Question

City resident: These new digital electronic billboards should be banned for light pollution since they are much too bright.

Outdoor advertising spokesperson: No, that’s not true. Testing with a sophisticated light meter shows that at night they throw off less light than traditional billboards that are reflectively lit. Your mistaken perception that they are brighter comes from looking directly at the light source—the screen itself.

Option A
Option B
Option C
Option D
Option E

(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)

Solution

The Story

City resident: These new digital electronic billboards should be banned for light pollution since they are much too bright.

The city resident suggests that the new digital electronic billboards be banned. The reason is that they cause light pollution (meaning pollution of light) since they are too bright.

Outdoor advertising spokesperson: No, that’s not true.

The OAS challenges the city resident directly by saying what the resident has stated is not true. (the new billboards are not too bright, and thus do not cause light pollution.)

Testing with a sophisticated light meter shows that at night they throw off less light than traditional billboards that are reflectively lit.

OAS supports his challenge by citing data from a sophisticated light meter. The meter shows that the new electronic billboards throw less light than traditional billboards that are reflectively lit (here’s an indication that the new digital billboards are not reflectively lit)

Your mistaken perception that they are brighter comes from looking directly at the light source—the screen itself.

OAS says that the resident’s misperception (that the new digital billboards are brighter than the traditional ones) arises since the resident looks directly at the light source i.e. the screen. (If the resident had not looked at the screen directly and instead focussed on the light ‘thrown off’, he might have correctly observed that the new digital billboards are less bright than the traditional ones)

Gist: The city resident suggests that the new digital billboard be banned since they are too bright. OAS challenges the observation that the new billboards are too bright by quoting a meter reading that shows that the new billboards are less bright than the traditional ones. OAS says that the reason for the resident’s misperception is that the resident looks directly at the screen.

The Goal

The options are going to present strategies followed by different persons while dealing with certain situations. We have to find an option that presents a strategy most analogous to the strategy of the OAS’s response to the resident. What is the strategy of OAS? He counters the resident’s claim by citing a fact (meter reading) and by presenting an alternate reason (other than the reason that the new digital billboards are brighter) for the resident’s perception.

The Evaluation

(A) CorrectHere, a patient ‘feels’ a heart attack. The doctor dismisses the claim citing a reading. In the given passage, the resident felt that the new billboards were brighter. The OAS, however, dismissed his claim citing a meter reading.

(B) IncorrectHere, a politician rejects the accusation of perjury by saying that the witness is lying. The OAS does say that what the resident has said is not true. However, a couple of things differ from this option. First, the OAS doesn’t really say that the resident is lying. Rather, he says that it’s a misperception of the resident since he is looking at the screen directly and not at the light thrown off. Secondly, he quotes some data point to support his point. In this option, the politician doesn’t offer any data point.

(C) Incorrect. Here, an insurance agent rejects a claim on the grounds of insufficient evidence. This was not the case with OAS. He didn’t argue that the resident didn’t have sufficient evidence.

(D) IncorrectThis option is actually in the opposite direction. Here, an investigator doubts a data point (results of a lie detector) by citing another data point (subject’s report of illness). Nowhere does OAS challenge any data point cited by the resident. The resident just presents his perception, which the OAS challenges.

(E) Incorrect. This option presents a way a psychologist treats a patient’s mental illness. The option doesn’t talk about any challenge to a perception and is thus nowhere related to the given passage.

Additional Notes

SC Notes: “Your mistaken perception that they are brighter comes from …” – The subject for the verb ‘comes’ is ‘your mistaken perception’. As is quite common, a phrase (and even a clause) can very well act as a subject.

This solution was created by Anish Passi and Chiranjeev Singh.

If you have any doubts regarding any part of this solution, please feel free to ask in the comments section.

>