QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: People from the service professions are underrepresented in the most important corporate boardrooms in North America.
REASONING: Only a small percentage of people from the service professions ever become board members of the 600 largest North American corporations.
ANALYSIS: This is a silly argument. Suppose that there are 20 people on each of the 600 boards. That means there are 12,000 spots. Even if every one of those spots was filled with a service member it would still be true that “only a small percentage of people from the service professions” are on the boards. There are millions of people in the service professions.
The stimulus’ evidence does not saying that only a small percentage of people on the boards are from the service professions. Yet they conclude that people from the service profession are underrepresented (they are a small percentage of people on the boards.)
All of the wrong answers ignore the fact that the conclusion is only about how many people on the boards are from the service profession.
- The sample is fine, since the entire group is actually those 600 boards.
- CORRECT. The first one is what percent of the total service profession serves on the boards (e.g. 300 out of 15 million.) The second is how many people on the boards are from the service profession (e.g. 300 out of 12000.) Huge difference.
- As in A the conclusion is restricted solely to under representation on these 600 boards. Other boards are irrelevant.
- The stimulus doesn’t talk about small corporations. The conclusion is restricted to how represented the service industry is on the boards of the large corporations.
- The stimulus doesn’t talk about social responsibility. It talks about how many people from the service professions sit on the boards.
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