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In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband

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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
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P1 :- two groups
P2 :- first group has been told theater is haunted
P2 :- second been told that it was under renovation
P3 :- First half reported significantly more unusual

conclusion :- it is because of prior expectations.
Basically author is assuming they actually believe the statement
B is just opposite as it says they don't believe the author
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
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The important part of the conclusion is reports of ... generally result from prior expectations of such experiences.

A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural.
Irrelevant, this does not support conclusion as the second half were not expecting the theater to be haunted
B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie.
Possible candidate, assumption is that first group would assume that it was actually haunted
C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences.
Plausible but not relevant to conclusion
D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural.
Irrelevant
E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted.
Irrelevant

This leaves only B as the answer
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
AbdurRakib wrote:
In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, abandoned theater. Half of the volunteers had been told that the theater was haunted and the other half that it was under renovation. The first half reported significantly more unusual experiences than the second did. The researchers concluded that reports of encounters with ghosts and other supernatural entities generally result from prior expectations of such experiences.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the researchers’ reasoning?

A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural.
B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie.
C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences.
D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural.
E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted.

OG Verbal 2017 New Question(Book Question: 180)

Hi,

I cannot understand, why option B is the answer. The argument has cause and effect relation in the conclusion, which says that the prior expectation of supernatural activity made them experience unusual activity. Hence,

Prior expectation-> unusual experience.
Hence if we prove that something else lead to unusual experience, we can weaken the argument. Option C, says each participant had prior belief of supernatural experience. Hence it could be prior belief of supernatural experience that could cause such experience not the expectation of supernatural activity.

Please, help why my reasoning is flawed and why B is OA.

Regards
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
Hi, How can we rule out option D? My thinking was that if there was indeed some experience that was not supernatural then it undermines the conclusion that prior expectations of such experiences was the cause?
Thanks
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
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rakaisraka wrote:
Hi, How can we rule out option D? My thinking was that if there was indeed some experience that was not supernatural then it undermines the conclusion that prior expectations of such experiences was the cause?
Thanks

It is not stated that only the volunteers of the second group understood that there was some natural reason for the experience. Therefore the reason for more unusual experiences for the first group cannot be attributed to the fact that the second group, but not the first group, understood that actual reasons were not supernatural. Thus the reason for more unusual experience from the first group can still be attributed to the fact that the first group expected something unusual. Hence option D does not weaken the conclusion.

(Note: As long as it is not given that the volunteers were aware of the natural reason for the experience, it is not important whether the experiences were actually because of supernatural reason or natural reason.)
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
B is correct - If none of the volunteers believed the researchers' claim that the theater was haunted, then the implicit assumption that several of those volunteers expected supernatural experiences in the theater is flawed, and so the inference that their prior expectations probably account for their reports of supernatural experiences is flawed.
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
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In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, abandoned theater. Half of the volunteers had been told that the theater was haunted and the other half that it was under renovation. The first half reported significantly more unusual experiences than the second did. The researchers concluded that reports of encounters with ghosts and other supernatural entities generally result from prior expectations of such experiences.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the researchers’ reasoning?

A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural. -The second group weren't told that the place was haunted. Out of scope.
B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie. -Correct. If all the members of the first group thought that what they were told is a lie, then they didn't have any expectation.
C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences. -This is a strengthener.
D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural. -We are not worried about the cause.
E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted. -The argument is about the volunteers.
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
Hello experts,

Can you explain why option D is incorrect?
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
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pikolo2510 wrote:
Hello experts,

Can you explain why option D is incorrect?

The point of the passage is not what actually caused the unusual events, even if there have been any, but whether the inference drawn from those events, as felt by the representative of the experiments, can be attributed to the prior experience of such knowledge.

Cheers !!
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
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AbdurRakib wrote:
In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, abandoned theater. Half of the volunteers had been told that the theater was haunted and the other half that it was under renovation. The first half reported significantly more unusual experiences than the second did. The researchers concluded that reports of encounters with ghosts and other supernatural entities generally result from prior expectations of such experiences.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the researchers’ reasoning?

A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural.
B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie.
C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences.
D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural.
E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted.

The argument in this question is worded in a way such that what is being said is not entirely clear, in that the researchers discuss “reports of encounters with ghosts and other supernatural entities,” while what the volunteers reported were simply “unusual experiences.” This wording could be taken as indicating that the “unusual experiences” that the volunteers had were somehow related to the supernatural. On the other hand, it could be that the difference between the wording used to describe what the volunteers experienced and the wording used in stating the researchers’ conclusion is a sign of a weakness in the argument. So, this difference is worth noting as we go to the answer choices to find one that weakens the argument.

A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural.

Since the volunteers in the second half are not the ones who were told that the theater was haunted, the fact that none of them believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural is in line with the reasoning of the argument and, therefore, does not weaken the conclusion.

