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Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provi

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New post Updated on: 31 Oct 2018, 20:47
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Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provided by the direct marketing industry. America's response to this deluge has been strangely mixed. On the negative side, poorly executed direct marketing produces unwanted, annoying and wasteful solicitations, also known as "junk mail." Also, aggressive direct marketing techniques, aided by new tools in technology, represent a serious threat to informational privacy. Sophisticated computer matching programs can produce intrusive personal profiles from information which, standing alone, does not threaten individual privacy.

The 1991 Harris-Equifax Consumer Privacy Survey addressed popular attitudes towards direct mailing practices and their impact on informational privacy. When asked how they viewed direct mail offers in general, 46 percent of the respondents said they were a "nuisance," 9 percent considered them to be "invasions of privacy," and only 6 percent said they were "useful." But if Americans have such a negative opinion of the direct marketing industry, they have a strange way of showing it. Direct mail advertising expenditures rose from $7.6 billion in 1980 to $23.4 billion in 1990. The laws of the market dictate that companies would not have made these efforts without prospects of success. Moreover, almost half of the citizens surveyed who considered direct mail offers to be "invasions of privacy" had themselves bought something in response to a direct mail ad in the past year.

Analysis of this seeming contradiction reveals the central problem of regulation in this industry: everyone hates receiving "junk mail," and everyone ought to be concerned about informational privacy. Still, direct marketing offers real advantages over other means of shopping. Even those who believe that the direct mailing industry has a generally negative societal impact probably would prefer to remain on some mailing lists. We like shopping by mail, and we don't want to throw out the good with the bad.
1. Which one of the following, if true, would best strengthen the author's explanation of the "seeming contradiction" expressed in line 35?
(A) Awareness of commercial infringements on the rights of citizens has never been higher.
(B) The number of people on more than one mailing list has increased in direct proportion to the increase in direct marketing expenditures.
(C) Consumers do not perceive a connection between their individual purchasing behavior and infringements on their personal rights.
(D) Some people believe that the benefits associated with the recent success of the direct marketing industry will filter down to consumers over time.
(E) Some opinion polls on other topics indicate a similar discrepancy between what people say about an issue and how they act in relation to that issue.

2. Which one of the following critiques most approximates the logic underlying the author's concern regarding the effects of the computer matching programs mentioned in lines 10-14?
(A) An ecologist who states that since each of three species individually would not damage an ecosystem, it is safe to introduce all three into the ecosystem overlooks the possibility that the dominance of one species may lead to the extinction of one or both of the other two species.
(B) An ecologist who states that since each of three species individually would not damage an ecosystem, it is safe to introduce all three into the ecosystem overlooks the possibility that the three species taken together may very well pose a serious threat to the ecosystem.
(C) An ecologist who states that since each of three species individually would not damage an ecosystem, it is safe to introduce all three into the ecosystem overlooks the possibility that the addition of the three species to the ecosystem may preclude the addition of any further species.
(D) An ecologist who states that since each of three species individually would not damage an ecosystem, it is safe to introduce all three into the ecosystem overlooks the possibility that the ecosystem may not be the optimal environment for the species in question
(E) An ecologist who states that since each of three species individually would not damage an ecosystem, it is safe to introduce all three into the ecosystem overlooks the possibility that any one of three species may have posed a risk to the previous ecosystem in which it lived.

3. Which one of the following can be inferred from the passage about direct mail advertising expenditures in the years between 1980 and 1990?
(A) The rise in expenditures during this period is suggestive of the expectations of companies engaged in direct marketing at the time.
(B) The profit derived from sales linked to these expenditures in 1990 was more than double the profit derived from such sales in 1980.
(C) The lowest yearly expenditure on direct mail advertising during this period occurred in 1980.
(D) Direct marketing companies expect the pattern of expenditures during this period to continue in the decades to come.
(E) The rise in expenditures during this period closely parallel the laws of the market.

4. The author would most likely agree with which one of the following statements?
(A) Despite its drawbacks, direct marketing has had an overall positive effect on American society.
(B) The attitudes revealed in opinion polls can provide insight into actual behavior.
(C) Regarding the effects of commercial enterprises, presenting a nuisance is a more serious offense to society than is invasion of privacy.
(D) Everyone who would prefer to remain on at least one mailing list thinks that direct marketing negatively affects society in some way.
(E) The growth in direct marketing would be even more significant in the future if the percentage of people who found direct mail offers to be a nuisance were to decrease.



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Originally posted by GmatWizard on 20 Oct 2018, 01:35.
Last edited by GmatWizard on 31 Oct 2018, 20:47, edited 2 times in total.
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New post Updated on: 01 Nov 2018, 04:01

Title-Junk Mail.


