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# Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an

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11 Sep 2019, 21:13
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Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an interesting experiment with small robots. The robots were programmed to get as many individual points as possible by finding small metal pucks and taking them to a nest in a corner of the lab. Robots were rewarded with points whenever they found a puck. But their excessive self-interest led to poor performance as robots repeatedly interfered with one another and battled over pucks. Researchers then reprogrammed the robots to share information: Robots would announce when they found a puck and listen to what other robots had to say. The robots were able to gather twice as many pucks as they had before they were reprogrammed.

Which of the following conclusions can be drawn from the experiment described in this passage?

A. Robots can be taught human behaviors.
B. The robots were poorly programmed in the first experiment.
C. The researchers were shocked by the difference in results between the two experiments.
D. Sharing information can dramatically improve the productivity of a group.
E. Self-interest leads to unproductive behavior.

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Re: Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an  [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2019, 21:49
2
Let's jot down the points:
Robots programmed to find metal punks- then get points
Robot self interest- interference in each others work-less productivity
Reprogrammed-coordination between robots & earned double points than before

Conclusion must be something that reprogramming improved programming and efficiency.

A. Robots can be taught human behaviors.
INCORRECT. Robots were reprogrammed, not taught.Plus nothing about human behavior is mentioned in the paragrapgh that we can conclude this as conclusion because these behaviors are not related to just humans.

B. The robots were poorly programmed in the first experiment.
INCORRECT. Nowhere in the passage it is mentioned that the first programming was wrong. Just because robots had some behavioral issue doesn't mean programming went wrong.

C. The researchers were shocked by the difference in results between the two experiments.
INCORRECT. Out of scope. Feelings about researchers are nowhere mentioned.

D. Sharing information can dramatically improve the productivity of a group.
CORRECT. Yes. This is similar to our probable answer!

E. Self-interest leads to unproductive behavior.
INCORRECT. Robots did earn points when they had self interest. Can't say the experiment was unsuccessful. This can't be a logical conclusion.

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Re: Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an  [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2019, 22:13
1
Researchers conduct two experiments.
1. Robots rewards point when they gather pucks
, however, in this case, they are excessive self-interest
2. Researchers change that robots share information to each other, resulting in double productivity

A. Robots can be taught human behaviors. - out of scope, nothing about human behavior is mention
B. The robots were poorly programmed in the first experiment. - they were not poorly programmed, it was just the different input
C. The researchers were shocked by the difference in results between the two experiments. - no mention that the reservation shock from the results btw those two experiments
D. Sharing information can dramatically improve the productivity of a group. - it can be conclude that sharing info (as robot) can improve productivity of a group because robots productivity increase twice when they share info.
E. Self-interest leads to unproductive behavior. - the passage mentions that self-interest lead to poor performance but not unproductive behavior.

therefore, D

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Re: Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an  [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2019, 22:19
1
D is the answer in my view. We know from the argument that when the robots were programmed to work in a group without sharing information, they performed poorly as they were all trying to get to the same point to pick up the metal pucks. However when they shared information, it resulted in increased productivity, twice the results when they didn’t share information. So it can logically be concluded that sharing of information can dramatically improve performance in a group.

A is incorrect because nothing in the statement suggests that robots are being taught human behaviors.

B is incorrect because they were programmed specifically to behave in a certain way. That cannot in any way be interpreted that they were programmed poorly.

C is incorrect because nothing in the argument suggests shock on the part of the researchers.

E is incorrect because the argument is not about self interest. It’s about sharing information. The association of reward in the first programming is a distraction.

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Re: Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an  [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2019, 23:15
1
The argument conclusion must hinge around the last sentence which states that twice many pucks were gathered when robots shared information.

A. Robots can be taught human behaviors. – WRONG. While the option may look true in reality but nothing as such about human behavior is discussed in the argument. Though the findings can be compared to situations in which human involvement is there but that would require few more assumptions that must have been discussed in the argument.
B. The robots were poorly programmed in the first experiment. – WRONG. Poorly programmed or not is not relevant to the argument. It is concerned about the contrasting findings.
C. The researchers were shocked by the difference in results between the two experiments. – WRONG. Again the option looks fine at first instance but before that we must consider that it is the researchers at the Brandeis University who programmed the robots not some other researchers. Brandeis University researchers must be expecting the change in the results thus them getting shocked is illogical.
D. Sharing information can dramatically improve the productivity of a group. – CORRECT. Any improvement is welcomed so twice the initial numbers is dramatic improvement. Earlier programming was done with the purpose of getting as many individual points as possible but the later one shifted the focus on robots’ sharing information before gathering pucks.
E. Self-interest leads to unproductive behavior. – WRONG. This one’s not right since argument already discusses it in the middle of the argument and that’s why the researchers reprogrammed the robots.

