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Re: Researcher: A number of studies have suggested that, on average, clien [#permalink]
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Researcher: A number of studies have suggested that,on average,clients in short-term psychotherapy show similar levels of improvement regardless of the kind of psychotherapy they receive.So any client improvement in short-term psychotherapy must be the result of some aspect or aspects of therapy that are common to all psychotherapies—for example,the presence of someone who listens and gives attention to the client. Which one of the following,if true,would most weaken the researcher’s argument?

(A) The methods by which the studies measured whether clients improved primarily concerned immediate symptom relief and failed to address other important kinds of improvement.
It shows that the conducted study did not include measure of some important kinds of improvement and thus casts enough doubt that the study may not be accurate.

(B) On average,clients improve more dramatically when they receive long-term psychotherapy,a year or longer in duration,than when clients receive short-term psychotherapy.
There is no point mentioning the time period for short term or long term psychotherapy

(C) The studies found that psychotherapy by a trained counselor does not result in any greater improvement,on average,among clients than does simple counseling by an untrained layperson.
This is actually a strengthener.

(D) The specific techniques and interventions used by therapists practicing different kinds of psychotherapy differ dramatically.
If techniques and interventions differ, there may be some other aspect which is common and which influences improvement

(E) More-experienced therapists tend to use a wider range of techniques and interventions in psychotherapy than do inexperienced therapists.
No mention about experience of therapist
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Re: Researcher: A number of studies have suggested that, on average, clien [#permalink]
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aurobindomahanty wrote:
Researcher: A number of studies have suggested that, on average, clients in short-term psychotherapy show similar levels of improvement regardless of the kind of psychotherapy they receive. So any client improvement in short-term psychotherapy must be the result of some aspect or aspects of therapy that are common to all psychotherapies—for example, the presence of someone who listens and gives attention to the client.

Which one of the following, if true, would most weaken the researcher’s argument?


(A) The methods by which the studies measured whether clients improved primarily concerned immediate symptom relief and failed to address other important kinds of improvement.

(B) On average, clients improve more dramatically when they receive long-term psychotherapy, a year or longer in duration, than when clients receive short-term psychotherapy.

(C) The studies found that psychotherapy by a trained counselor does not result in any greater improvement, on average, among clients than does simple counseling by an untrained layperson.

(D) The specific techniques and interventions used by therapists practicing different kinds of psychotherapy differ dramatically.

(E) More-experienced therapists tend to use a wider range of techniques and interventions in psychotherapy than do inexperienced therapists.



First of all, notice that it is an LSAT question. The LSAT reasoning doesn't map completely to GMAT reasoning though there is a lot of overlap.

Studies show clients in short-term psychotherapy show similar levels of improvement regardless of the kind of psychotherapy they receive.

Conclusion: Any client improvement in short-term psychotherapy must be the result of some aspect or aspects of therapy that are common to all psychotherapies

We need to weaken this. For GMAT, we weaken the conclusion. so we might look for something that tells us how a common aspect may not explain the result. But there is no such option. Option (A) does make us doubt the result of our study.

(A) The methods by which the studies measured whether clients improved primarily concerned immediate symptom relief and failed to address other important kinds of improvement.

The option states that the study failed to address other "important" kinds of improvement. That it focusses on immediate symptom relief only.
Say different people with headache are given paracetamol, aspirin, Ibuprofen and Morphine. After half an hour we notice that everyone's headache is gone. Can we say that all medicines caused same improvement? No. The impact of one may last much longer, another may treat the cause while another may provide just symptomatic relief.
Similarly, this option questions the validity of the study in that the way it measured "improvement" was superficial. So we cannot say that any client improvement in short-term psychotherapy must be the result of some aspect or aspects of therapy that are common to all psychotherapies. The psychotherapies may actually be very different.

(B) On average, clients improve more dramatically when they receive long-term psychotherapy, a year or longer in duration, than when clients receive short-term psychotherapy.

Irrelevant. We are talking about "short-term psychotherapy" only. No point comparing this with "long-term psychotherapy"

(C) The studies found that psychotherapy by a trained counselor does not result in any greater improvement, on average, among clients than does simple counseling by an untrained layperson.

