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Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi

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New post 12 Jul 2018, 13:26
Took 2 minutes. Choice is c. Need to make “volunteers with moderate level” look good over “volunteers with highest levels of self esteem “


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New post 15 Sep 2018, 10:01
When I was reading B, I thought that if he took anything granted, why was he even surveying? Even if he takes anything for granted, he will make a definite conclusion from the survey when it matches with his assumption. Since he didn't make a strong solid conclusion from the survey, I think he didn't take anything for granted.
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New post 08 Oct 2018, 07:59
The psychologist’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which of the following grounds?

A. It fails to adequately address the possibility that many of the volunteers may not have understood what the psychological questionnaire was designed to measure.
even if peopl dont what the survey is for, it doesnot impact their answers

B. It takes for granted that the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem had better social skills than did the other volunteers, even before the former volunteers had attained their high levels of self-esteem.
already the argumnt has mentioned that high esteem people took the test.

C. It overlooks the possibility that people with very high levels of self-esteem may tend to have a less accurate perception of the strength of their own social skills than do people with moderate levels of self-esteem.
this could be possible

D. It relies on evidence from a group of volunteers that is too small to provide any support for any inferences regarding people in general.
size of group is irrelevant

E. It overlooks the possibility that factors other than level of self-esteem may be of much greater importance in determining the strength of one’s social skills
argument is concerned abt social skill and self esteem relationship, other things out of scope.
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2018, 04:25
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Official Answer:

Argument Evaluation

Situation In a psychological study of 100 volunteers, those found to have the highest self-esteem consistently rated themselves as having much better social skills than did those found to have moderate self-esteem.

Reasoning What is wrong with the psychologist citing the study’s results to justify the conclusion that exceptionally high self-esteem greatly improves social skills? The psychologist reasons that the study shows a correlation between very high self-esteem and how highly one rates one’s social skills, and that this correlation in turn suggests that very high self-esteem improves social skills. This argument is vulnerable to at least two criticisms: First, the argument assumes that the volunteers’ ratings of their own social skills are generally accurate. But very high self-esteem might in many cases result from a tendency to overestimate oneself and one’s skills, including one’s social skills. Second, the argument fails to address the possibility that good social skills promote high self-esteem rather than vice versa, as well as the possibility that some third factor (such as a sunny disposition or fortunate circumstances) promotes both high self-esteem and good social skills.

Quote:
A. It fails to adequately address the possibility that many of the volunteers may not have understood what the psychological questionnaire was designed to measure.

A - An experiment’s subjects do not have to understand the experiment’s design in order for the experimental results to be accurate.

Quote:
B. It takes for granted that the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem had better social skills than did the other volunteers, even before the former volunteers had attained their high levels of self-esteem.

B - To the contrary, the argument concludes that the volunteers with the highest self-esteem attained their enhanced social skills as a result of attaining such high self-esteem.

Quote:
C. It overlooks the possibility that people with very high levels of self-esteem may tend to have a less accurate perception of the strength of their own social skills than do people with moderate levels of self-esteem.

C - Correct. - As explained above, very high self-esteem may often result from a tendency to overestimate oneself in general, and thus to overestimate one’s social skills.

Quote:
D. It relies on evidence from a group of volunteers that is too small to provide any support for any inferences regarding people in general.

D - A group of 100 volunteers is large enough for an experiment to provide at least a little support for at least some inferences regarding people in general.

Quote:
E. It overlooks the possibility that factors other than level of self-esteem may be of much greater importance in determining the strength of one’s social skills.

E - As explained above, the argument overlooks the possibility that some third factor may play a significant role in determining the strength of one’s social skills. But even if some factor other than self-esteem is more important in determining the strength of social skills, that would still be compatible with very high self-esteem being of some importance in improving one’s social skills.

The correct answer is C.
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New post 06 Nov 2018, 03:53
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Here is a simple explanation to all the folks confused with Option B -

GMATNinja as usual has given us an awesome explanation. I would like to add a few points to it!

Quote:
Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychological questionnaire designed to measure their self-esteem. The researchers then asked each volunteer to rate the strength of his or her own social skills. The volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem consistently rated themselves as having much better social skills than did the volunteers with moderate levels. This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills.



