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# In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given

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Re: In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given [#permalink]
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A: This, at best, weakens the argument. Imagine that the variety group got only snacks that they hated. This opens up the possibility that it was not the variety that made the subjects less satisfied, but rather the choice of food. For example, if the variety food were given a mix of their favorite snacks, how would they react? This can go either way, depending on additional assumptions. If the variety group were given a mix of their favorite foods for example, then this strengthens. Otherwise, it weakens. Out.

B: Clearly irrelevant. Even if variety in diet were "more satisfying" than other forms of variety, it does not help the authors conclusion.

C: This is tricky. In a sense, this weakens the conclusion. The author makes the claim that variety was the reason why the only chips group was more satisfied. However, by not telling the variety group that they would recieve only chips, it is possible that it becomes an issue of preference. Imagine that the variety group would have picked chips if they had known chips were an option? Then it is not an issue of variety, but an issue of preferences.

D: Similar to A. Suppose that the variety group got only one singular type of food between meals? Then one could make the argument that the dissatisfaction was not due to an excess of variety in the snacks, but because of a lack of variety in the choice of the main meals, this is a weakner. Likewise, if both groups got the same variety of meals in between the snacks, then the authors conclusion is strengthened. As D can go either way, and requires further assumptions, D cannot be the right answer.

E: This is a good choice. This eliminates a possible variable: the taste. If corn chips were mostly agreed to be less tasty than all the other options (and we can reasonably infer that taste is important for satisfaction), then we have removed a possible variable that may have influenced the choice. If the chips are less tasty than all the other snacks, then it makes it more probable that was indeed a lack of variety that made the only chips group more satisfied.

E is stronger than C, at least in my eyes, so that is the correct answer.
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Re: In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given [#permalink]
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prag0 wrote:
I'm unable to derive a logical line of reasoning to arrive at the OA. The answer I chose was D.

The conclusion of the argument is the following:

people tend to mistakenly believe that they prefer variety to monotony in their diets

That conclusion is based on the following evidence:

Beforehand, most volunteers predicted that they would be more satisfied with an assortment of snacks rather than just one kind of snack. But afterward, those who received only corn chips reported greater satisfaction.

So, the researchers concluded that people tend to mistakenly believe that they prefer variety to monotony in their diets because people who received only corn chips were more satisfied.

Let's consider choice (D).

D. The volunteers who received only corn chips were free to eat a wide assortment of foods for their main meals.

If anything, this choice weakens the argument by showing that the volunteers who received only corn chips between meals may not have had monotony in their diets. Rather, while they ate only corn chips between meals, their main meals may have been quite varied.

Now, let's consider choice (E).

E. In a separate taste test, most people found the corn chips to be less appetizing than any other snack the volunteers received.

This choice helps to confirm that people do not prefer variety to monotony and suggests that they prefer monotony to variety because it shows that, even though corn chips are less appetizing than other snacks, people STILL were more satisfied with the corn chips than with greater variety. So, something must have offset the fact that corn chips are less appetizing to make them more satisfied, and that offsetting factor appears to have been the monotony.

Another way of looking at this choice is that it eliminates an alternative cause for the greater satisfaction of the people who received only corn chips by eliminating the possibility that they were more satisfied because corn chips are more appetizing.

Either way, choice (E) helps to confirm that the conclusion is correct.
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Re: In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given [#permalink]
MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
prag0 wrote:
I'm unable to derive a logical line of reasoning to arrive at the OA. The answer I chose was D.

The conclusion of the argument is the following:

people tend to mistakenly believe that they prefer variety to monotony in their diets

That conclusion is based on the following evidence:

Beforehand, most volunteers predicted that they would be more satisfied with an assortment of snacks rather than just one kind of snack. But afterward, those who received only corn chips reported greater satisfaction.

So, the researchers concluded that people tend to mistakenly believe that they prefer variety to monotony in their diets because people who received only corn chips were more satisfied.

Let's consider choice (D).

D. The volunteers who received only corn chips were free to eat a wide assortment of foods for their main meals.

If anything, this choice weakens the argument by showing that the volunteers who received only corn chips between meals may not have had monotony in their diets. Rather, while they ate only corn chips between meals, their main meals may have been quite varied.

Now, let's consider choice (E).

E. In a separate taste test, most people found the corn chips to be less appetizing than any other snack the volunteers received.

This choice helps to confirm that people do not prefer variety to monotony and suggests that they prefer monotony to variety because it shows that, even though corn chips are less appetizing than other snacks, people STILL were more satisfied with the corn chips than with greater variety. So, something must have offset the fact that corn chips are less appetizing to make them more satisfied, and that offsetting factor appears to have been the monotony.

Another way of looking at this choice is that it eliminates an alternative cause for the greater satisfaction of the people who received only corn chips by eliminating the possibility that they were more satisfied because corn chips are more appetizing.

