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# Inference vs Assumption

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Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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Inference vs Assumption

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE?
The purpose of this article is to clearly bring out the difference between the Inference and Assumption so that any source of confusion can be eliminated.

Some students are confused between inference and Assumption because the phrase “Must be true” is used in both question types. We have also seen that some students routinely face problems in identifying one from the other.

Let’s begin with the definitions of both the terms: Inference and Assumption.

INFERENCE

An inference is a piece of information which can be logically deducted from the given set of statements. In GMAT, an inference could be a logical deduction from a single statement or from a combination from two or more statements.

Let’s take an example:

Everyone who reads this article will be more informed about Inference and Assumption. Rahul read this article.
Inference: Rahul is more informed about Inference and Assumption

This is an example of a combination inference where two or more statements are combined to produce the correct answer choice. In this specific case, the first statement lays out a general rule of the form: If X, then Y i.e. If one reads this article, then he will be more informed about Inference and Assumption.

The next statement about Rahul states that ‘X’ statement is satisfied in case of Rahul. Therefore, combining these statements, we can make an inference that Rahul is more informed about Inference and Assumption.

ASSUMPTION

An assumption is a hidden or an unstated premise. There are two keywords in this definition: “hidden” and “premise”.

• Being a premise means that the assumption must be true for the conclusion to hold true
• “Hidden” means it cannot be logically derived from existing information i.e. it must present some new information. This is because there is no need to assume a thing that can be logically derived from existing information.

Everyone who reads this article will be more informed about Inference and Assumption. Rahul received this article in his email. Hence, Rahul is more informed about Inference and Assumption.

Assumption: Rahul has read every email that he has received so far.

Using the same terminology we used in the previous example: In this case, we are given “If X, then Y” and that Rahul received this article in his email. These two statements are, then, taken to conclude that Y holds for Rahul.

But within the context of the passage, we know that to conclude Y, X must hold. Therefore, Rahul must have read the article. However, we are only given that Rahul received this article in his email.

Therefore, the underlying assumption is that Rahul has read every email that he has received so far.

POINT OF CONFUSION
We can see from the definitions above that there are some critical differences between an inference and an assumption:

If we focus on the second point of difference above, we can see that an inference can never be same as an assumption. In other words, they are mutually exclusive sets. There is no overlap.

AN OG INFERENCE QUESTION WITH A CONCLUSION(OG12 Q#56)

In the third point above, we have stated that inference question typically don’t contain a conclusion. Below is the only Inference question that we have come across in OG questions that contains a conclusion. We present here to illustrate that even when an inference question contains a conclusion, there is no confusion between an inference and an assumption.

The fewer restrictions there are on the advertising of legal services, the more lawyers there are who advertise their services and the lawyers who advertise a specific service usually charge less for that service than the lawyers who do not advertise. Therefore, if the state removes any of its current restrictions, such as the one against advertisements that do not specify fee arrangements, overall consumer legal costs will be lower than if the state retains its current restrictions.

If the statements above are true, which of the following must be true?

A. Some lawyers who now advertise will charge more for specific services if they do not have to specify fee arrangements in the advertisements.
B. More consumers will use legal services if there are fewer restrictions on the advertising of legal services.
C. If the restriction against advertisements that do not specify fee arrangements is removed, more lawyers will advertise their services.
D. If more lawyers advertise lower prices for specific services, some lawyers who do not advertise will also charge less than they currently charge for those services.
E. If the only restrictions on the advertising of legal services were those that apply to every type of advertising, most lawyers would advertise their services.

The answer to this question is Option C, which one can see, is primarily a logical deduction from the first line of the passage, as underlined below.

The fewer restrictions there are on the advertising of legal services, the more lawyers there are who advertise their services, and the lawyers who advertise a specific service usually charge less for that service than the lawyers who do not advertise. Therefore, if the state removes any of its current restrictions, such as the one against advertisements that do not specify fee arrangements, overall consumer legal costs will be lower than if the state retains its current restrictions.

