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# It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so

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It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2016, 11:09
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It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American software firm decreased in the 1980s and 1990s. This trend is borne out by two studies, conducted 20 years apart. In a large 1980 sample of randomly chosen American software firms, the median size of the firms’ workforce populations was 65. When those same firms were studied again in 2000, the median size was 57.

Which of the following points to the most serious logical flaw in the reasoning above?

A. The median number of employees in American firms in many industries decreased during the 1980s and 1990s.

B. During the 1980s and 1990s, many software firms increased the extent to which they relied on subcontractors to write code.

C. The data in the studies refer only to companies that existed in 1980.

D. The studies focused on the number of employees, but there are many ways of judging a firm’s size, such as revenues and profits.

E. The median number of employees is not as sound a measure of the number of employees employed in an industry as is the mean number of employees, which accounts for the vast size of the few large firms that dominate most industries.

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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2016, 21:45
1
carcass wrote:
It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American software firm decreased in the 1980s and 1990s. This trend is borne out by two studies, conducted 20 years apart. In a large 1980 sample of randomly chosen American software firms, the median size of the firms’ workforce populations was 65. When those same firms were studied again in 2000, the median size was 57.

Which of the following points to the most serious logical flaw in the reasoning above?

The median number of employees in American firms in many industries decreased during the 1980s and 1990s.

During the 1980s and 1990s, many software firms increased the extent to which they relied on subcontractors to write code.

The data in the studies refer only to companies that existed in 1980.

The studies focused on the number of employees, but there are many ways of judging a firm’s size, such as revenues and profits.

The median number of employees is not as sound a measure of the number of employees employed in an industry as is the mean number of employees, which accounts for the vast size of the few large firms that dominate most industries.

We have to undermine that the data given is not sufficient to say that the number of people employed by American software firms have decreased.
The study is consideration is only for the companies that existed in the 1980s. What if there are more companies now that employ a large number of people.
In that case, a typical software firm is still employing people.

Option C says just the same. Hence the correct answer.
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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2016, 03:28
Though I chose the right option, I was really confused between C and E. Even E kind of states a flaw but I'm wondering the reason for opting out of E would be C being a very apparent flaw.

Thoughts?
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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2016, 08:09
shonikjk wrote:
Though I chose the right option, I was really confused between C and E. Even E kind of states a flaw but I'm wondering the reason for opting out of E would be C being a very apparent flaw.

Thoughts?

This was a tough one between C and E. I picked C because it was obvious that the problems of the studies concerned the year they were taken. I instantly though that something was wrong with the methodology of the studies because they were taken 20 years away.

But E makes sense as well. After a close look, I think they mention the word "typical" american firm for some reason. And that reason is that these firms are similar to each other, so because of that they should have similar number of employees as well. And so the median-mean isn't a relevant factor.

But again, if C wasn't there, E would perfectly fit as the answer.
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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2016, 08:15
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shonikjk wrote:
Though I chose the right option, I was really confused between C and E. Even E kind of states a flaw but I'm wondering the reason for opting out of E would be C being a very apparent flaw.

Thoughts?

This was a tough one between C and E. I picked C because it was obvious that the problems of the studies concerned the year they were taken. I instantly though that something was wrong with the methodology of the studies because they were taken 20 years away.

But E makes sense as well. After a close look, I think they mention the word "typical" american firm for some reason. And that reason is that these firms are similar to each other, so because of that they should have similar number of employees as well. And so the median-mean isn't a relevant factor.

But again, if C wasn't there, E would perfectly fit as the answer.
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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2016, 10:02
the first sentence states that software-industry's size decreased in the 1980s and 1990s but the last premise states that the same study was repeated only on the 1980 incorporated companies. The catch is in the highlighted portions:
.
It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American software firm decreased in the 1980s and 1990s. This trend is borne out by two studies, conducted 20 years apart. In a large 1980 sample of randomly chosen American software firms, the median size of the firms’ workforce populations was 65. When those same firms were studied again in 2000, the median size was 57.
.
right answer is C
Good Question.
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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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28 May 2018, 01:40
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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2018, 11:24
I chose C but wasn't fully confident. I was confused between C and E. How can we eliminate E?
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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2018, 20:03
In the argument, we can infer that the median was lower in those firm after 20 years -> this means the company hold the median value decrease the number, or the position is shifted to another company with lower value due to the increase in number of employees of the previous median holder company or the decrease of that company's employees, or the combination of both. Thus, the shifting in median number can not tell us whether a typical firm decreased or increased the number of employees.
However, choice E only indicate the difference between the median and the mean that the median doesn't reflect the total number of employees but do not reveal the flaw in using the median value as the indicator of the decrease in the number of employees. Hence E is incorrect.

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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2018, 20:59
This doesnt sound like a gmat question

carcass wrote:
It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American software firm decreased in the 1980s and 1990s. This trend is borne out by two studies, conducted 20 years apart. In a large 1980 sample of randomly chosen American software firms, the median size of the firms’ workforce populations was 65. When those same firms were studied again in 2000, the median size was 57.

