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"Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire

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"Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire live-born population. In the middle of the nineteenth century, life expectancy in North America was 40 years, whereas now it is nearly 80 years. Thus, in those days, people must have been considered old at age that we now consider the prime of life.

Which of the following, if true, undermines the argument above?

a. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the population of North America was significantly smaller than is today.

b. Most of the gains in life expectancy in the last 150 years have come from reductions in the number of infants who die in their first year of life.

c. Many of the people who live to an advanced age today do so only because of medical technology that was unknown in the nineteenth century.

d. the proportion of people who die in their seventies is significantly smaller today than is the proportion of people who die in their eighties.

e. More people in the middle of the nineteenth century engaged regularly in vigorous physical activity than do so today.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2012, 09:49
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Only B weakens the conclusion that 40 year olds in the nineteenth century were considered old.
It says that the average went up because deaths of 1 year olds decreased dramatically.
So the people who are considered old remains to be of the same age.
Does this help?
Which option do you think is better?
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Kudos [?]: 17611 [3], given: 1986

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Re: Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2012, 21:17
souvik101990 wrote:
Only B weakens the conclusion that 40 year olds in the nineteenth century were considered old.
It says that the average went up because deaths of 1 year olds decreased dramatically.
So the people who are considered old remains to be of the same age.
Does this help?
Which option do you think is better?


I didn't got argument
and i have chosen answer as 'A'
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Re: "Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2014, 08:49
souvik101990 wrote:
Only B weakens the conclusion that 40 year olds in the nineteenth century were considered old.
It says that the average went up because deaths of 1 year olds decreased dramatically.
So the people who are considered old remains to be of the same age.
Does this help?
Which option do you think is better?

perfect reasoning, kudos for you!!
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Re: "Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2014, 00:12
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B talks about last 150 years which may include both nineteenth century and "Now". so how can we say that the data for infant deaths apply to only nineteenth century??
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Re: "Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2014, 01:33
aadikamagic wrote:
B talks about last 150 years which may include both nineteenth century and "Now". so how can we say that the data for infant deaths apply to only nineteenth century??

Nope. It says in the last 150 years. That phrase would not include what happened now.

Hope this helps.

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Re: "Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire [#permalink]

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Went for B. The minute I saw Average mentioned in the question, it instantly struck me that Average can be misleading.The Average life expectancy would have been low if the number of new born babies not surviving their first year had been high as compared to present day. And since we are to weaken the argument I started looking for options which focused on this particular issue with Average.

So till now I have come across the following type of Questions :
Average question like the one above.
Sampling Questions : article-representative-sample-a-concept-tested-in-gmat-cr-158832.html
Quantitative Predictive Arguments : how-to-approach-quantitative-predictive-arguments-146436.html
Percentages vs Absolute numbers

What I'm trying to do is categorise questions so that minute I see a question falling under a particular category I know what I need to focus on. I'm guessing its not plausible to cover all the categories but the idea is to cover the major ones. Is this a good way to approach CR ?

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Re: "Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 05:49
hello experts,

I am unable to comprehend what the argument is trying to convey here. Below are my thoughts on this

Premise: - "Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire live-born population. In the middle of the nineteenth century, life expectancy in North America was 40 years, whereas now it is nearly 80 years.

Conclusion: - Thus, in those days, people must have been considered old at age that we now consider the prime of life.

- The question stem asks us to WEAKEN the argument i.e. we need to find an option that says people, in those days, at the age of 40 shouldn't have been considered old

- None of the options relate to what I am thinking here hence I am stuck. Request your help. Thanks :-)

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Re: "Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2017, 15:24
pikolo2510 wrote:
hello experts,

I am unable to comprehend what the argument is trying to convey here. Below are my thoughts on this

Premise: - "Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire live-born population. In the middle of the nineteenth century, life expectancy in North America was 40 years, whereas now it is nearly 80 years.

Conclusion: - Thus, in those days, people must have been considered old at age that we now consider the prime of life.

- The question stem asks us to WEAKEN the argument i.e. we need to find an option that says people, in those days, at the age of 40 shouldn't have been considered old

- None of the options relate to what I am thinking here hence I am stuck. Request your help. Thanks :-)

Great analysis, but pay attention to the definition of "life expectancy": "average age at death of the entire live-born population."
At first glance, this seems to suggest that most people in those days lived to be about 40 years old. However, what if, for example, about half the population died during infancy and the other half lived to be about 80 years old? In that case, the average age of death would still be 40, but 40 would not be considered "old age".

See if that helps you understand choice (B)!
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Re: "Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2017, 15:24
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