smoking

(B) The doubling of the price of a pack of cigarettes last year was not the only cause of the student’s altered smoking habits.

(C) The teachers chosen to lead the anti-smoking education program were the most effective teachers in the school system

(D) The number of cigarettes smoked each day by those students who continued to smoke last year did not greatly increase.

(E) School policy enforcers were less vigilant in seeking out smokers last year than they were in previous years


"A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program" Weaken Question

Originally posted by gmatchase on 18 Nov 2012, 10:43.
Last edited by Bunuel on 10 Oct 2018, 23:34, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2012, 08:37
Hi, So here is my thought process behind this....

A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year. The program was clearly a success. Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

So argument is an anti smoking education programme caused a drop in smoking in school.

Which of the following assumptions underlies the argument in the passage?

So what do we need to assume for the argument to be true, but is not mentioned above.


(A) Cigarettes are detrimental to one’s health; once people understand this, they will quit smoking No, you don't need to assume this. It's out of context in this passage - you could easily hold this argument with knowing this

(B) The doubling of the price of a pack of cigarettes last year was not the only cause of the student’s altered smoking habits. Yes this does seem like something I need to know, as if there was this price rise, without knowing the results, we could easily assume this was the only reason for the decline.

(C) The teachers chosen to lead the anti-smoking education program were the most effective teachers in the school system No, we don't need to know this. Even less effective teachers could have an effect.

(D) The number of cigarettes smoked each day by those students who continued to smoke last year did not greatly increase.Not for me. I can easily hold the argument without knowing this or not.

(E) School policy enforcers were less vigilant in seeking out smokers last year than they were in previous yearsNo. This actually weakens the argument if true. The reason for the drop could be simply a drop in catching people, not a drop in smoking
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2013, 07:53
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gmatchase wrote:
A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year. The program was clearly a success. Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

Which of the following assumptions underlies the argument in the passage?

(A) Cigarettes are detrimental to one’s health; once people understand this, they will quit smoking
(B) The doubling of the price of a pack of cigarettes last year was not the only cause of the student’s altered smoking habits.
(C) The teachers chosen to lead the anti-smoking education program were the most effective teachers in the school system
(D) The number of cigarettes smoked each day by those students who continued to smoke last year did not greatly increase.
(E) School policy enforcers were less vigilant in seeking out smokers last year than they were in previous years

Please answer with explanations


Responding to a pm:

First step is to analyze the argument.

Premises:
- A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year.
- Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

Conclusion: The program was clearly a success.

Ok, so the conclusion seems a little far fetched, isn't it? Just because the anti-smoking program was instituted last year and the incidence of smoking decreased last year, doesn't necessarily mean that the program was responsible for the decrease. Right? There could another cause. We are assuming that the program was responsible for the decrease.

Look at the options now.

Option (B) The doubling of the price of a pack of cigarettes last year was not the only cause of the student’s altered smoking habits.

We are assuming that the program was the cause of the student's altered smoking habits i.e. some other thing was certainly not the ONLY cause. If there is a confusion, try to negate it.

The doubling of the price was the only cause of the student’s altered smoking habits.

Now our conclusion just cannot hold. If doubling the price was the ONLY cause, the program cannot be responsible for the decrease. Hence (B) is the assumption.

Notice that (E) is not the assumption.
(E) School policy enforcers were less vigilant in seeking out smokers last year than they were in previous years.
If we negate it, we get

School policy enforcers were not less vigilant in seeking out smokers last year

Our conclusion can still hold. The school policy enforcers were the way they are every year or perhaps they were more vigilant, either way, it is still possible that the program is responsible for the decrease in smoking.
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2016, 20:06
Please clarify if my thoughts are valid.
I began to prethink the assumption that the decrease in no of students smoking on school premises is not sufficient to say that the program worked as students could be smoking outside school premises.Thus I got caught up in option D.
I know option B is the most suitable option,however I am not sure why D is not the correct option
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2016, 21:02
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bhamini1 wrote:
Please clarify if my thoughts are valid.
I began to prethink the assumption that the decrease in no of students smoking on school premises is not sufficient to say that the program worked as students could be smoking outside school premises.Thus I got caught up in option D.
I know option B is the most suitable option,however I am not sure why D is not the correct option


We don't know exactly what the program was supposed to achieve. Was it supposed to decrease the number of smokers or was it supposed to decrease the number of cigarettes consumed per smoker or both?

Negating D:
The number of cigarettes smoked each day by those students who continued to smoke last year did greatly increase.

