May 29, 2010

Question of the Day-Verbal Ability

QUESTION:
The question below contains a paragraph followed by alternative summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the paragraph.

It has long been held that decisions made collectively by large groups of people are more likely to turn out to be accurate than decisions made by individuals. The idea goes back to the “jury theorem” of Nicolas de Condorcet, an 18th-century French philosopher who was one of the first to apply mathematics to the social sciences. Now it is becoming clear that group decisions are also extremely valuable for the success of social animals, such as ants, bees, birds and dolphins.

OPTIONS

1) The jury theorem of Nicolas de Condorcet suggests that consensus decisions made by social animals and groups of people are more likely to be accurate.
2) Collective decisions of groups of people are more likely to be accurate according to the jury theorem of Nicolas de Condorcet. Now it is becoming clear that group decisions are valuable to other social animals too.
3) By applying mathematics to social sciences Nicolas de Condorcet through “jury theorem” suggests the importance of collective decisions for social animals including man.
4) The jury theorem of Nicolas de Condorcet, which applies mathematics to social sciences, suggests that consensus decisions made by social animals and groups of people are more likely to be accurate.
5) Consensus decisions are more likely to be accurate according to the jury theorem of Nicolas de Condorcet. Now it is becoming clear that group decisions are valuable to other animals too.

Solution


The passage states that when groups of people make decisions, the decisions are more likely to be accurate. The idea can be traced to Nicolas de Condorcet of 18th century. Now it is understood that other social animals too find collective decisions valuable.
Option 1 clubs social animals and groups of people together. The theorem was not applicable to social animals.
Options 3 and 4 are incorrect in saying that “by applying mathematics ...” – the paragraph uses this information merely to introduce the philosopher.
Option 5 is incorrect because it states “animals” without trying to distinguish between “social animals”.
The option that comes closest to capturing the essence of the paragraph is option 2.
Hence, the correct answer is option 2.
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