Read the conclusion slowly " This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills. "
The psychologists say that high self esteem improves the social skills.


Quote:
B. It takes for granted that the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem had better social skills than did the other volunteers, even before the former volunteers had attained their high levels of self-esteem.


Now read option B slowly. In simple words it says "People with high self esteem already had better social skills (than other volunteers with low self esteem) even before they attained their highest level of self esteem."
Even if this were true it does not really make the argument vulnerable to criticism. Why?
Because even if they had better social skills earlier, there is still scope for improvement in their social skills which may be caused due to high levels of self esteem.
Even if volunteers with high self esteem had better social skills (than other volunteers with low self esteem) before they reached high levels of self esteem, it does not really make the argument vulnerable. Because it might be that these volunteers made their social skills even better than before. Which means they improved their social skills. Just what the conclusion says.

GMATNinja please let me know if my approach is 'vulnerable to criticism'.
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2018, 09:35
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blitzkriegxX wrote:
Here is a simple explanation to all the folks confused with Option B -

GMATNinja as usual has given us an awesome explanation. I would like to add a few points to it!

Quote:
Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychological questionnaire designed to measure their self-esteem. The researchers then asked each volunteer to rate the strength of his or her own social skills. The volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem consistently rated themselves as having much better social skills than did the volunteers with moderate levels. This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills.



Read the conclusion slowly " This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills. "
The psychologists say that high self esteem improves the social skills.


Quote:
B. It takes for granted that the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem had better social skills than did the other volunteers, even before the former volunteers had attained their high levels of self-esteem.


Now read option B slowly. In simple words it says "People with high self esteem already had better social skills (than other volunteers with low self esteem) even before they attained their highest level of self esteem."
Even if this were true it does not really make the argument vulnerable to criticism. Why?
Because even if they had better social skills earlier, there is still scope for improvement in their social skills which may be caused due to high levels of self esteem.
Even if volunteers with high self esteem had better social skills (than other volunteers with low self esteem) before they reached high levels of self esteem, it does not really make the argument vulnerable. Because it might be that these volunteers made their social skills even better than before. Which means they improved their social skills. Just what the conclusion says.

GMATNinja please let me know if my approach is 'vulnerable to criticism'.

Sadly, I'm not sure that I follow your reasoning here. The psychologist suggests that higher self-esteem leads to improved social skills. Choice (B) says that social skills can be improved even in the absence of high self-esteem. That is, in fact, not just what the conclusion says.

So the more straightforward way to eliminate (B) is to recognize that this choice contradicts the entire premise of the study. The statement made in choice (B) is simply not part of the psychologist's argument. And if it's not part of the psychologists' argument, then it's not a vulnerability of the argument that we can criticize.

I hope this clarification helps!
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2018, 10:30
GMATNinja wrote:
blitzkriegxX wrote:
Here is a simple explanation to all the folks confused with Option B -

GMATNinja as usual has given us an awesome explanation. I would like to add a few points to it!

Quote:
Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychological questionnaire designed to measure their self-esteem. The researchers then asked each volunteer to rate the strength of his or her own social skills. The volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem consistently rated themselves as having much better social skills than did the volunteers with moderate levels. This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills.



Read the conclusion slowly " This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills. "
The psychologists say that high self esteem improves the social skills.


Quote:
B. It takes for granted that the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem had better social skills than did the other volunteers, even before the former volunteers had attained their high levels of self-esteem.


Now read option B slowly. In simple words it says "People with high self esteem already had better social skills (than other volunteers with low self esteem) even before they attained their highest level of self esteem."
Even if this were true it does not really make the argument vulnerable to criticism. Why?
Because even if they had better social skills earlier, there is still scope for improvement in their social skills which may be caused due to high levels of self esteem.
Even if volunteers with high self esteem had better social skills (than other volunteers with low self esteem) before they reached high levels of self esteem, it does not really make the argument vulnerable. Because it might be that these volunteers made their social skills even better than before. Which means they improved their social skills. Just what the conclusion says.

GMATNinja please let me know if my approach is 'vulnerable to criticism'.