In this case, since option C is a logical deduction from available information, it cannot be an assumption.

TAKE AWAY

Thus, from our discussion above, we can ‘infer’ that “Inference” and “Assumptions” are two mutually exclusive sets i.e. a statement cannot be both an inference as well as an assumption for the same given passage. Why? Because while an Inference will always be logically deductible from the given information, an assumption will never be.

-Chiranjeev Singh
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2013, 06:39
Thanks for the article, really helpful. One thing to clarify is it correct to state that "Rahul must have read the article" is the inference? Because I immediately thought this was the assumption...

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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2013, 09:20
ikokurin wrote:
Thanks for the article, really helpful. One thing to clarify is it correct to state that "Rahul must have read the article" is the inference? Because I immediately thought this was the assumption...

Hi,

You are correct. "Rahul must have read the article" is not an inference

It is an assumption. It is something which is required for the conclusion to hold within the context of the passage.

When I wrote "Therefore, Rahul must have read the article", I was sort of thinking aloud to explain - how I was getting at the assumption.

Hope this helps

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2013, 14:36
Hi Chiranjeev,
In my opinion the assumption you have given is not right. It does not pass the Negation Test.
Negated version: Rahul has NOT read EVERY email....
One case can be Rahul has read say, 80% of his emails, and in that case he might have read that article as well and the Conclusion still holds even if I negate the choice.

To me the correct Assumption is "Rahul has read AT LEAST that email".... or something similarly worded...
If we negate this, conclusion will always fail.

Happy to get my misunderstanding corrected,
The Rebellion!

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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2013, 00:54
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drebellion wrote:
Hi Chiranjeev,
In my opinion the assumption you have given is not right. It does not pass the Negation Test.
Negated version: Rahul has NOT read EVERY email....
One case can be Rahul has read say, 80% of his emails, and in that case he might have read that article as well and the Conclusion still holds even if I negate the choice.

To me the correct Assumption is "Rahul has read AT LEAST that email".... or something similarly worded...
If we negate this, conclusion will always fail.

Happy to get my misunderstanding corrected,
The Rebellion!

Hi,

Interesting doubt!

Let me bring the argument here:

Everyone who reads this article will be more informed about Inference and Assumption. Rahul received this article in his email. Hence, Rahul is more informed about Inference and Assumption

Assumption: Rahul has read every email that he has received so far

Well, I agree that basically what we need to assume is that Rahul must have read this particular email; we are not really concerned about any other email. However, my question is: what makes you believe that Rahul will read this particular email when he has not read other emails?

There is nothing in the passage that suggests that this particular email is a special one. So, if this email is like every other email Rahul receives, then for us to make a very deterministic conclusion "Rahul is more informed", not "Rahul may be more informed", we need to make an assumption that Rahul has indeed read all the emails.

So, there are two reasons that this assumption is required:
1. This email is not particularly special. It is just like every other email.
2. We are saying "Rahul is more informed", not "Rahul may be more informed". So, we are 100% sure that Rahul has read this particular email.

Now, for Rahul to have read this email and given that it is no special email, we must assume that Rahul has read every email that he has received.

If we don't make that assumption or in other words, let's negate this assumption, we have

"Rahul has not read every mail that he received",

In such a case, can you say that "Rahul is more informed".

The answer is No. You can at best say that "Rahul may be more informed" but not the given conclusion because you cannot be sure whether Rahul has read the email or not.

Now, let me quote three official questions that should address your doubts. Why don't you attempt the questions and tell me if you agree with the official answers, in light of your doubts on this thread and the discussion above?

Sviatovin is a medieval Moringian text whose author and exact date of composition are unknown. However, the events in the life of Prince Sviatov that the text describes occurred in 1165, and in the diagram of Sviatov's family that accompanies the text his father, who died in 1167, is identified as still living. Thus Sviatovin must have been written between 1165 and 1167, assuming that _____________ .