We've all been the victims of junk mail at some point or another, so the concept behind this one is not intimidating in the same manner as, say, the anomalous character of the Soviet Union, a topic you'll run into sooner than you'd like. And the writing itself isn't too difficult to understand, either. The real problem lies in the questions. Question 1 is a "Strengthen the Argument" challenge, common in Critical Reasoning questions, but more rare and cumbersome in Reading Composition. Question 2 is a real monster: we're asked to go outside the passage in search of a situation that mirrors the underlying logic of a critique. Not fun. The other questions present formidable challenges as well. Here's the lowdown on the passage.

Key Points of the Passage Purpose and Main Idea

: The author's purpose is to explain why direct mail marketing has been so successful despite Americans' seemingly negative attitudes towards direct mail techniques. The main idea is that even though Americans dislike receiving "junk mail," they value the advantages of shopping by mail and continue to respond positively to direct mail marketing, increasing the industry's success. An 800 test taker persistently searches for the overriding main idea, and hangs in there even when the author's full point isn't revealed until late in the passage.

Paragraph Structure

: Paragraph 1 introduces us to the notion that Americans' response to direct mail marketing has been "strangely mixed." We get the "negative side" of the American response in the first paragraph, as the author explains why Americans view direct mail marketing as annoying and invasive.
Paragraph 2 then helps us to see why the American response can be considered "mixed." It starts out by providing evidence from an opinion survey that supports the author's claim that Americans view direct mail negatively. It then shows that despite their attitudes, Americans' behaviors in response to direct mail have been positive: direct mail has become a highly successful marketing industry. Evidence from the same opinion survey cited earlier is given to show that Americans buy items through direct mail even though they dislike its techniques. This "seeming contradiction" is explained in paragraph 3, where the author tells us that Americans shop by direct mail even though they dislike it because it is convenient and offers distinct advantages over other types of shopping. In essence, Americans like shopping by mail—so they put up with the drawbacks of direct mail techniques.
An 800 test taker boils down the ideas in a passage to their simplest form.
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Originally posted by GmatWizard on 20 Oct 2018, 01:38.
Last edited by GmatWizard on 01 Nov 2018, 04:01, edited 2 times in total.
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New post Updated on: 02 Nov 2018, 09:35
1

ANSWERS AND EXPLANATIONS



ANSWERS AND EXPLANATIONS 1.C, 2.В, 3.A, 4.В


1

. (С)
This "strengthen the argument" question requires that we first understand how the author explains the "seeming contradiction" in paragraph 3. He argues that Americans respond to direct marketing because of its conveniences, even though Americans don't like the annoyance or the invasion of privacy. This evidence assumes that Americans are willing to maintain certain shopping habits despite the drawbacks associated with them.
Choice (C) bolsters this assumption and therefore strengthens the argument. If consumers don't perceive a connection between their shopping behaviors and infringements on their rights, they are more likely to react as the author says they do: to continue shopping by mail despite its disadvantages. (A), (B) These choices focus on one portion of the author's argument but do not help strengthen it as a whole. The fact that awareness of infringement is high, choice (A), would strengthen only one part of the author's claim: that people don't like direct mail. It doesn't bolster the full argument that direct mail marketing is successful despite these infringements due to the fact that Americans like to shop by mail.
Similarly, with (B), the increased number of people on multiple mailing lists does not necessarily strengthen the argument that people use direct mail despite its drawbacks because they like its conveniences. These individuals may be on multiple lists simply because their names were sold to direct mail companies.
(D) This choice can be seen as contradicting the author's explanation of why direct mail marketing is successful. (D) states that direct marketing may eventually benefit consumers—its success will filter down to consumers over time. But the author tells us that people respond to direct mail marketing because they like its advantages—in other words, they benefit from it now, as they are using it. That's why they put up with its annoyance and invasion of privacy. If (D) is true, perhaps there's more to the story than the author perceives, but that's not your problem.
(E) The only thing that (E) may strengthen (and it's tenuous at best) is the notion that the "seeming contradiction" that the author describes exists. Even that's a stretch. Either way, the implications of the opinion polls in (E) have no bearing whatsoever on our author's explanation for the discrepancy at hand. An 800 test taker understands that just like in Critical Reasoning, strengtheners and weakeners in Reading Comp often work by bolstering or damaging the assumptions in an author's argument.

