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# Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so

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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2016, 09:28
1
The OA to Q 2 is NOT E. I encountered this question in my GMAT Prep mock today and the software shows the correct answer as (D). The original poster has not transcribed the problem options correctly.

(D) Demonstrator hens reacted adversely to ingesting certain novel foods.

Now can anyone explain me why (E) is incorrect!

I hope someone takes the courage to answer this now. Thanks!
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2016, 03:44
Keats wrote:
The OA to Q 2 is NOT E. I encountered this question in my GMAT Prep mock today and the software shows the correct answer as (D). The original poster has not transcribed the problem options correctly.

(D) Demonstrator hens reacted adversely to ingesting certain novel foods.

Now can anyone explain me why (E) is incorrect!

I hope someone takes the courage to answer this now. Thanks!

Same stuff - the software marks D as the right answer! I answered E, which is the best option IMO. The option E is not mentioned in the passage, since the only thing that is related to the topic is that "Even when demonstrator hens reacted with obvious disgust to a specific food". IMO this is far from option D, since doesn't mention the reaction to NEW food.
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2016, 21:52
manlog wrote:
Same stuff - the software marks D as the right answer! I answered E, which is the best option IMO. The option E is not mentioned in the passage, since the only thing that is related to the topic is that "Even when demonstrator hens reacted with obvious disgust to a specific food". IMO this is far from option D, since doesn't mention the reaction to NEW food.

Exactly my point!
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2016, 11:17
The passage is from GMATPrep exam pack.

The OA is D only and not E.

Can anyone please explain the reasoning ?

Thanks
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2017, 09:55
Hi,

I am sorry to disturb you with this so commented yet text but I need to throw the light on a specific problem with the QUESTION 2 :

The answer E is clearly stated on the text and each member of the discussion seems agree on this answer, but OA is D.

Now my question : What is wrong with E, and what makes D correct ?

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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2017, 21:45
2
1
2
1)
A. techniques used in certain experiments on social learning in birds
There is a lot of discussion of experiments, but notice, the results are discussed more than are the techniques.
B. reasons for the differences between social learning in birds and in mammals
Only that they "may be fundamentally different" is mentioned. There is no discussion of the reasons for any differences. This answer could trap someone who is just going with what sounds right. Mammals and birds are mentioned and reasons for differences in social learning among birds are mentioned. So as usual you have to be careful and really notice what is being said and what is not being said in order to get this question right.
C. question of how social learning manifests itself in birds
There is extensive discussion of this topic. Different kinds of birds and their particular types of social learning are discussed. In fact, the passage is mostly about a particular question, the question of whether birds can, like mammals, "can develop preferences for palatable food through social learning." While this answer choice does not say that exactly, it is the choice closest to what the passage is about.
D. basis for a widespread belief about a difference in behavior between birds and mammals
The basis, some experiments, for the belief that mammals and birds learn different things from each other about food is discussed, but much more is going on.
E. possible reasons why birds may or may not learn from each other in a particular
way. This is only briefly discussed in the part about chickens.
2)
A. Only a small number of observer hens appeared to learn to avoid food that was
demonstrated by other hens to be noxious. - Incorrect. It is not shown that even a small number of observer hens appeared to learn to avoid food.
B. Observer hens ingested food preferentially only after numerous instances of
witnessing demonstrator hens preferentially ingest that type of food. - Incorrect. Nothing like this is indicated in the passage.
C. Observer hens appeared unable to recognize when demonstrator hens found a
particular food especially palatable. - Incorrect. Again, nothing like this is indicated. In fact, the passage does not indicate any difficulty in recognition by observer hens.
D. Demonstrator hens reacted adversely to ingesting certain novel foods. - Correct. Refer to the following lines. Even when demonstrator hens reacted with obvious disgust to a specific food, via vigorous head shaking and bill wiping
E. Demonstrator hens altered their behavior less obviously in response to noxious
foods than in response to highly palatable foods. - Incorrect. Quite the contrary. It is shown that demonstrator hens nade their body language very clear when given noxious food.
3)It can be inferred…
"Sherwin’s research team speculated that ecological or social constraints during the evolution of this species might have resulted in there being little benefit from the social learning of unpalatability "
AND
"These results confirmed that avian species can develop preferences for palatable food through social learning"
Option (E) clearly describes the above two excerpts and is therefore correct.
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2017, 00:22
@gmatninja, Experts,

Could you please explain the answer to this passage. It is driving me crazy. Experts have supported option E and i marked E too, but the OA is D.
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2017, 01:07
anairamitch1804 wrote:
2)
D. Demonstrator hens reacted adversely to ingesting certain novel foods. - Correct. Refer to the following lines. Even when demonstrator hens reacted with obvious disgust to a specific food, via vigorous head shaking and bill wiping
E. Demonstrator hens altered their behavior less obviously in response to noxious
foods than in response to highly palatable foods. - Incorrect. Quite the contrary. It is shown that demonstrator hens nade their body language very clear when given noxious food.
.