(A) the life of Prince Sviatov is not the subject of any other medieval Moringian texts

(B) the author of Sviatovin intended it to provide as accurate a report about Prince Sviatov's exploits as possible

(C) the diagram accurately represents the composition of Sviatov's family at the time Sviatovin was written

(D) Sviatovin is the earliest Moringian text whose composition can be dated to within a few years

(E) Sviatovin was not written by Sviatov's father himself

Although parapsychology is often considered a pseudoscience, it is in fact a genuine scientific enterprise, for it uses scientific methods such as controlled experiments and statistical tests of clearly stated hypotheses to examine the questions it raises.
The conclusion above is properly drawn if which of the following is assumed?
(A) If a field of study can conclusively answer the questions it raises, then it is a genuine science.
(B) Since parapsychology uses scientific methods, it will produce credible results.
(C) Any enterprise that does not use controlled experiments and statistical tests is not genuine science.
(D) Any field of study that employs scientific methods is a genuine scientific enterprise.
(E) Since parapsychology raises clearly statable questions, they can be tested in controlled experiments.

In recent years many cabinetmakers have been winning acclaim as artists. But since furniture must be useful, cabinetmakers must exercise their craft with an eye to the practical utility of their product. For this reason, cabinetmaking is not art.
Which of the following is an assumption that supports drawing the conclusion above from the reason given for that conclusion?
(A) Some furniture is made to be placed in museums, where it will not be used by anyone.
(B) Some cabinetmakers are more concerned than others with the practical utility of the products they produce.
(C) Cabinetmakers should be more concerned with the practical utility of their products than they currently are.
(D) An object is not an art object if its maker pays attention to the object’s practical utility.
(E) Artists are not concerned with the monetary value of their products.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2013, 03:19
Hi Chiranjeev,
My answers will be :
1.Sviatovin is a medieval : OA- C

2.Although parapsychology is often considered : Confused between B & D

3.In recent years many cabinetmakers have been winning : OA- D

It'd be great if you please come up with your analysis (especially the Prapsychology qs)...
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2013, 11:22
Hi,

My answers are the following:

1) C
2) D it is in fact a genuine scientific enterprise, for it uses scientific methods
3) D

Regards,
Ramandeep
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2013, 15:55
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Hi Chiranjeev,
Thanks for the clarification and a "BIGER " thank for pointing these questions.
Now first let me try these questions then I will discuss my takeaway.
Believe it or not, I have not looked the OAs for these questions. I wait for your response.

1)Sviatovin is a medieval Moringian text whose author and exact date of composition are unknown. However, the events in the life of Prince Sviatov that the text describes occurred in 1165, and in the diagram of Sviatov's family that accompanies the text his father, who died in 1167, is identified as still living. Thus Sviatovin must have been written between 1165 and 1167, assuming that.

P1)...events described happened in 1165
p2)...S's father who died in 1167 was alive in the text.
=>Concl: Sviatovin must have been written between 1165 and 1167

My pre-thinking assumption (as I wrote on paper):
-Sviatovin is not a work of fiction...the family diagram is real depiction of events described.

Choice C is even more narrow and well defined "to the point" Assumption.

(A) the life of Prince Sviatov is not the subject of any other medieval Moringian texts
Even if it is the case how that will say help me find out when S was written ? OFS
(B) the author of Sviatovin intended it to provide as accurate a report about Prince Sviatov's exploits as possible
1)What is as accurate a report as possible mean here ? 2) How author's accuracy is going to help me find the time whaen the text was written?
(C) the diagram accurately represents the composition of Sviatov's family at the time Sviatovin was written
A narrowed down/in the line (compared to my pre-thought assumption) 'to the point' assumption
(D) Sviatovin is the earliest Moringian text whose composition can be dated to within a few years
1)OFS 2) "within a few year" what does that mean? 2, 20, or 50 ???
(E) Sviatovin was not written by Sviatov's father himself
Anyone can write the text, why only S's father?
--------------------------
2) Although parapsychology is often considered a pseudoscience, it is in fact a genuine scientific enterprise, for it uses scientific methods such as controlled experiments and statistical tests of clearly stated hypotheses to examine the questions it raises.
The conclusion above is properly drawn if which of the following is assumed?

