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# Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a

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12 Sep 2010, 10:18
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Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney’s office instituted a publicity campaign last year encouraging victims of such harassment to come forward and file reports of the harassment. During the year following the inception of the publicity campaign, the frequency of harassment reports filed with the city attorney’s office tripled. The publicity campaign has therefore been successful, in that it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints.

Which of the following most seriously weakens the conclusion of the passage above?

a) The increase in harassment complaints has consisted almost exclusively of additional complaints of racial harassment; complaints of other varieties of harassment have not increased significantly.

b) Although the number of complaints has tripled, the number of complaints that have resulted in successful prosecutions or civil penalties for the harassers has not increased significantly.

c) Many individuals who have brought complaints within the past year were previously unaware that the behavior to which they had been subjected was regarded legally as harassment.

d) The publicity campaign has emphasized the fact that there will be no legal reprisals or other negative consequences for complainants whose complaints are deemed false or invalid.

e) The city attorney’s office originally instituted the campaign in response to falling numbers of workplace harassment complaints.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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12 Sep 2010, 10:25
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Orange08 wrote:
Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney’s office instituted a publicity campaign last year encouraging victims of such harassment to come forward and file reports of the harassment. During the year following the inception of the publicity campaign, the frequency of harassment reports filed with the city attorney’s office tripled. The publicity campaign has therefore been successful, in that it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints.

Which of the following most seriously weakens the conclusion of the passage above?

a) The increase in harassment complaints has consisted almost exclusively of additional complaints of racial harassment; complaints of other varieties of harassment have not increased significantly.
It adds information on kind of complaint. Neutral on conclusion
b) Although the number of complaints has tripled, the number of complaints that have resulted in successful prosecutions or civil penalties for the harassers has not increased significantly.
Again it talks about prosecution which is not the topic above
c) Many individuals who have brought complaints within the past year were previously unaware that the behavior to which they had been subjected was regarded legally as harassment.
This is success of campaign.
d) The publicity campaign has emphasized the fact that there will be no legal reprisals or other negative consequences for complainants whose complaints are deemed false or invalid.
If this is the case then the conclusion that more people who were victims came forward may not be true. There could be false cases as well
e) The city attorney’s office originally instituted the campaign in response to falling numbers of workplace harassment complaints.
Not relevant

IMO D
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12 Sep 2010, 11:32
Conclusion: The publicity campaign has therefore been successful, in that it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints.

Choice D is the only one that weakens the conclusion ... by attacking "victims"
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12 Sep 2010, 15:28
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The conclusion of the stimulus instigates that the reason for the increase of complaints was because of the success of the campaign. This is the argument we are trying to weaken.

Orange08 wrote:
Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney’s office instituted a publicity campaign last year encouraging victims of such harassment to come forward and file reports of the harassment. During the year following the inception of the publicity campaign, the frequency of harassment reports filed with the city attorney’s office tripled. The publicity campaign has therefore been successful, in that it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints.

Which of the following most seriously weakens the conclusion of the passage above?

a) The increase in harassment complaints has consisted almost exclusively of additional complaints of racial harassment; complaints of other varieties of harassment have not increased significantly. This is irrelevant. We are not told anything about the campaign; the types of harassment are immaterial here in context

b) Although the number of complaints has tripled, the number of complaints that have resulted in successful prosecutions or civil penalties for the harassers has not increased significantly. We are not worried about the prosecution here.

c) Many individuals who have brought complaints within the past year were previously unaware that the behavior to which they had been subjected was regarded legally as harassment. This actually strengthens the argument by saying that more individuals are encouraged, meaning the campaain was successful

d) The publicity campaign has emphasized the fact that there will be no legal reprisals or other negative consequences for complainants whose complaints are deemed false or invalid. This could just mean that a lot of people filed false complaints. This undermines the success of the campaign. Hence true.

e) The city attorney’s office originally instituted the campaign in response to falling numbers of workplace harassment complaints. Completely irrelevant
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12 Sep 2010, 20:52
Nice explanation. I also picked D
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13 Sep 2010, 03:30
I pick C.