Hi Anaira,

I would just like to highlight that option E is specifically taking about alteration of behavior in response to noxious foods Vs. highly palatable foods, the reason you are giving is that their reaction was more obvious.

The only reason why E is not the answer is that no where in the passage, has the comparison of the *Degree of alteration in response to noxious vs. palatable* food been done.

I was troubled a lot by this question.
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2017, 09:23
Refer to explanation below: https://gmatclub.com/forum/social-learn ... l#p1841462
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2017, 19:44
GMATNinjaTwo Could you help with Q1?

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to discuss the

(A) techniques used in certain experiments on social learning in birds
(B) reasons for the differences between social learning in birds and in mammals
(C) question of how social learning manifests itself in birds
(D) basis for a widespread belief about a difference in behavior between birds and mammals
(E) possible reasons why birds may or may not learn from each other in a particular way
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2017, 08:18
hazelnut wrote:
GMATNinjaTwo Could you help with Q1?

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to discuss the

(A) techniques used in certain experiments on social learning in birds - The author discusses the results of several experiments but is not primarily concerned with the techniques used in those experiments.
(B) reasons for the differences between social learning in birds and in mammals - The author states "that avian social learning may be fundamentally different from that of mammals" but does not get into the REASONS for the differences. The author discusses possible reasons for differences between hens and other birds, but even that would not represent the primary purpose of the passage.
(C) question of how social learning manifests itself in birds - How does social learning manifest itself in birds? The passage discusses several examples and experiments related to that question, so choice (C) looks good.
(D) basis for a widespread belief about a difference in behavior between birds and mammals - The author refers to some experiments highlighting the differences in behavior between birds and mammals, but there is no mention of a "widespread belief about a difference."
(E) possible reasons why birds may or may not learn from each other in a particular way. - Again, the author discusses possible reasons for the differences between hens and other birds, but that does not represent the primary purpose of the passage.

Choice (C) is the best answer.
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2017, 09:23
E: Demonstrator hens altered their behavior less obviously in response to noxious foods than in response to highly palatable foods.

the above behavior is shown by observer hen and not the demonstrator hen hence E is wrong.

But Sherwin's recent experiments with domestic hens do not support the notion that avian social learning necessarily facilitates aversion to novel foods that are noxious or toxic.
Even when demonstrator hens reacted with obvious disgust to a specific food,
there was no evidence that observers subsequently avoided eating that food.

Demonstrator hens reacted adversely to ingesting certain novel foods. hence D is the answer
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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25 Nov 2017, 17:10
It looks like GMAT put the WRONG answer for Q2, interesting mistake. :D
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2018, 07:43
whosaysso wrote:
Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect social interaction facilitates the acquisition of a novel behavior. It usually takes the form of an experienced animal (the demonstrator) performing a behavior such that the native animal (the observer) subsequently expresses the same behavior sooner, or more completely, than it would have otherwise. One example of social learning is the acquisition of preferences for novel foods.

Some experiments have suggested that among mammals, social learning facilitates the identification of beneficial food items, but that among birds, social learning helps animals avoid toxic substances. For example, one study showed that when red-wing blackbirds observed others consuming a colored food or a food in a distinctly marked container and then becoming ill, they subsequently avoided food associated with that color or container. Another experiment showed that house sparrows consumed less red food after they observed others eating red food that was treated so as to be noxious. Studies on non-avian species have not produced similar results, leading researchers to speculate that avian social learning may be fundamentally different from that of mammals.

But Sherwin's recent experiments with domestic hens do not support the notion that avian social learning necessarily facilitates aversion to novel foods that are noxious or toxic. Even when demonstrator hens reacted with obvious disgust to a specific food, via vigorous head shaking and bill wiping, there was no evidence that observers subsequently avoided eating that food. Sherwin's research team speculated that ecological or social constraints during the evolution of this species might have resulted in there being little benefit from the social learning of unpalatability, for instance, selective pressures for this mode of learning would be reduced if the birds rarely encountered noxious or toxic food or rarely interacted after eating such food, or if the consequences of ingestion were minimal. In a related experiment the same researchers showed that if observer hens watched demonstrator hens react favorably to food of a particular color, then observer hens ate more food of that color than they ate of food of other colors. These results confirmed that avian species can develop preferences for palatable food through social learning.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to discuss the

(A) techniques used in certain experiments on social learning in birds
(B) reasons for the differences between social learning in birds and in mammals
(C) question of how social learning manifests itself in birds
(D) basis for a widespread belief about a difference in behavior between birds and mammals
(E) possible reasons why birds may or may not learn from each other in a particular way

2. According to the passage, which of the following is true of the experiments on domestic hens conducted by Sherwin's research team?

