Only a very small percentage of people from the service professions ever become board members of the 600 largest Nort...

Steven on March 17 at 11:09PM

Could you explain the flaw here and the correct answer choices?

I actually love flaw questions but it seems they don ‘t love me back. Before I get to the question, I try and prephrase what the answer will be—find the flaw. I knew it had to deal with representation—“some to many”. However, I got duped picking “C”. Could you explain to me your thinking?

3 Replies

Ravi on March 18 at 02:15AM

@Henleys,

Happy to help. Let's take a look.

Looking at the stimulus, we know that a low percentage of service
industry workers make it into the boardroom. From this, we see that
the author concludes that a low percentage of board members come from
the service industry.

Let's use some numbers. What if there were 10 million service
professionals, and what if 100,000 of these 10 million were board
members? This would mean that 1% of service industry professionals are
board members. This is a small percentage. However,r what if there are
a total of 100,000 board member positions in North America. If this
were true, then this would mean that 1% of service professionals make
up all (100%) of the board members in the 600 largest North American
companies. This would mean that service professionals would not be
underrepresented in this hypothetical.

The problem with this argument is that it's assuming that percentages
carry over. Just because a certain group of people is a small
percentage of one group DOES NOT mean that they are also a small
percentage of another group. This is the flaw of the argument.

(B) says, "The percentage of people from the service professions who
serve on the boards of the 600 largest North American corporations
reveals little about the percentage of the members of these boards who
are from the service professions."

(B) looks great. The author is comparing two groups (service industry
professionals and board room members) and is trying to conclude the
composition of one group by making the assumption that it was the same
as the composition of the other group. Thus, (B) is the correct answer
choice.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any other questions!

Steven on March 18 at 04:13PM

This helps! Thank you!

Ravi on March 19 at 07:55PM

@Henleys, let us know if you have any other questions!