Please help me with this!
I've been a member of TM since a month or so. On the assumption related CR questions, I see that many of you talk about negation or negating a choice to determine whether the choice is a correct assumption. Can somebody explain me what it is and how can I use it effectively ? I can guess about it, but if someone explains it with examples, I'll be grateful. It will help other newbies aswell.
Thanks in advance,
Negation strategy for assumption questions work like this. If negating an answer choice makes the argument invalid then that is the assumption the author has made in the argument.
In response to mounting pubic concern, an airplane manufacturer implemented a program with the well-publicized goal of reducing by half the total yearly amount of hazardous waste generated by its passenger-jet division. When the program began in 1994, the division’s hazardous waste output was 90 pounds per production worker; last year it was
40 pounds per production worker. Clearly, therefore, charges that the manufacturer’s program has not met its goal are false.
Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
In this e.g. above, the argument is the manufacturer' program successfully helped in reducing the amount of hazardous waste produced
let's try to negate each answer and see which makes the argument invalid
A. The amount of nonhazardous waste generated each year by the passenger-jet division has not increased significantly since 1994.
Non-hazardous wastes increased; doesn't say anything about the program or the hazardous waste and hence our argument doesn't get affected
C. Since 1994, other divisions in the company have <not> achieved reductions in hazardous waste output that are at least equal to that achieved in the passenger-jet division.
Says what other divisions did; doesn't say anything about the program or the hazardous waste and hence our argument doesn't get affected
D. The average number of weekly hours per production worker in the passenger-jet division was not significantly greater last year than it was in 1994.
Workers worked for more hours; doesn't mean the program didn't cause the reduction in the amount of hazardous waste produced. Hence the argument stands valid
E. The number of production workers assigned to the passenger-jet division was not significantly less in 1994 than it was last year.
More employees last year than 1994 implies even if the average (waste amount/worker) is less than that of 1994 the total amount of hazardous waste last year could be more than that of 1994. This makes our argument that our program resulted in the reduction of hazardous waste production.
p.s. I have intentionally excluded option B, because it is also very close to be the right answer. There are lot of discussions in the forum over this.
I didn't want to confuse you by including B since our primary goal is the understanding of the negation strategy.
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