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In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University

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In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 07:32
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In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University, groups of men with various levels of education read stories in which people caused harm, some of them doing so intentionally, and some accidentally. When asked about appropriate penalization for those who had caused harm, the less educated men, unlike the educated ones, assigned punishments that did not vary according to whether the harm was done intentionally or accidentally. Uneducated men, then, do not regard people's intentions as relevant to penalization.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the conclusion above?

(A) In these stories, the severity of the harm produces was clearly stated.

(B) In interpreting these stories the listeners had to draw on a relatively feminine sense of human psychology in order to tell whether harm was produced intentionally or accidentally.

(C) Relatively uneducated men are as likely to produce harm unintentionally as are more educated men.

(D) The more educated men assigned penalization in a way that closely resembled the way women had assign penalization in a similar experiment.

(E) The less educated men assigned penalization that varied according to the severity of the harm done by the agents in the stories.

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In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 09:16
itisSheldon wrote:
In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University, groups of men with various levels of education read stories in which people caused harm, some of them doing so intentionally, and some accidentally. When asked about appropriate penalization for those who had caused harm, the less educated men, unlike the educated ones, assigned punishments that did not vary according to whether the harm was done intentionally or accidentally. Uneducated men, then, do not regard people's intentions as relevant to penalization.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the conclusion above?

(A) In these stories, the severity of the harm produces was clearly stated.

(B) In interpreting these stories the listeners had to draw on a relatively feminine sense of human psychology in order to tell whether harm was produced intentionally or accidentally.

(C) Relatively uneducated men are as likely to produce harm unintentionally as are more educated men.

(D) The more educated men assigned penalization in a way that closely resembled the way women had assign penalization in a similar experiment.

(E) The less educated men assigned penalization that varied according to the severity of the harm done by the agents in the stories.


Our objective here is to challenge the highlighted part of the stimulus....

Thus if the less educated varied punishments according to severity of the harm, it challenges/weakens the author's conclusion that they do not regard the intention of the people's intentions...

Hence answer must be (E)
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Re: In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 19:59
Abhishek009 wrote:
itisSheldon wrote:
In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University, groups of men with various levels of education read stories in which people caused harm, some of them doing so intentionally, and some accidentally. When asked about appropriate penalization for those who had caused harm, the less educated men, unlike the educated ones, assigned punishments that did not vary according to whether the harm was done intentionally or accidentally. Uneducated men, then, do not regard people's intentions as relevant to penalization.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the conclusion above?

(A) In these stories, the severity of the harm produces was clearly stated.

(B) In interpreting these stories the listeners had to draw on a relatively feminine sense of human psychology in order to tell whether harm was produced intentionally or accidentally.

(C) Relatively uneducated men are as likely to produce harm unintentionally as are more educated men.

(D) The more educated men assigned penalization in a way that closely resembled the way women had assign penalization in a similar experiment.

(E) The less educated men assigned penalization that varied according to the severity of the harm done by the agents in the stories.


Our objective here is to challenge the highlighted part of the stimulus....

Thus if the less educated varied punishments according to severity of the harm, it challenges/weakens the author's conclusion that they do not regard the intention of the people's intentions...

Hence answer must be (E)


Hey can you elaborate more on this ?
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Re: In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 20:53
How severity of harm can be connected with intentions??
It is quite possible that unintentional punishments can be of more severity.

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Re: In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 23:17
Abhishek009 wrote:
Thus if the less educated varied punishments according to severity of the harm, it challenges/weakens the author's conclusion that they do not regard the intention of the people's intentions...

Hence answer must be (E)


Hi Abhishek,

Argument's conclusion - Uneducated men, then, do not regard people's intentions as relevant to penalization.

Answer - The less educated men assigned penalization that varied according to the severity of the harm done by the agents in the stories.

Uneducated men regard severity of harm for penalization rather than intentions of people. Is the answer not strengthening the conclusion? Please let me know where I'm going wrong.

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Re: In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2018, 12:00
The conclusion talks about uneducated men.
In order to weaken the conclusion, we can shatter it by negating the assumption (which is that less educated and uneducated people are the same).

Therefore, when the argument says that less educated people don't consider the intentions while assigning punishments, it applies to uneducated people through the conclusion statement.

Option E correctly addresses this and hence weakens the argument appropriately.
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Re: In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2019, 06:10
garimalohani99 wrote:
The conclusion talks about uneducated men.
In order to weaken the conclusion, we can shatter it by negating the assumption (which is that less educated and uneducated people are the same).

Therefore, when the argument says that less educated people don't consider the intentions while assigning punishments, it applies to uneducated people through the conclusion statement.

Option E correctly addresses this and hence weakens the argument appropriately.


No, it does not. First of all, educated men could have assigned punishments based on severity as well. One cannot exclude such possibility even though it hasn't been stated.

Second, the conclusion of the passage is "Uneducated men, then, do not regard people's intentions as relevant to penalization", and there is is no clearly stated link between severity and intentions. Therefore, E cannot weaken the conclusion. E is just irrelevant.

I consider this question of poor quality.
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Re: In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2019, 03:26
Can you please explain this, I feel there is something wrong with the OA provided here.
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Re: In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2019, 19:49
I consider “E” more of a Strengthener. The argument implies that less educated men did not penalise agents based on their intentions but on the severity of the harm caused. Hence, uneducated men will be even more so. The reasoning here is uneducated men will behave in a similar way like less educated men but with deeper proportion. “E” basically explains this causal relationship in detail and doesn’t weaken.

Experts, can you please clarify? Thank you!

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Re: In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2019, 22:01
Abhishek009 wrote:
itisSheldon wrote:
In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University, groups of men with various levels of education read stories in which people caused harm, some of them doing so intentionally, and some accidentally. When asked about appropriate penalization for those who had caused harm, the less educated men, unlike the educated ones, assigned punishments that did not vary according to whether the harm was done intentionally or accidentally. Uneducated men, then, do not regard people's intentions as relevant to penalization.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the conclusion above?

(A) In these stories, the severity of the harm produces was clearly stated.

(B) In interpreting these stories the listeners had to draw on a relatively feminine sense of human psychology in order to tell whether harm was produced intentionally or accidentally.

(C) Relatively uneducated men are as likely to produce harm unintentionally as are more educated men.

(D) The more educated men assigned penalization in a way that closely resembled the way women had assign penalization in a similar experiment.

(E) The less educated men assigned penalization that varied according to the severity of the harm done by the agents in the stories.


Our objective here is to challenge the highlighted part of the stimulus....

Thus if the less educated varied punishments according to severity of the harm, it challenges/weakens the author's conclusion that they do not regard the intention of the people's intentions...

Hence answer must be (E)



I have confusion here

Option E is about severity and our conclusion talks about intention .

How these are related

Here , are we assuming that people can be severe only intentionally ?


Could you help here ..

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Re: In a psychological experiment conducted at Southbay University   [#permalink] 23 Feb 2019, 22:01
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