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# In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the

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In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 03 Sep 2019, 07:47
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In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the controversial theory that Western methods of child rearing create the very problem these methods purport to eliminate-excessive dependency upon the caretaker. Liedloff contrasts her observations of modern American society with those of the quuana tribe of the Amazon, with whom she lived on four separate occasions spanning several years. Liedloff claims that all humans operate on a continuum and are genetically predisposed to thrive under certain conditions. We also compensate for treatment which does not coincide with these optimal conditions by adapting our behavior to stabilize our psyches.

A baby who is in constant bodily contact with its caregiver receives physical stimulation that allows the child to feel secure and ”right." In contrast, a child who is alone most of the time and left to "cry it out" does not receive the necessary physical contact. This creates a dependency in the child, who soon develops the grasping need for attention, even negative attention. Liedloff contends that some parents' fears that they will spoil their baby by holding it "too much” or by feeding it on demand are unreasonable and even detrimental to the child's mental health and social development.

Adults who have been deprived of their continuum needs as children often seek to stabilize themselves by engaging in self-defeating or destructive behavior, which replicates the treatment to which they have become accustomed. Victims of emotionally barren parents may tend to seek mates who are domineering and cold, making true intimacy virtually impossible. Others may feel a lingering sense of guilt induced by a caregiver who never seemed to accept the child's existence. This guilt makes it difficult for an adult to feel peaceful or happy unless he is in crisis either physically or emotionally; the unresolved feelings of shame from childhood do not allow the adult to live a pain-free life.

Liedloff's critics argue that this form of “attachment parenting" does not enforce the natural hierarchy of parent over child in the family relationship. They stress that without a clear dominance of parent over child and discipline requiring the child to bend to the will of the parents from the moment of birth. the child does not develop a sense of right versus wrong.

Many of these critics espouse more scientific methods of raising children that rely on regularly scheduled feedings in infancy and careful control of the child's environment as the child grows older. Liedloff's response is that tight parental control over the child undermines its natural impulses toward socially acceptable behavior. Without choice, the child will not gain experience in making decisions and will be forced to look to an outside authority rather than use his own judgment. Upsetting the balance of the continuum by co-opting the child's natural ability to move toward independence and decision-making skills. she asserts, ultimately results in a lack of maturity and self-reliance in the adult.

1. The primary purpose of the passage as a whole is to

A. describe a strange phenomenon i
B. clarify a vague notion
C. condemn an ill-informed Opinion
D. refute a grievous misconception
E. support an alternative theory

2. According to the passage, Liedloff believes that adults whose sense of continuum is denied to them as children

A. are unable or unwilling to have children of their own
B. develop a strong sense of discipline and familial hierarchy
C. may suffer feelings of shame and inadequacy
D. seek mates whose strong sense of compassion can fill the void
E. are too self-absorbed and domineering to become adequate caregivers for their own children

3. Which of the following best describes the function of the passage's fourth paragraph?

A. It provides the reader the opportunity to see how both Liedloff and her critics rebut each other's opinions.
B. It resolves the argument between the two parenting schools by calling for further testing and research.
C. It undermines the passage's overall conclusion by suggesting that Liedloff's theories may be incomplete.
D. lt stresses the need for all parents to establish their familial authority over their children.
E. it suggests that Liedloff would be willing to modify her theories and acknowledge the importance of more scientific methods.

4. According to the passage, which of the following qualifies as an adult behavior that disturbs "the balance of the continuum"?

A. Prematurely encouraging interaction with other children who are slightly older
B. Imposing a strict sleeping regimen, regardless of the child's expressed desire to sleep
C. Resolving not to have children in order to stop the cycle of inadequate parenting
D. Providing the child with his own room as soon as is financially possible
E. Punishing a child who deliberately disobeys an order.

171

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Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 03 Sep 2019, 07:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2018, 19:31
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@araggon Abhishek009 generis GMATNinja
The author of the passage is presenting us with a study and what the study of the author actually claims and her arguments. The author of the PASSAGE never supports her theory ...as mike from magoosh says that to support someonelese POV the author almost explicitly mentions such supportve notion.

The purpose of the author according to me is :presenting a work and substantative arguments made in support of the claim in work

how is the primary purpose of the AUTHOR OF THE PASSAGE to support the theory??? please explain

also please explain how is the function of the 4th para... is the OA right?? accrding to me option C and D are wrong
the function of the 4th para is to provide criticism to the arguments made ealier in the passage and which is later countered by the author of the study..

please explainj the primary purpose question.. where does the author of the passage support the work??

