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Columnist: Research shows significant reductions in the number of peop

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Columnist: Research shows significant reductions in the number of peop [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2018, 10:47
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Columnist: Research shows significant reductions in the number of people smoking, and especially in the number of first-time smokers in those countries that have imposed stringent restrictions on tobacco advertising. This provides substantial grounds for disputing tobacco companies' claims that advertising has no significant causal impact on the tendency to smoke.

Which one of the following, if true, most undermines the columnist's reasoning?

(A) People who smoke are unlikely to quit merely because they are no longer exposed to tobacco advertising.
(B) Broadcast media tend to have stricter restrictions on tobacco advertising than do print media.
(C) Restrictions on tobacco advertising are imposed only in countries where a negative attitude toward tobacco use is already widespread and increasing.
(D) Most people who begin smoking during adolescence continue to smoke throughout their lives.
(E) People who are largely unaffected by tobacco advertising tend to be unaffected by other kinds of advertising as well.

Source: LSAT

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Columnist: Research shows significant reductions in the number of peop [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 17:32
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Akela wrote:
Columnist: Research shows significant reductions in the number of people smoking, and especially in the number of first-time smokers in those countries that have imposed stringent restrictions on tobacco advertising. This provides substantial grounds for disputing tobacco companies' claims that advertising has no significant causal impact on the tendency to smoke.

Which one of the following, if true, most undermines the columnist's reasoning?

(A) People who smoke are unlikely to quit merely because they are no longer exposed to tobacco advertising.
(B) Broadcast media tend to have stricter restrictions on tobacco advertising than do print media.
(C) Restrictions on tobacco advertising are imposed only in countries where a negative attitude toward tobacco use is already widespread and increasing.
(D) Most people who begin smoking during adolescence continue to smoke throughout their lives.
(E) People who are largely unaffected by tobacco advertising tend to be unaffected by other kinds of advertising as well.

Source: LSAT

Dear Akela,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

The LSAT Logical Reasoning questions provide excellent practice for the GMAT Critical Reasoning questions--if anything, the LSAT LR questions tend to run a notch or two harder than the GMAT CR questions. This is a superb argument, great practice for the GMAT!

The argument argues that anti-tobacco ads is the cause of a drop in the number of new smokers. We want to undermine this causal argument.

(A) People who smoke are unlikely to quit merely because they are no longer exposed to tobacco advertising.
This is about people who already were smoking before the ads. These people are irrelevant to the argument. This is incorrect.

(B) Broadcast media tend to have stricter restrictions on tobacco advertising than do print media.
True, but irrelevant to the argument. The argument didn't touch on this distinction, nor is it clear how it would weaken the argument. This is incorrect.

(C) Restrictions on tobacco advertising are imposed only in countries where a negative attitude toward tobacco use is already widespread and increasing.
Interesting. This suggests that the the widespread "negative attitude toward tobacco" might have a bigger effect in persuading folks not to begin smoking than do the ads. This is an interesting way to attach a causal argument--if the argument is that "A alone causes B," then "C causes B" is a big objection. This is a promising choice.

(D) Most people who begin smoking during adolescence continue to smoke throughout their lives.
True, but the argument is concerns only with the number of first-time smokers, not how many continue once they start. This is incorrect.

(E) People who are largely unaffected by tobacco advertising tend to be unaffected by other kinds of advertising as well.
We don't know how many people this is. We don't know whether this is a large enough segment of the population to have an effect on the argument. Because the impact is unclear, this is incorrect.

The clear answer is (C).

Here's a high quality and challenging GMAT CR practice question:
Simian Virus

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Columnist: Research shows significant reductions in the number of peop [#permalink]

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New post 01 Feb 2018, 17:49
mikemcgarry wrote:
Akela wrote:
Columnist: Research shows significant reductions in the number of people smoking, and especially in the number of first-time smokers in those countries that have imposed stringent restrictions on tobacco advertising. This provides substantial grounds for disputing tobacco companies' claims that advertising has no significant causal impact on the tendency to smoke.

Which one of the following, if true, most undermines the columnist's reasoning?

(A) People who smoke are unlikely to quit merely because they are no longer exposed to tobacco advertising.
(B) Broadcast media tend to have stricter restrictions on tobacco advertising than do print media.
(C) Restrictions on tobacco advertising are imposed only in countries where a negative attitude toward tobacco use is already widespread and increasing.
(D) Most people who begin smoking during adolescence continue to smoke throughout their lives.
(E) People who are largely unaffected by tobacco advertising tend to be unaffected by other kinds of advertising as well.