Which of the following points to the most serious logical flaw in the reasoning above?

The median number of employees in American firms in many industries decreased during the 1980s and 1990s.

During the 1980s and 1990s, many software firms increased the extent to which they relied on subcontractors to write code.

The data in the studies refer only to companies that existed in 1980.

The studies focused on the number of employees, but there are many ways of judging a firm’s size, such as revenues and profits.

The median number of employees is not as sound a measure of the number of employees employed in an industry as is the mean number of employees, which accounts for the vast size of the few large firms that dominate most industries.
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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2019, 00:34
Official Explanation

STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE QUESTION TYPE

Since the question stem asks for a “logical flaw,” you’re dealing with a Flaw question here.

STEP 2: UNTANGLE THE STIMULUS

The argument concludes that the typical American software firm employs fewer people in the 2000s than it did in the 1980s and 1990s. This conclusion is supported by two studies; in order for the conclusion to be valid, both studies need to be representative.

STEP 3: PREDICT THE ANSWER

The sample in the 1980 study seems legitimate: it was large and randomly chosen. However, notice the problem with the 2000 study: it uses the same firms as in the 1980 study. The firms are no longer randomly chosen, nor does the sample size account for the many software firms that presumably sprang up between 1980 and 2000. In other words, the sample in the second survey was not representative of all American software firms.

STEP 4: EVALUATE THE CHOICES

This prediction matches (C), which pinpoints a problem with the representativeness of the 2000 survey. If the firms surveyed included only those that also existed 20 years ago, then no information is included about firms that have come into existence since then. If the survey is not based on information about all American software firms, including those that have come into existence over the last 20 years, then the survey is not representative, and any conclusions drawn from those results are called into question.

(A)’s focus on many industries is irrelevant to the argument, which is concerned only with the number of people employed by a typical American software firm.

(B) gives a plausible explanation of why the median size of firms is decreasing, but it fails to describe a flaw in the argument.

(D) is irrelevant: the survey is concerned with the firm’s size in terms of workforce population. All other measures of a firm’s size are irrelevant.

Finally, (E) is not a flaw in this argument. While it may be true that the mean is a better measure for total workforce population in an industry, this argument concerns the number of employees in a typical firm in one industry, not across the industry as a whole.

Hope it helps
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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2019, 01:04
Correctly pointed that it is a representative question - but C is to be eliminated.

by a typical A software firm (this already implies a qualitative averaging of software firms in existence - it does not mean 1 firm) - This itself eliminates C - because the statement itself points towards the direction that some kind of averaging has been done about existing and non-existing firms. Valid choice - but not the answer.

The conclusion of number increase or decrease is done from median - that is the flaw and thus E is the answer.

It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American software firm decreased in the 1980s and 1990s. This trend is borne out by two studies, conducted 20 years apart. In a large 1980 sample of randomly chosen American software firms, the median size of the firms’ workforce populations was 65. When those same firms were studied again in 2000, the median size was 57.

Which of the following points to the most serious logical flaw in the reasoning above?

A. The median number of employees in American firms in many industries decreased during the 1980s and 1990s.

B. During the 1980s and 1990s, many software firms increased the extent to which they relied on subcontractors to write code.

C. The data in the studies refer only to companies that existed in 1980.

D. The studies focused on the number of employees, but there are many ways of judging a firm’s size, such as revenues and profits.

E. The median number of employees is not as sound a measure of the number of employees employed in an industry as is the mean number of employees, which accounts for the vast size of the few large firms that dominate most industries.
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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2019, 02:20
I Agree with demonawaits even i was confused with C and E, how can we eliminate E
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Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2019, 03:22
carcass wrote:
It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American software firm decreased in the 1980s and 1990s. This trend is borne out by two studies, conducted 20 years apart. In a large 1980 sample of randomly chosen American software firms, the median size of the firms’ workforce populations was 65. When those same firms were studied again in 2000, the median size was 57.

Which of the following points to the most serious logical flaw in the reasoning above?

A. The median number of employees in American firms in many industries decreased during the 1980s and 1990s.

B. During the 1980s and 1990s, many software firms increased the extent to which they relied on subcontractors to write code.

C. The data in the studies refer only to companies that existed in 1980.

D. The studies focused on the number of employees, but there are many ways of judging a firm’s size, such as revenues and profits.

E. The median number of employees is not as sound a measure of the number of employees employed in an industry as is the mean number of employees, which accounts for the vast size of the few large firms that dominate most industries.

e is quite convincing because even if the number of employes would have increased in large firms we are looking at median (central value) and not mean(which would reflect this increase). and this is a logical flaw.
c on the other hand is also a flaw but i guess a lack of data one.
Re: It appears that the number of people employed by a typical American so   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2019, 03:22
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