Sadly, I'm not sure that I follow your reasoning here. The psychologist suggests that higher self-esteem leads to improved social skills. Choice (B) says that social skills can be improved even in the absence of high self-esteem. That is, in fact, not just what the conclusion says.

So the more straightforward way to eliminate (B) is to recognize that this choice contradicts the entire premise of the study. The statement made in choice (B) is simply not part of the psychologist's argument. And if it's not part of the psychologists' argument, then it's not a vulnerability of the argument that we can criticize.

I hope this clarification helps!


Hi GMATNinja
Thanks for your response! :)

However, I do not understand how you concluded that "option B
says that social skills can be *improved* even in the absence of high self-esteem."

I feel option B only states that - volunteers with high level self esteem already had high social skills before achieving that high self esteem level.

And my analysis is this - so what if they already had high social skills even before reaching high self esteem level?
This still doesn't effect the conclusion. Maybe after these volunteers reached high self esteem level, they further improved on the already high social skill level.

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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2018, 18:10
blitzkriegxX wrote:
gmatninja wrote:
Sadly, I'm not sure that I follow your reasoning here. The psychologist suggests that higher self-esteem leads to improved social skills. Choice (B) says that social skills can be improved even in the absence of high self-esteem. That is, in fact, not just what the conclusion says.

So the more straightforward way to eliminate (B) is to recognize that this choice contradicts the entire premise of the study. The statement made in choice (B) is simply not part of the psychologist's argument. And if it's not part of the psychologists' argument, then it's not a vulnerability of the argument that we can criticize.

I hope this clarification helps!


HiGMATNinja
Thanks for your response! :)

However, I do not understand how you concluded that "option B says that social skills can be *improved* even in the absence of high self-esteem."

I feel option B only states that - volunteers with high level self esteem already had high social skills before achieving that high self esteem level.

Hm, "improved" wasn't the best word choice on my part, because choice (B) implies that that social skills can be attained even in the absence of high self-esteem.

In other words, if group 1 (the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem) had better social skills even before they had high self-esteem, then they must have attained those social skills in the absence of high self-esteem. The key takeaway is that according to (B), high self-esteem was not required to attain better social skills.

I hope this eliminates any confusion I've caused!
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2019, 21:26
GMATNinja wrote:

Quote:
B. It takes for granted that the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem had better social skills than did the other volunteers, even before the former volunteers had attained their high levels of self-esteem.

The author's line of reasoning does not involve taking this assumption for granted. If anything, the author assumes something closer to the opposite (that those with high self esteem had worse social skills before attaining their high levels of self esteem. Since (B) is inaccurate, it cannot be grounds for criticizing the author's argument and can be eliminated.

Quote:
C. It overlooks the possibility that people with very high levels of self-esteem may tend to have a less accurate perception of the strength of their own social skills than do people with moderate levels of self-esteem.

What if volunteers with very high levels of self-esteem do tend to have a less accurate perception of the strength of their own social skills? In that case, the ratings those volunteers gave to describe their own social skills would be inaccurate, and we couldn't be sure which of the two groups (those with high levels of self-esteem and those with moderate levels of self-esteem) actually had better social skills. In other words, the ratings of the volunteers' social skills would not be reliable, so the ratings could not be used as valid evidence to support the author's conclusion. (C) looks pretty good.

Hopefully that adds some clarity!


Dear GMATNinja,

I selected C knowing it completely breaks the conclusion. But I was confused between B & C. Perhaps my understanding of Option B was incorrect, please do help me if thats the case, since the whole process of arriving at C was time consuming and I would like to improve that.

During pre-thinking I came up with 2 assumptions -
1) As mentioned in C
2) What if its the other way round - High Social Skills increase Self-Esteem

And it was the 2nd pre-thinking that got me stuck with option B, is it not talking about how this group already had greater self-esteem before attaining better social skills.
Now between option C & B, I rejected B by thinking - even if Greater Social Skills increases Self-Esteem, this option does not conclusively say that increase in self esteem does not improve Social Skills. Also, C breaks down the argument better than B.

Was my understanding of Option B correct? If so, my method of rejecting B was time consuming. Is there anyother way to look at this.
If my understanding was incorrect? What did this option exactly mean?
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2019, 13:04
Let's take another look at the answer choice:
Quote:
B. It takes for granted that the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem had better social skills than did the other volunteers, even before the former volunteers had attained their high levels of self-esteem.

