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

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

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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.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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

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New post 15 Jun 2017, 03:40
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.


Although i chose D but after knowing the OA i feel C was the better answer. D was close.
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi [#permalink]

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this is interesting
the key to succeed on CR (for evaluate, weaken, strengthen, flaw, assumption question) is ability to criticize the argument before going to answer choices. this is call prethinking on e gmat course.

after practicing a few problems, we realize some flaw and begin know how to criticize.
I think there are two way to criticize:
1. is logic of argument is good
2. is the presenting of evidence is good

this is causal argument and we normally criticize by thinking that there is another cause or causal relation is reversed.

but we can thinking of presenting of evidence . is it good?

choice C match this prethinking. the presenting of evidence is not good. C is correct

with the mind of criticization and with two way of looking at argument, looking at logic and at presenting of evidence , we are armed and powered before going to answer choices.
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2017, 01:20
mbahanoi wrote:
this is interesting
the key to succeed on CR (for evaluate, weaken, strengthen, flaw, assumption question) is ability to criticize the argument before going to answer choices. this is call prethinking on e gmat course.

after practicing a few problems, we realize some flaw and begin know how to criticize.
I think there are two way to criticize:
1. is logic of argument is good
2. is the presenting of evidence is good

this is causal argument and we normally criticize by thinking that there is another cause or causal relation is reversed.

but we can thinking of presenting of evidence . is it good?

choice C match this prethinking. the presenting of evidence is not good. C is correct

with the mind of criticization and with two way of looking at argument, looking at logic and at presenting of evidence , we are armed and powered before going to answer choices.


So basically you are showing that logical gap criticizing is better than data invalidation . i.e. Here, you are saying The survey as a whole cannot give data of general public is wrong , which i say it is data invalidation type of criticizing. While, C says that The method of approach was wrong.
Am still not convinced that how C is better than D. I prefer both C and D are best options.
daagh Sir, GMATNinja, Can you please explain me how C bests over C. As both seem to be best criticizers.
Thank you.
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2017, 20:31
mbahanoi wrote:

So basically you are showing that logical gap criticizing is better than data invalidation . i.e. Here, you are saying The survey as a whole cannot give data of general public is wrong , which i say it is data invalidation type of criticizing. While, C says that The method of approach was wrong.
Am still not convinced that how C is better than D. I prefer both C and D are best options.
daagh Sir, GMATNinja, Can you please explain me how C bests over C. As both seem to be best criticizers.
Thank you.


me too stuck between C and D ? ..need explanation please
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2017, 13:35
Hi Experts,

I am very confused in Option C n E.
How can we assume that Survey is Flawed or Inflated (option C) ?

However, I know Arguemnt is based on Causality. and I have option E, which says it overlooks the possibility that there can be something(Third thing) which caused High Socila skills ?

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

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New post 13 Jul 2017, 20:38
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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!
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2018, 08:33
I am having trouble seeing why (b) isn't equally as acceptable as (c).

When reading this problem, C&B instantly stood out. Could someone help explain the flaw in my logic:

Psychologist: "This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one's social skills."

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


If this were true, wouldn't this also make the psychologist argument of: attaining high level of self-esteem greatly improves one social's skills
inadequate?

Bc (b) states that the high social skills predated their high self esteem, therefore high self-esteem can't greatly improve one's social skills, since the respondents had high social skills prior to obtaining high self-esteem.

I see (b) if true negating the cause-effect argument bc it completely flips around the cause-effect.

I'm sure there is a hole in my logic, I would greatly appreciate somebody pointing it out.

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

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New post 10 Mar 2018, 08:50
xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
I am having trouble seeing why (b) isn't equally as acceptable as (c).

When reading this problem, C&B instantly stood out. Could someone help explain the flaw in my logic:

Psychologist: "This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one's social skills."

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


If this were true, wouldn't this also make the psychologist argument of: attaining high level of self-esteem greatly improves one social's skills
inadequate?

Bc (b) states that the high social skills predated their high self esteem, therefore high self-esteem can't greatly improve one's social skills, since the respondents had high social skills prior to obtaining high self-esteem.

I see (b) if true negating the cause-effect argument bc it completely flips around the cause-effect.

I'm sure there is a hole in my logic, I would greatly appreciate somebody pointing it out.

Thank you


Responses inline.

B) States that : " 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 highlighted part is not true - the volunteers first gave a questionnaire regarding self esteem followed by asking to rate their own social skills... also it is not making the argument weaker.

C) clearly makes the argument weaker. If the high self esteem is making people blind to their low social skills - we would get multiple false positives and the argument does not hold.

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

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New post 11 May 2018, 10:59
xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
I am having trouble seeing why (b) isn't equally as acceptable as (c).

When reading this problem, C&B instantly stood out. Could someone help explain the flaw in my logic:

Psychologist: "This suggests that attaining an exceptionally high level of self-esteem greatly improves one's social skills."

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


If this were true, wouldn't this also make the psychologist argument of: attaining high level of self-esteem greatly improves one social's skills
inadequate?

Bc (b) states that the high social skills predated their high self esteem, therefore high self-esteem can't greatly improve one's social skills, since the respondents had high social skills prior to obtaining high self-esteem.

I see (b) if true negating the cause-effect argument bc it completely flips around the cause-effect.

I'm sure there is a hole in my logic, I would greatly appreciate somebody pointing it out.

Thank you



I think its more about the "taking it for granted" part. If that answer had not included "taking it for granted", it would have very likely become the right answer.

But here the answer is saying that argument RELIED on that assumption, when it did not.
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2018, 07:38
I did not understand the meaning of option B.
Can any one pls explain.
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.
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Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2018, 08:57
I am inclined towards 'B' and need suggestion to clear my doubt, according to me 'B' can be seen as reversal of cause and effect ie, high esteem is the result of social skills as people with the highest level of self esteem had better social skills even before attaining high levels of self esteem
Re: Psychologist: In a study, researchers gave 100 volunteers a psychologi   [#permalink] 19 May 2018, 08:57
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