Advertisement: In a carefully controlled study, blindfolded volunteers were divided evenly into five groups. Each vol...

Jeremy on September 27, 2015

Question

Can you please explain why A is the correct answer choice?

1 Reply

Melody on September 29, 2015

Okay so let's breakdown what's going on. There are five experimental groups. Each group blind-taste-tests Sparkle Cola and one of five competing colas. The majority of volunteers said that they preferred Sparkle Cola to the competing cola tasted. Remember that each person only tried two beverages: Sparkle Cola and one other, as opposed to trying all 6 possibilities: Sparkle Cola and its five competitors. We conclude from this that Sparkle Cola elicits a more favorable response form consumers than ANY of the competing colas tested.

There is a flaw in this reasoning. What if group one all agreed that their non Sparkle Cola option tasted better than Sparkle Cola, but the rest of the 4 groups thought that Sparkle Cola tasted better than the beverage chosen for their test group. We still have a majority of participants saying they preferred Sparkle Cola but it no longer stands that Sparkle Cola elicits a more favorable response from consumers than ANY of the competing colas, since - in this scenario - everyone in the first test group preferred the non Sparkle Cole beverage chosen for them.

Thus, answer choice (A) is the correct answer because it accurately describes the error in the argument's reasoning: It overlooks the possibility that a generalization true of the entire group of volunteers was not true of each of the five smaller groups.

Hope that helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.