It says that people who continued to smoke started smoking many more cigarettes. If the aim of the program was to reduce the number of smokers, the program could have been a success. If the program's aim was 'both' (above), it could have been successful.
Hence, it is possible that the conclusion could still hold.

If we negate (B), definitely conclusion doesn't hold. Hence answer is (B)
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2018, 23:31
gmatchase wrote:
A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year. The program was clearly a success. Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

Which of the following assumptions underlies the argument in the passage?


(A) Cigarettes are detrimental to one’s health; once people understand this, they will quit smoking

(B) The doubling of the price of a pack of cigarettes last year was not the only cause of the student’s altered smoking habits.

(C) The teachers chosen to lead the anti-smoking education program were the most effective teachers in the school system

(D) The number of cigarettes smoked each day by those students who continued to smoke last year did not greatly increase.

(E) School policy enforcers were less vigilant in seeking out smokers last year than they were in previous years


Official Explanation:



B

The argument presented is a causal argument. The significant underlying assumption of the argument, therefore, relates to the causal link between the anti-smoking education program and the reduction in smoking on school premises. The argument assumes that the program, and not some other set of circumstances, caused the reduction. It thus assumes that other possible causes— such as an increase in the price of cigarettes— were not substantial contributors to this result. Process of Elimination is effective on this question, as it is on all Critical Reasoning questions. Because the argument hinges on one crucial piece of evidence— a decrease in the incidence of smoking on school premises— you can eliminate all answers that do not speak directly to that reduction. Thus you can eliminate (A), (C), and (D). Choice (E), if true, would weaken the argument and therefore cannot be correct. The best answer is (B).
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A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2018, 16:26
VeritasKarishma wrote:
gmatchase wrote:
A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year. The program was clearly a success. Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

Which of the following assumptions underlies the argument in the passage?

(A) Cigarettes are detrimental to one’s health; once people understand this, they will quit smoking
(B) The doubling of the price of a pack of cigarettes last year was not the only cause of the student’s altered smoking habits.
(C) The teachers chosen to lead the anti-smoking education program were the most effective teachers in the school system
(D) The number of cigarettes smoked each day by those students who continued to smoke last year did not greatly increase.
(E) School policy enforcers were less vigilant in seeking out smokers last year than they were in previous years

Please answer with explanations


Responding to a pm:

First step is to analyze the argument.

Premises:
- A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year.
- Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

Conclusion: The program was clearly a success.

Ok, so the conclusion seems a little far fetched, isn't it? Just because the anti-smoking program was instituted last year and the incidence of smoking decreased last year, doesn't necessarily mean that the program was responsible for the decrease. Right? There could another cause. We are assuming that the program was responsible for the decrease.

Look at the options now.

Option (B) The doubling of the price of a pack of cigarettes last year was not the only cause of the student’s altered smoking habits.

We are assuming that the program was the cause of the student's altered smoking habits i.e. some other thing was certainly not the ONLY cause. If there is a confusion, try to negate it.

The doubling of the price was the only cause of the student’s altered smoking habits.

Now our conclusion just cannot hold. If doubling the price was the ONLY cause, the program cannot be responsible for the decrease. Hence (B) is the assumption.

Notice that (E) is not the assumption.
(E) School policy enforcers were less vigilant in seeking out smokers last year than they were in previous years.
If we negate it, we get

School policy enforcers were not less vigilant in seeking out smokers last year

Our conclusion can still hold. The school policy enforcers were the way they are every year or perhaps they were more vigilant, either way, it is still possible that the program is responsible for the decrease in smoking.


Hi Karishma & Plumber250,

Although I also marked B, I struggled to eliminate E.

Conclusion - The program(EDUCATION) was clearly a success

Premise says that the school had conducted an EDUCATION PROGRAM. It means that they wanted to make student quit smoking by educating them NOT BY OTHER MEANS(counselling, penalising, punishing etc. after catching the students smoking).

If we negate E, the conclusion falls apart. Negating E means that since the staff was vigilant, the school became successful. Hence, the education program did not make the school successful, vigilance did.

E can't be easily eliminated.

Am I missing something!
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Feb 2019, 22:19
The argument is basically that the anti-smoking education program was a success.



A is not correct, it is outside the scope of the passage. The same can be said for C. Also, since we are basing this argument off of the decreased incidences of on premise smoking (the results of the program), the effectiveness of the implementation does not matter. D is not relevant. E actually weakens the argument since if the policy enforcers were less vigilant, it is possible that the number of students smoking did not drop, just fewer were caught. B is the right answer, since it informs us that another major factor that could have lead to the drop in on premise smoking, was not the only factor.
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu   [#permalink] 02 Feb 2019, 22:19
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