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In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company

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Re: In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2017, 18:23
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mikemcgarry wrote:
nahid78 wrote:
I can't even understand what is going on here...

In the mid-1920’s the Clyde Fan Factory of the Bosch Manufacturing Company was the scene of an intensive series of experiments that would investigate changes in working conditions as to their effects on workers’ performance.

A. that would investigate changes in working conditions as to their effects on workers’ performance

B. investigating the effects that changes in working conditions would have on workers’ performance

C. for investigating what are the effects in workers’ performance that changes in working conditions would cause

D. that investigated changes in working conditions’ effects on workers’ performance

E. to investigate what the effects changes in working conditions would have on workers’ performance


As far as I have learnt the rules...
In A "That" modifies experiments, which can not investigate.
B) again investigating modifies experiments
C) For is wrong usage, and effects in workers’ performance that changes, I think verb changes should take Subject effects, I don't understand how can this "that" does not modify performance but effects.
D) same as A
E) I rearrange it as " to investigate the effects that changes in changes in working conditions would have....

I am totally confused now after seeing the OA. Can anyone make this rules or strategy clear to me....

mikemcgarry, i hope you won't mind if i continue to tag you. I am sorry if I bother you, but i think you are best man to whom I can ask help.

Dear nahid78,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, I have some bad news for you. It is absolutely impossible to arrive at GMAT SC mastery simply by learning some mythical "complete" set of rules. Yes, there are some rules and some patterns that are important to know, but everything you need to know can't be summarized by rules alone. Apart from rules, you also need to develop instincts for sophisticated writing, and the only way to do this is to develop a habit of reading. See:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

Students labor under the misconception that the GMAT SC is just a test of grammar. In fact, grammar and logic and rhetoric are all equally important. There are some rules for grammar and logic, although there are elements of both that go beyond rules. Rhetoric is much more pattern-based and feeling-based--it's harder to state many "rules" for good rhetoric. Rules are helpful only up to a certain level, and beyond that, searching for the "right" rule obscures what's important.

OK, let's look at this problem:
In the mid-1920’s the Clyde Fan Factory of the Bosch Manufacturing Company was the scene of an intensive series of experiments that would investigate changes in working conditions as to their effects on workers’ performance.

A. that would investigate changes in working conditions as to their effects on workers’ performance

First of all, one thing that is odd is the hypothetical statement, "would investigate." This is not the form we would use for reporting a simple historical fact. Also, the construction "as to their effects" sounds particularly stilted and excessively formal. The GMAT SC prefers formal language, but that's a little over-the-top.

B. investigating the effects that changes in working conditions would have on workers’ performance
simple, clear--a promising answer

C. for investigating what are the effects in workers’ performance that changes in working conditions would cause
The construction "experiments for investigating" is not outright wrong, but a odd. After all, all experiments are "for investigating" something. What's really awkward about this is the wordy indirect backward organization. Notice that it puts the effects at the beginning and the cause at the end: the logical order is to flow from cause to effect. It's not automatically wrong to put the effects first, but it would have to be done skillfully. Here, the effect is very awkward and indirect---it's a rhetorical train wreck!

D. that investigated changes in working conditions’ effects on workers’ performance
Not bad, but it's a little awkward because it's so compressed. Concision is a good thing, rhetorically: saying something in a long wordy way is bad, but it's also a problem to be too short. Notice that after the verb "investigated," there is a pile-up of nouns with no verb. There's cause-and-effect action taking place there, but no verb for that action. It's not "wrong," but awkward---not the way a skilled writer would communicate the idea.

E. to investigate what the effects changes in working conditions would have on workers’ performance
This opens with an infinitive of purpose. This one would be pretty good, except for the hypothetical verb "would have." This sentence is not about something hypothetical: it's about a real historical situation, in which real conditions had effects on real workers. As in (A), the hypothetical verb tense doesn't reflect the historical reality.

The only possible answer would be (B). This is a hard question!

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)



although i didn't understand well, thanks for your suggestions.

I have another question- You said in option E "would have is hypothetical", I think understanding such differences requires more practice, but is there any indication though which an inept student like can understand the differences. And one more thing, In B) does "investigating" modify the company? if so how to understand such usage?
Thanks isn't enough.
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Re: In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2017, 11:57
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nahid78 wrote:
although i didn't understand well, thanks for your suggestions.

I have another question- You said in option E "would have is hypothetical", I think understanding such differences requires more practice, but is there any indication though which an inept student like can understand the differences. And one more thing, In B) does "investigating" modify the company? if so how to understand such usage?
Thanks isn't enough.

Dear nahid78,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, one of the very difficult aspects of the English language for any non-native speaker to grasp are the subtle differences in implication created by different tenses, especially those using auxiliary verbs. For example, consider these variants:
I swim at the gym.
I am swimming at the gym.
I have swum at the gym.
I can swim at the gym.
I could swim at the gym.
I would swim at the gym.
I should swim at the gym.
I may swim at the gym.
I might swim at the gym.