Either way, choice (E) helps to confirm that the conclusion is correct.

Pls explain in detail all the options. Can't understand why E is correct. Also is appetizing same as satisfaction.?
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Re: In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given [#permalink]
Why can't D be an answer? My line of reasoning for why I chose D: If the volunteers already had a wide variety of options for their main course, they wouldn't mind having corn chips as a snack.

Also, doesn't E say that corn chips are least appetizing? How does that strengthen the conclusion stating that people prefer corn chips?

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In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given [#permalink]
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Re: In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given [#permalink]
mishraesha wrote:
Why can't D be an answer? My line of reasoning for why I chose D: If the volunteers already had a wide variety of options for their main course, they wouldn't mind having corn chips as a snack.

Also, doesn't E say that corn chips are least appetizing? How does that strengthen the conclusion stating that people prefer corn chips?]

Take another look at the argument.

The conclusion is not that people prefer corn chips. It's something else.

Once you more accurately identify the conclusion, you'll more easily see why (D) doesn't work and (E) does.
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In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given [#permalink]
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In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given either an assortment of snacks or only corn chips between meals. Beforehand, most volunteers predicted that they would be more satisfied with an assortment of snacks rather than just one kind of snack. But afterward, those who received only corn chips reported greater satisfaction. The researchers concluded from this that people tend to mistakenly believe that they prefer variety to monotony in their diets.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the researchers' reasoning?

A. Before the experiment, most volunteers said that corn chips were their favorite snack among those offered.
B. Other researchers have found that variety in diet is more satisfying than variety in other experiences.
C. The volunteers were not informed beforehand that those who did not receive an assortment of snacks would receive only corn chips.
D. The volunteers who received only corn chips were free to eat a wide assortment of foods for their main meals.
E. In a separate taste test, most people found the corn chips to be less appetizing than any other snack the volunteers received.

(E) indicates that most people, if anything, disliked corn chips compared to any other snack that was offered. This means that there was a potential bias AGAINST chips in terms of TASTE. In spite of this, people still reported MORE happiness with chips than with a variety of snacks. This increases the chances that there must have been something ELSE that was the cause for this increased happiness.
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In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given [#permalink]
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­Replying to a private message to give my humble opinion and explanation on this question.

Well, first thing first a question like this in a real test environment would scare me in the worst thinkable way. It is hard as iron but......we can ram it down.  (notice the reference to a great song     )

I usually have a bare-to-the-bone approach, especially when the question twists very hard. Simplicity is the key in my view. Even for the mere fact that the GMAT rewards efficiency as one of the premium elements possessed by a student

My approach is to read SUPER carefully and find the link to the options or the missing link...o whatever it is. Everything is there. We do not see or miss it but is there. I wouldn't say I like strategies too complicated. Yes, they are quite useful to approach certain questions, but they are not my cup of tea. I am a spartan guy

In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given either an assortment of snacks or only corn chips between meals.

Ok. For two or four os seven weeks an experiment is conducted. A group of people must eat several candies snacks or whatever it is or JUST ONE type of snack between meals. I would say in the afternoon

Beforehand, most volunteers predicted that they would be more satisfied with an assortment of snacks rather than just one kind of snack.

Ok. I am in the mind of those people who are involved in the experiment: ohhhhh, of course, it would be better to have more than one snack. I like mars snacks a lot. It is not better to have three of those instead of just a bit of chips. It is boring. Usually, more is better

But afterward, those who received only corn chips reported greater satisfaction.

This portion is really important: those (people, volunteers) who received the corn have had GREATER satisfaction. OK, and those who received 10 snacks? What do we know about that? And if those who had chips were somehow biased? We do not know. We do not know what they had in mind. Maybe they lied, and why? Maybe yes or maybe no. Or maybe I am thinking stupid thoughts. Not only that: they reported, but is this true?

The researchers concluded from this that people tend to mistakenly believe that they prefer variety to monotony in their diets.

From the above scenario the researchers concluded something. MMMMhhhh I feel that this argument is a bit far-fetched. THOSE reported but maybe we do not know the exact dynamics behind the scene.........I do not know.. Something do not convince me totally

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the researchers' reasoning?

A. Before the experiment, most volunteers said that corn chips were their favorite snack among those offered.

I do not see how is possible that this could be a valid option. We need to understand if , in simple words, variety over monotony. What is their favourite snacks and their relative taste is something for another discussion

B. Other researchers have found that variety in diet is more satisfying than variety in other experiences.

here we have variety against variety. This is an uncharted territory because it probably is the object of another research. The match is variety against monotony. Multiple things versus ONE thing

C. The volunteers were not informed beforehand that those who did not receive an assortment of snacks would receive only corn chips.

