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Behavioral economists observing the wait staff at a restaurant were su

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Behavioral economists observing the wait staff at a restaurant were su [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2017, 03:18
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Difficulty:

  55% (hard)

Question Stats:

62% (01:37) correct 38% (01:42) wrong based on 161 sessions

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Behavioral economists observing the wait staff at a restaurant were surprised by differences in the time that it took for diners to receive their check at the end of a meal during which a mistake was made with the order. If a diner politely alerted the wait staff that an error was made, the check took, on average, 15% longer to arrive than if no error was made or reported. If a diner rudely complained, the check took 40% longer. And if the diner asked to speak to a manager the check took a full 50% longer. The economists concluded that the wait staff used delays in delivering the check as a way to exact revenge on diners that they feel treated them rudely.

Which of the following, if true, most weakens the economists’ conclusion?

A. Once they have made a mistake with an order, waiters and waitresses are fearful of making a second mistake and proceed with extra caution for the remainder of their interaction with that
diner.
B. For certain waitresses and waiters, the amount of time it took to deliver a check at the end of the meal was shorter when the order had contained an error than when it did not.
C. When surveyed, many members of the wait staff confessed that dealing with impatient and unhappy diners is their least favorite part of their job.
D. The more pressure that a member of the wait staff feels to ensure that the check is correct, the longer it takes to prepare, review, and deliver that check.
E. When the manager has been alerted to an issue with a meal, she takes the time to personally review the check before allowing the wait staff to deliver it to a diner.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Behavioral economists observing the wait staff at a restaurant were su [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2017, 03:43
gauravraos wrote:
Behavioral economists observing the wait staff at a restaurant were surprised by differences in the time that it took for diners to receive their check at the end of a meal during which a mistake was made with the order. If a diner politely alerted the wait staff that an error was made, the check took, on average, 15% longer to arrive than if no error was made or reported. If a diner rudely complained, the check took 40% longer. And if the diner asked to speak to a manager the check took a full 50% longer. The economists concluded that the wait staff used delays in delivering the check as a way to exact revenge on diners that they feel treated them rudely.


BE surprised by check delivery at the end of a meal in which a mistake was made with the order.
Polite Reference - 15% added to the time
Rude Reference - 40% added to the time
Manager Called - 50% added to the time
BE Concludes - Wait Staff exacting revenge on diners. (Weird conclusion to begin with)

Which of the following, if true, most weakens the economists’ conclusion?

Quote:
A. Once they have made a mistake with an order, waiters and waitresses are fearful of making a second mistake and proceed with extra caution for the remainder of their interaction with that diner.

This is a good contender. It helps explain why it takes longer to deliver checks to the employees. BUT, it doesn't explain the time difference if the diner is polite Vs. if the diner is rude, etc. Keep for now, but look for a better option!


Quote:
B. For certain waitresses and waiters, the amount of time it took to deliver a check at the end of the meal was shorter when the order had contained an error than when it did not.

This is irrelevant to the conclusion. OUT!


Quote:
C. When surveyed, many members of the wait staff confessed that dealing with impatient and unhappy diners is their least favorite part of their job.

Again, Irrelevant to the conclusion. OUT!


Quote:
D. The more pressure that a member of the wait staff feels to ensure that the check is correct, the longer it takes to prepare, review, and deliver that check.

This is good, better than A. It says that the more pressure a wait staff feels, the longer it takes to deliver the check. Helps explain the time difference when the diner is polite Vs. when he is rude, etc. Keep. Kick out A.


Quote:
E. When the manager has been alerted to an issue with a meal, she takes the time to personally review the check before allowing the wait staff to deliver it to a diner.

This is only explaining the part where the manager is involved. OUT!

D is the answer.
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Re: Behavioral economists observing the wait staff at a restaurant were su [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2017, 14:32
close call between A and D.
A doesn't say anything about timing..just preciseness...well..it's not the same. D it is.

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Re: Behavioral economists observing the wait staff at a restaurant were su [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2017, 20:15
OE

This Weaken problem asks you to weaken the conclusion that the reason the wait staff took longer to bring the check in these situations was that they were trying to punish a customer for pointing out an error. And an important nuance takes place in the given statistical information: the amount of time that the check is delayed proportional to the severity with which the diner pointed out the error. This is a critical part of the argument: you should, of course, predict that the right answer will have something to do with the idea that the wait staff is taking longer because they are being more careful to avoid making further mistakes. It’s not that they are being vengeful; if anything they’re trying harder and that is what is taking so long.

Choice A seems to fit the bill, but note that while it hits directly on the idea that the wait staff is being careful, it misses the “sliding scale” related to the degree of the diner’s discontent. Choice A simply says “when a mistake is made the check takes longer” but if that were the case then why would the delay be so much longer when the manager is called?

Choices B and C are irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if a few checks come faster (choice B) because the aggregate data still shows the trend that these checks, overall, do take longer. And choice C, if anything, would strengthen the argument.

Choice D is correct, and that is because it addresses that sliding scale. “The more pressure” fits perfectly with the continuum of an error being pointed out politely, then an error being pointed out rudely, and then that staffer’s boss being called. If the length of time that the check takes is proportional to that pressure, that perfectly explains the differences in 15% longer, 40% longer, and 50% longer.

Choice E is incorrect for similar reasons to choice A: Choice E only addresses the situations in which the manager is called, but does not account for the 15% and 40% situations. But choice E serves an important role for you: if you liked A and perhaps flirted with D, E should signal that you need to dig a little deeper before choosing a choice that only addresses one aspect of the sliding scale outlined in the argument.

Kudos [?]: 145 [0], given: 72

Re: Behavioral economists observing the wait staff at a restaurant were su   [#permalink] 09 Aug 2017, 20:15
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