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The average age of chief executive officers (CEO’s) in a large sample

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The average age of chief executive officers (CEO’s) in a large sample of companies is 57. The average age of CEO’s in those same companies 20 years ago was approximately eight years younger. On the basis of those data, it can be concluded that CEO’s in general tend to be older now.
 

Which of the following casts the most doubt on the conclusion drawn above?
 

(A) The dates when the CEO’s assumed their current positions have not been specified.
(B) No information is given concerning the average number of years that CEO’s remain in office.
(C) The information is based only on companies that have been operating for at least 20 years.
(D) Only approximate information is given concerning the average age of the CEO’s 20 years ago.
(E) Information concerning the exact number of companies in the sample has not been given.

My Approach:
Conclusion: CEO's in general tend to be older now.
Reasoning: the current sample of companies have CEOs who have an average age of 57. twenty years ago, for the same sample of companies, the CEOs were approx. 8 years younger.
the Q asks us to weaken the conclusion. so why not choice B ? no information is given on the tenure of the CEOs. If the CEOs who were present 20 years ago, still continue to be in the office, then naturally the average age of CEOs will tend to rise. Since the argument does not give any information regarding the same, answer choice B should be the best criticism.
 

Official Answer

1 Answer

flamingo
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Read the stimulus carefully.
General conclusion is based on one example. That's why Conclusion is incorrect. Answer C clearly indicates this flaw and that's why C is correct one
As for B I consider it "out-of-scope": stimulus speaks about average age of CEOs while B speaks about CEO's time on their positions.
Let me know if you have any doubts
I have my personal approqach to CR questions
My approach to CR
- read the question stem first, understand the type of question and imagine most frequent gaps in this type of question.
- read the stimulus. find conclusion and premises. OK, This is deductive logic argument. Major flaw of these arguments - generalisation with the basis on one example. (My dog is black -> all dogs are black)
- make a pause, imagine how correct answer can look like. think "inside the box"
- read the answers
- mark one correct / OR eliminate incorrect
answered Jun 1, 2016 by Guru (5,599 points)
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