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The number of articles concerning the use of sensatorium dummies

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The number of articles concerning the use of sensatorium dummies  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2014, 10:37
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Question Stats:

73% (01:39) correct 27% (01:43) wrong based on 353 sessions

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The number of articles concerning the use of sensatorium dummies in crash testing published last year in consumer magazines was considerably lower relative to prior years. No longer manufactured, these dummies can be severely damaged in crash tests and many of the sensatorium dummies damaged two years ago are still awaiting necessary repairs. It is clear, therefore, that the lower number of consumer magazine articles published last year about sensatorium dummies was due to the decline in their availability for use.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the news reporter's argument?

A. All articles about crash tests involving sensatorium dummies that were submitted for publication last year were published.

B. The average time that crash test managers must wait to use a sensatorium dummy has increased over the past few years.

C. The number of consumer magazines on the market was the same last year as in prior years.

D. Sensatorium dummies cannot be utilized for more than one cycle of crash tests in a given year.

E. Responding to competition, most consumer magazines began last year by introducing a new format limiting their former emphasis on crash test articles.

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Re: The number of articles concerning the use of sensatorium dummies  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2014, 12:09
E seems best: Responding to competition, most consumer magazines began last year by introducing a new format limiting their former emphasis on crash test articles

reasoning: to weaken a causal reasoning, it is best to to provide an alternate reason. E does exactly that!
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Re: The number of articles concerning the use of sensatorium dummies  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2014, 03:49
Why not option 'D'? 'D' suggests that the dummies were used only once per cycle of crash test -> which implies that since the overuse of the dummies was avoided they could have been re-used this year? The argument says that many are not in a shape that they could be re-used, but what about the rest of the used dummies?
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Re: The number of articles concerning the use of sensatorium dummies  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2014, 07:00
p2bhokie wrote:
Why not option 'D'? 'D' suggests that the dummies were used only once per cycle of crash test -> which implies that since the overuse of the dummies was avoided they could have been re-used this year? The argument says that many are not in a shape that they could be re-used, but what about the rest of the used dummies?


Great point p2bhokie!

The way I interpreted this question, I still chose E because it makes the number of dummies available in the world an irrelevant factor to the number of articles published (even if there were millions of dummies, the magazines chose to stop writing about them). Because it attacks the root assumption of the argument, I thought it "most seriously" weakens the argument.

The flaw in logic being attacked here is correlation/causation. The argument assumes that because there are fewer dummies and fewer articles that there must be a correlation between quantities and coverage.

Not related, but this reminds me of a real-world example: 1 ebola case in Dallas gets a thousand published articles, whereas thousands of ebola cases in Africa get significantly less coverage.
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Re: The number of articles concerning the use of sensatorium dummies  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2017, 12:44
this question and E are the common and important pattern in gmat.
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Re: The number of articles concerning the use of sensatorium dummies  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2018, 20:53
The words "most seriously weakens" indicate that this is a Weaken question. The correct answer will make it less likely that the conclusion follows from the stated evidence.

The reporter concludes that the short supply of dummies is the reason for the lower number of magazine articles published about the dummies. His evidence is simply an observed correlation: there aren't as many sensatorium dummies available lately, and fewer consumer magazine articles were published last year about the dummies.

The author is assuming there is no other explanation for the lower number of magazine articles. A GMAT argument is weakened by a choice that attacks the assumption. Here, the correct choice will suggest some other reason for the lower number of magazine articles besides the short supply of dummies.

(E) is correct, suggesting some other reason for the lower number of magazine articles, and therefore attacking the author's assumption. A magazine format change is the reason for fewer articles on crash tests, not the number of dummies being used.

(A) is incorrect because the argument is about why a lower number of articles were published, not submitted for publication. (A) doesn't indicate whether the magazines wanted more articles about dummies submitted or whether they would have published more articles about dummies had they been submitted. Without more information, (A) says nothing about the reason there were fewer articles published.

(B) just elaborates on the evidence that the dummies are in short supply. But it doesn't make a connection with the number of articles published.

(C) is a 180, since it gets rid of a potential alternative explanation. Had the number of magazines on the market decreased, that could have explained the lower number of articles published last year on the dummies. Since the number of magazines did not decrease, the reporter's explanation is at least a little more likely to be correct.

(D) doesn't affect the argument, because it has nothing to do with why there would be a drop in articles last year and not in previous years. The fact about the dummies described in (D) applied in previous years as well.
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Re: The number of articles concerning the use of sensatorium dummies &nbs [#permalink] 12 Oct 2018, 20:53
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