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# It s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic

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It s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 17 Apr 2013, 23:44
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55% (hard)

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57% (01:34) correct 43% (01:52) wrong based on 251 sessions

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It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic or drug intoxication is more likely to cause a fire than a sober person. It also seems true that an inebriated person is less capable of extinguishing fires than a sober one. Nevertheless, last year’s statistics from the Cartesian Fire Department show that more fires were caused by sober persons than by those who were inebriated.

Which of the following, if true, best explains the discrepancy above?

(A)The number of Cartesians who neither drink nor use drugs is significantly greater than the number of those who do.

(B)Many fires occur because of malfunctioning electrical and gas equipment, and most people cannot prevent those fires regardless of whether they are drunk or sober.

(C)Cartesian legislation permits drug and alcohol consumption to all Cartesians who are of full legal age.

(D)Many persons who neither drink nor use drugs, smoke cigarettes.

(E)Sometimes, it is hard to establish whether a fire was caused by someone who was sober or drunk.

Originally posted by guerrero25 on 17 Apr 2013, 23:01.
Last edited by guerrero25 on 17 Apr 2013, 23:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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17 Apr 2013, 23:26
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A seems best :The number of Cartesians who neither drink nor use drugs is significantly greater than the number of those who do.
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Re: It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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17 Apr 2013, 23:35
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yeah, it's A.

It's trying to trick you up on percentages vs population sizes.

If getting drunk made you 100% more likely to start a fire then drunk people, PER PERSON, will start more fires than sober people.

This means that one drunk person starts as many fires on average as two sober people.

However, if there are 1000 sober people and only one drunk person, then we would see a lot more fires from sober people... simply because there are a lot more sober people.
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Re: It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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17 Apr 2013, 23:48
what is the source of this question ?
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Re: It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2013, 11:37
guerrero25 wrote:
It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic or drug intoxication is more likely to cause a fire than a sober person. It also seems true that an inebriated person is less capable of extinguishing fires than a sober one. Nevertheless, last year’s statistics from the Cartesian Fire Department show that more fires were caused by sober persons than by those who were inebriated.

Which of the following, if true, best explains the discrepancy above?

(A)The number of Cartesians who neither drink nor use drugs is significantly greater than the number of those who do.

(B)Many fires occur because of malfunctioning electrical and gas equipment, and most people cannot prevent those fires regardless of whether they are drunk or sober.

(C)Cartesian legislation permits drug and alcohol consumption to all Cartesians who are of full legal age.

(D)Many persons who neither drink nor use drugs, smoke cigarettes.

(E)Sometimes, it is hard to establish whether a fire was caused by someone who was sober or drunk.

Good question.

A is the best.
Fact 1: an intoxicated person is more likely to cause a fire than a sober person.
Fact 2: more fires were caused by sober persons than by those who were inebriated
Reason: what if the number of intoxicated person is very small ==> the number of fire accidents caused by them is not as great as that caused by sober persons.

A is correct.

PS: I think guerrero25 deserves kudos for a lot of good questions.
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Re: It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2013, 12:24
guerrero25 wrote:
It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic or drug intoxication is more likely to cause a fire than a sober person. It also seems true that an inebriated person is less capable of extinguishing fires than a sober one. Nevertheless, last year’s statistics from the Cartesian Fire Department show that more fires were caused by sober persons than by those who were inebriated.

Which of the following, if true, best explains the discrepancy above?

(A)The number of Cartesians who neither drink nor use drugs is significantly greater than the number of those who do.

(B)Many fires occur because of malfunctioning electrical and gas equipment, and most people cannot prevent those fires regardless of whether they are drunk or sober.

(C)Cartesian legislation permits drug and alcohol consumption to all Cartesians who are of full legal age.

(D)Many persons who neither drink nor use drugs, smoke cigarettes.

(E)Sometimes, it is hard to establish whether a fire was caused by someone who was sober or drunk.

what`s the problem with B.Need explanation why b is wrong
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Re: It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2013, 12:25
Quote:
what`s the problem with B.Need explanation why b is wrong

the argument is not abt preventing fire its abt causing fire
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Re: It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2013, 12:52
mun23 wrote:
guerrero25 wrote:
It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic or drug intoxication is more likely to cause a fire than a sober person. It also seems true that an inebriated person is less capable of extinguishing fires than a sober one. Nevertheless, last year’s statistics from the Cartesian Fire Department show that more fires were caused by sober persons than by those who were inebriated.

Which of the following, if true, best explains the discrepancy above?

(A)The number of Cartesians who neither drink nor use drugs is significantly greater than the number of those who do.

(B)Many fires occur because of malfunctioning electrical and gas equipment, and most people cannot prevent those fires regardless of whether they are drunk or sober.

(C)Cartesian legislation permits drug and alcohol consumption to all Cartesians who are of full legal age.

(D)Many persons who neither drink nor use drugs, smoke cigarettes.

(E)Sometimes, it is hard to establish whether a fire was caused by someone who was sober or drunk.

what`s the problem with B.Need explanation why b is wrong

We're trying to explain the seeming discrepancy between two premises, A and B.

Answer B provides a third premise for the cause of fires that might decrease both A and B but has nothing to do with the discrepancy between the two.
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Re: It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2013, 13:05
1
guerrero25 wrote:
It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic or drug intoxication is more likely to cause a fire than a sober person. It also seems true that an inebriated person is less capable of extinguishing fires than a sober one. Nevertheless, last year’s statistics from the Cartesian Fire Department show that more fires were caused by sober persons than by those who were inebriated.

