Critical Reasoning - Boldface Statements

GMAT® Verbal Lessons & Prep Questions

This GMAT verbal practice question is a critical reasoning question. This one is a boldface statement question where you are expected to identify the role played by the statement in boldface.


Studies have established that children who watched 2 more hours of TV on an average daily basis during the first 15 years of their life were 50℅ more likely to be arrested for property crimes in the country. Researchers believe that these studies clearly establish that violence in movies and TV contribute to aggressive behavior in real life. On the other hand, there is no clear evidence that the programs that the kids watched on TV were violent in the first place. Even if we were to accept that TV watching contributed to the increased crime rate, it need not have been because of the nature of the programs. Perhaps, children who watched programs such as Adams and Samson, a funny sit-com about two blundering cops began perceiving all cops as incompetent.

What is the role of the sentences in boldface?

  1. The first establishes a theory that the author later clearly refutes while the second presents the author's conclusion
  2. The first is an interpretation made by researchers that the author contends against and the second provides an alternative explanation for statistical data
  3. The first is an opinion expressed by someone other than the author and which the author is completely in disagreement with while the second provides the reason for the author's doubt
  4. The first is a fact supporting the researcher's conclusion while the second is the author's conclusion.
  5. The first is a clearly proven opinion even if the author disagrees with it while the second is an ambiguous opinion that has no supporting data

Explanatory Answer

Video explanation will be added soon.
  1. Step 1: Analyzing the Argument

    The argument begins by providing details of a study that shows that the kids who watched more TV were more likely to be violent. While a theory exists that the violence portrayed in TV shows is the contributing factor, the author believes that it need not have been violent TV shows but even funny ones that unintentionally motivated crime.

    The first statement is the opinion expressed by researchers that the author does not accept. The author questions whether the violence portrayed in TV is the real reason for crime. The author then goes ahead and illustrates an alternative scenario in the second boldface statement.

  2. Step 2: Eliminating Options

    • The second statement is a hypothetical scenario that leads to the author’s conclusion, which is that the violence in TV and movies need not necessarily contribute to real-life crime. The author’s opinion is not explicitly stated anywhere but simply implied. For this reason, Option (A), which says that the second statement is the author’s conclusion, can be eliminated.
    • The author is not completely in disagreement with the researchers’ belief. The author is willing to accept that TV watching has an impact, just not necessarily watching violent programs on TV. For this reason, Option (C) can be eliminated.
    • The first statement is an opinion expressed by the researchers and not a fact. Option (D), which suggests that the first statement is a fact, can be eliminated. Another problem with option (D) is that the second statement is not really the author’s conclusion.
    • Option (E). The opinion of the researchers is simply a belief and not a “clearly proven” opinion. This is reason enough to eliminate (E)
    • The researchers are interpreting the study results to conclude that the violence in TV is responsible for crime. The author disagrees with that contention and presents an alternative possibility in the second boldface statement. Option (B) correctly describes what is happening in the argument.
Option B is the correct answer.

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