AdityaHongunti , this kind of passage can be incredibly frustrating.

We have to reason "backwards" a bit. The answer to the primary purpose question in this instance depends on
1) POE, and (2) reading between the lines to find inconspicuous but marked difference in the way the author
presents the parties in the controversy.
Quote:
how is the primary purpose of the AUTHOR OF THE PASSAGE to support the theory???

Because the author tilts the narrative in defense of Liedloff's theory. The way the author depicts Liedloff's critics,
they might as well hang themselves with their own ropes.
This author is not merely reporting two sides of a story.

Certain words that describe positions or outcomes; whatever is not said; and who gets the last word
are just three ways to ferret out an author's point of view. This kind of RC question is among the hardest. I am not surprised by the stats.

Oddly enough, your description comes very close to the correct answer. You would prefer
that primary purpose be "presenting a work and substantive arguments made in support of the claim in work."

The author does exactly what you say, except that the "presentation" is not neutral. The author does not
explicitly mention support. But the way the author depicts each side suggests support of Liedloff.

Structural elements are one giveaway.
• Liedloff's approach is supported by research. Her critics' work? We don't know.

• Liedloff exposes the critics' method as emotionally indifferent at best,
cruel at worst, and tilted toward power rather than psychological health.
The author chooses the words that constitute Liedloff's critique. The author does not soften this depiction.

• Liedloff's critics then look even worse when they charge in bombastic language that her method
does not employ "natural hierarchy and dominance," does not "bend[] the child's will . . . from the moment of birth" and thus does not or cannot
teach children right from wrong.
The critics sound inhumane and authoritarian. A newborn? From the moment of birth these folks are interested in control and dominance?

In addition, in paragraph 4, critics have no response to charges that they produce damaged and dependent adults.
Rather, they assert that Liedloff's method fails to produce adults who know right from wrong.

The author gives Liedloff "airtime" to shut down that avenue and to have the last word.
To the contrary, Liedloff reasons; a child who lacks choice never learns to rely on an inner compass to decide what is moral.

What does the author NOT say? Well, this author does NOT say anything positive about the critics' theory.

Outright mention of support of Liedloff's alternative view is not necessary.
The author, as you phrase it, "almost explicitly mentions supportive notions."

Key? "Almost." In RC, tone is muted. Strong phrasing is a tip-off.
True, the author is reporting Liedloff's work, but the author chooses the words.
The author describes Western children as "[v]ictims of emotionally barren parents."
In RC, such phrasing is tantamount to megaphone announcement that the author
does not intend to portray the other side in more neutral language.

As soon as I saw "victims of emotionally barren parents," I was on the alert to look for a similarly loaded phrase
about Liedloff's approach. There is none. That phrase thus is illustrative; the passage is not neutral.
Argument structure, evidence, tone, and reasoning (or lack thereof) tilt heavily one way.
The author supports Liedloff.

Pick out some other words that the author uses to describe the critics.
None carries a positive tone. Finally, although Liedloff's work is controversial,
it is also seminal: very important, not to be ignored, and path-breaking.

Question #1: Process of elimination

1. The primary purpose of the passage as a whole is to
Quote:
A. describe a strange phenomenon i

A possible trap. Paradox is strange, as are self-defeating child-rearing practices.
Careful, though. The word strange is not strong or specific enough, especially compared with (E).
Paradoxical parenting practices might be "strange," but the author's presentation of Liedloff's scathing critique
goes well beyond description. Eliminate A
Quote:
B. clarify a vague notion

In left field. (Far removed from the passage.)
The author of this passage is precise and descriptive. The test taker may think that the notions are vague,
but the author never suggests that the notions themselves are vague. Eliminate B.
Quote:
C. condemn an ill-informed Opinion

Condemn is much too strong a verb for most RC questions.
Further, we have no idea what information her critics rely upon to form their opinions. Eliminate C.
Quote:
D. refute a grievous misconception

This answer could be tempting. Liedloff certainly has argued against what she thinks are "wrong ideas."
But the author is more subtle. The author's primary purpose is not that he or she will directly refute the misconceptions.
Eliminate D. (That, or keep and compare to E. In the latter case, (E) wins.)
Quote:
E. support an alternative theory

-- This answer is correct, although perhaps not straightforward because the author
uses structure, not explicit words of judgment (save one, "seminal"), to "support" Liedloff's theory.
-- The theory is indeed "alternative." Liedloff's belief that Western parenting methods are counterproductive is "controversial."
Liedloff and her critics are presented in contrast throughout the passage.