Which of the following, if true, best explains the discrepancy above?

(A)The number of Cartesians who neither drink nor use drugs is significantly greater than the number of those who do.

(B)Many fires occur because of malfunctioning electrical and gas equipment, and most people cannot prevent those fires regardless of whether they are drunk or sober.

(C)Cartesian legislation permits drug and alcohol consumption to all Cartesians who are of full legal age.

(D)Many persons who neither drink nor use drugs, smoke cigarettes.

(E)Sometimes, it is hard to establish whether a fire was caused by someone who was sober or drunk.

Definitely A, this is a classic GMAT statistical error.

Whenever you see a question that quotes statistics, you should automatically distrust the statistics. 99.44% of the time, the flaw is right there, and it's generally around one of three subjects: % vs #, generalization or causality. In this case, the poblem revolves around the number of fires started, which obviously will be skewed towards the bigger part of the population. If half the Cartesians were constantly drunk (let's call them quadrants 2 and 4) and half the Cartesians were always sobert (quadrants 1 and 3) then it would be a discrepency that more fires are caused by sober people. However, if the vast majority of people were sober, then even if inebriated people were twice as likely to start a fire, the overall numbers would still favor sober fire starters.

B plays upon causality but offers nothing to reconcile the issue of why more were started by sober people.
E introduces an element of doubt that does nothing to reconcile the paradox at hand.
C and D are pretty clearly out of scope. They are true but irrelevant to the question.

Hope this helps!
-Ron
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Re: It s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2016, 11:52
Why not E? If it is hard to establish whether a person was drunk or sober when he caused a fire would imply that the dept.'s stats may be skewed . That would explain the discrepancy just as well...

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Re: It s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2016, 00:53
ts30 wrote:
Why not E? If it is hard to establish whether a person was drunk or sober when he caused a fire would imply that the dept.'s stats may be skewed . That would explain the discrepancy just as well...

The issue is "Sometimes". Even if it is difficult to establish in "some" cases, it doesn't mean that the statistics have no value. Plus, you don't want to establish that the statistics are wrong. In a paradox question, you want to find the explanation which shows how both sides can co-exist. So focus on how it is possible to explain the statistics.
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Re: It s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2016, 14:34
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
ts30 wrote:
Why not E? If it is hard to establish whether a person was drunk or sober when he caused a fire would imply that the dept.'s stats may be skewed . That would explain the discrepancy just as well...

The issue is "Sometimes". Even if it is difficult to establish in "some" cases, it doesn't mean that the statistics have no value. Plus, you don't want to establish that the statistics are wrong. In a paradox question, you want to find the explanation which shows how both sides can co-exist. So focus on how it is possible to explain the statistics.

why not D...

I think cigarettes may cause fire...Hence its another reason for sober people to cause fire
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Re: It s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2016, 23:02
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mohsint25 wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
ts30 wrote:
Why not E? If it is hard to establish whether a person was drunk or sober when he caused a fire would imply that the dept.'s stats may be skewed . That would explain the discrepancy just as well...

The issue is "Sometimes". Even if it is difficult to establish in "some" cases, it doesn't mean that the statistics have no value. Plus, you don't want to establish that the statistics are wrong. In a paradox question, you want to find the explanation which shows how both sides can co-exist. So focus on how it is possible to explain the statistics.

why not D...

I think cigarettes may cause fire...Hence its another reason for sober people to cause fire

The reason a sober person causes fire is immaterial. The issue at hand is intoxicated vs sober person.

We need both things to hold true:
- A person in a state of alcoholic or drug intoxication is more likely to cause a fire
- Stats show that more fires were caused by sober persons than by those who were inebriated

and still explain the circumstances.

With (D), you are trying to negate "A person in a state of alcoholic or drug intoxication is more likely to cause a fire" which is not what you need to do here.
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Re: It s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2019, 22:56
It’s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic or drug intoxication is more likely to cause a fire than a sober person. It also seems true that an inebriated person is less capable of extinguishing fires than a sober one. Nevertheless, last year’s statistics from the Cartesian Fire Department show that more fires were caused by sober persons than by those who were inebriated.

Which of the following, if true, best explains the discrepancy above?

(A)The number of Cartesians who neither drink nor use drugs is significantly greater than the number of those who do.Correct choice because if the number of people who don't do drugs and so is significantly higher than those who do then the research/fact will not be able to stand.

(B)Many fires occur because of malfunctioning electrical and gas equipment, and most people cannot prevent those fires regardless of whether they are drunk or sober. fires caused by malfunction of electrical/gas equipments don't fall in the above stated category and is thus out of scope.

(C)Cartesian legislation permits drug and alcohol consumption to all Cartesians who are of full legal age.this one gives more info that all are allowed to drink and so on but it does not explain the discrepancy.

(D)Many persons who neither drink nor use drugs, smoke cigarettes.cigarettes are out of scope.

(E)Sometimes, it is hard to establish whether a fire was caused by someone who was sober or drunk. cannot explain the discrepancy.
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Re: It s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic  [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2019, 05:23
karishma

Let, there are total 100 people.
40 people take alcohol and drug, out of 40 people, 30 people are responsible to cause fire.
out of 60 sober people, only 20 people are responsible to cause fire.

Hence, the number of sober people is greater than the number of people who take alcohol and drink.

So how A is correct?

Posted from my mobile device
Re: It s a well-known fact that a person in a state of alcoholic   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2019, 05:23
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