P1)parapsychology is often considered a pseudoscience
P2)for it uses scientific methods such as controlled experiments and statistical tests of clearly stated hypotheses to examine the questions it raises
=>Concl: parapsychology is in fact a genuine scientific enterprise

Pre-thought assumption (as I wrote on paper):
A1):Any field of study that uses scientific methods to examine the questions it raises CAN be a genuine scientific enterprise

(A) If a field of study can conclusively answer the questions it raises, then it is a genuine science.
OFS
(B) Since parapsychology uses scientific methods, it will produce credible results.
RESULTS??? iSWAT
(C) Any enterprise that does not use controlled experiments and statistical tests is not genuine science.
iSWAT, talks about examples gives in the arguments but not relevant
(D) Any field of study that employs scientific methods is a genuine scientific enterprise.
A broader assumption than my pre-thought assumption
(E) Since parapsychology raises clearly statable questions, they can be tested in controlled experiments.
OFS
--------------------------
3)In recent years many cabinetmakers have been winning acclaim as artists. But since furniture must be useful, cabinetmakers must exercise their craft with an eye to the practical utility of their product. For this reason, cabinetmaking is not art.
Which of the following is an assumption that supports drawing the conclusion above from the reason given for that conclusion?

P1)...cabinetmakers have been winning acclaim as artists
P2)But since furniture must be useful,
P3) cabinetmakers must exercise their craft with an eye to the practical utility of their product (they pay attention to practical utility of their product = they make them useful)
=> Concl: (For this reason; P1+2+3) cabinetmaking is not art

Pre-thought assumption (as I wrote on paper):
A1)Things which are made for practical utility cannot contain art
A2) Any useful article cannot be a piece of art

(A) Some furniture is made to be placed in museums, where it will not be used by anyone.
OFS
(B) Some cabinetmakers are more concerned than others with the practical utility of the products they produce.
SO WHAT? OFS how it is related with whether Cabinetmakers are artist or not
(C) Cabinetmakers should be more concerned with the practical utility of their products than they currently are.
SO WHAT? how it is related with whether Cabinetmakers are artist or not
(D) An object is not an art object if its maker pays attention to the object’s practical utility.
Almost paraphrase of my pre-thought assumption
(E) Artists are not concerned with the monetary value of their products.
OFS
--------------------------

Analysis, Conclusion and Takeaway (for me):

1)Rahul is more informed...
a1) Rahul must have read that particular email - the ABSOLUTE minimum, the most narrowed down assumption
a2) Rahul has read every mail that he received - A wider assumption which contain the above assumption

2)Sviatovin is a medieval Moringian....
I came up with just some vague idea... no good assumption phrase.
the ABSOLUTE minimum, the most narrowed down assumption will be:
a1)the diagram accurately represents the composition of Sviatov's father[/u] at the time Sviatovin was written
A wider assumption would be:
a2)the diagram accurately represents the composition of Sviatov's [u]family
at the time Sviatovin was written
* a diagram can have only one time frame, so if his fathers description was right then tah twill apply to the whole diagram and so to his family, i.e. a1) implies a2) and vice versa.

3)Although parapsychology is often considered a pseudoscience
the ABSOLUTE minimum, the most narrowed down assumption will be;
a1) Any field of study that uses scientific methods to examine the questions it raises CAN be a genuine scientific enterprise -
A wider assumption (containing a1) would be:
a2) Any field of study that employs scientific methods is a genuine scientific enterprise.

- a1 is contained in a2

4)In recent years many cabinetmakers have be
here a1 and a2 are essentially same

Conclusion and Takeaway (for me):
1) Sometime (may be many times) a broader assumption which contain the ABSOLUTE narrowed down assumption are the right assumption
2) The pre-thought assumption might be a wider/broader assumption, the choice may give a narrowed down assumption.