This states that the conclusion takes for granted that the volunteers with high self-esteem had already attained better social skills. As we've explained in this post, this is just not true. So it can't be a weak point in the argument.

If you find yourself spinning you wheels, stop and read the question again. In this case we need to find how the argument is "most vulnerable to criticism," which is different than an answer choice that, if true, would weaken the argument. So, a more sound way to think through the passage is to look for weak points in how the conclusion was reached (which gets us to (C) quickly), rather than thinking of alternate explanations for the conclusion (which would get us stuck on (B)).

I hope this helps!
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New post 04 Jun 2019, 12:02
Generally in CR questions, it is equally important to analyse the question stem.

The question stem clearly states , " The psychologist’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which of the following grounds?

This means that we cannot change the basis or the data mentioned in the argument. The argument(made by the psychologist) considers a sample of 100 people sufficient enough to conduct an experiment ie. 100 people are solid enough to conclude what the psychologist has concluded. We cannot change that. Hence option D is incorrect

Also, the experiment/research mentioned in the argument considers social skill as the only parameter, we simply cannot change that. Why? again!, because the question stem says so. Hence Option E is incorrect.

Option A is purely irrelevant as it doesn't really affect the causality mentioned in the argument. It simply doesn't really impact the conclusion.

Option B is incorrect. So what if the volunteers already had decent social skills, even before the volunteers attained their high levels of self-esteem.. The argument is precisely about increasing the current level of self esteem. Also, if you look closely, option B lies within the same causality framework as the conclusion. Hence incorrect.

We are left with Option C and that obviously is the answer. As per my analysis, the reason option C is absolutely fine is that it states an Alternate effect, another way to weaken an argument ie. people with very high levels of self-esteem may tend to have a less accurate perception of the strength of their own social skills

AjiteshArun GMATNinja is my analysis okay? Please comment. Also, the way i have eliminated option B is correct???

i look forward to hearing from you guys.

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New post 05 Jun 2019, 05:55
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Hi Adit,

Your analysis is correct.

aditliverpoolfc wrote:
Option A is purely irrelevant as it doesn't really affect the causality mentioned in the argument. It simply doesn't really impact the conclusion.
Yes. We have no reason to think that the study was inaccurate just because many of the volunteers did not understand what the questionnaire was designed to measure.

aditliverpoolfc wrote:
Option B is incorrect. So what if the volunteers already had decent social skills, even before the volunteers attained their high levels of self-esteem.. The argument is precisely about increasing the current level of self esteem. Also, if you look closely, option B lies within the same causality framework as the conclusion. Hence incorrect.
Correct. The psychologist concludes that attaining a very high level of self-esteem leads to better social skills (self-esteem → social skills), so the assumption that better "social skills" were there even before "an exceptionally high level of self-esteem" was never made.

aditliverpoolfc wrote:
We are left with Option C and that obviously is the answer. As per my analysis, the reason option C is absolutely fine is that it states an Alternate effect, another way to weaken an argument ie. people with very high levels of self-esteem may tend to have a less accurate perception of the strength of their own social skills
Yes. If they don't have a good idea about how good their social skills are, then we can't rely on the findings of the study.
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New post 07 Aug 2019, 00:44
Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychological questionnaire designed to measure their self-esteem. The researchers then asked each volunteer to rate the strength of his or her own social skills. The volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem consistently rated themselves as having much better social skills than did the volunteers with moderate levels. This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills.

The psychologist’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which of the following grounds?

Pre-thinking:
Here we have a cause-effect relation where:
Cause: self esteem
Effect: improvement of social skills
Our tsk here is to weaken this relation and that can be done in several ways. One way is the "no cause, still effect". Let's say that one or two people interviewed would report levels of social skills as high or higher than the ones with the highest self esteem (note that I used "reported and not ranked here). In this case the relation would be weakened.
Another weakener could be the following: because of the high level of self esteem people tend to overrate their social skills.
Let's now analyze the answer choices.