2

. (B)
Ouch. We're asked to identify the criticism that most closely approximates the logic of the author's concern over the use of computer matching programs. Well, why is the author concerned about these? The line reference brings us right to the crux of the matter: "Sophisticated computer matching programs can produce intrusive personal profiles from information which, standing alone, does not threaten individual privacy." Extracting the general logical structure of this, we have a situation in which harmless individual elements, when combined, become harmful in some way. That's the situation we need to find among the choices, and (B) best approximates this situation: the species alone aren't dangerous to the ecosystem, but put them together and look out! The mechanism at work in (B) mirrors the mechanism the author describes in paragraph 1— namely, the way that computer matching systems can combine non-intrusive independent bits of information into a profile that threatens individual privacy. It's helpful to restate exactly what we're looking for in order to eliminate the wrong choices: the logic of the original example in the passage states that things (bits of information) that individually don't have a certain effect (i.e., threaten privacy) DO have that effect when put together. (A) Here, we have species that individually don't harm the ecosystem (so far so good), but when put together may harm each other. Notthe same thing.
(C), like all of the wrong choices, starts out okay with individual species that by themselves don't harm the ecosystem, so we have to look to the end of the choice to see where it goes awry. In this case, the ecologist is chastised for objecting to the joint introduction of all three species into the ecosystem on the grounds that doing so may not allow other species to join later. This result would not necessarily cause damage to the ecosystem, which is the result that we're looking for in order for this critique to match the logic of the passage's computer matching example.
(D) This time the ecologist's assertion is based on the grounds that the species in question may be happier somewhere else. Again, the "overlooked possibility" is not one that necessarily causes harm: The ecosystem might not be an optimal environment for the species, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the ecosystem itself will be damaged. (E) Their previous ecosystems? What does that have to do with putting them together here in the ecosystem in question? This is far from the logic underlying the example in the passage.
An 800 test taker is able to apply what she learns in the passage to other issues in different contexts.

3

. (A)
The mention of expenditures from 1980-1990 brings us squarely to paragraph 2, where the author informs us that expenditures rose significantly during that stretch, and that "companies would not have made these efforts without prospects of success." Inference questions are not great candidates for prephrasing, so you probably moved directly to the choices. Hopefully you saw that (A) is a reasonable inference based on this information. It stands to reason that companies spent more money on advertising because they expected to benefit from it (in accordance with the "laws of the market"). Therefore, the rise in direct marketing expenditures can reasonably be said to reflect their expectations regarding success.
(В), (C), and (D) The passage implies that companies benefited from direct marketing—meaning, they made greater profits—but we have no idea how much they benefited. Thus, a specific claim like (B)'s assertion that they made "more than double" the profit at the end than at the beginning of the period is not warranted. Similarly, we are told that expenditures rose from 1980 to 1990, but we don't know how much they rose in any given year. In fact, we can't be sure that expenditures rose every single year—we're told only that the 1990 figure was greater than the 1980 figure. For all we know, expenditures could have decreased in 1981, thus making this the lowest expenditure year. So we don't have enough information to infer choice (C). The same is true of choice (D). We're told only that expenditures rose from 1980-90. We cannot infer anything about what companies might expect expenditures to be in the future. (E) distorts information in the passage. The author tells us that "the laws of the market dictate" that companies would not have invested in direct marketing unless they expected it to be successful. But to say that the rise in expenditures "parallels" the laws of the market is a distortion of this concept. The rise in expenditures may be explained with reference to the laws of the economic market, but that's about it. (E)'s manner of combining these two elements of the passage is unwarranted.

4

. (B)
This Inference question requires us to determine which statement could most likely be attributed to the author, based on the information presented in the passage. Again, our grasp of the author's purpose in writing the passage comes into play. This passage looks at the difference between Americans' attitudes about direct mail and their behaviors in response to it. Evidence for the public's attitudes is provided through opinion surveys, which suggests that the author believes that the attitudes revealed in surveys can help us understand public behavior—choice (B). Think of it this way: If the author didn't agree with (B), then there would be no contradiction to resolve, because the data from the opinion polls would be meaningless. The passage as is can exist only if the author believes that polls can provide insight as stated in choice (B).
(A) exaggerates the author's conclusion. We are told that Americans respond to direct mail because they perceive its benefits, but it would be going too far to conclude from this that the author believes that direct mail has "an overall positive effect on American society."
(C) presents an unwarranted comparison that in no way can be attributed to the author. Nuisance and privacy invasion are two categories of responses from the poll of paragraph 2, with the former outranking the latter in the public's mind, but we can't infer from this that the author believes that presenting a nuisance is a greater offense than invading privacy when it comes to direct marketing, no less in the context of "commercial enterprises" as a whole. An 800 test taker zeroes in on comparisons presented in choices to determine whether they are warranted or unwarranted. (D) switches the terms of the second-to-last sentence of the passage, which reads "Even those who believe that the direct mailing industry has a generally negative societal impact probably would prefer to remain on some mailing lists." Not only does (D) get this backwards, but it also fails to take into account the qualified nature of the author's assertion indicated by the word probably. (E) Again, we are not given enough information to draw this inference. The author does not discuss the future growth of direct marketing, so it's too much of a stretch to infer how the author thinks the industry might increase or decrease. In addition, the passage states that the direct marketing industry has grown despite people's negative attitudes about it. Growth in the industry does not therefore seem directly proportional to negative attitudes, which is another reason why it is unwarranted to ascribe the belief in (E) to the author. So far, so good? For your information, this first passage was a full 300 words, pretty much as long as they get. Now that you're warmed up, see what you can make of the rest of the Reading Comp questions.