*some of the choices are so out of context that I have to use wt* in place of OFS

Waiting to see your response,
The Rebellion!

Last edited by drebellion on 20 Oct 2013, 13:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2013, 19:41
bagdbmba wrote:
Hi Chiranjeev,
My answers will be :
1.Sviatovin is a medieval : OA- C

2.Although parapsychology is often considered : Confused between B & D

3.In recent years many cabinetmakers have been winning : OA- D

It'd be great if you please come up with your analysis (especially the Prapsychology qs)...

Hi,

The correct options are C, D and D.

In second question, option B is incorrect because we are not concerned whether the results are credible or not.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2013, 20:13
Hi drebellion,

Quite a thorough analysis! I am impressed

drebellion wrote:
Hi Chiranjeev,
Thanks for the clarification and a "BIGER " thank for pointing these questions.
Now first let me try these questions then I will discuss my takeaway.
Believe it or not, I have not looked the OAs for these questions. I wait for your response.

1)Sviatovin is a medieval Moringian text whose author and exact date of composition are unknown. However, the events in the life of Prince Sviatov that the text describes occurred in 1165, and in the diagram of Sviatov's family that accompanies the text his father, who died in 1167, is identified as still living. Thus Sviatovin must have been written between 1165 and 1167, assuming that.

P1)...events described happened in 1165
p2)...S's father who died in 1167 was alive in the text.
=>Concl: Sviatovin must have been written between 1165 and 1167

My pre-thinking assumption (as I wrote on paper):
-Sviatovin is not a work of fiction...the is real depiction of events described.

Choice C is even more narrow and well defined "to the point" Assumption.

(A) the life of Prince Sviatov is not the subject of any other medieval Moringian texts
Even if it is the case how that will say help me find out when S was written ? OFS
(B) the author of Sviatovin intended it to provide as accurate a report about Prince Sviatov's exploits as possible
1)What is as accurate a report as possible mean here ? 2) How author's accuracy is going to help me find the time whaen the text was written?
(C) the diagram accurately represents the composition of Sviatov's family at the time Sviatovin was written
A narrowed down/in the line (compared to my pre-thought assumption) 'to the point' assumption
(D) Sviatovin is the earliest Moringian text whose composition can be dated to within a few years
1)OFS 2) "within a few year" what does that mean? 2, 20, or 50 ???
(E) Sviatovin was not written by Sviatov's father himself
Anyone can write the text, why only S's father?
--------------------------
2) Although parapsychology is often considered a pseudoscience, it is in fact a genuine scientific enterprise, for it uses scientific methods such as controlled experiments and statistical tests of clearly stated hypotheses to examine the questions it raises.
The conclusion above is properly drawn if which of the following is assumed?

P1)parapsychology is often considered a pseudoscience
P2)for it uses scientific methods such as controlled experiments and statistical tests of clearly stated hypotheses to examine the questions it raises
=>Concl: parapsychology is in fact a genuine scientific enterprise

Pre-thought assumption (as I wrote on paper):
A1):Any field of study that uses scientific methods to examine the questions it raises CAN be a genuine scientific enterprise

(A) If a field of study can conclusively answer the questions it raises, then it is a genuine science.
OFS
(B) Since parapsychology uses scientific methods, it will produce credible results.
RESULTS??? iSWAT
(C) Any enterprise that does not use controlled experiments and statistical tests is not genuine science.
iSWAT, talks about examples gives in the arguments but not relevant
(D) Any field of study that employs scientific methods is a genuine scientific enterprise.
A broader assumption than my pre-thought assumption
(E) Since parapsychology raises clearly statable questions, they can be tested in controlled experiments.
OFS
--------------------------
3)In recent years many cabinetmakers have been winning acclaim as artists. But since furniture must be useful, cabinetmakers must exercise their craft with an eye to the practical utility of their product. For this reason, cabinetmaking is not art.
Which of the following is an assumption that supports drawing the conclusion above from the reason given for that conclusion?