(A) Only a small number of observer hens appeared to learn to avoid food that was demonstrated by other hens to be noxious.
(B) Observer hens ingested food preferentially only after numerous instances of witnessing demonstrator hens preferentially ingest that type of food.
(C) Observer hens appeared unable to recognize when demonstrator hens found a particular food especially palatable.
(D) Demonstrator hens reacted adversely to ingesting certain novel foods.
(E) Demonstrator hens altered their behavior less obviously in response to noxious foods than in response to highly palatable foods.

3. It can be inferred that the author of the passage would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements regarding the results of the recent experiments conducted by Sherwin's research team?

(A) The experiments demonstrate that social learning in avian species facilitates the identification of noxious or toxic foods.
(B) The experiments suggest that social learning has made avian species less adept than nonavian species at learning to prefer beneficial foods and avoid noxious and toxic foods.
(C) The experiments undermine the notion that most avian species have evolved in environments where there is little benefit to the social learning of unpalatability.
(D) The experiments suggest that the acquisition of food preferences in avian species is largely unaffected by social learning.
(E) The experiments show that social learning in avian species can promote the preferential consumption of beneficial foods but do not support the claim that social learning in avian species promotes the avoidance of noxious or toxic foods.

Correction done on 11/10/2016. Updated Q2 OA per GMATPrep software - Keats

regardng the question#1: we are asked the primary purpose of the passage, and OA =C / but the passage talks about mammals as well
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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25 Jun 2018, 09:12
1
dave13 wrote:
regardng the question#1: we are asked the primary purpose of the passage, and OA =C / but the passage talks about mammals as well

dave13, have you checked out this post?
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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25 Jun 2018, 09:49
Time: 8:15
Result: 2 out of 3 incorrect (B, E, E)
Question:
I don't find the passage particularly hard to understand but the questions are confusing and challenging. Does anyone else feel the same way? What's the best way to tackle problems like this?
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2018, 06:45
carcass, can you add these questions?

Three more questions associated with this passage:

Q4. Which of the following best describes the main purpose of the first paragraph of the passage?

A. It explains why a particular behavior discussed in the remainder of the passage is beneficial to the animals that engage in it.

B. It introduces a concept that has been widely misunderstood among nonscientists.

C. It outlines the types of studies that have been conducted to investigate a certain animal behavior.

D. It provides information necessary to understand the nature of the phenomenon discussed in the remainder of the passage.

E. It describes a viewpoint that is called into question later in the passage.

Q5. According to the passage, Sherwin’s research team speculated that the social learning of unpalatability within a particular species might be discouraged if the animals

A. did not suffer serious effects from any noxious or toxic foods they ingested

B. consumed food in small quantities throughout the day rather than in a few large feedings

C. had an unusually large variety of foods available to them

D. interacted after feeding as well as during feeding

E. did not show signs of illness until considerable time had passed following the ingestion of noxious or toxic food

Q6. The passage indicates that which of the following is true about studies of social learning in mammals?

A. Such studies have only rarely demonstrated a capacity among mammals to learn to prefer certain foods via observation of other animals.

B. Such studies have suggested that in mammals one function of social learning is to establish preferences for novel foods.

C. Such studies have demonstrated some capacity among mammals to learn via observation of other animals to avoid ingestion of toxic substances.

D. Such studies have been conducted primarily in the mammals’ natural habitats rather than in laboratory settings.

E. Such studies have focused primarily on forms of social learning other than the acquisition of preferences for novel foods.

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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2018, 23:35
HI GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert (Carolyn), ccooley , GMATNinjaTwo , SarahPurewal , EMPOWERgmatVerbal

Quote:
4) Which of the following best describes the main purpose of the first paragraph of the passage?

A. It explains why a particular behavior discussed in the remainder of the passage is beneficial to the animals that engage in it.
B. It introduces a concept that has been widely misunderstood among nonscientists.
C. It outlines the types of studies that have been conducted to investigate a certain animal behavior.
D. It provides information necessary to understand the nature of the phenomenon discussed in the remainder of the passage.
E. It describes a viewpoint that is called into question later in the passage.