Each one of these has a slightly different implication, and in different contexts, some would be right and some completely wrong. If you don't have a good sense of the differences among these, I would say that you have more content about the English language that you need to learn. Magoosh has a good English course that might help you, and there are other courses. There is no "quick trick." If you don't understand these, you have some fundamentals that you need to learn, probably in a course of some kind.

In (B), the word "investigating" modifies "series of experiments." Here's the thing. Language is not perfectly logical, in part because human beings are not perfectly logical. Language, by its very nature, lends itself to poetry and metaphor. Even though the language on the GMAT reflects a formal academic tone, some metaphors are so deeply ingrained in the language that they appears. Whenever anyone in the natural or social science talk about experiments, it is 100% natural to say that "the experiment demonstrated X" or "the experiment did not find that Y was the case" or "the experiment investigated Z." Yes, if we were going to be 100% literal, of course it's only the scientists or researchers in the experiment who demonstrate, find, investigate, etc. The trouble with that is, we would be so literal that we would be un-idiomatic! Similarly, in English, we might say that "this book makes an argument against X" or this "song talks about Y." Again, the more you read English, the more you will develop a sense of the common idioms. There is no substitute for a rigorous habit of reading. Since you acknowledge that you have a lot to learn, then you need to read every single day, and you need to read at least an hour each day.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2017, 07:04
Can someone help me quickly with B vs D? I read other comments and am still a little lost.

B) My problem with B is that I believe it is modifying "scene", which doesn't make sense. Both "of an intensive series" and "of experiments" are prepositional phrases and thus modifiers in their own right.

D) Some of the people above were saying that the reason D is wrong is because "that" shows the clause that follows is modifying experiment.How is modifying experiment any less logical than modifying scene?

I guess what I am getting stuck on is how some can argue that the present participle "investigating" is modifying the entire clause in front of it. I thought only adverbial modifiers do that, and in that case you would need a comma -ing, right?
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Re: In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2017, 05:36
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souvik101990 wrote:
In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company was the scene of an intensive series of experiments that would investigate changes in working conditions as to their effects on workers’ performance.

(A) that would investigate changes in working conditions as to their effects on workers’ performance

(B) investigating the effects that changes in working conditions would have on workers’ performance

(C) for investigating what are the effects in workers’ performance that changes in working conditions would cause

(D) that investigated changes in working conditions’ effects on workers’ performance

(E) to investigate what the effects changes in working conditions would have on workers’ performance

B and D are close. However, the subtlety lies in the interchange of words in these options.
The idea of the sentence is to show that the experiments were carried out to investigate the effects that changes (of xyz) would have.
D goes wrong in presenting the idea of investigating changes
.

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Re: In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2017, 06:16
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1
In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company was the scene of an intensive series of experiments that would investigate changes in working conditions as to their effects on workers’ performance.

(A) that would investigate changes in working conditions as to their effects on workers’ performance
“their” in "investigate changes ... as to their effects" is unclear

(B) investigating the effects that changes in working conditions would have on workers’ performance -- Correct

(C) for investigating what are the effects in workers’ performance that changes in working conditions would cause
the sequence of events is illogical

(D) that investigated changes in working conditions’ effects on workers’ performance
The intended meaning involves “effects of the changes”, but this choice seems to indicate that the conditions themselves haven't changed - only their “effects” have.

(E) to investigate what the effects changes in working conditions would have on workers’ performance
"to investigate X" is concise and clear as compared to "to investigate what X is"
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Re: In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2019, 00:39
hello,
i option B, singular verb "changes" refers to which subject?
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Re: In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2019, 20:41
thaya wrote:
hello,
i option B, singular verb "changes" refers to which subject?
Changes is a noun here, and it forms a subject-verb pair with would have.

the effects that changes in working conditions would have (~"changes would have effects")
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Re: In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2019, 18:08
Illogical meaning
The investigation was on the effect that a change would cause, so eliminate
A - investigate changes...
C - investigating what are the effects in workers' performance
D - this is less clear cut but D says "changes in working conditons"

E then states that the company was the scene to investigate changes - as in people hung out there and routinely investigated changes. This is false as the investigation was a one-off occurence (since we have no other info to prove otherwise).

B is correct even though it comes across awkward.
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Re: In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2019, 10:54
(d) "changes in working conditions' effects" is at best awkward and vague, and at worst ambiguous: the intended meaning is the effects of the changes, but this sentence seems to indicated the effects of the conditions themselves. in other words, a literal reading of this sentence seems to indicate that the conditions themselves haven't changed - only their effects have. that's not the intended meaning of the original.
so correct ans is B
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Re: In the mid-1920’s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company   [#permalink] 14 Nov 2019, 10:54

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