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13 Sep 2010, 03:45
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D it is ..and reasoning is same as Whiplash's.
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13 Sep 2010, 06:43
Yes.. it should be D.

Conclusion:
The publicity campaign has therefore been successful, in that it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints.

D weakens this by pointing out the gap in their ad campaign
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13 Sep 2010, 06:48
D make more sense for me.
Explanation will be similar like others
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13 Sep 2010, 07:01
Conclusion - The publicity campaign has therefore been successful, in that it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints.

In order to weaken this conclusion, we need to find an answer that suggests that more victims have not actually pursued their complaints. This would be the case if a number of complaints were actually false.

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13 Sep 2010, 07:53
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Orange08 wrote:
Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney’s office instituted a publicity campaign last year encouraging victims of such harassment to come forward and file reports of the harassment. During the year following the inception of the publicity campaign, the frequency of harassment reports filed with the city attorney’s office tripled. The publicity campaign has therefore been successful, in that it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints.

Which of the following most seriously weakens the conclusion of the passage above?

a) The increase in harassment complaints has consisted almost exclusively of additional complaints of racial harassment; complaints of other varieties of harassment have not increased significantly.

b) Although the number of complaints has tripled, the number of complaints that have resulted in successful prosecutions or civil penalties for the harassers has not increased significantly.

c) Many individuals who have brought complaints within the past year were previously unaware that the behavior to which they had been subjected was regarded legally as harassment.

d) The publicity campaign has emphasized the fact that there will be no legal reprisals or other negative consequences for complainants whose complaints are deemed false or invalid.

e) The city attorney’s office originally instituted the campaign in response to falling numbers of workplace harassment complaints.

This is a terrible question. Where is it from? For the original argument to be valid, we only need to know that the number of legitimate complaints increased. For D to be a good answer, we need to assume that enough people had the thought 'Oh, nothing bad will happen to me, so I'm going to file a bogus harassment complaint!' for the number of complaints to triple. That seems preposterous to me, and requires one to make some pretty cynical assumptions about humanity. There are no other good answers here, so I imagine the OA is D, but it's not a good answer, since it barely weakens the argument; that the campaign emphasized that people would face no negative consequences for making bogus complaints is not evidence that the number of bogus complaints actually increased.
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13 Sep 2010, 12:43
Hello all,
OA is D.

Hi Ian,
I completely agree with you. Not only this, there were couple of other CRs in the same MGMAT online test that had similar weak options. I got few incorrect and believe me, though I have pretty good confidence in CRs, after facing such questions,my confidence has been shaken of no reason.

That's the only reason that I had put this question in the forum. I wanted to see if others felt the same as I had.
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13 Sep 2010, 20:17
Ian and Orange,
I can see your point but there is nothing cynically preposterous in the argument in support of D. If the reprisals are removed it would make people to make the meekest of complaints which they otherwise would not have made as they would introspect and realize its not worth it (I am not saying that they would ignore it... but just that they might talk to some colleagues, discuss with family before filing a case). But now they need not really do that.

I definitely don't think this is a ridiculous question. Just my thought though.

Thanks.
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13 Sep 2010, 23:59
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D says that there will be no negative consequences for false complaints. So it actually encourages all the people to lodge complaints even if they are false. This actually weakens the argument which claims that the number of complains have tripled in the last year. Because most the complaints are false and the the actual number of complaints hasn't increased a lot. So the publicity campaign has not been as successful as they are claiming.

So D is the correct answer
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15 Sep 2010, 08:59
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hemanthp wrote:
Ian and Orange,
I can see your point but there is nothing cynically preposterous in the argument in support of D. If the reprisals are removed it would make people to make the meekest of complaints which they otherwise would not have made as they would introspect and realize its not worth it (I am not saying that they would ignore it... but just that they might talk to some colleagues, discuss with family before filing a case). But now they need not really do that.

