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# QOTD: In a taste test, participants were asked

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MBA Section Director
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03 Oct 2017, 12:57
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 117: Critical Reasoning

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In a taste test, participants were asked to try two versions of a cola: one regular and one called "Cola Extra" that contained an additional secret ingredient. Two different groups of tasters were told in advance which sample was "Cola Extra", but only the second group was told that the secret ingredient in "Cola Extra" was white vinegar. Members of the first group preferred “Cola Extra” by a margin of almost two to one, while over 80% of the members of the second group preferred the regular cola.

If the statements above are all true, which of the following can properly be inferred on the basis of them?

(A) Knowing the identity of a beverage's ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage.
(B) The version of “Cola Extra” given to the second group contained a higher concentration of white vinegar than the version given to the first group.
(C) Most members of the second group do not enjoy the taste of white vinegar.
(D) Members of the first group were given the “Cola Extra” sample first, leaving an aftertaste that negatively influenced the taste of the regular cola.
(E) Beverage companies producing colas should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredients.

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03 Oct 2017, 12:58
1
1
Passages accompanied by inference questions often consist of nothing more than a list of facts or a description of a scenario. This makes it difficult or impossible to apply our usual advice, which is to start with the conclusion or the heart of the passage. Regardless, before diving into the answer choices, make sure you clearly understand the given information and pay close attention to the author's word choice:

The taste test involved two different groups of testers and two different types of cola: regular and extra. The identities of the samples were revealed to both groups in advance, so the tasters all knew which sample was regular cola and which sample was Cola Extra. However, only the second group was told that the secret ingredient in the Cola Extra was white vinegar.

The results of the taste test were as follows:

• Members of the first group (who did NOT know the identity of the secret ingredient) preferred “Cola Extra” by a margin of almost two to one.
• Over 80% of the members of the second group (who DID know the identity of the secret ingredient) preferred the regular cola.

Based on this information, which of the following can be properly inferred?

Quote:
(A) Knowing the identity of a beverage's ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage.

Members of the first group did not know the identity of the secret ingredient, and most of them preferred Cola Extra. On the other hand, members of the second group DID know the identity of the secret ingredient, and most of them preferred the regular cola. This implies that knowing the identity of the secret ingredient impacted the tasters' enjoyment of Cola Extra. Choice (A) is consistent with the evidence in the passage, so let's hang on to it.

Quote:
(B) The version of “Cola Extra” given to the second group contained a higher concentration of white vinegar than the version given to the first group.

Although this unlikely scenario, if true, could in fact explain the results of the taste test, there is nothing in the passage suggesting that this is the case. All we know is that one group knew the identity of the secret ingredient and the other did not, and this is not enough to support choice (B).

Quote:
(C) Most members of the second group do not enjoy the taste of white vinegar.

We know that most members of the second group preferred the regular cola, but we do not know why they preferred the regular cola. Choice (C) offers a possible explanation for the results, but there is no strong evidence suggesting that this is actually the case.

Choice (C) might be tempting, but compare it to choice (A), which only says that knowing the identity of a beverages' ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage. If choice (C) said that "most members of the second group might not enjoy the taste of white vinegar," it would be a safer inference. However, without further evidence, choice (C) cannot be properly inferred.

Quote:
(D) Members of the first group were given the “Cola Extra” sample first, leaving an aftertaste that negatively influenced the taste of the regular cola.

Again, we have a possible explanation for the results. Even though choice (D) might make sense, the passage does not suggest that this is actually what happened. As with choice (C), this statement cannot be properly inferred without further evidence. Choice (A) is still a better option, so eliminate (D).

Quote:
(E) Beverage companies producing colas should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredients.

The results of the taste test might suggest that beverage companies should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredient IF that secret ingredient happens to be white vinegar, but we do not know whether, in general, it is a bad idea to reveal the secret ingredients. Perhaps a more pleasant-sounding secret ingredient would actually attract consumers and enhance their enjoyment of the beverage. Choice (E) is too general and can be eliminated.

Even though some of the other choices might make sense, choice (A) is the best answer.
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03 Oct 2017, 13:24
2
Another difficult. Awaiting OA.

In a taste test, participants were asked to try two versions of a cola: one regular and one called "Cola Extra" that contained an additional secret ingredient. Two different groups of tasters were told in advance which sample was "Cola Extra", but only the second group was told that the secret ingredient in "Cola Extra" was white vinegar. Members of the first group preferred “Cola Extra” by a margin of almost two to one, while over 80% of the members of the second group preferred the regular cola.

If the statements above are all true, which of the following can properly be inferred on the basis of them?

(A) Knowing the identity of a beverage's ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage. -By POE, this is correct. Also this must be consistent with the information provided, since the people's choice seem to have changed post the knowledge of vinegar in drink.
(B) The version of “Cola Extra” given to the second group contained a higher concentration of white vinegar than the version given to the first group. - This can't be correct, else the whole purpose of the experiment would not be solved.
(C) Most members of the second group do not enjoy the taste of white vinegar. - We can't really say this. Maybe the expectations weren't high from the beginning since they knew that the drink contains vinegar.
(D) Members of the first group were given the “Cola Extra” sample first, leaving an aftertaste that negatively influenced the taste of the regular cola. -This can be assumption, not the inference.
(E) Beverage companies producing colas should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredients. -Again this can be the assumption, not the inference.
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03 Oct 2017, 13:50
1
A and E are the competitors
It shall be A
B, C and D irrelevant and E is very strong
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03 Oct 2017, 14:10
I would stick to A by POE.

