Over the past decade, many companies have begun using : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Over the past decade, many companies have begun using

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26 Jan 2013, 21:06
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15% (low)

Question Stats:

80% (03:18) correct 20% (01:20) wrong based on 191 sessions

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Over the past decade, many companies have begun using automated telephone services; callers hear a machine-generated voice and are able to select options using the numbers on the telephone keypad. Research shows that callers are more patient when the machine-generated voice is that of a woman. Thus, smaller companies that cannot afford automated services should consider hiring women, rather than men, to interact with costomers by phone.

Which of the following, if true, would be most damaging to the conclusion above?

A. Automated telephone services are becoming cheaper and cheaper every year.
B. Patient customers tend to order more products and return fewer products than impatient customers.
C. A separated study indicated that extra patience exhibited by callers is limited to interactions with an automated system.
D. Some customers prefer automated systems to talking with a live person.
E. On average, callers are only slightly more patient when interacting with a female voice, rather than a male voice, in an automated telephone system.

I've narrowed it down to C and E, but I can't see any difference between them.

Both of them limit the patience to an automated telephone system, so I can't see which one weakens the most the conclusion above.

Any hint?

Official explanation to eliminate E is:

This one seems to be telling me there isn't a huge difference between male and female voices — but there is still a small positive effect for female voices. If anything, this strengthens the argument; after all, as a small business owner, I'll take any necessary steps that will get me more business! I only have one answer left, so C is the answer.

How does E strengthen the argument?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
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20 Sep 2013, 14:11
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This question is asking us to weaken the conclusion (or attack an assumption - remember that assumptions are logical gaps between premises and conclusions)
Premise: Callers are more patient with women over men when using an automated system.
Conclusion: Small business owners who can't afford an automated system should hire women over men (to take advantage of that increased patience).
One Assumption: Customer patience is the same with an automated system as it is with a "live" system.

Answer choice C tells us that customer patience is different between automated systems and live callers. Therefore, we cannot conclude that we will experience greater patience by hiring more women in live systems.

Answer choice E affirms that there is greater patience in an automated system and does nothing to suggest that we won't experience the same level of patience in a live system.

Answer choice D is irrelevant to the argument. The argument deals with preference between male and female and concludes that the preference (patience) will translate to a live system. The preference between automated or live systems is outside the scope of the argument. [Those people not using automated systems are doing it because they cannot afford those systems]

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21 Nov 2014, 11:40
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minicooper wrote:
Hello,

Can the following be explained -

Why is the Conclusion in this given Critical Reasoning question silent on the fact that
"Thus, smaller companies that cannot afford an automated service should consider hiring....."

if this aspect is taken into consideration, then Option A also looks attractive as it Weakens the conclusion
because even the Automated telephone services are getting affordable and hence No need for hiring female or male.

Remember that the GMAT is trying to trick you all the time! Option A exists because it seems relevant, but it's not damaging to the conclusion. The conclusion states that small companies should hire women and is limited to those companies that cannot afford a system. Regardless of the price of the system, only those companies that can't afford it are considered in the conclusion. Until the systems are free, there will be companies that can't afford the system, therefore the conclusion would still be valid.

Choice C is the only answer that truly damages the conclusion because the findings are not valid for human systems.

KW
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26 Jan 2013, 21:26
LGOdream wrote:
Over the past decade, many companies have begun using automated telephone services; callers hear a machine-generated voice and are able to select options using the numbers on the telephone keypad. Research shows that callers are more patient when the machine-generated voice is that of a woman. Thus, smaller companies that cannot afford automated services should consider hiring women, rather than men, to interact with costomers by phone.

Which of the following, if true, would be most damaging to the conclusion above?

A. Automated telephone services are becoming cheaper and cheaper every year.
B. Patient customers tend to order more products and return fewer products than impatient customers.
C. A separated study indicated that extra patience exhibited by callers is limited to interactions with an automated system.
D. Some customers prefer automated systems to talking with a live person.
E. On average, callers are only slightly more patient when interacting with a female voice, rather than a male voice, in an automated telephone system.

I've narrowed it down to C and E, but I can't see any difference between them.

Both of them limit the patience to an automated telephone system, so I can't see which one weakens the most the conclusion above.

Any hint?

Official explanation to eliminate E is:

This one seems to be telling me there isn't a huge difference between male and female voices — but there is still a small positive effect for female voices. If anything, this strengthens the argument; after all, as a small business owner, I'll take any necessary steps that will get me more business! I only have one answer left, so C is the answer.

How does E strengthen the argument?

Since you've narrowed it down to C and E, lets discuss only these two.

C: conclusion is: smaller companies that cannot afford automated services should consider hiring women, rather than men, to interact with costomers by phone. However, option C clearly states that the reason behind this conclusion is incorrect because the patience is exhibited only in case of automated system. We got the damaging option but anyway look at E.

E: two points, to note here. one, that this option talks about only male vs female voice in an automated telephone system, not about in person vs automated system. second, it actually supports the conclusion by telling there is a slight advantage in using female voice. Doesnt help destroying the conclusion as well as, or rather even close to as much as, C does.
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20 Sep 2013, 10:22
Hi Guys,
Even though I chose "Option C" but I was really confused b/w "Option C" and "Option D".

Can anyone please explain why "Option D" is rejected?
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20 Sep 2013, 11:32
PrateekDua wrote:
Hi Guys,
Even though I chose "Option C" but I was really confused b/w "Option C" and "Option D".

Can anyone please explain why "Option D" is rejected?

Over the past decade, many companies have begun using automated telephone services; callers hear a machine-generated voice and are able to select options using the numbers on the telephone keypad. Research shows that callers are more patient when the machine-generated voice is that of a woman. Thus, smaller companies that cannot afford automated services should consider hiring women, rather than men, to interact with costomers by phone.

Which of the following, if true, would be most damaging to the conclusion above?

A. Automated telephone services are becoming cheaper and cheaper every year.
B. Patient customers tend to order more products and return fewer products than impatient customers.
C. A separated study indicated that extra patience exhibited by callers is limited to interactions with an automated system.
D. Some customers prefer automated systems to talking with a live person.
E. On average, callers are only slightly more patient when interacting with a female voice, rather than a male voice, in an automated telephone system.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'd say Choice C is better than Choice D.

D takes care of only SOME CUSTOMERS. --- It could be 10 in a 100, so still we have 90 folks who prefer otherwise. Doesn't hurt the argument.
SOME word is ambiguous when it comes to weaken or strengthen the argument.

Does it makes sense?
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17 Nov 2014, 05:27
Hello,

Can the following be explained -

Why is the Conclusion in this given Critical Reasoning question silent on the fact that
"Thus, smaller companies that cannot afford an automated service should consider hiring....."

if this aspect is taken into consideration, then Option A also looks attractive as it Weakens the conclusion
because even the Automated telephone services are getting affordable and hence No need for hiring female or male.

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17 Nov 2014, 07:24
minicooper wrote:
Hello,

Can the following be explained -

Why is the Conclusion in this given Critical Reasoning question silent on the fact that
"Thus, smaller companies that cannot afford an automated service should consider hiring....."

if this aspect is taken into consideration, then Option A also looks attractive as it Weakens the conclusion
because even the Automated telephone services are getting affordable and hence No need for hiring female or male.

I agree to above observation. Conclusion is talking about affordibility hence A seems to be correct answer....
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Re: Over the past decade, many companies have begun using   [#permalink] 17 Nov 2014, 07:24
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