(A) It fails to adequately address the possibility that many of the volunteers may not have understood what the psychological questionnaire was designed to measure.
People understanding of what is measured is irrelevant to the argument. Hence incorrect

(B) It takes for granted that the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem had better social skills than did the other volunteers, even before the former volunteers had attained their high levels of self-esteem.
The fact that self esteem levels or social skills level may have varied before the questionnaire is irrelevant to the argument. Hence incorrect

(C) It overlooks the possibility that people with very high levels of self-esteem may tend to have a less accurate perception of the strength of their own social skills than do people with moderate levels of self-esteem.
This is in line with our pre-thinking. Hence correct.

(D) It relies on evidence from a group of volunteers that is too small to provide any support for any inferences regarding people in general.
The size of the experiment is irrelevant to the argument. Hence incorrect

(E) It overlooks the possibility that factors other than level of self-esteem may be of much greater importance in determining the strength of one’s social skills.
The argument is focused on a specific relation. The fact that there might be other factors to influence social skills, whether true or false, is out of the scope here. Hence incorrect
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New post 12 Oct 2019, 02:33
Dear VeritasKarishma AjiteshArun,

I am confused with choice E., which presents an alternate cause.

The passage suggests a causality.
By presenting that an alternate cause may be present and that the author ignores the aforementioned possibility, does choice E. present flaw in the causality?

I think I have seen multiple answers which weaken the causality by presenting an alternate cause. Why is that not the case here?

Moreover, could you please guide me how to differentiate between a causality that is exclusive (that is, only one cause for the effect is possible) and a causality that is non-exclusive (that is, multiple causes for the effect is possible!)

Thank you in advance !
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AbdurRakib wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018
Practice Question
Critical Reasoning
Question no. 182

Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychological questionnaire designed to measure their self-esteem. The researchers then asked each volunteer to rate the strength of his or her own social skills. The volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem consistently rated themselves as having much better social skills than did the volunteers with moderate levels. This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills.

The psychologist’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which of the following grounds?

(A) It fails to adequately address the possibility that many of the volunteers may not have understood what the psychological questionnaire was designed to measure.

(B) It takes for granted that the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem had better social skills than did the other volunteers, even before the former volunteers had attained their high levels of self-esteem.

(C) It overlooks the possibility that people with very high levels of self-esteem may tend to have a less accurate perception of the strength of their own social skills than do people with moderate levels of self-esteem.

(D) It relies on evidence from a group of volunteers that is too small to provide any support for any inferences regarding people in general.

(E) It overlooks the possibility that factors other than level of self-esteem may be of much greater importance in determining the strength of one’s social skills.



Researchers measured self-esteem using questionnaire
They then asked each volunteer to rate the strength of his or her own social skills
Volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem consistently rated themselves as having much better social skills

Conclusion: Attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills.

Some pre-thinking: We are concluding that self esteem improves social skills. But note that the strength of social skills is judged by the volunteers themselves, not the researchers. We don't know whether people with high self esteem actually do have better social skills. We also don't know whether self esteem improves social skills or social skills improve self esteem.

(A) It fails to adequately address the possibility that many of the volunteers may not have understood what the psychological questionnaire was designed to measure.

Irrelevant. In fact, we would much rather they do not know what we are testing so that they cannot "game" the result.

(B) It takes for granted that the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem had better social skills than did the other volunteers, even before the former volunteers had attained their high levels of self-esteem.

It does not assume that people with high levels of self esteem had better social skill before they got high levels of self esteem. In fact, our argument is saying that attaining high levels of self esteem makes them have better social skills.

(C) It overlooks the possibility that people with very high levels of self-esteem may tend to have a less accurate perception of the strength of their own social skills than do people with moderate levels of self-esteem.

Correct. As discussed in our pre thinking, people with high self esteem rate themselves on their social skills. Due to high self esteem, they may be rating themselves better than their actual social skills. So self esteem may not have developed their social skills, it may have just developed their perception of their social skills.

(D) It relies on evidence from a group of volunteers that is too small to provide any support for any inferences regarding people in general.

We don't know the appropriate size of volunteer group.

(E) It overlooks the possibility that factors other than level of self-esteem may be of much greater importance in determining the strength of one’s social skills.

