GRE Argument Essay 33

A recent study suggests that people who are left-handed are more likely to succeed in business than are right-handed people. Researchers studied photographs of 1,000 prominent business executives and found that 21 percent of these executives wrote with their left hand. So the percentage of prominent business executives who are left-handed (21 percent) is almost twice the percentage of people in the general population who are left-handed (11 percent). Thus, people who are left-handed would be well advised to pursue a career in business, whereas people who are right-handed would be well advised to imitate the business practices exhibited by left-handers.

The given argument is based on the findings of a study that have led to the recommendation that left-handed people should ideally pursue a career in business and right-handed people should imitate the business practices that are used by the left-handed businessmen. The evidence that is used by the arguer to reinforce his recommendation is the study of the photographs of 1,000 prominent business executives, 21 percent of which show the businessmen writing with their left hands. The arguer brings out that the percentage of prominent business executives who are left-handed is almost twice the percentage of left-handed people in the general population. Despite the evidence provided, a closer scrutiny of the given argument highlights various lacunae that render the argument flawed and unconvincing.

The findings and the conclusion of the study are the weakest link in the given argument. Simply seeing the photographs of businessmen writing with their left-hands does not necessarily mean that they are left-handed. The may have been marking something with their left hand when the photographs were taken. Even if you are right-handed, you may pick up a pen with your left hand to mark something on paper. Additionally, there are some people who are ambidextrous, that is, they are comfortable working with both hands. Therefore, the photographs of people writing with their left hands do not confirm that they are left-handed.

The argument makes no mention of the cross-section of businessmen who were a part of the study. There is no indication of the fact that the entire fraternity of businessmen has been represented by these 1,000 prominent business executives. Therefore, 21 percent of these businessmen cannot reflect how the other left-handed businessmen will fare in their careers. These 1,000 prominent business executives may have succeeded in their jobs by sheer hard work and determination as success in life depends a lot on your talents and capabilities. Being left-handed or right-handed has little to do with your success in business related jobs. The photographs do not prove that the success of these business executives is entirely due to their being left-handed.

The assumption that all left-handed people should pursue business related careers is baseless as the argument has failed to establish a concrete link between success in a business related career and being left-handed. Moreover, it is not necessary that all left-handed people will have similar liking and aptitude for business related careers. Additionally, the presumption that right-handed people should imitate the left-handed people to succeed in business is far-fetched and unreasonable. This is because the right-handed businessmen may have their own way of functioning and there is no apparent reason for them to imitate the left-handed businessmen. The argument clearly reflects that the remaining 79 percent of the prominent business executives are right-handed as per the evidence provided in the form of photographs. Therefore, there should be no reason for this majority of business executives to imitate the left-handed executives who amount to only 21 percent of the successful business executives.

Therefore, the conclusion of the argument is flawed due to the absence of concrete evidence in its support. The argument could have been substantiated if the arguer had provided evidence that could prove the link between being left-handed and the competence to succeed in business. In view of the above not only is the given argument logically unsound, but it also fails to convince the reader that it is well-reasoned.