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Originally posted by GmatWizard on 20 Oct 2018, 01:43.
Last edited by GmatWizard on 02 Nov 2018, 09:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provi  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2018, 01:46
Hey Hi workout so I have been posting all the RC from Kaplan Advanced that aren't already uploaded on the GMAT club.
But this passage already exists and is not done in the right way here's the link, even all the Questions are uploaded:-
https://gmatclub.com/forum/every-day-th ... 58837.html

So can you do something
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Re: Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provi  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2018, 16:09
saviofernanz wrote:
Hey Hi workout so I have been posting all the RC from Kaplan Advanced that aren't already uploaded on the GMAT club.
But this passage already exists and is not done in the right way here's the link, even all the Questions are uploaded:-
https://gmatclub.com/forum/every-day-th ... 58837.html

So can you do something


saviofernanz

I have locked the other topic and moved it into the archive. Also, for any new RC's you post, I would suggest you wait for at least 24hrs before posting official explanations. This will give the users to go through the RC first. If you post OE at the same time as RC, please make sure to include "spoiler" tags.

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Re: Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provi  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2018, 02:37
Can someone explain me #4 question?

IMO, though i am not sure, D would be the correct answer. Please find below my reasoning on each option:

A. Despite its drawbacks, direct marketing has had an overall positive effect on American society. -- I don't see any discussion over positive effect on American Society through out the passage.
B. The attitudes revealed in opinion polls can provide insight into actual behaviour.-- In Paragraph 2, author describes the survey result but nowhere mention his own opinion.
C. Regarding the effects of commercial enterprises, presenting a nuisance is a more serious offense to society than is invasion of privacy.-- Author is nowhere comparing the effects.
D. Everyone who would prefer to remain on at least one mailing list thinks that direct marketing negatively affects society in some way.-- Though "Everyone" is a bit extreme but this sentence is a bit relatable to "Even those who believe that the direct mailing industry has a generally negative societal impact probably would prefer to remain on some mailing lists." There is one more contradiction between the passage and answer option: in passage flow goes from X to Y but in answer choice it is in opposite direction. I mean:
X: those who believe that the direct mailing industry has a generally negative societal impact
Y: remain on some mailing lists
In passage X would prefer to Y but in answer choice it is Y thinks that X. But still i would say it is more relatable than answer choice A to the passage. We can keep this for now.
E. The growth in direct marketing would be even more significant in the future if the percentage of people who found direct mail offers to be a nuisance were to decrease.-- This answer choice is a pure prediction about future effect. But in the passage, author nowhere made any prediction.

So, I am left with only answer choice D.
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Re: Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provi  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 11:46
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The OA for Q4 is listed as B but in the actual question tag itself it's listed as A which is incorrect. Please fix that error.
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Re: Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provi  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 20:48
aanjumz92 wrote:
The OA for Q4 is listed as B but in the actual question tag itself it's listed as A which is incorrect. Please fix that error.

Yup thank you pointing that out.
Its fixed
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Re: Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provi  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2018, 07:37
Q 4 has to be (B)

i dont think A is the right answer - " overall positive ffeect on society " is a stretch .
B - is absolutely right. The second para tells us the second facet of the contradction with evidence of numbers.. i.e opinion and expenditure...with the help of stats we get to know that there is a contradiction.. so we do get insights...
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Re: Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provi  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2018, 09:37
AdityaHongunti wrote:
Q 4 has to be (B)

i dont think A is the right answer - " overall positive ffeect on society " is a stretch .
B - is absolutely right. The second para tells us the second facet of the contradction with evidence of numbers.. i.e opinion and expenditure...with the help of stats we get to know that there is a contradiction.. so we do get insights...


Yes B was always the right answer, kindly check the spoiler and answers and explanations
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Re: Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provi  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2018, 09:51
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GmatWizard wrote:
aanjumz92 wrote:
The OA for Q4 is listed as B but in the actual question tag itself it's listed as A which is incorrect. Please fix that error.

Yup thank you pointing that out.
Its fixed



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New post 02 Nov 2018, 09:55
Oh okay sorry I thought you doubted the answer

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Re: Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provi &nbs [#permalink] 02 Nov 2018, 09:55
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