It does not overlook that other causes could be present.
The argument says: This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills.
We don't know what else could greatly improve one's social skills. It just says that self esteem is a contributing factor. It does not say that it is the only contributing factor.

Answer (C)
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2019, 12:23
This is a problem of Cause and Effect:
Cause: Rating Social Skills
Effect: Measuring Self Esteem
So if SS is rated High>> Self Esteem is measured to be high too

Argument states: Highest level of self esteem>> Better Social Skills


Weakener would be something that says:

1. Reversed cause:
2. High Self Esteem> Less accurate perception of SS
or Low Self Esteem>> High perception of SS

B is a strengthener by saying that ppl with high level of Self esteem had SS even before they had achieved their highest level of Self esteem.
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2020, 00:47
GMATNinja wrote:
Thanks for all of the great replies! It looks like there is still some confusion surrounding this question, so let's try to break it down...

The conclusion is that "attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills." In other words, attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem will CAUSE a great improvement in one's social skills. How does the author arrive at that conclusion?

  • 100 volunteers take a psychological questionnaire to measure their self-esteem.
  • Each volunteer is also asked to rate his or her own social skills. Note that their self-esteem was MEASURED by the questionnaire while their social skills were rated by the volunteers themselves.
  • Based on the results of the questionnaire, the psychologists could break up the 100 volunteers into groups, including those with the highest levels of self-esteem and those with moderate levels of self esteem.
  • Now the psychologists could compare the SELF-RATED social skills of those two groups: "the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem consistently rated themselves as having much better social skills than did the volunteers with moderate levels."

Based on that evidence, the author concludes that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem would greatly improve one's social skills. Why is this argument vulnerable to criticism?

Quote:
A. It fails to adequately address the possibility that many of the volunteers may not have understood what the psychological questionnaire was designed to measure.

All that matters is that the test did in fact measure self-esteem, regardless of whether the volunteers understood what the questionnaire was designed to measure. Choice (A) can be eliminated.

Quote:
B. It takes for granted that the volunteers with the highest levels of self-esteem had better social skills than did the other volunteers, even before the former volunteers had attained their high levels of self-esteem.

The author's line of reasoning does not involve taking this assumption for granted. If anything, the author assumes something closer to the opposite (that those with high self esteem had worse social skills before attaining their high levels of self esteem. Since (B) is inaccurate, it cannot be grounds for criticizing the author's argument and can be eliminated.

Quote:
C. It overlooks the possibility that people with very high levels of self-esteem may tend to have a less accurate perception of the strength of their own social skills than do people with moderate levels of self-esteem.

What if volunteers with very high levels of self-esteem do tend to have a less accurate perception of the strength of their own social skills? In that case, the ratings those volunteers gave to describe their own social skills would be inaccurate, and we couldn't be sure which of the two groups (those with high levels of self-esteem and those with moderate levels of self-esteem) actually had better social skills. In other words, the ratings of the volunteers' social skills would not be reliable, so the ratings could not be used as valid evidence to support the author's conclusion. (C) looks pretty good.

Quote:
D. It relies on evidence from a group of volunteers that is too small to provide any support for any inferences regarding people in general.

Pay attention to the word choice in the last sentence: "This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills." The author does not say the evidence proves or confirms this conclusion. Thus, the author implicitly acknowledges that it is only a small sample. Regardless, evidence from a small sample can certainly suggest whether a certain theory is true. In other words, the evidence from the group of 100 volunteers certainly supports the author's conclusion, so (D) is not a valid criticism.

Quote:
E. It overlooks the possibility that factors other than level of self-esteem may be of much greater importance in determining the strength of one’s social skills.

The author does not argue that self-esteem is the only factor or even the most important factor affecting the strength of one's social skills. The author simply argues that "attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills." This argument could still hold even if there were several other factors that had a greater impact on the strength of one's self-esteem. (E) can be eliminated.

Hopefully that adds some clarity!


I still have an issue with the option C- the stem states that higher self esteem leads to a GREAT improvement in social skills, option C says that the high self-esteem group has a lower accuracy in perception of their level of skills. How can you assume that lower accuracy in perception=lower levels of self esteem? What I am trying to say is that lower accuracy in perception may also mean a very high level of social skills and this option may be slightly strengthening the argument.

