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In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy

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In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task. Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly. Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly. But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Which of the following is an assumption required by this argument?


(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.

(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.

(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.

(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.

(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.


Task Experiment

Step 1: Identify the Question

The word assumption in the question indicates that this is a Find the Assumption question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

Exp: easy vs. hard, or comp

most Vol → easy = fair

2nd grp vol say unfair

© weaker morals for self

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

On Assumption questions, the goal is to find something that is necessary for the conclusion to be valid. This experiment uses two different groups of volunteers for different purpose: one group to assign tasks and another group to judge fairness. Are there any concerns with drawing a conclusion that relies on information from both groups?

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) CORRECT. The argument makes inferences about the task assigners’ beliefs from another group of volunteers and assumes that these assigners would also view assigning someone else the hard task to be unfair. If none of the task assigners actually hold this belief, then they are not applying lower moral standards to themselves (the assigners would just have generally different moral standards than the other volunteers.).

(B) Knowing which specific decision is most moral is not necessary in drawing the conclusion; the issue is an individual’s belief about the morality of a decision. For example, the conclusion would still make sense if selecting the hard task were in fact the most moral decision for task assigners.

(C) The argument relates to the moral judgments of the task assigners, so the feelings of the volunteers assigned tasks does affect the conclusion.

(D) The accuracy of the judgments by the two groups does not affect the level of the moral standards.

(E) The volunteers’ beliefs about the fairness of the choice does not affect whether they are applying weaker moral standards to themselves. To be important, this answer would have to provide information as to whether these volunteers would view the same assignments made by others as fair.

Argument Construction

Situation In an experiment, most volunteers chose to do an easy task themselves and leave a hard task for someone else. They later said they had acted fairly, but almost all volunteers in another group to which the scenario was described said choosing the easy task would be unfair, indicating that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves.

Reasoning What must be true in order for the facts presented to support the conclusion that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others? One set of volunteers said they had acted fairly in taking the easy task, whereas different volunteers said that doing so would be unfair. In neither case did any of the volunteers actually judge their own behavior differently from how they judged anyone else's. So, the argument implicitly infers from the experimental results that most of the volunteers would judge their own behavior differently from someone else's if given the chance. This inference assumes that the volunteers in the second group would have applied the same moral standards that those in the first group did if they had been in the first group's position, and vice versa.

(A) Correct. If none of the volunteers who said their own behavior was fair would have judged someone else's similar behavior as unfair, then their relaxed moral judgment of themselves would not suggest that they applied weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Originally posted by notwithstanding on 01 Aug 2015, 10:59.
Last edited by Bunuel on 24 Sep 2018, 01:49, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task. Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly. Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly. But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Which of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.

(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.

(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.

(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.

(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.


Type: Assumption
Boil It Down: Me: easy = fair, You: easy = unfair -> People apply weaker morals to self
Missing Information: Were there other factors?
Goal: Find the option that contains missing information required for this argument to work

Note: For efficiency on test day, we only need to apply The Opposite Test in Assumption Questions (to prove the option is required for the logic to work) on options that are in contention.

A) Absolutely! This argument REQUIRES the notion that at least some of the people who said they acted fairly in choosing the easy task, would have said it was unfair for other people to choose the easy task (and leave them with the harder task). Applying The Opposite Test (to prove that this option is required): No one who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so. The argument would be crushed, and thus this option is required.

B) The computer option is a side show not relevant to the argument at all. The part about the computer could have been left out entirely and the argument would remain exactly the same. We know why they added the computer dynamic to the question though: to be able to write a tempting distractor option like this.

C) Finding the hard task unfair is Out of Focus of the issue of whether choosing the easy task for yourself if fair. Therefore, this option is actually not something required for the argument to hold.

D) Accuracy of judgement is a non-factor since people believe they're accurate in their own judgments. Let's use the opposite test to prove that this option is not required: On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were NOT more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were. As you can see, when we take the opposite, the argument can still stand. Gone.

E) The argument doesn't require volunteers to believe that they made the ONLY fair choice. The people who chose the easy task for themselves could have also considered assigning the task to the computer fair as well.


Bigger GMAT Perspective: On questions that seem more complex, it can be worth it to invest an extra 10-30 seconds to REALLY have a firm command of the prompt. You'll not only be able to select the right option but you'll also be able to make that time back by more swiftly moving through the options. A question like this also proves that skimming is the kiss of death. NEVER skim anything on the GMAT.
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2016, 06:24
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Answer is OPTION A

Visualise this scenario:- You are walking in a locality with lots of shops and restaurants and parks. You see a man being handcuffed and taken into custody by police. You ask a nearby bystander:- What is happening? He replies:- That man was stealing from the supermarket. You say :- What a bum? I can't tolerate thieves and robbers. They are scum of the world and should be punished by law. The bystanders says:- I agree 100% with you. Look at me, I am also very poor but I have never stolen a thing and as god is my witness, I will never ever be a thief, no matter how hard my life become.

