Company president: Most of our best sales representatives came to the job with a degree in engineering but little or ...

Timur on February 5, 2015

Clarification

Could you please explain what makes (B) correct?

3 Replies

Melody on February 19, 2015

Our conclusion is: when we hire sales representatives, we should favor applicants who have engineering degrees but little or no sales experience over applicants with extensive sales experience but no engineering degrees.

Why? Most of our best sales representatives came to the job with a degree in engineering but little or no sales experience.

What's the issue here? We have a correlation/causation flaw occurring. Just because there is a correlation showing that most of the best sales reps of the company came to the job with a degree in engineering but little or no sales experience, does not necessarily mean that their engineering degree and lack of sales experience caused them to be the best sales reps.

Answer choice (B): "Most of the people hired by the company as sales representatives have had a degree in engineering but no sales experience."

Answer choice (B) puts the sales reps of the company into perspective. If the company has 100 sales reps and 90 of them had a degree in engineering but no sales experience, there's a higher probability that the best of the sales reps will be those who have engineering degrees.

So, there's no reason to believe that the conclusion is true, i.e. that the company should favor applicants who have engineering degrees but little or no sales experience over applicants with extensive sales experience but no engineering degrees.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

on November 26 at 04:56AM

can someone explain this again! im sorry but i did not understand this explanation.

Stephanie Saturday at 10:59PM

I can try to explain it! I originally got the answer wrong, but Melody's explanation helped me to see why B was the correct choice.
Basically, if majority of the people that the company hires as sales representatives are only people with engineering degrees and little sales experience, then of course they are going to believe that those people do the best job because those are the majority of people they hire. So the question is, how do they know that people with proper sales experience but no engineering degrees can't do as great of a job (or better) if they never hire these particular people?
A parallel example to this flaw would be if a law school, who only ever admits students with political science degrees, believes that these students perform the best thus, eliminating their desire to admit other students with different majors (English majors, engineering, etc.) Their analysis is of course flawed because how do they know that other students with different majors are less likely to perform just as well as the political science majors if they only ever admit political science majors into their law school? The law school stating that they only admit political science majors into their school would thus, make their overall principle weak.

Hope that helps.