This is out because is just information on the modus operandi of the conducted research. It is similar to say: in a double-blind experiment, some had a real medicine and some a placebo. Nothing that would help us to crack the dichotomy: variety against monotony.

D. The volunteers who received only corn chips were free to eat a wide assortment of foods for their main meals.

Volunteers received 10 snacks or one only BETWEEN meals NOT as main meal

E. In a separate taste test, most people found the corn chips to be less appetizing than any other snack the volunteers received.

I like this option already from the tiny portion at the beginning: in a separate test. It is already promising to  see this because we have a test and then ANOTHER test that can or not confirm what we found out in our main test. Think about a sort of confirmation of the results. A double-check. Nice, I like it

Then we do have that most people found less appetizing chips than other snacks. What does that mean? visualize the circular path

Most people dislike chips, which means they do not like monotony. They probably think or believe it would be better to have more snacks, which brings us to variety.

And we said that the researchers concluded that people think erroneously BEFORE tasting something that for them is better the variety rather than a monotony diet

They believe variety would be better because corn is less appetizing and this confirms what we found: they MISTAKENLY believe variety is superior to a monotony diet

here the trick is in the word believe to confirm what the scientists found

I believe variety is better than monotony >>>>>> If I feel chips are less tasty, I believe it is better to have a lot of snacks, and therefore, I want variety. >>>>>>>>> And IF I believe the variety is better this would confirm and reinforce what the scientists say: people (I) believe variety better than monotony!

­
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Re: In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given [#permalink]
Option E : Even though corn chips were least favourite, in the overall experiment they still had a positive experience consuming a single food (corn chips). Thus strengthening the conclusion that single food is the choice of people
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Re: In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given [#permalink]
KarishmaB kindly share your thoughts on this.

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Re: In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given [#permalink]
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MasteringGMAT wrote:
In an experiment that lasted several weeks, volunteers were given either an assortment of snacks or only corn chips between meals. Beforehand, most volunteers predicted that they would be more satisfied with an assortment of snacks rather than just one kind of snack. But afterward, those who received only corn chips reported greater satisfaction. The researchers concluded from this that people tend to mistakenly believe that they prefer variety to monotony in their diets.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the researchers' reasoning?

A. Before the experiment, most volunteers said that corn chips were their favorite snack among those offered.
B. Other researchers have found that variety in diet is more satisfying than variety in other experiences.
C. The volunteers were not informed beforehand that those who did not receive an assortment of snacks would receive only corn chips.
D. The volunteers who received only corn chips were free to eat a wide assortment of foods for their main meals.
E. In a separate taste test, most people found the corn chips to be less appetizing than any other snack the volunteers received.

Participants asked - What would you prefer? Variety or only one snack?
Most said variety.

Group 1:  given variety of snacks
Group 2:  given only corn chips

At the end each group asked about their satisfaction. Group 2 expressed higher satisfaction than Group 1.

Conclusion: People tend to mistakenly believe that they prefer variety to monotony in their diets
They are concluding that group 2 showed higher satisfaction because they were given only one snack. That people actually prefer monotony. That the reason  group 2 was happier was because they were given only one snack. That it had nothing to do with corn chips being that snack.
Think about it - what if people absolutely love corn chips? What if in the variety, the snacks were average snacks that people don't care for much.
Then does the conclusion work? No. Then group 2 could have been more satisfied not because they got only one snack but because they got their favorite snack.

So what would strengthen the conlcusion?
If we come to know  that people have no affinity for corn chips, then it strengthens the conclusion that group 2 was happier because they got only one snack, whatever it was.

E. In a separate taste test, most people found the corn chips to be less appetizing than any other snack the volunteers received.

Hence (E) strengthens the conclusion.

A. Before the experiment, most volunteers said that corn chips were their favorite snack among those offered.

As we discussed above, for the conclusion to make sense, this should not be the case. People should not have any special affinity for corn chips.

B. Other researchers have found that variety in diet is more satisfying than variety in other experiences.

Diet vs other experiences are irrelevant. Our focus in variety in diet.

C. The volunteers were not informed beforehand that those who did not receive an assortment of snacks would receive only corn chips.

We know that participants were asked - variety vs monotony and they chose variety. The fact that they did not know that they will get corn chips in monotony does not tell us how they would have chosen had they been told about corn chips. How people's choices would have been impacted by this info we cannot say. We don't know whether people like corn chips more or less. We don't know whether they would have made their decision based on what they were getting in monotony. Hence how this information would have impacted the conclusion we don't know.

D. The volunteers who received only corn chips were free to eat a wide assortment of foods for their main meals.

What about those who got variety in snacks? Did they have variety in their main meals too? We have no information. Hence we cannot say anything about how it may or may not impact the conclusion.To compare, we need data about both groups. What was the point of distinction?
And even if we were to consider that those who variety in snacks did not have variety in main food then our conclusion weakens, not strengthens.