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QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study

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QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 11:31
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 74: Critical Reasoning


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A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study the effectiveness of hair loss prevention treatments on two different groups of men, all of whom were 25 years old when the trial began. Before the trial began, none of the men had shown signs of hair loss, which is widely believed to be caused primarily by genetic factors. The treatment given to Group A was a pill taken daily for the duration of the trial, and the treatment given to Group B was a topical scalp cream used once daily for the duration of the trial. By the end of the five-year trial, 50% of the members of Group A had experienced some hair loss while only 25% of the members of Group B had experienced some hair loss. Despite these results, the treatment used on Group A was considered significantly more effective in preventing hair loss than the treatment used on Group B.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the apparent discrepancy?

(A) The members of Group B who experienced some hair loss had, on average, a slightly higher degree of hair loss than the members of Group A who experienced some hair loss.

(B) Most members of Group B found using the topical cream to be difficult and inconvenient, while most members of Group A found taking a pill once per day to be easy and convenient.

(C) The treatment used on Group B is significantly more expensive than the treatment used on Group A, and, as a result, a relatively small percentage of the target market would be able to afford the treatment used on Group B.

(D) Group A consisted of men with a family history of hair loss, while Group B consisted of men with no such family history.

(E) Nearly all members of Group B experienced significant side effects such as scalp irritation, unwanted growth of facial hair, and swelling in the hands and feet, while side effects of the treatment used on Group A were rare and minor.

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QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 11:37
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The first step is to identify the discrepancy, using the author's own words as much as possible: "Despite these results (that, by the end of the five-year trial, 50% of the members of Group A had experienced some hair loss while only 25% of the members of Group B had experienced some hair loss), the treatment used on Group A was considered significantly more effective in preventing hair loss than the treatment used on Group B."

What else do we know...

  • All of the men were 25 years old when the trial began.
  • Before the trial began, none of the men had shown signs of hair loss.
  • Hair loss is widely believed to be caused primarily by genetic factors.
  • The treatment given to Group A was a pill taken daily for the duration of the trial.
  • The treatment given to Group B was a topical scalp cream used once daily for the duration of the trial.

Based on the information in the passage, there are no major differences between the two groups of men. The form of their treatments was different, but that doesn't tell us anything about the effectiveness of the treatments. So if a larger percentage of Group A experienced some hair loss, why was the treatment used on Group A considered significantly more effective?

We need a statement that helps explain this apparent discrepancy:

Quote:
(A) The members of Group B who experienced some hair loss had, on average, a slightly higher degree of hair loss than the members of Group A who experienced some hair loss.

Choice A is tempting because it certainly makes the treatment used on Group B seem slightly less effective than we would conclude based solely on the information in the passage. But is this strong enough to explain why the treatment used on Group was considered significantly more effective, even though the percentage of Group A that experienced hair loss was double that of Group B? This doesn't seem like a strong enough answer, but I wouldn't cross it off just yet.

Quote:
(B) Most members of Group B found using the topical cream to be difficult and inconvenient, while most members of Group A found taking a pill once per day to be easy and convenient.

The treatment used by members of Group A might be significantly more convenient and easier to use than the treatment used by members of Group B, but these characteristics have nothing to do with the effectiveness of the two treatments. We need something that explains why the treatment used on Group A was considered more significantly more effective, not more convenient. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) The treatment used on Group B is significantly more expensive than the treatment used on Group A, and, as a result, a relatively small percentage of the target market would be able to afford the treatment used on Group B.

As with the last choice, choice (C) addresses a characteristic--cost--that has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the two treatments. We need a statement that addresses effectiveness, not affordability. Eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) Group A consisted of men with a family history of hair loss, while Group B consisted of men with no such family history.

We are told that "hair loss is widely believed to be caused primarily by genetic factors." Thus, if Group A consists of men with a family history of hair loss, most of those men, without treatment, may have been likely to experience hair loss. Similarly, most of the men in Group B may have been likely to avoid hair loss, even without treatment. In fact, if statement (D) is true, it is possible that the treatment used on Group B had no effect at all. Perhaps, due to genetic factors, only 25% of Group B's members would have experienced hair loss even without treatment.

Remember, we are looking for an answer that most helps to explain the apparent discrepancy. The statement in choice (D) certainly explains why the treatment used on Group B is less effective than it seems based on the facts given in the passage. This statement also explains why the treatment used on Group A was more effective than it seems based on the facts given in the passage. Thus, even though we can't know for sure what percentage of men from each group would have experienced hair loss without treatment, choice (D) helps explain the discrepancy more than choice (A).