If a reader still is not convinced, think about the use of babies as an illustration.
Liedloff's approach to babies lies in stark contrast to supporters of Western methods.
Western babies and children are "alone most of the time" and "left to 'cry it out'."
Liedloff's prescription is indeed an alternative: parents should respond to children physically
and should create a psychologically safe environment. Her critics do not talk about psychological anything.
-- Does the author "support" Liedloff?
I would say yes, without question.
The author spends most of his or her time presenting Liedloff's views in a way that suggests defense of those views.

The critics do not really have an answer to anything Liedloff says. Their retort (authoritarianism is good)
feeds right into her critique.

You mentioned Mike McGarry's approach to point of view.
I just found one post that I think will help.
In this post, see GMAT Reading Comprehension Question Type 6: Author’s Tone.
Quote:
[The author's POV] is tricky, because unlike the extreme opinions typical of nutcases in the media, all the opinions and perspectives of GMAT authors will be moderated and nuanced. An author who judges something “promising” is wildly enthusiastic about it. An author who deems something “less than satisfactory” is completely slamming it. An author who finds something “troubling” is essentially pee-in-his-pants upset about it.

Answer E is the best of the five.

3. Which of the following best describes the function of the passage's fourth paragraph?
Quote:
also please explain how is the function of the 4th para... is the OA right??

I suspect that this passage really has only four paragraphs, and that what are now
paragraphs 4 and 5 should be merged into what would be the "fourth paragraph."

If someone has a copy of Princeton Review, take a look.

If I am correct, the answer to question 3 is (A). Even if I am not correct, the answer is (A.)
Regardless of structure, not one other answer is in the ballpark, let alone in left field.
(A) It provides the reader the opportunity to see how both Liedloff and her critics rebut each other's opinions. Correct.

B) further testing and research? There is no such statement.

C) suggestion that Liedloff's theories are incomplete? There is none.

D) stressing need for authority? NO. That's what the critics SAY, but if anything,
the author caricatures this stance.
Goodness -- look at the words: natural hierarchy, clear dominance of parent over child, and
requiring the child to bend to the will of the parents from the moment of birth.
The author does not endorse the critics' view.
If paragraph 4 is a standalone, it is a foil that Liedloff uses in rebuttal in the fifth paragraph to get in the last word. That's (A).

E) suggestion that Liedloff will modify her methods and is not scientific? No such mention.

Generally
The passage is mostly well-written. The author employs fairly sophisticated and subtle devices
to convey an overall tone of support for Liedloff. Such devices are common in RC.
By contrast, in CR, POV is usually clear.

On closer inspection, the way the author presents the contrast between Liedloff and her critics
is both unflattering to the critics and unobtrusively supportive of Liedloff. This material is difficult.

I hope that helps.
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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2018, 03:50
hansdieter1 wrote:
isn't question 3 reffering to the 5th Paragraph?

I too think so; Q3's OA fits for 5th paragraph. 4th paragraph only presents the viewpoint of the critics.
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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2018, 07:07
TaN1213 wrote:
hansdieter1 wrote:
isn't question 3 reffering to the 5th Paragraph?

I too think so; Q3's OA fits for 5th paragraph. 4th paragraph only presents the viewpoint of the critics.

TaN1213

I think so too. According to me, the 4th paragraph introduces criticism of Leidloff's paper.

Answer for Q3 should be (D) IMO.
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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2018, 04:51
@araggon Abhishek009 generis GMATNinja
The author of the passage is presenting us with a study and what the study of the author actually claims and her arguments. The author of the PASSAGE never supports her theory ...as mike from magoosh says that to support someonelese POV the author almost explicitly mentions such supportve notion.

The purpose of the author according to me is :presenting a work and substantative arguments made in support of the claim in work

how is the primary purpose of the AUTHOR OF THE PASSAGE to support the theory??? please explain

also please explain how is the function of the 4th para... is the OA right?? accrding to me option C and D are wrong
the function of the 4th para is to provide criticism to the arguments made ealier in the passage and which is later countered by the author of the study..

please explainj the primary purpose question.. where does the author of the passage support the work??
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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2018, 20:20
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Indeed the author's stand is not explicit but the way he/she presents the passage gives us an idea that the author is slightly in favour of the author..