B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie.

Since the researchers concluded that reports of supernatural experiences result from prior expectations of such experiences, the researchers must have assumed that their having told volunteers that the theater was haunted resulted in those volunteers’ expecting to have supernatural experiences.

This choice attacks that assumption, because, if the volunteers who were told that the theater was haunted believed that the researchers were lying, then the researchers’ saying that the theater was haunted would not have caused the volunteers to expect to have supernatural experiences.

What this choice says is in line with the wording of the passage, in that the passage says that the researchers came to a conclusion about supernatural experiences, while the volunteers reported experiences that were merely “unusual.” In other words, even the passage provided some indication that the researchers may have made an unwarranted assumption in arriving at their conclusion.

If the assumption that the volunteers in the first group expected to have supernatural experiences is incorrect, then the entire argument falls apart. Thus, this choice wrecks the argument.

C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences.

This choice could be tempting, because it says something about the volunteers’ beliefs in the type of experiences that the argument is about. However, once you look closely at what this choice actually says, you see that all it conveys is that within each group the people varied in the degree to which they believed in supernatural experiences. In other words, this choices neither differentiates the two groups nor gives us any reason to believe that the volunteers in the first half did not expect to have supernatural experiences. So, this choice does not weaken the argument.

D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural.

This choice is a trap, because it could be perceived as undermining the conclusion though it does not actually do so.

Since the conclusion of the argument is about people reporting supernatural experiences, information indicating that those people did not in fact have supernatural experiences might seem to undermine the conclusion.

Notice, however, that the reasoning of the argument involves people’s “expectations” and “unusual experiences” that people “reported.” The experiences do not have to actually be supernatural experiences for people to report them. They could report the experiences, and they could even believe that the experiences were supernatural, even if the experiences were not supernatural. So, this choice does not affect the argument at all.

E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted.

The argument is based on what the volunteers believed, not what the researchers believed. So, this choice does not affect the argument.

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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
GMATNinja, GMATNinjaTwo
ConcIusion: Author says that reports of encounters with ghosts and other supernatural entities generally results from prior expectations of such events.

So If i break the causalty indicating that their could be some other event/factor that could have caused reports of encounters of ghosts and supernatural entities. Option B rightly says so by pointing out that if students of second group did not believe in the researchers` words then they will not have expectations of such events.

But for option D: It says that Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural.

Now if the unusual experiences were caused by expectations of such events then these expectations involve have supernatural entities and ghosts (as rightly said in the question stem-such events) Hence when option d says that the cause did not involve supernatural. Then apart from saying that the people did not have any supernatural experience inside it also says that the expectations of such events were not their. And one of the sources of these expectations has to be supernatural. Hence Option D weakens the argument.

Pl correct me.
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
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Quote:
In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, abandoned theater. Half of the volunteers had been told that the theater was haunted and the other half that it was under renovation. The first half reported significantly more unusual experiences than the second did. The researchers concluded that reports of encounters with ghosts and other supernatural entities generally result from prior expectations of such experiences.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the researchers’ reasoning?

A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural.
B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie.
C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences.
D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural.
E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted.

CONCLUSION:
reports of encounters with ghosts and other supernatural entities generally result from prior expectations of such experiences.
If any option weakens this one that must be our answer.
Lets check each option
Quote:
A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural.

The conclusion is talking about first half of students not second half. IRRELEVANT.
Quote:
B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie.

Hmm.. If first half of volunteers has not believed the researchers statement then the researchers conclusion is false because even without expectations they were scared.SO keep B .
Quote:
C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences.

we should not assume something that is not mentioned in the passage.-OUT OF SCOPE.
Quote:
D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural.

This option is contradicting the argument because the researchers concluded that encounters of ghosts and other supernatural entities is because of prior expectations. we must take this as true and weaken the conclusion this ios not a reason to weaken the conclusion.In turn it is contradicting the original argument.ELIMINATE IT.
Quote:
E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted.

This is IRRELEVANT.
so Bis the Left out and the winner.
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, abandoned theater. Half of the volunteers had been told that the theater was haunted and the other half that it was under renovation. The first half reported significantly more unusual experiences than the second did. The researchers concluded that reports of encounters with ghosts and other supernatural entities generally result from prior expectations of such experiences.

main point:
prior expectation/information abt ghost dont result in reports of unusual experiences
given that
a) 50% were told abt presence of ghost b) 50% were told construction is going on c)both exp unusual but 1st grp exp more

pre-think:
what if actual ghost is present
what if unusual exp donot lead to ghost encounters

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the researchers’ reasoning?

