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In a review of 2000 studies of human behavior that date back to the

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In a review of 2000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940's, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.
A psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size,
B psychologists, declaring that most of the studies failed in not controlling for such variables like social class and family size, and
C psychologists declared that since most of the studies, having failed to control for such variables as social class and family size,
D psychologists declared that since most of the studies fail in controlling for such variables like social class and family size,
E psychologists declared that since most of the studies had failed to control for variables such as social class and family size,
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gmatclubforum
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The core point here is that the psychologists declared about something that had happened earlier. So the act of declaration requires a simple past such as declared and the earlier event failing requires a past perfect such as had filed.
A. psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size,----- lacks a working verb for the subject psychologists. So a fragment
B psychologists, declaring that most of the studies failed in not controlling for such variables like social class and family size, and _.same problem as in A; in addition the use of like to denote example is incorrect.
C psychologists declared that since most of the studies, having failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, ---- The subordinate clause introduced by since lacks a verb and hence a fragment
D. psychologists declared that since most of the studies fail in controlling for such variables like social class and family size, ------- shift of tense using a present tense verb fail is wrong; as also, use of like is wrong.
E psychologists declared that since most of the studies had failed to control for variables such as social class and family size, ------- correct choice with proper sequence of tense and use of such as to mark examples.

answered Jun 10, 2017 by Beginner (21 points)
GMATwithCJ
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Solution

Sentence Analysis

  • In a review of 2000 studies (Prepositional phrase modifying the main verb)
    • of human behavior (prepositional phrase modifying "studies")
    • that date back to the 1940's, (relative clause modifying "studies")
  • two Swiss psychologists, (Main Subject)
    • declaring that (verb-ing modifier modifying the main subject)
      • since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, (subordinate clause within "that" clause. Subject ? "most of the studies"; Verb ? "had failed")
      • none could be taken seriously. (Main clause within "that" clause. Subject ? "none"; Verb ? "could be taken")

The sentence says:

In a review of 2000 studies, two psychologists declared that none of the studies could be taken seriously because most of the studies had not controlled for variables such as social class and family size.

The use of past perfect "had failed" is correct since this event happened before the other events ? "declared" and "could be taken".

The sentence has one error: it doesn?t have a main verb.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect . For the error mentioned above.

(B) Incorrect . For the following reasons:

  1. No main verb
  2. "failed in not controlling" reverses the original logical meaning.
  3. "such..like" is non-idiomatic
  4. This option presents "most of the studies failed_" and "none could be taken seriously" as two separate information. By doing so, it distorts the original logical meaning.

(C) Incorrect . No verb for the subject "most of the studies".

(D) Incorrect . For the following reasons:

  1. The use of simple present "fail" is incorrect since we?re not presenting a general information or information true in the present. Since we are presenting an information about the past, we need to use past tense.
  2. "such_like" is non-idiomatic.

(E) Correct . This option corrects the error in the original sentence.

answered Jun 10, 2017 by Beginner (1 point)
gmatclubforum
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In a review of 2000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940's, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size , none could be taken seriously.
A psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size,
B psychologists, declaring that most of the studies failed in not controlling for such variables like social class and family size, and
C psychologists declared that since most of the studies, having failed to control for such variables as social class and family size,
D psychologists declared that since most of the studies fail in controlling for such variables like social class and family size,
E psychologists declared that since most of the studies had failed to control for variables such as social class and family size,
POE:
1. Subject psychologists needs a main verb and gerund (declaring)cannot be a main verb.so use of verb declared is correct.
so A & B is out.
2.In choice C: having failed is a participial form and as such cannot be the main verb in the clause.also it looks very awkward.so choice is also out.
3.In choice D: English has a rule of sequence of tenses:
once a verb form is marked for past tense,the following verb forms that describe the same object or event have to be in the past tense as well. Thus,fail is the wrong verb form. The expression such X like Y is incorrect in English; the correct usage is such X as Y.
by this reason D is also out.
so we are left with correct choice E.
however one can argue why past perfect is used in choice E?where are the sequence of event? and this may confuse some one whether this is the correct choice!!
here is explanation for past perfect "had failed" is correctly used
:
All the events in the statement:
1. Psychologists declared
2. Studies failed
3. Could not be taken seriously
Are all of these three events independent?
The answer is No.
The first event i.e. declaration is independent because the act of declaring is not dependent on what was declared.
However, the failure of studies and taking them seriously are dependent. The failure of studies to control for variables must precede the event - they cannot be taken seriously. Isn?t it?
Can we say that both the second and the third events take place simultaneously? It means saying that studies failed to control for variables and at the same time, they could not be taken seriously.
No. The second event must precede third event. Why? The reason is that the second event explains the third event. First, the studies failed. And because it failed, it could not be taken seriously.
So to express this sequence that first the studies failed and then they could be taken seriously, past perfect tense is used for the event that took place earlier.
kudos if you like!! :)

answered Jun 10, 2017 by Beginner (21 points)
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