Quote:
(E) Nearly all members of Group B experienced significant side effects such as scalp irritation, unwanted growth of facial hair, and swelling in the hands and feet, while side effects of the treatment used on Group A were rare and minor.

The amount and degree of the side effects have no impact on the effectiveness of the treatments. One treatment could be considered significantly more effective, even if its side effects are much worse. Thus, choice (E) does not help explain the discrepancy and can be eliminated.

Choice (D) is the only explanation that would explain why the treatment used on Group A might be considered significantly more effective. So choice (D) is the best answer.
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Re: QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 12:11
I am between A and D but I will go with option D
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Re: QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 12:19
Quote:
A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study the effectiveness of hair loss prevention treatments on two different groups of men, all of whom were 25 years old when the trial began. Before the trial began, none of the men had shown signs of hair loss, which is widely believed to be caused primarily by genetic factors. The treatment given to Group A was a pill taken daily for the duration of the trial, and the treatment given to Group B was a topical scalp cream used once daily for the duration of the trial. By the end of the five-year trial, 50% of the members of Group A had experienced some hair loss while only 25% of the members of Group B had experienced some hair loss. Despite these results, the treatment used on Group A was considered significantly more effective in preventing hair loss than the treatment used on Group B.

Group A and Group B - Both with men 25 years old with NO SIGN of HAIR LOSS, which is believed to be caused by genetic factors.
Group A given pills and Group B given a cream. After 5 years, Group A - 50% men experienced hair loss and Group B - 25% hair loss
BUT, treatment on GROUP A considered more effective. Huh? Why?

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the apparent discrepancy?

Quote:
(A) The members of Group B who experienced some hair loss had, on average, a slightly higher degree of hair loss than the members of Group A who experienced some hair loss.

This seems like a convincing option but it doesn't explain why the treatment on Group A was considered more effective. Degree of hair loss was higher in group B, but still more people in Group A had hair loss. If I want to be safe, I can keep this option till something better comes along.


Quote:
(B) Most members of Group B found using the topical cream to be difficult and inconvenient, while most members of Group A found taking a pill once per day to be easy and convenient.

The ease of use of a product doesn't define if it the treatment is more successful. I hate getting injections, but if required, you have to get one. This is OUT!


Quote:
(C) The treatment used on Group B is significantly more expensive than the treatment used on Group A, and, as a result, a relatively small percentage of the target market would be able to afford the treatment used on Group B.

We are only concerned with the test results, and not it's ability to capture the market. Secondly, if more people lost hair in Group A, it doesn't matter if its cheap, as it won't sell as much anyway. What will be the marketing strategy? We don't help as much, but we are cheaper. Try this crappy pill! This is OUT!


Quote:
(D) Group A consisted of men with a family history of hair loss, while Group B consisted of men with no such family history.

This looks good. Definitely better than A. If men in Group A had a family history of hair loss, and hair loss is believed to be hereditary then this showcases that the pill did help reduce the effects of hair loss, especially since men in group B had no history of hair loss. The cream in this instance doesn't seem to be very effective.


Quote:
(E) Nearly all members of Group B experienced significant side effects such as scalp irritation, unwanted growth of facial hair, and swelling in the hands and feet, while side effects of the treatment used on Group A were rare and minor.

Side-effects were not discussed in this argument, and although this does provide a good argument, it not better than D.


D is the answer for me.
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Re: QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 12:50
Go for D

It mentions "genetic factors" in the stimuli.

Wait for the OA.
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Re: QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 16:22
I go for E, since D has been already stated as a fact in the premise


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Re: QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 19:33
vacillated between D & E.

Finally choose E.

Awaiting OA
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Re: QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 23:23
Correct one is choice D, as the question is only concerned with effectiveness in preventing hairfall and not the side-effects caused by the treatments. Moreover there is no link between side-effects and hairfall.
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Re: QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2017, 00:32
D should be the right answer.
Pretty straight forward.
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Re: QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2017, 06:51
I would go for D. My take:

To resolve the paradox, we need to find one reason why treatment given to pool A was more effective than the one given to pool B. What if though A had higher % , members of A were more likely to be bald in the first place ? This will resolve the paradox. Analysis of the option shows that only D fits the bill.
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Re: QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2017, 23:34
boiled down to A and D.
"slightly" is a common pattern in gmat -> A is eliminated.
Re: QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study   [#permalink] 08 Nov 2017, 23:34
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QOTD: A five-year clinical trial was conducted to study

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