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Re: Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an  [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2019, 01:55
The huge difference in results after the robots were reprogrammed makes d the most logical conclusion: Sharing information can dramatically improve the productivity of a group. Choice a is incorrect for several reasons. First, self-interest and sharing arent exclusively human behaviors; animals are also driven by self-interest, and many animals also share (information, food, etc.). Second, the robots were programmed, not taught. The experiment doesnt really show that the robots learned anything; they did what they were programmed to do, and as a result, they were more successful. Choice b is incorrect because the passage does not suggest that the robots were incorrectly programmed in the first experiment. Nothing indicates how the researchers felt about the results, so choice c is not a logical conclusion. Although the robots were far less productive when they were self-interested, choice e is not logical because they did indeed gather some pucks and because in many instances self-interest can result in highly productive behavior (e.g., self-preservation).
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Re: Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an  [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2019, 03:27
IMO it's D because it says that after reprogramming to share information, the productivity improved.

Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an interesting experiment with small robots. The robots were programmed to get as many individual points as possible by finding small metal pucks and taking them to a nest in a corner of the lab. Robots were rewarded with points whenever they found a puck. But their excessive self-interest led to poor performance as robots repeatedly interfered with one another and battled over pucks. Researchers then reprogrammed the robots to share information: Robots would announce when they found a puck and listen to what other robots had to say. The robots were able to gather twice as many pucks as they had before they were reprogrammed.

Which of the following conclusions can be drawn from the experiment described in this passage?

D. Sharing information can dramatically improve the productivity of a group.
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Re: Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an  [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2019, 04:47
Quote:
Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an interesting experiment with small robots. The robots were programmed to get as many individual points as possible by finding small metal pucks and taking them to a nest in a corner of the lab. Robots were rewarded with points whenever they found a puck. But their excessive self-interest led to poor performance as robots repeatedly interfered with one another and battled over pucks. Researchers then reprogrammed the robots to share information: Robots would announce when they found a puck and listen to what other robots had to say. The robots were able to gather twice as many pucks as they had before they were reprogrammed.

Which of the following conclusions can be drawn from the experiment described in this passage?

A. Robots can be taught human behaviors.
B. The robots were poorly programmed in the first experiment.
C. The researchers were shocked by the difference in results between the two experiments.
D. Sharing information can dramatically improve the productivity of a group.
E. Self-interest leads to unproductive behavior.

ARGUMENT
[premise] robots programmed to win as much as possible performed poorly in the first experiment because of EXCESSIVE self-interest; [premise] after the robots were reprogrammed to share information, their performance increased considerably.

A. not stated;
B. "excessive self-interest" was the cause in the first experiment, this doesn't mean "poorly programmed";
C. results were different, but nowhere does the passage state the researchers were "shocked";
E. "excessive self-interest", not "self-interest", leads to unproductive;

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Re: Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an  [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2019, 21:04
Bunuel wrote:

Competition Mode Question

Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an interesting experiment with small robots. The robots were programmed to get as many individual points as possible by finding small metal pucks and taking them to a nest in a corner of the lab. Robots were rewarded with points whenever they found a puck. But their excessive self-interest led to poor performance as robots repeatedly interfered with one another and battled over pucks. Researchers then reprogrammed the robots to share information: Robots would announce when they found a puck and listen to what other robots had to say. The robots were able to gather twice as many pucks as they had before they were reprogrammed.

Which of the following conclusions can be drawn from the experiment described in this passage?

A. Robots can be taught human behaviors.
B. The robots were poorly programmed in the first experiment.
C. The researchers were shocked by the difference in results between the two experiments.
D. Sharing information can dramatically improve the productivity of a group.
E. Self-interest leads to unproductive behavior.

Official Explanation

The huge difference in results after the robots were reprogrammed makes d the most logical conclusion: Sharing information can dramatically improve the productivity of a group. Choice a is incorrect for several reasons. First, self-interest and sharing arenâ€™t exclusively human behaviors; animals are also driven by self-interest, and many animals also share (information, food, etc.). Second, the robots were programmed, not taught. The experiment doesnâ€™t really show that the robots learned anything; they did what they were programmed to do, and as a result, they were more successful. Choice b is incorrect because the passage does not suggest that the robots were incorrectly programmed in the first experiment. Nothing indicates how the researchers felt about the results, so choice c is not a logical conclusion. Although the robots were far less productive when they were self-interested, choice e is not logical because they did indeed gather some pucks and because in many instances self-interest can result in highly productive behavior (e.g., self-preservation).
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Re: Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an   [#permalink] 12 Sep 2019, 21:04
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