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smiller
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Elle Woods
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Q21 - Restaurant critic: Most people agree

by smiller Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:12 am

Question Type:
Strengthen

Stimulus Breakdown:
Premise: The Traintrack Inn has a convenient location that almost guarantees business.
Premise: The Traintrack Inn is more popular than Marva’s Diner.
Conclusion: It should not be surprising that people have a lower opinion of the food at the Traintrack Inn compared to the food at Marva’s Diner.

Answer Anticipation:
Why is this not surprising? We don’t automatically expect people to have a lower opinion of the food at a more popular restaurant, even if there are other reasons for the restaurant’s popularity. The premises don’t fully explain why this should not be a surprise.

Correct answer:
(D)

Answer choice analysis:
(A) Opposite function: If improving the food is a better way for Traintrack Inn to attract customers, we would expect them to do it. Maybe they’re trying to do that, but the food is still ordinary. Either case would be somewhat surprising.

(B) Out of Scope: The Traintrack in is already in a very convenient location, and their ability to become more popular by moving doesn’t guarantee that the current situation should not be surprising.

(C) Opposite function: This is similar to choice (A). If the quality of food is more important than location, why hasn’t the Traintrack Inn hired Gordon Ramsay to come whip their kitchen into shape?

(D) Correct: This tells us that the restaurant would improve its food only if it became necessary in order to attract customers. The restaurant is already attracting customers, so it’s not surprising that they’re serving microwaved tater tots and lukewarm mac and cheese.

(E) Opposite function: The premises are about the restaurant’s popularity, and the conclusion is about the restaurant’s food. Choice (E) is essentially stating that there is no relationship between the argument’s premises and its conclusion. That would weaken the argument.

Takeaway/Pattern:
When working on a Strengthen or Weaken question, watch out for answers that do the opposite of what the question asks.

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MingL143
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Re: Q21 - Restaurant critic: Most people agree

by MingL143 Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:45 pm

For a ID principle questions, my understanding is that the reading goal is to find the core argument, then try to prephrase the principle before go to the answer choices. However, for this argument, my prephrase is “convenient --> flow of customers--> popularity AND ordinary food; so I was looking for “quality & popularity”, there fore chose E. E is not perfect, but I thought all the others wrong.

Why is D correct? “ A business will improve its products only when it is necessary to do so in order to attract customers”? (Improve products ---> Attract customers)
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ohthatpatrick
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Re: Q21 - Restaurant critic: Most people agree

by ohthatpatrick Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:10 pm

You're correct about your approach to Principle-Support questions, but keep in mind that we'll USUALLY, but not always, be able to prephrase a "IF premise, THEN conclusion" type bridge idea.

And the answer choices will usually, but not always, look like conditional rules and behave similarly to a Sufficient Assumption problem.

The Principle-Support questions that don't behave this way end up feeling more like regular ol' Strengthen questions. You might not have a super specific prephrase, and your correct answer might help but not come close to PROVING the conclusion.

Since the conclusion is "this discrepancy should come as no surprise", the author is arguing "we should expect that Traintrack would have worse food than Marva's."

So in a sense, we could use any principle that would say, "if such and such is true, then you're going to have fairly ordinary / less than exceptional food".

What do we know about Traintrack that is supposed to justify the expectation that it will have mediocre food? We know it has a built in flow of customers due to its location.

So we could prephrase something like,
"If you have a built in flow of customers, then we expect you to have fairly ordinary / less than exceptional food".

The correct answer (D) is doing something close to this by giving us
"If you don't need to improve your product to attract customers, then you won't improve your product."

That's not a direct match, but it's decent and it's the best available.
"built in flow of customers" = "don't need to improve to attract customers"
"won't improve your product" = "fairly ordinary food"?

I think a problem with your prephrase is that you're not noticing that "steady of flow of customers" = "popularity".

It doesn't imply it, as you're suggesting here:
“convenient --> flow of customers--> popularity AND ordinary food"

It IS it. You would want something more like
convenient --> flow of customers (popular) --> ordinary food

As you can see from your prephrase, the author thinks there IS a relationship between quality and popularity. He thinks that high popularity leads to lower quality.

I wouldn't try to create any conditional CHAINS when you're doing a Principle-Support question.

You know you need the conclusion on the right side of the arrow. For the left side, try to pick the most salient idea(s) the author is leaning on.

So if your prephrase had been
"flow of customers (popular) --> ordinary food"
you'd be in better shape to like (D).

But admittedly (D) is a pretty crappy correct answer. It just does more to strengthen than any other available answer.