P1)...cabinetmakers have been winning acclaim as artists
P2)But since furniture must be useful,
P3) cabinetmakers must exercise their craft with an eye to the practical utility of their product (they pay attention to practical utility of their product = they make them useful)
=> Concl: (For this reason; P1+2+3) cabinetmaking is not art

Pre-thought assumption (as I wrote on paper):
A1)Things which are made for practical utility cannot contain art
A2) Any useful article cannot be a piece of art

(A) Some furniture is made to be placed in museums, where it will not be used by anyone.
OFS
(B) Some cabinetmakers are more concerned than others with the practical utility of the products they produce.
SO WHAT? OFS how it is related with whether Cabinetmakers are artist or not
(C) Cabinetmakers should be more concerned with the practical utility of their products than they currently are.
SO WHAT? how it is related with whether Cabinetmakers are artist or not
(D) An object is not an art object if its maker pays attention to the object’s practical utility.
Almost paraphrase of my pre-thought assumption
(E) Artists are not concerned with the monetary value of their products.
OFS
--------------------------

Almost everything is right on point till here. I'll make my comments below.

drebellion wrote:

Analysis, Conclusion and Takeaway (for me):

1)Rahul is more informed...
a1) Rahul must have read that particular email - the ABSOLUTE minimum, the most narrowed down assumption
a2) Rahul has read every mail that he received - A wider assumption which contain the above assumption

2)Sviatovin is a medieval Moringian....
I came up with just some vague idea... no good assumption phrase.
the ABSOLUTE minimum, the most narrowed down assumption will be:
a1)the diagram accurately represents the composition of Sviatov's father[/u] at the time Sviatovin was written
A wider assumption would be:
a2)the diagram accurately represents the composition of Sviatov's [u]family
at the time Sviatovin was written
* a diagram can have only one time frame, so if his fathers description was right then tah twill apply to the whole diagram and so to his family, i.e. a1) implies a2) and vice versa.

Actually, a2 implies a1, not the othe way round. a1 is the absolute minimum required but a2 is what we are given in the passage. If a2 holds, then a1 also holds.

drebellion wrote:
3)Although parapsychology is often considered a pseudoscience
the ABSOLUTE minimum, the most narrowed down assumption will be;
a1) Any field of study that uses scientific methods to examine the questions it raises CAN be a genuine scientific enterprise -

I would say the absolute minimum is:
If parapsychology uses scientific methods, then it is a genuine scientific enterprise. (This is the absolute minimum. We are at the minimum concerned about parapsychology, not all fields of study)

drebellion wrote:
A wider assumption (containing a1) would be:
a2) Any field of study that employs scientific methods is a genuine scientific enterprise.

- a1 is contained in a2

Right

drebellion wrote:
4)In recent years many cabinetmakers have be
here a1 and a2 are essentially same

Here, the absolute minimum is:
If cabinetmaking is built with an aim pf practical utility, then it is not an art.

Broader assumption is option D.

drebellion wrote:
Conclusion and Takeaway (for me):
1) Sometime (may be many times) a broader assumption which contain the ABSOLUTE narrowed down assumption are the right assumption

Well, we are playing with fire here. Seriously! Because if someone reads it and takes it literally, then the whole basis of "Negation Test" may vanish. We need to understand what we are talking about here.

Even though we have seen that the correct option statements may be broader than then absolute minimum assumptions but we should also understand that the context of the argument demanded the broadness inherent in the option statements. For example: In Sviatovin question, we are talking about a family diagram; even though we are only concerned about the accuracy of the depiction of the father but since the diagram is about the family, we should talk about the accuracy of the diagram as a whole and not about pieces in the diagram. Therefore, when the option statement talks about the accurate depiction of Sviatovin's family, it is not really broader than required; common sense wise, this is what we want.