B talks of concentration of vinegar.its nowhere mentioned in passage
C enjoyment of taste isnt the concern of the passage
D is an assumption.cannot be inferred from passage
E is a suggestion. Not inference.
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03 Oct 2017, 16:00
it is A. The knowledge about the ingredient in the drink made the customers conscious and they preferred the regular drink that they always had.
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04 Oct 2017, 05:48
+1 for A. The answer must be option A. Got it by POE
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05 Oct 2017, 01:18
1
From the question stimulus we have the following breakdown..
1.We have 2 different types of Cola.. (i) Regular Cola (ii) Cola Extra
2. There were 2 different groups of taste testers were present.
3.One of them were told which sample was Cola Extra.
4.The second group were told which sample was Cola Extra and also what made Cola Extra different from Regular Cola ie the Secret Ingredient, which is white vinegar.
5.Finally the results- (i)66.5 % of Group 1 preferred Cola Extra and 33.5% preferred Regular Cola
(ii) 80 % of Group 2 preferred Regular Cola and only 20 % preferred Cola Extra.

Let us check the options
A) Could be the answer .. since the only difference in perception of Group 1 and group 2 was because Group 2 knew the secret ingredient while group 1 did not.
.
B) The second option says extra vinegar which per say is not given in the stimulus.
B is wrong
C) this option could be, but we do not know whether the participants in the groups are dissimilar or similar. So since it is not mentioned in the stimulus taking both groups to be similar, this answer is wrong.
C is wrong.
D) We do not know, but going by a similar reasoning as in C , taking both groups facing the similar situations, this option is again wrong.
D is wrong.
E) Okay this option takes us to the extreme conclusion and this option does not discuss stimulus. Irrelevant.
E is wrong.

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05 Oct 2017, 06:59
In a taste test, participants were asked to try two versions of a cola: one regular and one called "Cola Extra" that contained an additional secret ingredient. Two different groups of tasters were told in advance which sample was "Cola Extra", but only the second group was told that the secret ingredient in "Cola Extra" was white vinegar. Members of the first group preferred “Cola Extra” by a margin of almost two to one, while over 80% of the members of the second group preferred the regular cola.

Type - inference

(A) Knowing the identity of a beverage's ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage. - Correct - this can be inferred based on the last statement in the argument
(B) The version of “Cola Extra” given to the second group contained a higher concentration of white vinegar than the version given to the first group. - Incorrect - the argument does not state this fact
(C) Most members of the second group do not enjoy the taste of white vinegar. - Incorrect
(D) Members of the first group were given the “Cola Extra” sample first, leaving an aftertaste that negatively influenced the taste of the regular cola.- Incorrect - the argument does not mention the order in which beverages were given
(E) Beverage companies producing colas should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredients. - Incorrect

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06 Oct 2017, 00:10
GMATNinja wrote:
Passages accompanied by inference questions often consist of nothing more than a list of facts or a description of a scenario. This makes it difficult or impossible to apply our usual advice, which is to start with the conclusion or the heart of the passage. Regardless, before diving into the answer choices, make sure you clearly understand the given information and pay close attention to the author's word choice:

The taste test involved two different groups of testers and two different types of cola: regular and extra. The identities of the samples were revealed to both groups in advance, so the tasters all knew which sample was regular cola and which sample was Cola Extra. However, only the second group was told that the secret ingredient in the Cola Extra was white vinegar.

The results of the taste test were as follows:

• Members of the first group (who did NOT know the identity of the secret ingredient) preferred “Cola Extra” by a margin of almost two to one.
• Over 80% of the members of the second group (who DID know the identity of the secret ingredient) preferred the regular cola.

Based on this information, which of the following can be properly inferred?

Quote:
(C) Most members of the second group do not enjoy the taste of white vinegar.

We know that most members of the second group preferred the regular cola, but we do not know why they preferred the regular cola. Choice (C) offers a possible explanation for the results, but there is no strong evidence suggesting that this is actually the case.

Choice (C) might be tempting, but compare it to choice (A), which only says that knowing the identity of a beverages' ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage. If choice (C) said that "most members of the second group might not enjoy the taste of white vinegar," it would be a safer inference. However, without further evidence, choice (C) cannot be properly inferred.

Dear GMATNinja

Choice C is tempting, to discard it, it did the following:

I asked myself, is it really the test of the white vinegar the problem? maybe. Or maybe id the interacion between white vinegar and other substance created unfavorable taste. We do not. So I eliminated it.

Is my line of reasoning ok?

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14 Nov 2017, 20:04
Mo2men wrote:
Dear GMATNinja

Choice C is tempting, to discard it, it did the following:

I asked myself, is it really the test of the white vinegar the problem? maybe. Or maybe id the interacion between white vinegar and other substance created unfavorable taste. We do not. So I eliminated it.

Is my line of reasoning ok?

Mo2men, I think you are on the right track here:
Quote:
Or maybe id the interacion between white vinegar and other substance created unfavorable taste.
In other words, maybe those people simply don't like white vinegar in SODAS. For example, I love the taste of carrots, but I might DISLIKE carrot-flavored ice cream. So maybe those people don't like white vinegar. Or maybe they just don't like white vinegar in sodas. Or perhaps they simply have a negative PERCEPTION of the taste of white vinegar and thus were affected psychologically when told the identity of the secret ingredient.

Choice (C) is possible, but it cannot be properly inferred without further information.
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Hit the request verbal experts' reply button -- and please be specific about your question. Feel free to tag @GMATNinja and @GMATNinjaTwo in your post. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.

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