15 days later you are again in the that place and then you see the bystander from the earlier meeting is being handcuffed and taken into custody for stealing. You are surprised and you remember his last words to you :-:Look at me, I am also very poor but I have never stolen a thing and as god is my witness, I will never steal ever, no matter how hard my life become."
You rush to him and asked him:- why ? why did you steal ? He replies :- I had no choice. My son is very ill and I had no money. I didn't steal money or cloth. I just stole some medicine for my son. This is not a crime because i was just trying to save my sons life

Now you see how people think the same standard does not apply to them for whatever x,y,z reasons.
THIS IS the comparision that brings out the main point of the argument:- People apply weak moral standards to themselves than to others.

To bring out this comparison what should happen ( what assumption is required ?) That the bystanders must have stolen something and then tried to defend his action.

What options says so:-
(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
(A) The bystander who said that he stole to save his sons life earlier said that stealing was wrong when police arrested someone else.

notwithstanding wrote:
In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task. Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly. Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly. But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Which of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.
(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.
(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.
(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.

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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2015, 14:28
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notwithstanding wrote:
In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task. Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly. Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly. But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Which of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.
(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.
(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.
(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.


What if people who assign to themself easy task really think that this is fair? And what if another group really think that assigning easy task is unfair? In this case we can say that experiment was wrong because we pick wrong people in groups (selective bias). Therefore conclusion is wrong: people don't apply weaker moral standards to themselves.

But if people from first group were placed in second group and said that assigning easy task to themself is wrong, than conclusion is correct: people change moral standard according to situation.


(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
This answer gives us example in which people from first group change their mind according to situation.

(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.
we don't need to decide what is most moral choice.

(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.
We need to know about people who made assignment and not about who was assigned.

(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.
This variant is tricky because it is easy weakener and we tend to pick it in case when we forget about question.
This is weakener because if first group was inaccurate then they didn't lye but just was inaccurate. So we can infer that first group do not apply weaker moral standards to themselves.

(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.
The main question how they named their actions later, not what they think before making of choice
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2015, 17:06
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I got the right answer (A) by eliminating the other ones, but this point below made me lose some seconds thiking...

"But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others."

"(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so."

This "at least some" makes it harder to sustain the argument in the passage, if they used "most" it would be more clear.
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2015, 04:01
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In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task. Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly. Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly. But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Which of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.
(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.
(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.
(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.

The choice is between A and E:

E seems tricky so lets break it down
(At least) Some volunteers felt that they made the only fair choice available to them (given two choices: picking on their own and assigning or letting the computer assign)
Negate it:
None (of the volunteers) felt that they made the only fair choice available to them.
 None felt they made the fair choice between assigning and letting the computer assign the task
Does it tell anything about their moral?  whether they think they picked the easy task and gave the tough task to someone else? Not clearly.
So without negation:
At least say, 1-10 out of 100 volunteers feel that they made the only fair choice available to them  which is:
1. Choosing which to assign to whom  does it tell us whether they chose the easy one? Or the tough one? What is THEIR fair choice? Doesn’t tell anything about morality
2. Letting the computer choose  Weaker one who got? Tougher one who got? What do the volunteers feel about this? Does it portray their morality? No.

Option A:
Negate it:
None of the volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so  shows strong morality and no deviation. Means group 1 people when asked didnt reply as group 2 (weakens the conclusion)
Without negating it: Some, say 10 (it can be all 100 also) volunteers from group 1 (who participated in the experiment) switched their opinion when questioned on this and said, it would have been unfair to choose the easy task and give the hard task to someone else (but they themselves did it when they participated in the experiment)  Weaker moral standard for self and higher moral standard on others.
Closest to the right answer and hence OA - A
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2016, 23:18
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Premise) : In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task
Premise: Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly.
Premise: Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly.
Premise: But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair

Conclusion: This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.
Understanding the conclusion is little tough here.
According to the conclusion, people chose easier task for themselves defining it as fair rather than letting others do it.

If we negate choice A, we get:
At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would NOT have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
If that is so then there are some volunteers who do not mind applying the weaker moral standards to others. Thus the conclusion falls apart. This choice damages the conclusion.

If we negate choice E:
At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them did not feel that they had made the only fair choice available to them.
This choice could be a competitor but the point that ‘only fair choice’ out of other fair choices does not really effects the conclusion.
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 10:50
Dear Expert,

I have a query regarding the choice A. The author assume that the first group will respond the same way as the second group, that is why the author reach a conclusion from and for the two groups. Since the word ''some'' is related with more than zero quantity, I have two escenarios:

1- "Some" people of the first group range from 1% to 50%, this escenario does not match with the author conclusion (''most people''), so this assumption is not true.
2- ''Some" people of the first group range from 51% to 100%, this escenario matches with the author conclusion (''most people''), so this assumption is true.