A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural.
there is again a chance that 1st group may/maynot believe the same. hence relevant but not conclusive

B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie.
could be a possibility, if they dont believe, then not expecting. hence it address the link expectation-reports

C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences.
the degree of variance in belief abt ghost is not a proof that people exncounter because of expectation/belief. out of scope

D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural.
here unusual is not supernatural. it is could be relevant but it is not talking abt the expectation part. hence not a complete story.

E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted.
belief of researchers is irrelevant.
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
AbdurRakib wrote:
In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, abandoned theater. Half of the volunteers had been told that the theater was haunted and the other half that it was under renovation. The first half reported significantly more unusual experiences than the second did. The researchers concluded that reports of encounters with ghosts and other supernatural entities generally result from prior expectations of such experiences.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the researchers’ reasoning?

A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural.
B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie.
C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences.
D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural.
E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted.

OG Verbal 2017 New Question(Book Question: 180)

This question is fantastic, as all Official questions are.

1) Understand the stimulus
OK, so it's telling us that Group A was told it's spooky and Group B was told it's under renovation. More reports of spookiness in Group A than in Group B, therefore, expectation increases the number of reports of spookiness.

It's a weaken question and the argument is based on data. We have to prove that the data is broken, that is not linked to the conclusion, or that there are other reasons for the data to be presented as such.

3) Identify trap answers and use POE MOST UNDERRATED STEP FOR CR
In a critical reasoning question, most test takers will assume that the answer choice should directly address their pre-think. On the more difficult questions, the correct answer will not directly address the argument but rather bring new information that seems to be out of scope but is actually the best answer.

A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural.
This is a great wrong answer. If Group B didn't report any spookiness although they experienced it, then that would certainly mean that the conclusion is based on broken data, correct? As we'll see in a moment, this isn't the best answer. It doesn't address the conclusion directly.

B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie.
This actually directly attacks the conclusion that "expectation --> higher number of reports." If they thought that the researchers were lying about the theater being spooky, there was no expectation to see spooky things. Thus, breaking the conclusion that Group A had the expectation, resulting in a higher number of reports.

C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences.
This is a slick answer. It tries to confuse you with expectation vs prior belief. But it is similar to Answer Choice E. It doesn't matter if they actually believe that supernatural forces exist, we need to address the fact that expectation of seeing supernatural events, increases the number of reports.

D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural.
Whether or not the experiences involved the supernatural, we need to break the conclusion that "expectation --> higher number/reports." It just doesn't attack the argument made.

E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted.
This does not attack the argument, that when someone has the expectation of spookiness, there will be a higher number of reports. We don't care what the researchers actually believed. We have to address their argument.
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, abandoned theater. Half of the volunteers had been told that the theater was haunted and the other half that it was under renovation. The first half reported significantly more unusual experiences than the second did. The researchers concluded that reports of encounters with ghosts and other supernatural entities generally result from prior expectations of such experiences.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the researchers’ reasoning?

Pre-thinking:
According to the author there is a cause-effect scenario here.
Cause: being told that the theater is haunted
Effect: unusual/supernatural encounters
A way to weaken this cause-effect relation is to weaken the the assumption that lies within the cause and the effect, id est the first group believes what it is told.

A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural.
This strengthen the set ups of the experiments but we are not concerned with this group particularly. Hence incorrect

B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie.
If people in the first group did not believe the theatre to haunted or did not believe in ghost existence then the assumption through which the author draws the conclusion is unfounded. Hence incorrect

C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences.
This option choice is very vague and it doesn't have a clear impact on the argument. Hence incorrect

D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural.
This kind of strengthens the conclusion because it states that probably without being told that the theater was haunted people probably would have not experienced those unusual encounters at all. However this option choice is very vague. Hence incorrect

E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted.
Whether the researchers believed the theatre to be haunted or not is not of our concern and doesn't impact the conclusion at all. Hence incorrect
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Re: In an experiment, volunteers walked individually through a dark, aband [#permalink]
A. None of the volunteers in the second half believed that the unusual experiences they reported were supernatural. - strengthens the argument that the fear came from prior experiences because second was told that there was nothing supernatural
B. All of the volunteers in the first half believed that the researchers’ statement that the theater was haunted was a lie. - if this is true then people in first half didn't expect anything supernatural but they still did. It weakens the argument
C. Before being told about the theater, the volunteers within each group varied considerably in their prior beliefs about supernatural experiences. - This statement not only weakens the argument but makes the whole argument not worth making. Extreme choice
D. Each unusual experience reported by the volunteers had a cause that did not involve the supernatural. - Irrelevant because it doesn't mention about the group 1 or group 2
E. The researchers did not believe that the theater was haunted. - Irrelevant, can be easily eliminated

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Conclusion: The researchers concluded that reports of encounters with ghosts and other supernatural entities generally result from prior expectations of such experiences.
Now if they believed what they were being told was a lie, it balances the playing field and argument falls flat - Hence B
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