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# S92-09

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Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
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16 Sep 2014, 00:46
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Difficulty:

65% (hard)

Question Stats:

56% (01:49) correct 44% (02:04) wrong based on 108 sessions

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Last year, of the reported thefts that occurred in shopping malls in Texas, the percentage that took place in digital electronic stores increased by two percent from the year before. Because most thefts do not result in the return of stolen goods, this increase likely resulted in a negative economic impact on these digital electronic stores that was greater than the impact that had been accounted for by their yearly budgets, for stores make predictions about the loss of money due to theft based on the number of thefts they recorded in the previous year.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument given?

A. People who steal and are not caught and forced to return the merchandise are likely to steal again.
B. The percentage of reported thefts in shopping malls in Texas that were from jewelry stores last year also increased.
C. Last year, of the total number of thefts from shopping malls across the United States, the percentage of thefts from shopping malls in Texas was lower than it had been the year before.
D. Merchandise stolen from digital electronics stores is generally more expensive than that stolen from other stores.
E. The number of total thefts that were reported in shopping malls in Texas last year was significantly lower than it has been in a decade.

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16 Sep 2014, 00:46
Official Solution:

Last year, of the reported thefts that occurred in shopping malls in Texas, the percentage that took place in digital electronic stores increased by two percent from the year before. Because most thefts do not result in the return of stolen goods, this increase likely resulted in a negative economic impact on these digital electronic stores that was greater than the impact that had been accounted for by their yearly budgets, for stores make predictions about the loss of money due to theft based on the number of thefts they recorded in the previous year.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument given?

A. People who steal and are not caught and forced to return the merchandise are likely to steal again.
B. The percentage of reported thefts in shopping malls in Texas that were from jewelry stores last year also increased.
C. Last year, of the total number of thefts from shopping malls across the United States, the percentage of thefts from shopping malls in Texas was lower than it had been the year before.
D. Merchandise stolen from digital electronics stores is generally more expensive than that stolen from other stores.
E. The number of total thefts that were reported in shopping malls in Texas last year was significantly lower than it has been in a decade.

We are told that the percentage of total Texas mall thefts that took place in digital electronic stores has increased. We are also told that stores make predictions about loss based on the number of previous thefts, and that therefore, the stores may have been written their budgets without preparing for this increase.

There is a very important assumption in this argument. Namely, that the number of thefts that took place in digital electronic stores (in Texas malls) has increased. Knowing that the relative percentage of thefts in digital electronic stores, as opposed to all other stores, has increased, does not necessarily imply that the actual number of thefts in such stores has increased.

Let's look at an example to clarify: if there were 200 total thefts in Texas malls in a year, and 20 of them were in digital electronic stores, then 10 of the thefts were in such stores. If, the next year, 12 of Texas mall thefts were in digital electronic stores (the situation given in the prompt, with a 2 increase), this does not tell us that there were more thefts in digital electronic stores. If there were less overall thefts in malls (100, let's say), then there could be less thefts in digital electronic stores (12 rather than 20). The correct answer will point out this possibility.

Choice A refers to thieves that return to steal again. The argument does not refer to the thieves themselves in any capacity; because it is only the total number of thefts we are interested in, this choice is irrelevant to the situation at hand.

Choice B refers to jewelry stores. The relative percentage of thefts of a different type of store does not affect the overall number of thefts, the fact that is needed to weaken this argument.

Choice C is tempting. It claims that the percentage of thefts in Texas malls is lower than it had been in previous years, relative to the total number of thefts from malls overall. However, this choice is still dealing in percentages and not real numbers, and thus is still wrong. Without knowing the overall number of thefts in malls relative from one year to the next, this choice tells us nothing about the actual number of thefts in Texas malls, or the actual number of thefts in Texas mall electronic stores.

Choice D refers to the expense of the products stolen, relative to that of the products of other stores. This is irrelevant, because the predictions made by the electronic stores would, by definition, take the expense of the stolen products into account. This choice adds no new information and thus cannot weaken the argument.

Choice E refers to the total number of thefts in Texas malls, saying that it was lower than it had been in a decade (which includes the previous year as mentioned in the argument). This choice is correct; if the number of overall Texas mall thefts were lower (100 rather than 200, say), then the relative proportional increase of thefts in electronic stores would not necessarily lead to an increase in the real number of thefts in such stores. Without that real increase, the argument does not hold true.

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19 Oct 2015, 02:24
1
Bunuel wrote:
Official Solution:

Last year, of the reported thefts that occurred in shopping malls in Texas, the percentage that took place in digital electronic stores increased by two percent from the year before. Because most thefts do not result in the return of stolen goods, this increase likely resulted in a negative economic impact on these digital electronic stores that was greater than the impact that had been accounted for by their yearly budgets, for stores make predictions about the loss of money due to theft based on the number of thefts they recorded in the previous year.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument given?

