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Critical Reasoning: Investigation Questions

A new polymer, recently developed as a material for minor car repairs, was imported to Country M after being sold successfully in Country B. Despite a high number of initial purchases following an effective marketing campaign, sales figures in Country M were unsatisfactory, and importation of the product was eventually discontinued. It can be deduced that consumers in Country M are more critical about car repair products than they are in Country B.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the argument?

Incorrect.

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This question would not assist us in evaluating the argument since it deals with an issue - health - that applies to consumers in both Country M and in Country B. Note that the author draws a conclusion about the difference between the consumers of those countries.

The crucial factor we are looking for should also point to a difference between the people in M and B. This difference should explain the discrepancy in sales and show us whether it's truly due to M's citizens' critical sense.

Incorrect.

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Knowing who performed the repairs using the polymer will not help us establish whether M's citizens are more critical than people in B are. M's citizens could buy the polymer and use it themselves, or ask a professional to use this polymer. In both cases someone buys the product and increases sales, but we still don't know why they abandoned this product.

Incorrect.

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This question is quite pointless since the second premise mentions that the consumers did buy the product at first. This means that they were open to trying the product despite its being new to the market. For some reason, however, they abandoned it later. Was this beause of their critical sense and high standards?

Incorrect.

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The answer to this question would affect the consumers of both countries. However, the conclusion focuses on the differences in the product sales in two countries, so this answer choice cannot explain this discrepancy.

Excellent work!

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This answer choice asks a relevant question that may explain the different sales figures in each country and, therefore, may prove or disprove the author's conclusion. If the polymer works better in Country B than it does in M, then this is very likely the reason for the low sales figures. If the polymer is equally effective in each country, then maybe the consumers are more picky when it comes to such products.

Whether the use of polymers without professional safety equipment such as gas masks can be harmful to the health of the average consumer
Whether consumers in Country M are prepared to perform repairs on their own cars instead of hiring paid professionals
Whether consumers in Country M are open-minded as far as the introduction of new products to the market is concerned
Whether the polymer's effectivity is influenced by climactic differences between regions
Whether repairs done using the new polymer can be painted with regular car paint