Quote:
Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a
great number of this newspaper’s readers. One thousand readers were
surveyed and asked to name the one book that had the most influence on
their lives. The book chosen most often was the Bible; 1984 was second. The
answer to which one of the following questions would most help in
evaluating the columnist’s argument?
A. How many books had each person surveyed read?
B. How many people chose books other than 1984?
C. How many people read the columnist’s newspaper?
D. How many books by George Orwell other than 1984 were chosen?
E. How many of those surveyed had actually read the books they chose?
Quote:
George Orwell???s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a
great number of this newspaper???s readers: Conclusion
Premise: survey of 1000 readers suggests that 1984 was the second most often chosen book in terms of influence
If number of readers of newspaper is 1000000000 then the survey of 1000 people can t be used to conclude that a great number of newspaper readers are influenced by 1984.
if number of readers of newspaper is 1010 then survey is right to conclude that great number of newspaper readers are influenced by 1984.
What is the point I am missing here.
I often get CR questions wrong and dont even understand the correct answer explanation.
Where am I missing the point here and how do I improve ?
PS: already reading
Powerscore CR and have gone through many
OG questions and CR strategies.
Any help would be highly appreciated.
Kudos !!
Regards,
Saksham
sakshamgmat, thanks for your question! You've already taken a great first step, which is, if possible, to identify the conclusion, "George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspaper’s readers." Now, make sure to pay close attention to what is being asked... we are looking for a question whose answer would
most help in evaluating the columnist’s argument. Note that this does not mean that we need to
prove whether the columnist's conclusion is true or false. With that in mind, consider choice B..
Quote:
B. How many people chose books other than 1984?
If we know how many people out of the 1000 chose books OTHER than 1984, then we know how many people chose 1984 (ie if 990 people chose books other than 1984, that means that only 10 chose 1984; if 600 people chose books other than 1984, then 400 chose 1984). If only 10 chose 1984, then we could easily criticize the columnist's argument because we have no idea if only 10 readers were influenced by 1984 or if a large number of those not surveyed were also influenced by 1984. The actual number of newspaper readers influenced by 1984 could be 10 or it could be 10,000; without more information, we cannot safely reach the columnist's conclusion, but we can indeed
evaluate the columnist's conclusion and determine that it is insufficient. Now, what if 400 people chose 1984? If the survey is reasonably accurate, this data tells us that nearly half of the newspaper's readers were influenced by 1984. Sure, it is
possible that the newspaper actually has 1,000,000 readers and that only 400 total were influenced by 1984, but it is far more likely that a larger portion were influenced by 1984. And even if only 400 people in total were influenced by 1984, one could still argue that this is a "great number" of readers (the columnist only argued that a
great number of readers were influenced by 1984, not that a
large percentage of readers were influenced by 1984). Thus, the columnist's argument is reasonable.
Knowing the number of people out of the 1000 surveyed helps us evaluate the columnist's argument better than the answers to the questions in the other choices would, so choice B is the best option. I hope that helps!
Wouldn't the same argument be applicable to choice C ? If the number of subscriptions were a billion, surveying a 1000 was of little use but if the number of subscriptions were 1000, then it makes sense.
Please guide. What's wrong in my understanding ?