A. People who steal and are not caught and forced to return the merchandise are likely to steal again.
B. The percentage of reported thefts in shopping malls in Texas that were from jewelry stores last year also increased.
C. Last year, of the total number of thefts from shopping malls across the United States, the percentage of thefts from shopping malls in Texas was lower than it had been the year before.
D. Merchandise stolen from digital electronics stores is generally more expensive than that stolen from other stores.
E. The number of total thefts that were reported in shopping malls in Texas last year was significantly lower than it has been in a decade.

We are told that the percentage of total Texas mall thefts that took place in digital electronic stores has increased. We are also told that stores make predictions about loss based on the number of previous thefts, and that therefore, the stores may have been written their budgets without preparing for this increase.

There is a very important assumption in this argument. Namely, that the number of thefts that took place in digital electronic stores (in Texas malls) has increased. Knowing that the relative percentage of thefts in digital electronic stores, as opposed to all other stores, has increased, does not necessarily imply that the actual number of thefts in such stores has increased.

Let's look at an example to clarify: if there were 200 total thefts in Texas malls in a year, and 20 of them were in digital electronic stores, then 10 of the thefts were in such stores. If, the next year, 12 of Texas mall thefts were in digital electronic stores (the situation given in the prompt, with a 2 increase), this does not tell us that there were more thefts in digital electronic stores. If there were less overall thefts in malls (100, let's say), then there could be less thefts in digital electronic stores (12 rather than 20). The correct answer will point out this possibility.

Choice A refers to thieves that return to steal again. The argument does not refer to the thieves themselves in any capacity; because it is only the total number of thefts we are interested in, this choice is irrelevant to the situation at hand.

Choice B refers to jewelry stores. The relative percentage of thefts of a different type of store does not affect the overall number of thefts, the fact that is needed to weaken this argument.

Choice C is tempting. It claims that the percentage of thefts in Texas malls is lower than it had been in previous years, relative to the total number of thefts from malls overall. However, this choice is still dealing in percentages and not real numbers, and thus is still wrong. Without knowing the overall number of thefts in malls relative from one year to the next, this choice tells us nothing about the actual number of thefts in Texas malls, or the actual number of thefts in Texas mall electronic stores.

Choice D refers to the expense of the products stolen, relative to that of the products of other stores. This is irrelevant, because the predictions made by the electronic stores would, by definition, take the expense of the stolen products into account. This choice adds no new information and thus cannot weaken the argument.

Choice E refers to the total number of thefts in Texas malls, saying that it was lower than it had been in a decade (which includes the previous year as mentioned in the argument). This choice is correct; if the number of overall Texas mall thefts were lower (100 rather than 200, say), then the relative proportional increase of thefts in electronic stores would not necessarily lead to an increase in the real number of thefts in such stores. Without that real increase, the argument does not hold true.

hi,
I feel no option is right.
My analysis:
1. If the total no. of thefts in the previous year is 100, then 10% means 10
Now since the passage says that the percentage has increased by 2%.

2. if the total no. of thefts this year is 50, then 12% is 6
on the other hand,
3. if the total no. of thefts this year is 200, then 12% is 24.

Now a correct answer option should mention, either directly or indirectly, that the absolute number of thefts in digital stores this year is lower than that in the previous yr.
But none of the options says so.
Even the option E says that the no. of thefts are lower last yr. This implies--
a) if we include this yr in the decade, then it actually strengthens the conclusion.
b) if we don't include this yr in the decade, then it doesn't provide any information to undermine conclusion.

Plz correct me if im wrong.
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Joined: 16 Feb 2013
Posts: 18
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GMAT 1: 630 Q44 V35
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23 Nov 2015, 10:24
same doubt ..someone plz guide. I was expecting an answer choice which provides details about the electronic store theft rates comparison.
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Joined: 12 Mar 2017
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01 Apr 2017, 07:52
Hello,

"the percentage that took place in digital electronic stores increased by two percent"-The author is using this as the premise to conclude the following, "this increase likely resulted in a negative economic impact on these digital electronic stores that was greater than the impact that had been accounted for by their yearly budgets". One way to weaken the argument is to show that the number of thefts from the digital electronic stores have not increased in number but that the thefts from other stores in the Texas malls have reduced.

Option E says, "The number of total thefts that were reported in shopping malls in Texas last year was significantly lower than it has been in a decade." This means that the % of thefts in digital electronic stores has increased even after decrease in total number of thefts in Texas malls. The % of increase is thus not because of increase in thefts of digital stores and hence the losses due to theft may not have changed when compare to the year before.

I hope this clears your doubt.
Re: S92-09 &nbs [#permalink] 01 Apr 2017, 07:52
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# S92-09

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