Source: LSAT

Dear Akela,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

The LSAT Logical Reasoning questions provide excellent practice for the GMAT Critical Reasoning questions--if anything, the LSAT LR questions tend to run a notch or two harder than the GMAT CR questions. This is a superb argument, great practice for the GMAT!

The argument argues that anti-tobacco ads is the cause of a drop in the number of new smokers. We want to undermine this causal argument.

(A) People who smoke are unlikely to quit merely because they are no longer exposed to tobacco advertising.
This is about people who already were smoking before the ads. These people are irrelevant to the argument. This is incorrect.

(B) Broadcast media tend to have stricter restrictions on tobacco advertising than do print media.
True, but irrelevant to the argument. The argument didn't touch on this distinction, nor is it clear how it would weaken the argument. This is incorrect.

(C) Restrictions on tobacco advertising are imposed only in countries where a negative attitude toward tobacco use is already widespread and increasing.
Interesting. This suggests that the the widespread "negative attitude toward tobacco" might have a bigger effect in persuading folks not to begin smoking than do the ads. This is an interesting way to attach a causal argument--if the argument is that "A alone causes B," then "C causes B" is a big objection. This is a promising choice.

(D) Most people who begin smoking during adolescence continue to smoke throughout their lives.
True, but the argument is concerns only with the number of first-time smokers, not how many continue once they start. This is incorrect.

(E) People who are largely unaffected by tobacco advertising tend to be unaffected by other kinds of advertising as well.
We don't know how many people this is. We don't know whether this is a large enough segment of the population to have an effect on the argument. Because the impact is unclear, this is incorrect.

The clear answer is (C).

Here's a high quality and challenging GMAT CR practice question:
Simian Virus

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Hi Mike,

could u pls explain what it means by advertising has no significant causal impact on the tendency to smoke.

Im a bit confused..what are we undermining?
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Re: Columnist: Research shows significant reductions in the number of peop [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2018, 11:36
zanaik89 wrote:
Hi Mike,

could u pls explain what it means by advertising has no significant causal impact on the tendency to smoke.

Im a bit confused..what are we undermining?

Dear zanaik89,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, before you can take on GMAT CR, it's important to have a very good understanding of English. The best way for a non-native speaker to develop this is through a habit of reading. See:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

As for this sentence, I'll explain a little.

Left to their own devices, humans gravitate toward addictive substances. For example, there is a natural "tendency to smoke"--that is, a tendency of young people to be curious about this cool and supposedly dangerous activity, and once they try, they're hooked for life. Because smoking is so pernicious, there's a concern among health professionals about how to combat or reduce this tendency.

One tactics is advertising, anti-smoking advertising. The theory behind this is that young people will see the ads, be exposed to the known risks, and thus be less likely to enter the addictive cycle. That's the theory? Is this theory true? This GMAT CR questions concerns the answer to that question.

Of course, the tobacco industry, the people who make money by getting young people addicted to something that will kill them, has an interest in denying the effects of any anti-smoking tactics: even if the statistical evidence suggests that a particular tactic works, the tobacco industry will claim that it doesn't work: they hope that people will stop using that tactic, which could threaten the economic interests of the tobacco industry.

In short, the tobacco industry says that anti-smoking advertising doesn't work. In other words, anti-smoking advertising doesn't have the effect of causing people not to smoke. In other words, anti-smoking advertising doesn't have the effect of causing a drop in the tendency to smoke. A "causal impact" is simply the impact made by a cause of some kind. The word "significant" is loaded: this word suggests mathematical data, statistical evidence, backing up a claim. See:
Statistical Significance on the GMAT
Thus, another way to say that same ideas is that the the tobacco industry claims that "advertising has no significant causal impact on the tendency to smoke." That's what the tobacco industry says.

The "Columnist" disagrees with the tobacco industry and argues that, in fact, advertising against tobacco is very effective. Columnist argues that evidence from several countries where advertising has lead directly to a cause a drop in the tendency to smoke.

The "Columnist" cites this evidence. Then, the argument's conclusion is: "This provides substantial grounds for disputing tobacco companies' claims that advertising has no significant causal impact on the tendency to smoke."

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Re: Columnist: Research shows significant reductions in the number of peop   [#permalink] 05 Feb 2018, 11:36
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