- if author is presenting much of one side and in a way not presenting much opposition to the other side and not giving the opposite side a fair chance to present their reasoning then in that case the author may be endorsing the former view.
- author does not have to be specific enough for us to be clear that he supports that notion

I have one doubt though ,there are passages that are plain neutral in which the author just presents the data and criticisms and more discussion on that but does not support any of the notion .
I will have to compare a neutral passage with this one and see how implicitly the authors makes or does not make his support clear.
If you find such a neutral passage please do present it (I will try to find one on my own) so that I can be crystal clear about it... thankyou

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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2018, 01:56
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generis,

Thank you for the detailed response above. +1 to you. This could be a good lesson on gauging the tone of a passage.

I would think that a neutral passage has equal weight ( or like you said "airtime" ) for both viewpoints or if not at least a strong assertion against the viewpoint that gets more airtime to finish of the passage.

Good discussion and great passage.

Regards,
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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2019, 18:52
1
Long passage! Took 10:32 min in total including 6 min to read.

Passage Map:

1) CC, Irony, Amazon
2) Cry example
3) Impact of deprived childhood on growing up
4) AP, Critics
5) Critics vs L
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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2019, 05:35
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Good read and total time taken 9:09. Trick question was 3. A is the correct answer because the paragraph afterwards shows how Liedloff argues/responds back to the critics (a rebuttal). Choice D describes the CONTENT, not the FUNCTION of the paragraph. Tricky but always ask yourself what is the question asking me. Wish all questions on GMAT RC were purpose and detail based. I never miss them but always get tripped up on the tough inference questions!
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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2019, 11:26
Indeed the author's stand is not explicit but the way he/she presents the passage gives us an idea that the author is slightly in favour of the author..

- if author is presenting much of one side and in a way not presenting much opposition to the other side and not giving the opposite side a fair chance to present their reasoning then in that case the author may be endorsing the former view.
- author does not have to be specific enough for us to be clear that he supports that notion

I have one doubt though ,there are passages that are plain neutral in which the author just presents the data and criticisms and more discussion on that but does not support any of the notion .
I will have to compare a neutral passage with this one and see how implicitly the authors makes or does not make his support clear.
If you find such a neutral passage please do present it (I will try to find one on my own) so that I can be crystal clear about it... thankyou

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You asked for an example of a passage in which the author is
Quote:
"plain neutral . . . [about competing theories and the author] just presents the data and criticisms and more discussion on that but does not support" either theoretical approach.

This question, from OG 13, and OGs 2015-2018, is a good example:
here, on GMAT Club.
See question #3.

Nice work. I hope that the example helps.
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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2019, 11:46
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generis,

Thank you for the detailed response above. +1 to you. This could be a good lesson on gauging the tone of a passage.

I would think that a neutral passage has equal weight ( or like you said "airtime" ) for both viewpoints or if not at least a strong assertion against the viewpoint that gets more airtime to finish of the passage.

Good discussion and great passage.

Regards,

Gladiator59 , yes, "gauging the tone" is a perfect way to phrase the task.

And yes, a neutral passage will give equal weight to the different theories.
In this case, weight was signaled both by "airtime" (how, how thoroughly, and how attractively each theory was presented),
and by the fact that one theory not only got the last word, but also in that last word, the last-presented theorist trounced the claim of the other theorists.

You are correct; a neutral passage will give equal weight to each theory.

Now, "equal weight" is not formulaic, but the concept is not complicated.
Balance is achieved when the reader finishes the passage and thinks that the author is not taking sides.

An author could present Theory A in one paragraph and Theory B in two paragraphs,
but as you noted, either the author will avoid presenting one theory in a favorable light and the other in a less-favorable light,
or the author will make some explicitly neutral statement such as

While both theories raise troubling issues, both theories also contribute to an important theoretical discussion.
or
Neither theory resolves the issue, but each complements the other.

In those examples, I am paraphrasing.

Nice work!
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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2019, 02:59
Can someone explain how we can determine the answer to the 4th question

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Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the  [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2019, 05:51
Pratheek95 wrote:
Can someone explain how we can determine the answer to the 4th question

Posted from my mobile device

in last paragraph , it says tight parental control can disturb the balannce of continuum.

B is the best example of that .

Hope this helps ...
Re: In her seminal work, The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff presents the   [#permalink] 26 Jun 2019, 05:51
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