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In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two

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10 Aug 2009, 06:13
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In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two versions of a cola, one regular and another, called “cola extra,” to which a secret ingredient had been added. The researchers found that, when the tasters did not know that the secret ingredient was white vinegar, they preferred “cola extra” by a margin of almost two to one. However, when tasters were told the identity of the secret ingredient before drinking, they preferred the cola without vinegar 98% of the time.

Which of the following, if true, forms the best basis for an explanation of this outcome?

a Most consumers are excited by the possibility of tasting a “secret ingredient” and will always prefer that choice.
b For most consumers, expectation strongly influences the ability to accurately distinguish flavors.
c Most cola drinkers prefer beverages without vinegar, even when they do not know vinegar is present.
d Researchers skewed results by telling participants in the second group what the secret ingredient was.
e The first group of taste testers was disproportionately composed of people who enjoy the taste of vinegar.
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2009, 06:56
I thought about A, but if it is not A, perhaps E
B talks about ability to distinguish and doesn't gives account for preferance
C the fact that most coca cola drinkers prefer beverages without vinegar, doesn't explain why the group of testers chose cola with vinegar.
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2009, 07:30
I go with E or wait may be B no no E ... actually I think it is B .... darn GMAT doesnot allow me to go back and correct my answers
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2009, 16:50
went with A, but you are right, possibility of tasting a secret ingredient does not suggest change in ability to distinguish flavors...i guess B is correct
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2013, 21:29
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yes the OA is B. Today i faced this question in Gmat club test and i also picked the trap ans A.
A : "Always prefer that choice": means tester has given them options : "want to test 'cola' or 'cola extra'" - they will say "why cola!! let's taste cola extra ...sounds really exciting" ...but this is not at all related to what they will say after testing the same.

B: fills the lacuna in above scenario. clear winner.

Just a request Moderators can u please add the OA in the question
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2013, 22:40
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First of all, thanks Noboru for a very good question!

Analyze the question
According to Power score CR Bible, there's no conclusion here, only facts. Hence, this is the MUST BE TRUE question. If you understand the type of question and how to solve it, that helps you shorten your time.
There are two types of correct answer for must be true question.
- Paraphrase Answers: Restate a portion the stimulus.
- Combination answers, answers that are the sum of two or more stimulus statements.

Apply:
Fact 1: No information about secret ingredient, vinegar, --> consumption of extra cola increases
Fact 2: there's information about vinegar added --> consumers prefer regular cola 98% of the time.
Combine: consumers expect more quality ingredient to be added to "extra cola". when they know the secret ingredient is not superior as they thought, they don't use "extra cola" any more.
It means expectation affects the purchasing decision.
That is exactly stated in B.

Why other four are incorrect.
a Most consumers are excited by the possibility of tasting a “secret ingredient” and will always prefer that choice. - WRONG - because this is exaggerated answer (favorite trap of GMAC)
c Most cola drinkers prefer beverages without vinegar, even when they do not know vinegar is present. - WRONG - because consumers did like extra cola, when they didn't know vinegar was added.
d Researchers skewed results by telling participants in the second group what the secret ingredient was. - WRONG - out of scope
e The first group of taste testers was disproportionately composed of people who enjoy the taste of vinegar - WRONG - out of scope, the question doesn't say about the ratio.

Hope it's clear.
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2014, 10:06
pqhai wrote:
First of all, thanks Noboru for a very good question!

Analyze the question
According to Power score CR Bible, there's no conclusion here, only facts. Hence, this is the MUST BE TRUE question. If you understand the type of question and how to solve it, that helps you shorten your time.
There are two types of correct answer for must be true question.
- Paraphrase Answers: Restate a portion the stimulus.
- Combination answers, answers that are the sum of two or more stimulus statements.

Apply:
Fact 1: No information about secret ingredient, vinegar, --> consumption of extra cola increases
Fact 2: there's information about vinegar added --> consumers prefer regular cola 98% of the time.
Combine: consumers expect more quality ingredient to be added to "extra cola". when they know the secret ingredient is not superior as they thought, they don't use "extra cola" any more.
It means expectation affects the purchasing decision.
That is exactly stated in B.