Irrelevant. No point comparing "psychotherapy" with "simple counselling".

(D) The specific techniques and interventions used by therapists practicing different kinds of psychotherapy differ dramatically.

Doesn't matter how different the psychotherapies are. The argument says that the improvement is the same in each case. So there must be some common factor responsible.

(E) More-experienced therapists tend to use a wider range of techniques and interventions in psychotherapy than do inexperienced therapists.

Again, doesn't matter how different the psychotherapies given by different therapists are.

Answer (A)
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Re: Researcher: A number of studies have suggested that, on average, clien [#permalink]
KarishmaB wrote:
aurobindomahanty wrote:
Researcher: A number of studies have suggested that, on average, clients in short-term psychotherapy show similar levels of improvement regardless of the kind of psychotherapy they receive. So any client improvement in short-term psychotherapy must be the result of some aspect or aspects of therapy that are common to all psychotherapies—for example, the presence of someone who listens and gives attention to the client.

Which one of the following, if true, would most weaken the researcher’s argument?


(A) The methods by which the studies measured whether clients improved primarily concerned immediate symptom relief and failed to address other important kinds of improvement.

(B) On average, clients improve more dramatically when they receive long-term psychotherapy, a year or longer in duration, than when clients receive short-term psychotherapy.

(C) The studies found that psychotherapy by a trained counselor does not result in any greater improvement, on average, among clients than does simple counseling by an untrained layperson.

(D) The specific techniques and interventions used by therapists practicing different kinds of psychotherapy differ dramatically.

(E) More-experienced therapists tend to use a wider range of techniques and interventions in psychotherapy than do inexperienced therapists.


First of all, notice that it is an LSAT question. The LSAT reasoning doesn't map completely to GMAT reasoning though there is a lot of overlap.

Studies show clients in short-term psychotherapy show similar levels of improvement regardless of the kind of psychotherapy they receive.

Conclusion: Any client improvement in short-term psychotherapy must be the result of some aspect or aspects of therapy that are common to all psychotherapies

We need to weaken this. For GMAT, we weaken the conclusion. so we might look for something that tells us how a common aspect may not explain the result. But there is no such option. Option (A) does make us doubt the result of our study.

(A) The methods by which the studies measured whether clients improved primarily concerned immediate symptom relief and failed to address other important kinds of improvement.

The option states that the study failed to address other "important" kinds of improvement. That it focusses on immediate symptom relief only.
Say different people with headache are given paracetamol, aspirin, Ibuprofen and Morphine. After half an hour we notice that everyone's headache is gone. Can we say that all medicines caused same improvement? No. The impact of one may last much longer, another may treat the cause while another may provide just symptomatic relief.
Similarly, this option questions the validity of the study in that the way it measured "improvement" was superficial. So we cannot say that any client improvement in short-term psychotherapy must be the result of some aspect or aspects of therapy that are common to all psychotherapies. The psychotherapies may actually be very different.

(B) On average, clients improve more dramatically when they receive long-term psychotherapy, a year or longer in duration, than when clients receive short-term psychotherapy.

Irrelevant. We are talking about "short-term psychotherapy" only. No point comparing this with "long-term psychotherapy"

(C) The studies found that psychotherapy by a trained counselor does not result in any greater improvement, on average, among clients than does simple counseling by an untrained layperson.

Irrelevant. No point comparing "psychotherapy" with "simple counselling".

(D) The specific techniques and interventions used by therapists practicing different kinds of psychotherapy differ dramatically.

Doesn't matter how different the psychotherapies are. The argument says that the improvement is the same in each case. So there must be some common factor responsible.

(E) More-experienced therapists tend to use a wider range of techniques and interventions in psychotherapy than do inexperienced therapists.

Again, doesn't matter how different the psychotherapies given by different therapists are.

Answer (A)

­Can we attack facts given in the argumment in GMAT CR? Option A criticizes the study, which is considered a fact in the argument. Isn't that the case? Please clarify.
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Re: Researcher: A number of studies have suggested that, on average, clien [#permalink]
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