Just because nothing bad will happen for doing something is no reason to think people will do it. Something good needs to happen. To give an absurd example, if I tell you 'eat this piece of scrap metal, nothing bad will happen', knowing that nothing bad will happen is not going to make you any more likely to eat the metal. The same is true in this question. That there are no negative consequences for filing a false harassment claim is no reason to think false claims will be filed. There would need to be some benefit to the person filing the false claim, and I can't see what that benefit could possibly be. If the claim is false, the person filing the claim is not going to receive any kind of compensation or other benefit. There's sure to be paperwork and tribunal appearances that would consume the complainant's time. Most importantly, accusing someone of racial or sexual harassment is an extremely serious thing to do; it can very easily ruin that person's career. It's not the type of thing people do frivolously, though you'd need to assume that people would for D to be the answer here. That's why I said above that D requires one to make some absurdly cynical assumptions about human behaviour.

Further, one could easily contend that D actually strengthens the argument. Some people who are legitimate victims of harassment might, in the past, have been reluctant to pursue a claim because they were concerned they lacked the evidence to prove their case. That is, they might have been concerned that their claim woud be deemed 'invalid'. Knowing that there will be no negative consequences if they are unable to prove their case might make it more likely that these legitimate victims of harassment will file a claim. The conclusion of the passage has nothing to do with the number of claims which are actually proven or found to be valid - the conclusion is simply that more legitimate victims have come forward with their complaints. If answer D is true, it may in fact be the reason that so many new legitimate victims came forward, and rather than weaken the argument, it may actually explain why the facts presented in the argument are true.

One final point: we aren't concerned here with whether the number of legitimate complaints actually tripled. The argument is true as long as the number of legitimate complaints increased. So to weaken the argument, it is not enough only to establish that there were false claims; you'd need to establish that a full two thirds of complaints were illegitimate. That is, for D to be the answer here, the campaign publicity would need to have inspired so many false complaints as to cause the total number of complaints to triple. As I discussed above, I can't see how one could reasonably think that could be the case.

So I stand by what I said above. I think it's a very poorly contrived question; it's illogical, and requires one to introduce assumptions which I find completely unreasonable.
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14 Aug 2011, 11:37
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Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney’s office instituted a publicity campaign last year encouraging victims of such harassment to come forward and file reports of the harassment. During the year following the inception of the publicity campaign, the frequency of harassment reports filed with the city attorney’s office tripled. The publicity campaign has therefore been successful, in that it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints.

Which of the following most seriously weakens the conclusion of the passage above?
A. The increase in harassment complaints has consisted almost exclusively of additional complaints of racial harassment; complaints of other varieties of harassment have not increased significantly.
B. Although the number of complaints has tripled, the number of complaints that have resulted in successful prosecutions or civil penalties for the harassers has not increased significantly.
C. Many individuals who have brought complaints within the past year were previously unaware that the behavior to which they had been subjected was regarded legally as harassment.¬
D. The publicity campaign has emphasized the fact that there will be no legal reprisals or other negative consequences for complainants whose complaints are deemed false or invalid.
E. The city attorney’s office originally instituted the campaign in response to falling numbers of workplace harassment complaints.

Confused between C&D. Correct answer is marked though.
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Re: MGMAT CAT CR WEAKEN [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2011, 11:53
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Our conclusion is "The publicity campaign has therefore been successful, in that it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints."

We could weaken this if we could prove one of the following:

- The publicity campaign was not the reason for the increase in complaints.
- It has inspired less victims to pursue their complaints.

(A) Racial harassment can occur at work, which would supportthe conclusion.
(B) Irrelevant information. The campaign's goal was to increase the number of complaints. The attorney's office could still claim that the campaign was successful, and therefore this does not weaken the argument.
(C) This implies that victims who would not have come in previously (due to their ignorance of the legal definition of harassment) will now begin to file complaints. This can be considered a victory for the attorney's office - and therefore strengthen the argument.
(E) This adds new, but irrelevant, information. The reason behind the campaign isn't being discussed, this simply widens the scope.

Answer (D): The easiest way to reach this conclusion is to rule out the other 4 choices. While this isn't an ideal "weakening", it is the most likely to weaken the argument. What this statement suggests is that while there may be an increase in overall claims, it may not lead to an increase in claims made by actual victims. Rather, it may increase false claims, while leaving the number of victim claims the same, or lower.