Why other four are incorrect.
a Most consumers are excited by the possibility of tasting a “secret ingredient” and will always prefer that choice. - WRONG - because this is exaggerated answer (favorite trap of GMAC)
c Most cola drinkers prefer beverages without vinegar, even when they do not know vinegar is present. - WRONG - because consumers did like extra cola, when they didn't know vinegar was added.
d Researchers skewed results by telling participants in the second group what the secret ingredient was. - WRONG - out of scope
e The first group of taste testers was disproportionately composed of people who enjoy the taste of vinegar - WRONG - out of scope, the question doesn't say about the ratio.

Hope it's clear.
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How is this a Must Be True question? The question stem is not even remotely close to that of a Must Be True question. It is closer to a Paradox question, which also is fact-based, than it is to a Must Be True question.
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2014, 08:44
pqhai wrote:
a Most consumers are excited by the possibility of tasting a “secret ingredient” and will always prefer that choice. - WRONG - because this is exaggerated answer (favorite trap of GMAC)

Sorry but i don't get your point.
How could this sentence be exaggerated? We have to assume that the option is true, and imho it could perfectly be possible that most of the consumers are excited by a secret ingredient.

Can someone explain me this point?
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2014, 02:30
pqhai wrote:
First of all, thanks Noboru for a very good question!

Analyze the question
According to Power score CR Bible, there's no conclusion here, only facts. Hence, this is the MUST BE TRUE question. If you understand the type of question and how to solve it, that helps you shorten your time.
There are two types of correct answer for must be true question.
- Paraphrase Answers: Restate a portion the stimulus.
- Combination answers, answers that are the sum of two or more stimulus statements.

Apply:
Fact 1: No information about secret ingredient, vinegar, --> consumption of extra cola increases
Fact 2: there's information about vinegar added --> consumers prefer regular cola 98% of the time.
Combine: consumers expect more quality ingredient to be added to "extra cola". when they know the secret ingredient is not superior as they thought, they don't use "extra cola" any more.
It means expectation affects the purchasing decision.
That is exactly stated in B.

Why other four are incorrect.
a Most consumers are excited by the possibility of tasting a “secret ingredient” and will always prefer that choice. - WRONG - because this is exaggerated answer (favorite trap of GMAC)
c Most cola drinkers prefer beverages without vinegar, even when they do not know vinegar is present. - WRONG - because consumers did like extra cola, when they didn't know vinegar was added.
d Researchers skewed results by telling participants in the second group what the secret ingredient was. - WRONG - out of scope
e The first group of taste testers was disproportionately composed of people who enjoy the taste of vinegar - WRONG - out of scope, the question doesn't say about the ratio.

Hope it's clear.
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I chose E too.
My question to you is, although the question doesn't say anything about the ratio, it asks which could explain, if true.
And... If true, and the first group of taters love vinegar in a disproportionate ratio, this could very well explain why that same group loved the cola with the extra vinegar...
No?
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2014, 10:43
3
oss198 wrote:
Sorry but i don't get your point.
How could this sentence be exaggerated?

You're completely right. Not only does almost every answer choice (all but one wrong answer, D) use 'exaggerated language', but you should expect to see 'exaggerated language' in the right answer - the stem tells us that 98% of the group have a certain preference, so it is certainly true that 'most people' have that preference. There's nothing wrong about using the word 'most' in this situation.

ronr34 wrote:

I chose E too.
My question to you is, although the question doesn't say anything about the ratio, it asks which could explain, if true.
And... If true, and the first group of taters love vinegar in a disproportionate ratio, this could very well explain why that same group loved the cola with the extra vinegar...
No?

This is not a well-worded question, so it's not really worthwhile thinking too much about what answer is correct. A and C contradict the stem, so cannot be right (in A, if 'most' people prefer secret ingredients, a higher proportion would have preferred cola extra in the first experiment). Answer D appears to be true, but does not explain anything, and the question asks for an explanation.

That leaves us with B and E. It's important now to recognize what the question asks - it asks which answer provides the "best basis for an explanation" of the results. There are millions of ways to explain the results - perhaps it is a weird statistical fluke, or perhaps the scientists did not correctly tabulate the results, or perhaps the first group was bribed to answer the question a certain way. None of those seem like very good explanations, though, since we conducted an experiment in two different ways, and got wildly different results. The difference in the two experiments very likely had something to do with that, and our answer should account for that. So while E is one possible explanation, there may be a much more compelling explanation, one that takes the difference in experimental methodology into account.

