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# V05-04

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Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
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16 Sep 2014, 02:24
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In a recent experiment about the hypothesis that expectation influences experience of flavor, researchers conducted a taste test with over 200 participants in which each person tasted two versions of a cola beverage, one of which they were told contained a “secret taste-enhancing ingredient.” Because the secret ingredient was white vinegar, researchers were surprised when participants preferred the white vinegar version of the cola beverage by a margin of three to one and concluded that the hypothesis is correct.

Which of the following, if true, offers the best basis for the conclusion of the researchers?

A. Most people actually prefer a cola beverage containing white vinegar.
B. Study participants focused on identifying the beverage with the “secret ingredient”.
C. Researchers added only a small amount of vinegar to the cola.
D. Study participants were selected based on their enjoyment of white vinegar.
E. Most cola recipes contain no white vinegar.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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16 Sep 2014, 02:24
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Official Solution:

In a recent experiment about the hypothesis that expectation influences experience of flavor, researchers conducted a taste test with over 200 participants in which each person tasted two versions of a cola beverage, one of which they were told contained a “secret taste-enhancing ingredient.” Because the secret ingredient was white vinegar, researchers were surprised when participants preferred the white vinegar version of the cola beverage by a margin of three to one and concluded that the hypothesis is correct.

Which of the following, if true, offers the best basis for the conclusion of the researchers?

A. Most people actually prefer a cola beverage containing white vinegar.
B. Study participants focused on identifying the beverage with the “secret ingredient”.
C. Researchers added only a small amount of vinegar to the cola.
D. Study participants were selected based on their enjoyment of white vinegar.
E. Most cola recipes contain no white vinegar.

Situation: A study of the relationship between expectation and taste has found that a majority of participants preferred a cola beverage containing a “secret ingredient,” even though the secret ingredient was white vinegar.

Reasoning: Which option is the basis for an explanation of the conclusion of the researchers? The subject of the study is the relationship between expectation and the experience of flavor, or taste. So the correct option may relate the participants’ expectations to their responses to the two beverages. Because participants are told that one of the two beverages contains a secret ingredient – but not the identity of the ingredient – it can be concluded that participants focused simply on identifying the beverage with the secret ingredient and, because they likely expected it to be a pleasant flavor, were not able to distinguish that it was white vinegar.
1. This option does not account for the fact that the study is on the relationship between expectation and taste.
2. Because the topic of the study is the relationship between expectation and taste, it is reasonable to conclude that participants preferred the beverage containing white vinegar simply because they were expecting to identify and prefer the beverage with the secret ingredient.
3. The amount of vinegar added to the cola is not addressed in the passage.
4. Though this might be possible, it is not suggested in the passage and, more importantly, would skew the results of the study. Also, since the selection has been done by researchers, they would not have been SURPRISED
5. This information is irrelevant to the study described in the passage.

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09 Mar 2016, 09:02
I think this the explanation isn't clear enough, please elaborate.
Intern
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05 Jun 2016, 08:25
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I think this is a poor-quality question and I don't agree with the explanation.
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12 Jun 2016, 07:15
Can you specify the source of this question ?
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29 Oct 2016, 23:56
I think this is a poor-quality question and I don't agree with the explanation.
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30 Oct 2016, 14:36
I think this is a poor-quality question and I don't agree with the explanation.

The question has been slightly modified to eliminate the ambiguity.
Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Jun 2016
Posts: 270
Location: India
GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V38
GMAT 2: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 4
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06 Jun 2017, 08:28
Bunuel wrote:
In a recent experiment about the hypothesis that expectation influences experience of flavor, researchers conducted a taste test with over 200 participants in which each person tasted two versions of a cola beverage, one of which they were told contained a “secret taste-enhancing ingredient.” Because the secret ingredient was white vinegar, researchers were surprised when participants preferred the white vinegar version of the cola beverage by a margin of three to one and concluded that the hypothesis is correct.

Which of the following, if true, offers the best basis for the conclusion of the researchers?

A. Most people actually prefer a cola beverage containing white vinegar.
B. Study participants focused on identifying the beverage with the “secret ingredient”.
C. Researchers added only a small amount of vinegar to the cola.
D. Study participants were selected based on their enjoyment of white vinegar.
E. Most cola recipes contain no white vinegar.

Please tell me where I am going wrong..

Which of the following, if true, offers the best basis for the conclusion of the researchers?
Means that we have to provide credence to researcher's conclusion i.e. provide support to their conclusion.

Researcher's Conclusion: Because the secret ingredient was white vinegar, that cola should not have been preferred by majority. Hence, the hypothesis is correct.
Assumption: White Vinegar does not taste good in cola.

Even if we forget this assumption, question implies that participants were supposed to pick the cola that tasted better. Picking B states that the research study and, therefore, the researcher's conclusion are wrong because the participants did not perform the task they were supposed to do. However, if we club OA with the researcher's conclusion, we get that researcher's know that the participants did not answer the right question but still concluded that hypothesis is correct. In effect, I believe that we are accusing those researcher's of malpractice.
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I'd appreciate learning about the grammatical errors in my posts

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My Debrief for 750 - https://gmatclub.com/forum/from-720-to-750-one-of-the-most-difficult-pleatues-to-overcome-246420.html

My CR notes - https://gmatclub.com/forum/patterns-in-cr-questions-243450.html

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Joined: 19 Dec 2016
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19 Jun 2017, 13:32
umg

Researcher's hypothesis is - expectation influences experience of flavor
Results showed people preferred cola with vinegar.

as per Choice B - Study participants focused on identifying the beverage with the “secret ingredient”.

People were trying to find the cola with the secret ingredient and the result showed that they preferred it, the hypothesis is proved.
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GMAT 2: 750 Q49 V42
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20 Jun 2017, 09:18
gvikramjee wrote:
umg

Researcher's hypothesis is - expectation influences experience of flavor
Results showed people preferred cola with vinegar.

as per Choice B - Study participants focused on identifying the beverage with the “secret ingredient”.

People were trying to find the cola with the secret ingredient and the result showed that they preferred it, the hypothesis is proved.

Your last line "People were trying to find the cola with the secret ingredient and the result showed that they preferred it, the hypothesis is proved" is exactly why I am saying that we may be blaming researchers of Malpractice while acknowledging that participants did not perform the job they were supposed to. Participants picked the cola that tasted differently; however, researchers concluded that they liked that cola. This is the disconnect.
_________________

I'd appreciate learning about the grammatical errors in my posts

Please hit Kudos If my Solution helps

My Debrief for 750 - https://gmatclub.com/forum/from-720-to-750-one-of-the-most-difficult-pleatues-to-overcome-246420.html

My CR notes - https://gmatclub.com/forum/patterns-in-cr-questions-243450.html

Intern
Joined: 02 Jan 2018
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20 Feb 2018, 11:56
lol. I've found quite a few of such questions with highly skewed reasoning. Seems legit, seems not.
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Joined: 04 Dec 2017
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13 Apr 2018, 06:40
I think this is a high-quality question and the explanation isn't clear enough, please elaborate. For option D, the researchers could be surprised if they had selected all people with a dislike of vinegar to be a part of the experiment. In this way, can D be a valid answer?
Re V05-04   [#permalink] 13 Apr 2018, 06:40
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# V05-04

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