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# The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a

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The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2008, 10:01
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The average age of chief executive officers (CEO’s) in a large sample of companies is 57. The average age of CEO’s in those same companies 20 years ago was approximately eight years younger. On the basis of those data, it can be concluded that CEO’s in general tend to be older now.

Which of the following casts the most doubt on the conclusion drawn above?
(A) The dates when the CEO’s assumed their current positions have not been specified.
(B) No information is given concerning the average number of years that CEO’s remain in office.
(C) The information is based only on companies that have been operating for at least 20 years.
(D) Only approximate information is given concerning the average age of the CEO’s 20 years ago.
(E) Information concerning the exact number of companies in the sample has not been given.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: CEO Age [#permalink]

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02 Dec 2009, 08:35
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The question states in a large sample the CEO's are on average 8 years older than they were 20 years ago. Because the question already tells you that a large sample is used, knowing the exact number of firms in the survey to determine whether the study is viable or not is not necessary. Also, so what if you know the number of companies that took the survey. That information is useless because you don't know how many firms out of how many considered took the survey. For example, if you know 50 firms took the survey. Is it 50 out of 100 firms or 50 out of 10,000.
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Re: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO’s) [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2010, 15:36
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You have to show that in fact CEOs aren't getting older. Good way to do it is to attack the evidence - that is the survey of 57 companies. Maybe these companies are not representative of market in general, so we cannot deduce the general trend based solely on these companies.

(C) does exactly the same - if the survey includes only the companies with history of 20 years or more, it cannot be representative of all companies and cannot describe general trend.
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The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2010, 16:53
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The average age of chief executive officers in a large sample of companies is 57.The average age of CEO's in those same companies 20 years ago was approximately eight years younger. On the basis of those data,it can be concluded that CEO's in general tend to be older now.

Which of the following casts the most doubt on the conclusion drawn above?

It helps to give the reasons why you eliminated the wrong answers....

(A) The dates when the CEO's assumed their current positions have not been specified.

The data represents the average age of CEO of the companies in the sample. It doesn't matter when they took their positions, just that they are the current CEOs.

(B) No information is given concerning the avg no of years that CEO's remain in office.

Again, the data is comparing ages of CEOs today (current CEO) vs. the age of the CEO 20 years ago, whoever it was. It doesn't matter how long they've been in office.

(C) The information is based only on companies that have been operating for at least 20 years.

The data sample is limited to only 20+ year old companies... This should give you a clue that a limited sample cannot be the basis for a wide generalization such as the conclusion of the stimulus. This is the answer.

(D) Only approximate information is given concerning the avg age of the CEO's 20 years ago.

The approximations of the data doesn't really change the data, one set is higher and one is lower.

(E) Information concerning the exact number of companies in the sample has not been given.

if the data sample was from all of the fortune 1000 companies vs. only 10 companies, the data would reflect a more accurate representation. This point could weaken the conclusion slightly. However, C is a stronger argument.
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Re: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2012, 22:15
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siddharthasingh wrote:
Why can't the answer be a? Suppose a CEO was assigned to current designation several years ago, then one cannot say that he took this position when he was old.
IMO both a and c are top contenders.
Please correct me if I am wrong

Even if there are many such cases (the CEO has been the same for the last 20 yrs), it still doesn't weaken our conclusion. Our conclusion is that CEO’s in general tend to be older now. It doesn't matter why the CEOs are older now. The conclusion says that they are older and that's true even if the CEOs have grown old while on the CEO chair.

On the other hand, option (C) says that the conclusion is being drawn on a sample of a particular type of companies. This means you cannot generalize whatever you observe in the sample. Hence it weakens our conclusion that CEO’s in general tend to be older now.
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Re: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2012, 22:43
siddharthasingh wrote:
Doesn't the premise means that companies are appointing older CEOs now? If yes, then a surely weakens the argument.

No. The argument only says that CEOs tend to be older now. It is not the same as 'companies are appointing older CEOs now.'
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Re: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2012, 22:58
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Then I agree with C, but I still feel A is a contender.
My explanation: Suppose the survey companies analyse the age of CEOs.The sample consists of 100 CEOs among whom 80 were made the CEO at the age of 45. Now these CEOs are now aged 57, but still can you say that now a days CEOs are getting older. Obviously not!
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Re: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2012, 23:18
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siddharthasingh wrote:
Then I agree with C, but I still feel A is a contender.
My explanation: Suppose the survey companies analyse the age of CEOs.The sample consists of 100 CEOs among whom 80 were made the CEO at the age of 45. Now these CEOs are now aged 57, but still can you say that now a days CEOs are getting older. Obviously not!

We are talking about 2 points in time. 20 yrs back the avg age was 40. Today the avg age is 60. The CEOs are definitely getting older. The point is not why they are getting older. The company has retained a 60 yr old for the top position. It has not brought in a young gun. They have the freedom to bring in a new guy whenever they desire. It doesn't matter why the company has retained the old guy - his experience or his performance whatever. What matters is that at this point, its CEO is a 60 yr old and the company is fine with it. It is not a lifetime position awarded to the CEOs. If, on average, the companies are happy with the older lot, it means the CEOs are getting older now.
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Re: The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2016, 00:15
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i m confused this is weaken question why are some posts based on inference , to weaken a conclusion we have to add new information and making the assumption false, C cannot be the assumption , In C we are given with the fact that is already stated in question.

Expert please correct me if i am missing anything.
VeritasPrepKarishma

This is a weaken question. We have to find the conclusion and weaken it.

Premises:

The average age of CEOs in a large sample of companies is 57.
The average age of CEO’s in those same companies 20 years ago was approximately eight years younger.

Conclusion: CEO’s in general tend to be older now.

Notice what the conclusion says: CEOs IN GENERAL tend to be older now. How can you deduce something about CEOs in general now when you have researched CEOs of only those companies which were in operation 20 yrs ago too. What about all the companies that came up in the last 20 years? What if the CEOs of the younger companies are much younger. Then the conclusion weakens. Option (C) points out this flaw in the reasoning. Hence it weakens the conclusion.
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The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2016, 21:44
smartguy595 wrote:
Hi VeritasPrepKarishma,

Can you please explain why option 'B' is incorrect

Premises:

The average age of CEOs in a large sample of companies is 57.
The average age of CEO’s in those same companies 20 years ago was approximately eight years younger.

Conclusion: CEO’s in general tend to be older now.

(B) No information is given concerning the average number of years that CEO’s remain in office.

This is irrelevant. Does it matter whether the CEO's remain in office for 10 years or for 2 years? Point is, it doesn't matter whether the 20 companies have the same CEOs that they had 8 yrs ago or they change CEO's every year and have been hiring older CEOs. In any case, in those 20 companies CEOs are older today than they were 8 yrs ago. So option (B) does not weaken the conclusion.
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The average age of chief executive officers (CEO s) in a   [#permalink] 26 Jun 2016, 21:44
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