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# Faced with the problems of insufficient evidence, of

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Intern
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Faced with the problems of insufficient evidence, of  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2011, 14:57
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Question 1
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based on 130 sessions

58% (03:34) correct 42% (03:41) wrong

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Question 2
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based on 141 sessions

36% (01:36) correct 64% (01:45) wrong

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Question 3
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61% (01:15) correct 39% (01:29) wrong

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Faced with the problems of insufficient evidence, of conflicting evidence, and of evidence relayed through the flawed perceptual, retentive, and narrative abilities of witnesses, a jury is forced to draw inferences in its attempt to ascertain the truth. By applying the same cognitive tools they have developed and used over a lifetime, jurors engage in the inferential exercise that lawyers call fact-finding. In certain decision-making contexts that are relevant to the trial of lawsuits, however, these normally reliable cognitive tools may cause jurors to commit inferential errors that distort rather than reveal the truth.

Although juries can make a variety of inferential errors, most of these mistakes in judgment involve the drawing of an unwarranted conclusion from the evidence, that is, in reality, it does not prove. For example, evidence that the defendant in a criminal prosecution has a prior conviction may encourage jurors to presume the defendant’s guilt, because of their preconception that a person previously convicted of a crime must be inclined toward repeated criminal behavior. That commonly held belief is at least a partial distortion of reality; not all former convicts engage in repeated criminal behavior. Also, a jury may give more probative weight than objective analysis would allow to vivid photographic evidence depicting a shooting victim’s wounds, or may underestimate the weight of defense testimony that is not delivered in a sufficiently forceful or persuasive manner. Finally, complex or voluminous evidence might be so confusing to a jury that its members would draw totally unwarranted conclusions or even ignore the evidence entirely.

Recent empirical research in cognitive psychology suggests that people tend to commit inferential errors like these under certain predictable circumstances. By examining the available information, the situation, and the type of decision being made, cognitive psychologists can describe the kinds of inferential errors a person or a group is likely to make. These patterns of human decision-making may provide the courts with a guide to evaluating the effect of evidence on the reliability of the jury’s inferential processes in certain situations.

The fact that juries can commit inferential errors that jeopardize the accuracy of the fact-finding process is not unknown to the courts. In fact, one of a presiding judge’s duties is to minimize jury inferential error through explanation and clarification. Nonetheless, most judges now employ only a limited and primitive concept of jury inferential error: limited because it fails to recognize the potential for errors outside certain traditional situations, primitive because it ignores the research and conclusions of psychologists in favor of notions about human cognition held by lawyers.
Que 1 . Which of the following best explains the main idea of the passage?
(A) When making decisions in certain predictable situations, juries may commit inferential errors that obscure rather than reveal the truth.
(B) The views of human cognition held by psychologists on the one hand and by the legal profession are demonstrably dissimilar.
(C) When confronting powerful preconceptions, particularly shocking evidence, or complex situations, jurors make errors in judgment.
(D) The problem of inferential error by juries is typical of the difficulties with cognitive processes that people face in their everyday lives.
(E) Juries would probably make more reliable decisions if cognitive psychologists, rather than judges, instructed them about the problems inherent in drawing unwarranted conclusions.

Que2 : “It can be inferred from the passage that the author would be most likely to agree with which of the following generalizations about lawyers?”
(A) They have a less sophisticated understanding of human cognition than do psychologists.
(B) They often present complex or voluminous information merely in order to confuse a jury.
(C) They are no better at making logical inferences from the testimony at a trial than are most judges.
(D) They have worked to help judges minimize jury inferential error.
(E) They are unrealistic about the ability of jurors to ascertain the truth.

Que3. “The author would be most likely to agree with which one of the following generalizations about a jury’s decisionmaking process?”
(A) The more evidence a jury has, the more likely it is that the jury will reach a reliable verdict.
(B) Juries usually overestimate the value of visual evidence such as photographs.
(C) Jurors have preconceptions about the behavior of defendants that prevent them from making an objective analysis of the evidence in a criminal trial.
(D) Most of the jurors who make inferential errors during a trial do so because they are unaccustomed to having to make difficult decisions based on inferences.
(E) The manner in which evidence is presented to a jury may influence the jury either to overestimate or to underestimate the value of that evidence.

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Re: Tough passage : Help require  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2011, 02:22
Q1 IMO answer is A. as this passage solely talks about the Jury's incapability of arriving to the decision based on inferential technique. Then author goes on to provide example and psychological facts which supports his view point. hence this passage is concerned about the flawed technique use by jury which could obscure the truth in some cases.

Q2: E -In the first paragraph, the author mentioned that Lawyers' overestimate the jury's ability to reach the truth by stating "By applying the same cognitive tools they have developed and used over a lifetime, jurors engage in the inferential exercise that lawyers call fact-finding". Therefore we can infer that by this author meant that Lawyers think that using this technique Jury could make Right judgement without obscuring truth.