Then, when a choice is partially true the choice is not true, so choice A is not true.

Please let me know where my reasoning is wrong.

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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2017, 12:14
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Quote:
Dear Expert,

I have a query regarding the choice A. The author assume that the first group will respond the same way as the second group, that is why the author reach a conclusion from and for the two groups. Since the word ''some'' is related with more than zero quantity, I have two escenarios:

1- "Some" people of the first group range from 1% to 50%, this escenario does not match with the author conclusion (''most people''), so this assumption is not true.
2- ''Some" people of the first group range from 51% to 100%, this escenario matches with the author conclusion (''most people''), so this assumption is true.

Then, when a choice is partially true the choice is not true, so choice A is not true.

Please let me know where my reasoning is wrong.

Regards,

Ah, we need to distinguish between "required" (ie, necessary) and sufficient...
Quote:
1- "Some" people of the first group range from 1% to 50%, this escenario does not match with the author conclusion (''most people''), so this assumption is not true.

If most of the volunteers apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others, then at least some of the volunteers MUST apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others. You are right that statement A, by itself, is not sufficient to justify the conclusion, but it is certainly required. Since we are looking for an assumption that is required by the argument, the correct choice is definitely A.

For more on sufficient vs necessary, see this thread: https://gmatclub.com/forum/a-sufficient ... 50740.html
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2017, 20:10
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notwithstanding wrote:
In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task. Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly. Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly. But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Which of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.
(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.
(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.
(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.


Responding to a pm:

Premises:
Volunteer chose easy task for himself and allotted the harder to the other instead of random allotment. They said they had acted fairly.
A second group of volunteers declared their actions unfair.

Conclusion: This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

We are looking for an assumption i.e. a missing necessary premise.

The conclusion says that people apply weaker moral standards to themselves but stricter to others.

(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
Correct. We know that the first set of people said they had acted fairly while the second set had said that they had acted unfairly. But we are concluding that people apply different moral standards to themselves vs others. So we are assuming that the first set would have called the decision unfair for others and that the second would have called the decision fair for themselves. We are assuming that these are not just two sets of very different people who have different moral standards. For example, if the two sets of people belonged to two different communities in which moral standards were different, then our conclusion would fail. We are assuming that if the first set volunteers were in the shoes of the second set, they would behave similarly as did the second set.

(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.
We are not asked to judge what is moral what is not. We are only asked to compare the moral standards people assign to themselves vs to others.

(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.
Whether anyone was actually assigned the hard task, we don't know. It doesn't matter.

(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.
Again, we are not asked to judge what is moral what is not. We are only asked to compare the moral standards people assign to themselves vs to others.

(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.
We don't know whether they believe it was the only fair choice. All we know is that they said it was fair. We don't need to assume that they believed it was the only fair choice.

Answer (A)
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2017, 20:16
notwithstanding wrote:
In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task. Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly. Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly. But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Which of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.
(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.
(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.
(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.

The argument is most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

In other words, in this case, most people who chose an easy task would say they acted fairly.

OA is A. This is a good question because according to choice A, at least some of the same volunteers would have said that it would have been unfair if others had chosen the easy task. Thus choice A makes the argument complete.
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2018, 21:24
[/quote]
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
No one who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so. The argument would be crushed, and thus this option is required.


'at least some' can be negated in the following way...'all said they had acted fairly'...or 'no one said they acted fairly'

if all said they acted fairly...then this does not affect the argument on negation...

request you to kindly shed some light on this...
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2018, 07:55
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ENEM

It should be 'no one said they acted fairly'. Hope this has answered your 2nd question as well. in case of 'no one', argument is not standing true as few are not feeling well moraled.
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2018, 14:41
In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy task and a hard task and was told that another volunteer would do the other task. Each volunteer could also choose to have a computer assign the two tasks randomly. Most volunteers chose the easy task for themselves and under questioning later said they had acted fairly. But when the scenario was described to another group of volunteers, almost all said choosing the easy task would be unfair. This shows that most people apply weaker moral standards to themselves than to others.

Which of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) At least some volunteers who said they had acted fairly in choosing the easy task would have said that it was unfair for someone else to do so.
Negate this. This does break the conclusion. Keep it.

(B) The most moral choice for the volunteers would have been to have the computer assign the two tasks randomly.
Most, Extreme word. Drop it.

(C) There were at least some volunteers who were assigned to do the hard task and felt that the assignment was unfair.
Negate this, does not affect our conclusion. Drop it.

(D) On average, the volunteers to whom the scenario was described were more accurate in their moral judgments than the other volunteers were.
Irrelevant. Drop it.

(E) At least some volunteers given the choice between assigning the tasks themselves and having the computer assign them felt that they had made the only fair choice available to them.
Repeats Premise. Drop it.

Answer: A
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Re: In an experiment, each volunteer was allowed to choose between an easy &nbs [#permalink] 21 Sep 2018, 14:41
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