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# Economist: In the interaction between producers and consumers, the onl

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Re: Economist: In the interaction between producers and consumers, the onl [#permalink]
Main point of the argument

In the interaction between producers and consumers, the only obligation that all parties have is to act in the best interests of their own side.

the argument:
consumers are always obligated to report product defects they discover, while producers are never obligated to reveal them.

Assumption stated : distribution of information about product defects is in the best interests of the consumer

So another assumption must be

It is never in the best interests of producers for a producer to reveal a product defeat.

so the answer is 'A'
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Re: Economist: In the interaction between producers and consumers, the onl [#permalink]
gmataquaguy wrote:
Economist: In the interaction between producers and consumers, the only obligation that all parties have is to act in the best interests of their own side. And distribution of information about product defects is in the best interests of the consumer. So consumers are always obligated to report product defects they discover, while producers are never obligated to reveal them.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the economist's argument?

A) It is never in the best interests of producers for a producer to reveal a product defeat.
B) No one expects producers to act in a manner counter to their own best interests.
C) Any product defect is likely to be discovered by a consumer than by a producer.
D) A product defect is more likely to be discovered by a consumer than by a producer.
E) The best interests of consumers never coincide with the best interests of producers.

The OA is A. I was torn between A and E and here is why:

Conclusion: So consumers are always obligated to report product defects they discover, while producers are never obligated to reveal them.

Question Type: Assumption.

Solution: Negate the AC and see if the conclusion still holds true.

Negate AC A: It is always [opposite of never, hence the negation] in the best interest of the producers for a producer to reveal a product defect.

If AC A is true, will the conclusion still hold? No. Details below:

If "it is always in the best interests of producers for a producer to reveal a product defect" then the conclusion portion "while producers are never obligated to reveal them" breaks down.

Let me do the same with E

Negate AC E: The interests of consumers always [opposite of never, hence the negation] coincides with the best interests of producers.

If AC E is true, will the conclusion still hold? No. Details below:

If "the best interests of consumers always coincide with the best interests of producers" then the conclusion "So consumers are always obligated to report product defects they discover, while producers are never obligated to reveal them" will not hold because "while producers are never obligated" breaks down.

Why because best interests of consumers = best interest of producers. So if best interest of consumer equates to reveal product defects & best interest of consumers = best interest of producers then the portion of the conclusion "producers are never obligated to reveal them" BREAKS DOWN.

So where is the fallicy in this reasoning? Please help

Originally posted by gmataquaguy on 14 May 2005, 07:29.
Last edited by gmataquaguy on 14 May 2005, 10:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Economist: In the interaction between producers and consumers, the onl [#permalink]
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gmataquaguy wrote:
gmataquaguy wrote:
Economist: In the interaction between producers and consumers, the only obligation that all parties have is to act in the best interests of their own side. And distribution of information about product defects is in the best interests of the consumer. So consumers are always obligated to report product defects they discover, while producers are never obligated to reveal them.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the economist's argument?
.......
E) The best interests of consumers never coincide with the best interests of producers.

Let me do the same with E

Negate AC E: The interests of consumers always [opposite of never, hence the negation] coincides with the best interests of producers.

If AC E is true, will the conclusion still hold? No. Details below:

If "the best interests of consumers always coincide with the best interests of producers" then the conclusion "So consumers are always obligated to report product defects they discover, while producers are never obligated to reveal them" will not hold because "while producers are never obligated" breaks down.

Why because best interests of consumers = best interest of producers. So if best interest of consumer equates to reveal product defects & best interest of consumers = best interest of producers then the portion of the conclusion "producers are never obligated to reveal them" BREAKS DOWN.

So where is the fallicy in this reasoning? Please help

Two issues that I think clarify why (E) would be the wrong choice.

1) (E) makes no mention of the word defect, or how anyone should behave with respect to reporting defects. Don't read too much into (E). It says what it literally says, and nothing else.

2) You can negate a never with a sometimes .... you do not have to resort to the extreme of always.

Keeping those two facts in mind, let's negate (E) and see if the passage can still stand on its own.

Negation of (E): The interests of consumers sometimes coincides with the best interests of producers.

Can this negated version of (E) be assumed, and yet the passage about reporting defects still be valid?

YES. Of course interests will sometimes coincide. Or else a transaction would never take place. When something is exchanged in the marketplace, that transaction is in the best interests of both the producer (or else he would not sell the product at the agreed price) and of the consumer (or else he would not buy at the agreed price). The issue of reporting defects is irrelevent to this fact, and vice versa.

For that matter, it is in their mutual best interests that a meteor not fall from the sky and destroy civilization.

Hence, (E)-negated is completely consistent with the passage, therefore original (E) is not a necessary assumption.
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Re: Economist: In the interaction between producers and consumers, the onl [#permalink]
pqhai wrote:
ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

Fact: In the interaction between producers and consumers, the only obligation that all parties have to act in the best interests of their own side.
Fact: And distribution of information about product defects is in the best interests of the consumer,
Conclusion: consumers are always obligated to report product defects they discover, while producers are never obligated to reveal them.

Determine the conclusion correctly is KEY to solve assumption questions.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the economist's argument?

ANALYZE EACH ANSWER:

A. It is never in the best interests of producers for a producer to reveal a product defect.
Correct. The conclusion “producers are never obligated to reveal product defects” is ONLY true if revealing a product defect is NOT the best interests of producers. If you are not sure, let negate the assumption, the conclusion is broken immediately.

B. No one expects producers to act in a manner counter to their own best interests.
Wrong. The argument just talks about producers’ best interest. We have NO information about “their manner counter to their best interests”. In addition, if you negate B: Every one expects producers to act in a manner counter to their own best interests. Does it help to explain why consumer are obligated to reveal product defect, while producers are never do so? Nope. the negated B does not help. Thus, B is not an assumption.

C. Any product defect is likely to be discovered by consumer
Wrong. Does not help to explain why producers are never obligated to reveal product defect.

D. A product defect is more likely to be discovered by a consumer than by a producer
Wrong. Out of scope. The argument does not compare the abilities of consumers and producers in discovering product defect.

E. The best interests of consumers never coincide with the best interests of producers
Wrong. VERY TEMPTING. The argument says consumers are obligated to reveal product defect, while producers are not <== The argument just focuses on a particular topic - product defect. The two groups just do not have same interest in revealing product defect. But the argument does NOT say the two groups ALWAYS have different interests /opposite interests. E is wrong because it generalizes the scope of the argument.

TAKEAWAY:
Conclusion is KEY in assumption questions.
Because Assumption questions belong to "PROVE family" --> just focus on information in the stimulus, do NOT generalize.

Hope it helps.

In option A

A. It is never in the best interests of producers for a producer to reveal a product defect.
Correct. The conclusion “producers are never obligated to reveal product defects” is ONLY true if revealing a product defect is NOT the best interests of producers. If you are not sure, let negate the assumption, the conclusion is broken immediately.

The answer choice A and the argument “producers are never obligated to reveal product defects” mentioned, both reveals the same information. How this can be assumption. Hence i marked E based on the logic stated above. Kindly clarify me where i m going wrong. Thanks for your help.
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Re: Economist: In the interaction between producers and consumers, the onl [#permalink]
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Option A say product defeat please correct that because of the typing mistake i selected E
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Re: Economist: In the interaction between producers and consumers, the onl [#permalink]
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Re: Economist: In the interaction between producers and consumers, the onl [#permalink]
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