Q3: E Again due to overcomplicated facts or evidences presented to the Jury. Jury uses inferential techq to their aid to reach the judgement.

Interesting topic. I hope that helps. Please post the OA.
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Re: Tough passage : Help require  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2011, 12:22
1 - B (changed from A after reading tirupatibalaj's answers)
2 - A (disagree with E because of 'primitive because it ignores the research and conclusions of psychologists in favor of notions about human cognition held by lawyers' at the end of the text)
3 - E (some hints are mentioned in 2nd and 3rd paragraphs)
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Re: Tough passage : Help require  [#permalink]

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01 Apr 2011, 04:14
IMO: A B E
Need OA.
But tirupatibalaji seems has good explanation for the second question. So, I think that OA may be A E E.
B is too aggressive
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Re: Tough passage : Help require  [#permalink]

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20 Apr 2011, 20:47
where is the OA ? opinions dont matter
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Re: Tough passage : Help require  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2011, 09:56
Hi,

I saw in some other forum, the official answers are A A E, I finished in 3 min 5 sec, but got the second one wrong.
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Re: Faced with the problems of insufficient evidence, of  [#permalink]

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22 Feb 2012, 12:39
1
I'd be really interested to know why the answer to the last question is E.

I got C.

The point mentioned in E is nowhere mentioned in the passage.
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Re: Faced with the problems of insufficient evidence, of  [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 10:32
1
Can someone explain how to pick C vs E on the last question , as far as I see information for both the C and E is present , C is presented through an example in the first para "as a prior conviction may encourage jurors to presume the defendant’s guilt, because of their preconception that a person previously convicted of a crime must be inclined toward repeated criminal behavior. That commonly held belief is at least a partial distortion of reality" , E is also present in next line. How to eliminate C?
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Re: Faced with the problems of insufficient evidence, of  [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2012, 17:57
vvhy do people post questions and no ansvvers
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Re: Faced with the problems of insufficient evidence, of  [#permalink]

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02 May 2016, 09:38
I have a question - how much time should I spend on a passage like this? I spent 9 mins and got all the answers correct. Am I too slow?
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Re: Faced with the problems of insufficient evidence, of  [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2018, 03:24
1
4 mins 52 secs and got 2 out of 3. Got the second one wrong but a little bit of pondering reveals why Q2 is A. I will tackle that Q first.

Que2 : “It can be inferred from the passage that the author would be most likely to agree with which of the following generalizations about lawyers?”
(A) They have a less sophisticated understanding of human cognition than do psychologists. Correct Ans Clearly mentioned in the last sentence of the passage "judges are primitive because they give more favour to lawyers understanding of inferential mistakes vs. that of psychologists - THIS IMPLIES PSYCHOLOGISTS HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING"
(B) They often present complex or voluminous information merely in order to confuse a jury. TRAP - this cannot be inferred even if this could be employed by the lawyers to try and fool the jury
(C) They are no better at making logical inferences from the testimony at a trial than are most judges. Not mentioned
(D) They have worked to help judges minimize jury inferential error. Not mentioned
(E) They are unrealistic about the ability of jurors to ascertain the truth. Non sensical

Hence Option A is best for Q2.

Q1: The whole passage is about inferential errors : why and how they are committed and how the judges are not doing enough to resolve the issue. Hence a clear A.

Q3: Que3. “The author would be most likely to agree with which one of the following generalizations about a jury’s decisionmaking process?”
(A) The more evidence a jury has, the more likely it is that the jury will reach a reliable verdict. The opposite is mentioned in the passage, sometimes jury will get confused with more evidence and make wrong inferences
(B) Juries usually overestimate the value of visual evidence such as photographs. TRAP option as this is not true about any photograph - the jury responds massively to graphic photos of wounds etc.
(C) Jurors have preconceptions about the behavior of defendants that prevent them from making an objective analysis of the evidence in a criminal trial. Too extreme - if the word "MAY have or can have"were used then this could be a likely correct answer.
(D) Most of the jurors who make inferential errors during a trial do so because they are unaccustomed to having to make difficult decisions based on inferences. Not true at all! In fact they have spent entire life making decisions as per passage
(E) The manner in which evidence is presented to a jury may influence the jury either to overestimate or to underestimate the value of that evidence. True - as inferential errors result due to this fact itself.

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Re: Faced with the problems of insufficient evidence, of  [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2019, 01:09
In short, the best way to solve an inference question is to use the 100% truth rule.

The moment you know that you are dealing with an inference question, jump to the answer options and compare each of the answer choices to what is given in the passage. Even if you have the slightest doubt / you don't find proof to substantiate the answer choice, then you can eliminate the answer choice.

Hope that helps.

All the best.

Thanks,

Saikiran Dudyala
Byju's GMAT Verbal Expert
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Re: Faced with the problems of insufficient evidence, of   [#permalink] 17 Jan 2019, 01:09
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# Faced with the problems of insufficient evidence, of

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