Note: I had originally chosen (C) as my answer. See reasoning in quote (by optimusprime) below. I have changed my response to reflect the solution, and to ensure that no one is led astray by my initial response.
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Last edited by Sovjet on 14 Aug 2011, 22:43, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: MGMAT CAT CR WEAKEN [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2011, 21:48
Sovjet wrote:
Our conclusion is "The publicity campaign has therefore been successful, in that it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints."

We could weaken this if we could prove one of the following:

- The publicity campaign was not the reason for the increase in complaints.
- It has inspired less victims to pursue their complaints.

(A) Racial harassment can occur at work, which would supportthe conclusion.
(B) Irrelevant information. The campaign's goal was to increase the number of complaints. The attorney's office could still claim that the campaign was successful, and therefore this does not weaken the argument.
(D) This doesn't necessarily weaken the conclusion. It may be true that the emphasis on no penalties being given for false claims may have increased false claims, but that's largely irrelevant. The attorney's office wanted to ensure that more victims were coming forward with their complaints - and this statement does not give evidence to the contrary. You can still say that the campaign led to more victims coming forward.
(E) This adds new, but irrelevant, information. The reason behind the campaign isn't being discussed, this simply widens the scope.

Answer (C): This is very tricky, and you can most easily reach this conclusion by rejecting the other choices. However, to understand why this is correct, think of this.

The attorney's office wanted to increase the number of victims who come forward to submit complaints. So, if only 20 out of 100 victims came forward in the previous year, he wanted 50 to now come forward (out of the same 100 victims). Instead, the reason the number of complaints went up isn't because victims were now coming forward that wouldn't have done so in the past, but because the campaign simply increased the number of "victims". The rate at which they filed complaints may have remained the same - or even decreased. One could then argue that the campaign hadn't inspired more victims to pursue their complaints, but simply created more victims. Again, this is a pretty sneaky/tough one, and probably far more elaborate than is necessary.

The other way you might look at it is if you consider the fact that those people who weren't aware that it was "legally harassment" may not be considered victims. If you don't mind the behaviour, are you still a victim?

Are you saying your answer is C. That is what I picked also. But the actual answer is D. The explanation the MGMAT CAT gives is that in actuality there may lesser genuine complaints and more false complaints. But while registering either false or genuine complaints the publicity campaign will not raise any legal opinions. In doing so there may actually be more false complaints(Nobody knows why).In such a case the campaign will be a failure rather than a success since some of the complaints taken in would be false and not true.

As for C..Since earlier the victims were not aware of the type of harrasment, now they will be aware through the publicity campaign..And hence the campaign will be successful.So this choice may actually strengthen rather than weaken the argument..
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Re: MGMAT CAT CR WEAKEN [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2011, 22:41
I've changed my initial answer to the suggested solution - with my take on it.

I really don't think (D) is all that weakening, and I suppose it depends on how literally you read the conclusion statement (does it increase the number of victims filing complains? Perhaps not... However, it does not clearly weaken the argument. At best, it opens it up to doubt - which I suppose is the aim here).

To be honest, my thinking was a little skewed, because I took "¬" to be your mark for the OA. Answer (C) was therefore in the back of my head as I was trying to come up with the solution. I'm not sure if I would have selected (C) or (D) if I had been complete impartial. Regardless, this is an interesting question, and certainly a tougher one.
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Re: MGMAT CAT CR WEAKEN [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2011, 03:27
Sovjet wrote:
I've changed my initial answer to the suggested solution - with my take on it.

I really don't think (D) is all that weakening, and I suppose it depends on how literally you read the conclusion statement (does it increase the number of victims filing complains? Perhaps not... However, it does not clearly weaken the argument. At best, it opens it up to doubt - which I suppose is the aim here).

To be honest, my thinking was a little skewed, because I took "¬" to be your mark for the OA. Answer (C) was therefore in the back of my head as I was trying to come up with the solution. I'm not sure if I would have selected (C) or (D) if I had been complete impartial. Regardless, this is an interesting question, and certainly a tougher one.

So have you already applied to univs..or still in the process of giving the GMAT..
Re: MGMAT CAT CR WEAKEN   [#permalink] 15 Aug 2011, 03:27

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