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As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica

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As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modification experiments using infants and young children, when the ethics and validity of this practice was questioned in the 1950's by their peers.

A Watson had been conducting behavior modification experiments using infants and young children when the ethics and validity of this practice was questioned in the 1950's by their peers.

B Watson conducted behavior modification experiments using infants and young children before his peers questioned the ethics and validity of this practice in the 1950's.

C Watson had conducted behavior modification experiments using infants and young children before the ethics and validity of this practice were questioned in the 1950's by his peers

D Watson conducted behavior modification experiments using infants and young children when the ethics and validity of this practice was questioned in the 1950's by his peers.

E Watson had conducted behavior modification experiments using infants and young children before the ethics and validity of this practice were questioned in the 1950's by their peers.
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Re: As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica [#permalink]

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As didSkinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modification experiments using infants and young children, when the ethics and validity of this practice was questioned in the 1950's by their peers.

I think the verb tense of the two part of the comparison should be in the same time
A Watson had been conducting behavior modification experiments using infants and young children when the ethics and validity of this practice was questioned in the 1950's by their peers.
"had been conducting" is not in the same time frame as "did"
passive voice is unnecessary.

B Watson conducted behavior modification experiments using infants and young children before his peers questioned the ethics and validity of this practice in the 1950's.

C Watson had conducted behavior modification experiments using infants and young children before the ethics and validity of this practice were questioned in the 1950's by his peers

D Watson conducted behavior modification experiments using infants and young children when the ethics and validity of this practice was questioned in the 1950's by his peers.

E Watson had conducted behavior modification experiments using infants and young children before the ethics and validity of this practice were questioned in the 1950's by their peers.
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Re: As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2014, 03:49
Why is it not c? Two actions happening in the past one before the other?

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New post 05 Jul 2014, 04:06
DvdBonan wrote:
Why is it not c? Two actions happening in the past one before the other?

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according to Manhattan advanced strategies: we can use helping verbs to stand for longer verbs or verb phrases.however, if we need to change tenses, repeat the whole verb in new tense.
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Re: As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2014, 05:22
why we are altering the sequence of events in the OA.

As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting

Past... Watson conducting ..... Skinner conducted ... Present.
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To put the problem with A/C/E succinctly, you don't want to compare "did" & "had" here. Let's look at a different example:

As I did, my father had majored in English in college.


At first glance, this might seem fine. We have two events: I majored in English, and earlier on, my father majored in English. One objection, however, is that there is no clear event that "had majored" precedes. Sure, we can figure that my father attended college before I did, but we generally want a clear, explicit reference to justify past perfect. ("He had majored in English before the department experienced its decline.") Anyway, this might not seem like a big problem in my example, but it's certainly a problem in the original. How do we know Watson's work preceded Skinner's? If anything, it appears that they both were forced to stop at the same time.

In any case, there's another problem. Even if one event did precede the other (yes, my dad really did go to college before I did), that doesn't necessarily mean that we should use the past perfect. What if I said "I have been to Spain and France"? One of those trips must have preceded the other (unless I hiked the border!), so should I use the past perfect? No! Not unless I definitely want to stress the order of the trips--"I had already traveled extensively in Spain when I visited France, so I felt prepared for my return to Europe." Let's rewrite my example:

As I did, my father majored in English in college.

This is better! Both events happened in the past, but the point of the sentence is to point out a similarity between them, not to show how one preceded the other.

"But wait a minute!" you say. "The past perfect isn't there to compare Watson to Skinner. It's there to show how Watson did this work before people questioned the ethics of it!" Yeah, that might work, except . . . why is Skinner in the simple past, then? This gets us back to the beginning--we're making a comparison between what two people did. They both did some work until it was questioned. Why put one in the simple past and the other in past perfect? No reason! Cut A/D/E.

Okay, maybe I spoke too soon when I used the word "succinct," but I hope folks find this helpful.
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Last edited by DmitryFarber on 10 Aug 2015, 09:56, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 05 Jul 2014, 13:02
Thanks Dmitry, your explanation is really helpful like always. It has refined my concept.
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Re: As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2014, 22:41
The comparison in the sentence is between what Skinner did (action in the past ) and what watson did again the past. If apples have to be compared to apples then only B and D come close to the right answer. Now between B and D let us look for new errors. In D the use of the pronoun when creates a problem. when is a relative pronoun that sets off a restirctive clause which means it introduces information that is crucial to the antencedent of the sentence. But in option D there is a comma before when, suggesting that the information provided is not essential to the rest of the sentence. Since that is not the case, D can be eliminated.
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Re: As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2015, 09:03
DmitryFarber wrote:
To put the problem with A/C/E succinctly, you don't want to compare "did" & "had" here. Let's look at a different example:

As I did, my father had majored in English in college.


At first glance, this might seem fine. We have two events: I majored in English, and earlier on, my father majored in English. One objection, however, is that there is no clear event that "had majored" precedes. Sure, we can figure that my father attended college before I did, but we generally want a clear, explicit reference to justify past perfect. ("He had majored in English before the department experienced its decline.") Anyway, this might not seem like a big problem in my example, but it's certainly a problem in the original. How do we know Watson's work preceded Skinner's? If anything, it appears that they both were forced to stop at the same time.

In any case, there's another problem. Even if one event did precede the other (yes, my dad really did go to college before I did), that doesn't necessarily mean that we should use the past perfect. What if I said "I have been to Spain and France"? One of those trips must have preceded the other (unless I hiked the border!), so should I use the past perfect? No! Not unless I definitely want to stress the order of the trips--"I had already traveled extensively in Spain when I visited France, so I felt prepared for my return to Europe." Let's rewrite my example:

As I did, my father majored in English in college.