OA: D

Why is A wrong? Is it not Social learning is introduced and how Avians are followed?

Quote:
5) According to the passage, Sherwin’s research team speculated that the social learning of unpalatability within a particular species might be discouraged if the animals

A. did not suffer serious effects from any noxious or toxic foods they ingested
B. consumed food in small quantities throughout the day rather than in a few large feedings
C. had an unusually large variety of foods available to them
D. interacted after feeding as well as during feeding
E. did not show signs of illness until considerable time had passed following the ingestion of noxious or toxic food

OA: A

Quote:
6) The passage indicates that which of the following is true about studies of social learning in mammals?

A. Such studies have only rarely demonstrated a capacity among mammals to learn to prefer certain foods via observation of other animals.
B. Such studies have suggested that in mammals one function of social learning is to establish preferences for novel foods.
C. Such studies have demonstrated some capacity among mammals to learn via observation of other animals to avoid ingestion of toxic substances.
D. Such studies have been conducted primarily in the mammals’ natural habitats rather than in laboratory settings.
E. Such studies have focused primarily on forms of social learning other than the acquisition of preferences for novel foods.

OA: B

Can you Please explain why is C Wrong?
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2018, 15:17
1
Hi NandishSS!

NandishSS wrote:
Quote:
4) Which of the following best describes the main purpose of the first paragraph of the passage?

A. It explains why a particular behavior discussed in the remainder of the passage is beneficial to the animals that engage in it.
B. It introduces a concept that has been widely misunderstood among nonscientists.
C. It outlines the types of studies that have been conducted to investigate a certain animal behavior.
D. It provides information necessary to understand the nature of the phenomenon discussed in the remainder of the passage.
E. It describes a viewpoint that is called into question later in the passage.

OA: D

Why is A wrong? Is it not Social learning is introduced and how Avians are followed?

You are correct that the first paragraph here is introducing social learning. However, it does not explain why social learning is beneficial to avians. That comes later in the passage -- the first paragraph simply explains what social learning is. So we can't say that the primary purpose of the first paragraph is to explain why social learning is beneficial to avians, because that isn't mentioned until later. Instead, the first paragraph is providing necessary information for us to understand the rest of the passage (D).

NandishSS wrote:
Quote:
5) According to the passage, Sherwin’s research team speculated that the social learning of unpalatability within a particular species might be discouraged if the animals

A. did not suffer serious effects from any noxious or toxic foods they ingested
B. consumed food in small quantities throughout the day rather than in a few large feedings
C. had an unusually large variety of foods available to them
D. interacted after feeding as well as during feeding
E. did not show signs of illness until considerable time had passed following the ingestion of noxious or toxic food

OA: A

The relevant part of the passage is here:
Quote:
Sherwin's research team speculated that ecological or social constraints during the evolution of this species might have resulted in there being little benefit from the social learning of unpalatability, for instance, selective pressures for this mode of learning would be reduced if the birds rarely encountered noxious or toxic food or rarely interacted after eating such food, or if the consequences of ingestion were minimal.

To answer this question, all we have to do is find which answer choice is mentioned here, which is A (bolded in the passage). We can eliminate B-E simply because they are not mentioned here at all.

NandishSS wrote:
Quote:
6) The passage indicates that which of the following is true about studies of social learning in mammals?

A. Such studies have only rarely demonstrated a capacity among mammals to learn to prefer certain foods via observation of other animals.
B. Such studies have suggested that in mammals one function of social learning is to establish preferences for novel foods.
C. Such studies have demonstrated some capacity among mammals to learn via observation of other animals to avoid ingestion of toxic substances.
D. Such studies have been conducted primarily in the mammals’ natural habitats rather than in laboratory settings.
E. Such studies have focused primarily on forms of social learning other than the acquisition of preferences for novel foods.

OA: B

Can you Please explain why is C Wrong?

Let's first look at the relevant part of the passage:
Quote:
Some experiments have suggested that among mammals, social learning facilitates the identification of beneficial food items

This is really the only part of the passage that talks about social learning among mammals. The rest of the passage is talking exclusively about birds. So we just have to pick the answer choice which matches this sentence, which is B (identifying beneficial food items = establishing preferences for certain foods). The passage doesn't talk at all about mammals avoiding toxic foods, only identifying beneficial foods. So C is not supported by the passage.

Does that make sense? I hope that helps!!
-Carolyn
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so  [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2018, 17:38
Thank you so much MagooshExpert (Carolyn)...

It really makes sense now
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Re: Social learning in animals is said to occur when direct or indirect so   [#permalink] 23 Jul 2018, 17:38

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