In the industrialized nations, the last century has : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# In the industrialized nations, the last century has

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01 Apr 2006, 12:55
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In the industrialized nations, the last century has witnessed a shortening of the average workday from twelve hours or longer to less than eight hours. Mindful of this enormous increase in leisure time over the past century, many people assume that the same trend has obtained throughout history, and that, therefore, prehistoric humans must have labored incessantly for their very survival.
We cannot, of course, directly test this assumption. However, a study of primitive peoples of today suggests a different conclusion. The Mbuti of central Africa, for instance, spend only a few hours each day in hunting, gathering, and tending to other economic necessities. The rest of their time is spent as they choose. The implication is that the short workday is not peculiar to industrialized societies. Rather, both the extended workday of 1880 and the shorter workday of today are products of different stages of the continuing process of industrialization.
Which of the following, if true, would most greatly strengthen the argument made in the passage above?

(A) In recent decades, the economy of the Mbuti has been markedly affected by the encroachment of modern civilization.
(B) The life-style of the Mbuti is similar to that of prehistoric humans.
(C) The Mbuti have no words in their language to express the distinction between work activities and leisure activities.
(D) The workday of a European peasant in medieval times averaged between eleven and fifteen hours.
(E) The members of the Shaklik tribe in central Asia have an average workday of ten to twelve hours.

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01 Apr 2006, 15:43
Question:
Which of the following, if true, would most greatly strengthen the argument made in the passage above?

Assumption:
many people assume that the same trend has obtained throughout history

Premise:
In the industrialized nations, the last century has witnessed a shortening of the average workday from twelve hours or longer to less than eight hours. Mindful of this enormous increase in leisure time over the past century,

Conclusion:
therefore, prehistoric humans must have labored incessantly for their very survival.

Example:
We cannot, of course, directly test this assumption. However, a study of primitive peoples of today suggests a different conclusion. The Mbuti of central Africa, for instance, spend only a few hours each day in hunting, gathering, and tending to other economic necessities. The rest of their time is spent as they choose. The implication is that the short workday is not peculiar to industrialized societies. Rather, both the extended workday of 1880 and the shorter workday of today are products of different stages of the continuing process of industrialization.

My Notes:
---------
The Mbuti tribe example is a distractor.
The question is also an example where no option is correct but the one with the closest being the correct answer.

Option A: Does not go with the conclusion. The conclusion talks about the prehistoric humans laboring incessantly while this option talks about the economy of the Mbuti markedly affected by the encroachment of modern civilization.

Option B: Does not go with the conclusion. This option talks about the prehistoric humans and who did not work for long hence weakens the argument.

Option C: Out of Scope

Option D: This is the only one which strengthens the argument.

Option E: Out of Scope

Hence D should be the answer.
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01 Apr 2006, 17:41
Nice explanation.

Agree that D is the closest answer, but not the perfect one.

Although, it seems like a mini RC......

What is source of question??
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02 Apr 2006, 09:16
the source of the question is CR 1000, but D is NOT the correct answer I originally picked D, but it is wrong and cannot understand why
02 Apr 2006, 09:16
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