This is better! Both events happened in the past, but the point of the sentence is to point out a similarity between them, not to show how one preceded the other.

"But wait a minute!" you say. "The past perfect isn't there to compare Watson to Skinner. It's there to show how Watson did this work before people questioned the ethics of it!" Yeah, that might work, except . . . why is Skinner in the simple past, then? This gets us back to the beginning--we're making a comparison between what two people did. They both did some work until it was questioned. Why put one in the simple past and the other in past perfect? No reason! Cut A/D/E.

Okay, maybe I spoke to soon when I used the word "succinct," but I hope folks find this helpful.



Hi Dmitry

I have one concern about B. The prepositional phrase "in the 1950's" seems to modify practice. This seems to change the meaning that the peers questioned the ethics and validity of the practice "in the 1950's" as though they wouldn't have questioned it if it were in the 1960's. This seemed illogical.

Giving priority to meaning i chose C as it seemed to have more clarity when compared to all the other options. Apart from the tense which i thought wasn't causing too much harm.
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Actually, the phrase "in the 1950's" is an adverbial modifier here. As in the other four answer choices, it modifies "questioned." (Note that the construction "in (time period)" will generally be adverbial, while "of (time period)" is a noun modifier.)

The tense problem in C is a serious one. We just can't say "As did Skinner, Watson had conducted . . . " Think of "did" almost like a pronoun--except for verbs. :) It has to stand in for some other verb. What is it standing in for? "Had conducted." What is that Skinner did? He "had conducted." This doesn't work.
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Re: As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica [#permalink]

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Re: As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2016, 01:24
DmitryFarber wrote:
Actually, the phrase "in the 1950's" is an adverbial modifier here. As in the other four answer choices, it modifies "questioned." (Note that the construction "in (time period)" will generally be adverbial, while "of (time period)" is a noun modifier.)

The tense problem in C is a serious one. We just can't say "As did Skinner, Watson had conducted . . . " Think of "did" almost like a pronoun--except for verbs. :) It has to stand in for some other verb. What is it standing in for? "Had conducted." What is that Skinner did? He "had conducted." This doesn't work.


Thanks Dmitry, your explanation is really helpful.
Can you explain to me why we use "their peers" insted of "his peers" here?
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Re: As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2016, 06:02
bjh wrote:
DmitryFarber wrote:
Actually, the phrase "in the 1950's" is an adverbial modifier here. As in the other four answer choices, it modifies "questioned." (Note that the construction "in (time period)" will generally be adverbial, while "of (time period)" is a noun modifier.)

The tense problem in C is a serious one. We just can't say "As did Skinner, Watson had conducted . . . " Think of "did" almost like a pronoun--except for verbs. :) It has to stand in for some other verb. What is it standing in for? "Had conducted." What is that Skinner did? He "had conducted." This doesn't work.


Thanks Dmitry, your explanation is really helpful.
Can you explain to me why we use "their peers" insted of "his peers" here?


Both "his" and "their" would be gramatically alright in this case - the pronoun depends on which meaning the author wants to convey. If the author wanted to mean peers of both Watson and Spinner, then he would use "their".
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New post 28 Nov 2016, 21:50
Also, since Skinner is not the subject, it would be odd to say "their." We're talking about what Watson did, and in the correct form, the sentence works just fine on its own even if we cut out the initial modifier. Bringing Skinner into the situation by using "their" would make the sentence more confusing.
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As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2017, 16:32
Please note that I read all the expalnation, but choice D does not seem to bother many students. However, it does to me.

The way choice D is written little awkwardly, but I could not point out any error to reject choice D. It conveys the same meaning as original sentence does. However, choice B conveys a different meaning. Considering both choice to be grammatically correct, I preferred choice D.

Please help !
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AR15J wrote:
Please note that I read all the expalnation, but choice D does not seem to bother many students. However, it does to me.

The way choice D is written little awkwardly, but I could not point out any error to reject choice D. It conveys the same meaning as original sentence does. However, choice B conveys a different meaning. Considering both choice to be grammatically correct, I preferred choice D.

Please help !


"when" is problematic in D. When is a time modifier restricting "when" the action took place. Here, the sentence convey that: Watson conducted experiment when XX questioned him. So this is illogical modification.
D also have a S-V error: ... when the ethics and validity of this practice was questioned....
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Re: As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2017, 21:18
avik5503 wrote:
AR15J wrote:
Please note that I read all the expalnation, but choice D does not seem to bother many students. However, it does to me.

The way choice D is written little awkwardly, but I could not point out any error to reject choice D. It conveys the same meaning as original sentence does. However, choice B conveys a different meaning. Considering both choice to be grammatically correct, I preferred choice D.

Please help !


"when" is problematic in D. When is a time modifier restricting "when" the action took place. Here, the sentence convey that: Watson conducted experiment when XX questioned him. So this is illogical modification.
D also have a S-V error: ... when the ethics and validity of this practice was questioned....


Agreed ... how can I miss this :(

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Re: As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2017, 07:52
The OA is correct and explanations provided in the thread appear sufficient. If there are any specific questions, please click again on the "Request Expert Reply" button and post your queries – closing this request.
Re: As did Skinner, Watson had been conducting behavior modifica   [#permalink] 19 Mar 2017, 07:52
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