Option E on the other hand does a better job at weakening the argument by providing an alternate cause which has a GREATER impact on the level of social skills than high levels of self esteem.
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi  [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2020, 12:30
Ujaswin wrote:
I still have an issue with the option C- the stem states that higher self esteem leads to a GREAT improvement in social skills, option C says that the high self-esteem group has a lower accuracy in perception of their level of skills. How can you assume that lower accuracy in perception=lower levels of self esteem? What I am trying to say is that lower accuracy in perception may also mean a very high level of social skills and this option may be slightly strengthening the argument.

Option E on the other hand does a better job at weakening the argument by providing an alternate cause which has a GREATER impact on the level of social skills than high levels of self esteem.

Take another look at the exact wording of the question:
Quote:
The psychologist’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which of the following grounds?

We're not tasked with utterly obliterating the author's argument -- our job is just to find the answer choice that expresses the way that the argument is MOST vulnerable to criticism, when compared with the other answer choices.

So, you're right that (C) doesn't give us ironclad proof that the people with a less accurate perception of their social skills actually have worse social skills than they report. But we don't need ironclad proof -- we just need need to poke a hole in the psychologist's argument. (C) points out that the volunteers' ratings, which are an integral part of the psychologist's argument, may not be reliable. This is a massive flaw in the argument, so (C) is looking good.

Here's (E):
Quote:
(E) It overlooks the possibility that factors other than level of self-esteem may be of much greater importance in determining the strength of one’s social skills.

To choose this as an answer, it must be true that the psychologist's argument "overlooks" the possibility that other factors are involved.

This would be the the case if the psychologist argued that the ONLY factor affecting social skills is self esteem. It could even be true if he/she argued that the GREATEST factor affecting social skills is self esteem. But he/she doesn't say that. Instead, he/she concludes that "attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills." This is entirely compatible with other factors having a greater impact on social skills -- so long as self-esteem greatly improves social skills, it doesn't matter whether other factors do so as well.

Because the psychologist doesn't overlook the possibility of other factors, his/her argument is not vulnerable to the criticism in (E).

I hope that helps!
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Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi  [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2020, 20:40
GMATNinja wrote:
Ujaswin wrote:
I still have an issue with the option C- the stem states that higher self esteem leads to a GREAT improvement in social skills, option C says that the high self-esteem group has a lower accuracy in perception of their level of skills. How can you assume that lower accuracy in perception=lower levels of self esteem? What I am trying to say is that lower accuracy in perception may also mean a very high level of social skills and this option may be slightly strengthening the argument.

Option E on the other hand does a better job at weakening the argument by providing an alternate cause which has a GREATER impact on the level of social skills than high levels of self esteem.

Take another look at the exact wording of the question:
Quote:
The psychologist’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which of the following grounds?

We're not tasked with utterly obliterating the author's argument -- our job is just to find the answer choice that expresses the way that the argument is MOST vulnerable to criticism, when compared with the other answer choices.

So, you're right that (C) doesn't give us ironclad proof that the people with a less accurate perception of their social skills actually have worse social skills than they report. But we don't need ironclad proof -- we just need need to poke a hole in the psychologist's argument. (C) points out that the volunteers' ratings, which are an integral part of the psychologist's argument, may not be reliable. This is a massive flaw in the argument, so (C) is looking good.

Here's (E):
Quote:
(E) It overlooks the possibility that factors other than level of self-esteem may be of much greater importance in determining the strength of one’s social skills.

To choose this as an answer, it must be true that the psychologist's argument "overlooks" the possibility that other factors are involved.

This would be the the case if the psychologist argued that the ONLY factor affecting social skills is self esteem. It could even be true if he/she argued that the GREATEST factor affecting social skills is self esteem. But he/she doesn't say that. Instead, he/she concludes that "attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one’s social skills." This is entirely compatible with other factors having a greater impact on social skills -- so long as self-esteem greatly improves social skills, it doesn't matter whether other factors do so as well.

Because the psychologist doesn't overlook the possibility of other factors, his/her argument is not vulnerable to the criticism in (E).

I hope that helps!


Thanks GMATNinja looks like I overlooked the word "overlook". :D

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