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Author Message
Intern
Joined: 22 Sep 2018
Posts: 1

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22 Sep 2018, 16:34
1
The following argument concludes that company efficiency and experience have a positive correlation. Although the conclusion appears logical, there are several fallacies present in the argument, including an over-generalization from one instance and an assumption that efficiency happens once a certain number of years are reached.

The argument begins by presenting an example of color film processing, which fell 30 cents within fourteen years. The author illogically concludes this was due to the experience from companies within the industry. The diminishing costs could have been caused by several other drivers. For example, companies were developing new technology throughout the 70s and 80s, which could have attributed to the diminished costs. These companies were not within the color film processing industry, but the industry could use the technology to produce color film at a lower rate. Colored films also experienced rising demand during this timeframe and demand for films in black-and-white diminished. With the higher demand, companies were able to push funds to color film processing and could mass produce the product. Thus, the cost to produce color film lowered. The argument presented did not mention whether Olympic Foods products were expected to rise in demand.

Additionally, the example presented does not mention one company but the industry as a whole. There could have been a monopoly in the color film processing industry and this company single-handedly brought the cost down. However, it is more likely that several companies were included in the color film processing industry. Was the company with the most experience the one that drove the cost down? If it was a company with less experience, this could weaken the author’s argument.
The author then concludes that once Olympic Foods celebrates its 25th birthday, the company will experience lower costs and higher profits. This assumes lower costs occur at once, instead of slowly accumulating over many years of experience. It is highly unlikely that Olympic Foods will see a noticeable difference in their costs and profits due to experience in their 25th year. It is more likely, however, that the company will experience their costs and profits change over multiple years. If they looked at their financial statements for the past ten years, they may notice their costs have been diminishing over the years and this will continue to occur as the company surpasses 25 years of experience.

Because the argument leaves out several key issues and makes a broad assumption based on one instance, it is not sound or persuasive. If it included the information mentioned in the prior paragraphs, the argument could impact the decisions of stockholders as the company reaches their 25th anniversary.
examPAL Representative
Joined: 07 Dec 2017
Posts: 868

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23 Sep 2018, 08:01
1
Hey Becca, right of the bat there's an important issue: you claim the argument concludes that company efficiency and experience have a positive correlation. Even without reading the original argument (and certainly after reading the rest of your essay) I can be certain this is not what the argument concludes: that they have a correlation is simply a fact, something it tells you as a given. What it argues an concludes is that this correlation means there is a causal relationship: that experience causes efficiency. This is what you are criticising - not the fact that they are correlated (this would be impossible to criticize, since it is simply a fact)
Keeping the distinction between correlation and causation clear is very important!
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