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Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney

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Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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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.

Originally posted by Orange08 on 12 Sep 2010, 09:18.
Last edited by Bunuel on 06 Jan 2019, 09:34, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2010, 07:59
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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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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2010, 09:25
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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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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2010, 14:28
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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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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2010, 06:53
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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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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2010, 11:43
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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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2010, 19:17
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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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2010, 22:59
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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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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 14 Aug 2011, 21:43
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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, 21:43, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2013, 07:47
mun23 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.

Need explanation...........why ans is d


Hi mun23,

Lets first simplify the stimulus,

Premises: City attorney's campaign encouraged victims of harassment to report it, then the filed reports increased.

Conclusion: Increase in the reports filed is because of the campaign.

This is a typical "cause and effect" argument. The cause is "attorney's campaign" and the effect is "increase in filed reports"

In most cases the choice that weakens a "cause and effect" argument is either

i) The one that shows that the causality is happening in the opposite direction i.e. the cause is the effect

or

ii) The one that shows that the effect is caused by a cause other than the one mentioned in the argument.


(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 answer choice is the second of the two weakeners types mentioned above. This choice shows that the effect i.e. "increase in filing of reports" is cause by a different cause i.e. "no negative consequences of complaints". If offenders will face little danger of being punished then they will be encouraged to harass and victimize even more people, so the likely cause of increase in harassment reports is due to this fact and not because of the campaign, thus, weakening our conclusion.

Hope this helps,

Vercules
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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2013, 19:20
mun23 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.

Need explanation...........why ans is d


Hi,

Let's first understand the argument.

Premises:

1. Attorney instituted a campaign to encourage victims to report incidents of harassment.
2. Next year, the number of harassment reports tripled

Conclusion: Campaign successful - because it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints (pay attention to the underlined word. It'll come in handy in understanding choice D)

Let's look at Option D:

(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. - Read the underlined parts carefully. What do they lead to? Will it make more people to file frivolous (false) harassment complaints? If yes, then the tripling of harassment reports doesn't necessarily mean that more victims are inspired to pursue their complaints; rather, it could mean that many more false complaints are being filed since people are not afraid anymore of the implications of filing false complaints. Thus, this weakens the conclusion.

Hope this helps :)

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2013, 03:08
egmat wrote:
mun23 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.

Need explanation...........why ans is d


Hi,

Let's first understand the argument.

Premises:

1. Attorney instituted a campaign to encourage victims to report incidents of harassment.
2. Next year, the number of harassment reports tripled

Conclusion: Campaign successful - because it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints (pay attention to the underlined word. It'll come in handy in understanding choice D)

Let's look at Option D:

(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. - Read the underlined parts carefully. What do they lead to? Will it make more people to file frivolous (false) harassment complaints? If yes, then the tripling of harassment reports doesn't necessarily mean that more victims are inspired to pursue their complaints; rather, it could mean that many more false complaints are being filed since people are not afraid anymore of the implications of filing false complaints. Thus, this weakens the conclusion.

Hope this helps :)

Thanks,
Chiranjeev



But I yet not convinced .
"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."

That means that it is because of the publicity campain only that the people came to know that there will be no legal reprisals or other negative consequences for complainants whose complaints are deemed false or invalid.
Hence indirectly the publicity campaign only helped the increase.. right ?


Please clarify
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Re: Concerned about various forms of workplace harassment, a city attorney  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2013, 03:33
Practicegmat wrote:
But I yet not convinced .
"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."

That means that it is because of the publicity campain only that the people came to know that there will be no legal reprisals or other negative consequences for complainants whose complaints are deemed false or invalid.
Hence indirectly the publicity campaign only helped the increase.. right ?


Please clarify


Hi,

The answer to your question is Yes. Directly or indirectly, the publicity campaign led to the increase in the number of complaints. I agree with this.

But does this means that more victims have filed complaints? I am asking this because the conclusion of the passage says "The publicity campaign has therefore been successful, in that it has inspired more victims of workplace harassment to pursue their complaints."

After reading option D, we can't be sure that more victims filed their complaints. Since the campaign so much emphasized that no action will be taken against frivolous complaints, the increase in the number of complaints was probably due to extraordinary increase in bogus complaints. In other words, probably, victims didn't file more complaints.

The above reasoning makes us unsure of the statement that the campaign was successful for the reason given. Therefore, this option weakens the conclusion.

Does this explanation make sense?

If it still doesn't help, let me know your specific problem with the reasoning above.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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