It seems more likely that expectation influences perception - when people know what they're drinking in advance, that will influence their preferences. So I want an answer choice that says that. But unfortunately B does not say that - it says "expectation strongly influences the ability to accurately distinguish flavors". The experiment has nothing to do with distinguishing flavors - they didn't ask the participants to identify the ingredients in the cola. The experiment is about preferences, and B does nothing to explain why one group actually preferred one cola to the other. So while I prefer B to any other answer choice, I really don't think it's a good answer either.

Real GMAT CR questions are more precisely worded than this one, and the right answer will generally be more 'airtight' than here, so I wouldn't worry about it if you don't completely agree with the OA here.
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2018, 07:33
adkikani, Try this question. I like this question.
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2018, 07:52
The answer would have been A if the question stem had mentioned "preferred to try".

However, the respondents have already tried the flavours and stated their preference. Therefore, "choosing a flavour" isn't an option here.

Only option B helps in explaining the situation because once it has been told that cola extra has a certain secret ingredient, there's no expectation about it.

If people's expectation determines their ability to distinguish flavours, it explains why the ratio was skewed in favour of cola extra when the secret ingredient was not mentioned and why it was skewed in favour of cola when the secret ingredient was mentioned.
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Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two  [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2019, 02:48
IanStewart wrote:
oss198 wrote:
Sorry but i don't get your point.
How could this sentence be exaggerated?

You're completely right. Not only does almost every answer choice (all but one wrong answer, D) use 'exaggerated language', but you should expect to see 'exaggerated language' in the right answer - the stem tells us that 98% of the group have a certain preference, so it is certainly true that 'most people' have that preference. There's nothing wrong about using the word 'most' in this situation.

ronr34 wrote:

I chose E too.
My question to you is, although the question doesn't say anything about the ratio, it asks which could explain, if true.
And... If true, and the first group of taters love vinegar in a disproportionate ratio, this could very well explain why that same group loved the cola with the extra vinegar...
No?

This is not a well-worded question, so it's not really worthwhile thinking too much about what answer is correct. A and C contradict the stem, so cannot be right (in A, if 'most' people prefer secret ingredients, a higher proportion would have preferred cola extra in the first experiment). Answer D appears to be true, but does not explain anything, and the question asks for an explanation.

That leaves us with B and E. It's important now to recognize what the question asks - it asks which answer provides the "best basis for an explanation" of the results. There are millions of ways to explain the results - perhaps it is a weird statistical fluke, or perhaps the scientists did not correctly tabulate the results, or perhaps the first group was bribed to answer the question a certain way. None of those seem like very good explanations, though, since we conducted an experiment in two different ways, and got wildly different results. The difference in the two experiments very likely had something to do with that, and our answer should account for that. So while E is one possible explanation, there may be a much more compelling explanation, one that takes the difference in experimental methodology into account.

It seems more likely that expectation influences perception - when people know what they're drinking in advance, that will influence their preferences. So I want an answer choice that says that. But unfortunately B does not say that - it says "expectation strongly influences the ability to accurately distinguish flavors". The experiment has nothing to do with distinguishing flavors - they didn't ask the participants to identify the ingredients in the cola. The experiment is about preferences, and B does nothing to explain why one group actually preferred one cola to the other. So while I prefer B to any other answer choice, I really don't think it's a good answer either.

Real GMAT CR questions are more precisely worded than this one, and the right answer will generally be more 'airtight' than here, so I wouldn't worry about it if you don't completely agree with the OA here.

I think what the author is trying to say here is that since 98% of the people chose the regular cola, most people do not prefer cola extra - added vinegar drinks. Since there is expectation involved ( about the secret ingredient ), they cant possibly distinguish the vinegar flavor in cola extra.

So rather than expectation influencing perception, the author assumes that expectation influences tasters' choices.
Re: In an experiment involving taste, researchers had participants try two   [#permalink] 08 Aug 2019, 02:48