Well, if we go by formal logic, then we can say that the given option statement is broader than required and hence, is not a must be true statement. But, by common sense, which is actually tested in GMAT, we should understand that the given option statement that talks about the diagram as a whole and not about pieces, is actually correct and a must be true statement.

drebellion wrote:
2) The pre-thought assumption might be a wider/broader assumption, the choice may give a narrowed down assumption.

That is going to happen a lot of time!

Well, my comments especially on your takeaway require very subtle understanding and you may not be able to appreciate all that is written. But, you need not worry.

What you need to remember is that if, in a question, you have two option statements, one a broader assumption and one a narrow one, then select the narrow one because in that case, you are being given a choice to be as narrow as possible. Take a stab at the following OG question:

"A proposed change to federal income tax laws would eliminate deductions from taxable income for donations a taxpayer has made to charitable and educational institutions. If this change were adopted, wealthy individuals would no longer be permitted such deductions. Therefore, many charitable and institutions would have to reduce services, and some would have to close their doors.
The argument above assumes which of the following?
(A) Without incentives offered by federal income tax laws, at least some wealthy individuals would not donate as much money to charitable and educational institutions as they otherwise would have.
(B) Money contributed by individuals who make their donations because of provisions in the federal tax laws provides the only source of funding for many charitable and educational institutions.
(C) The primary reason for not adopting the proposed change in the federal income tax laws cited above is to protect wealthy individuals from having to pay higher taxes.
(D) Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.
(E) Income tax laws should be changed to make donations to charitable and educational institutions the only permissible deductions from taxable income."

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2013, 01:07
egmat wrote:
"A proposed change to federal income tax laws would eliminate deductions from taxable income for donations a taxpayer has made to charitable and educational institutions. If this change were adopted, wealthy individuals would no longer be permitted such deductions. Therefore, many charitable and institutions would have to reduce services, and some would have to close their doors.
The argument above assumes which of the following?
(A) Without incentives offered by federal income tax laws, at least some wealthy individuals would not donate as much money to charitable and educational institutions as they otherwise would have.
(B) Money contributed by individuals who make their donations because of provisions in the federal tax laws provides the only source of funding for many charitable and educational institutions.
(C) The primary reason for not adopting the proposed change in the federal income tax laws cited above is to protect wealthy individuals from having to pay higher taxes.
(D) Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.
(E) Income tax laws should be changed to make donations to charitable and educational institutions the only permissible deductions from taxable income."

Hi Chiranjeev,
Can you please explain why A is preferred to D as OA for the above question?
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2013, 20:11
bagdbmba wrote:
egmat wrote:
"A proposed change to federal income tax laws would eliminate deductions from taxable income for donations a taxpayer has made to charitable and educational institutions. If this change were adopted, wealthy individuals would no longer be permitted such deductions. Therefore, many charitable and institutions would have to reduce services, and some would have to close their doors.
The argument above assumes which of the following?
(A) Without incentives offered by federal income tax laws, at least some wealthy individuals would not donate as much money to charitable and educational institutions as they otherwise would have.
(B) Money contributed by individuals who make their donations because of provisions in the federal tax laws provides the only source of funding for many charitable and educational institutions.
(C) The primary reason for not adopting the proposed change in the federal income tax laws cited above is to protect wealthy individuals from having to pay higher taxes.
(D) Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.
(E) Income tax laws should be changed to make donations to charitable and educational institutions the only permissible deductions from taxable income."

Hi Chiranjeev,
Can you please explain why A is preferred to D as OA for the above question?

Hi,

Does negation test work on option D?

What is the negation of option D?

Share you analysis. You'll learn much more if I help you in your analysis than if I just present you the complete solution.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2013, 17:04
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egmat wrote:
drebellion wrote:
2) The pre-thought assumption might be a wider/broader assumption, the choice may give a narrowed down assumption.

That is going to happen a lot of time!

Well, my comments especially on your takeaway require very subtle understanding and you may not be able to appreciate all that is written. But, you need not worry.

What you need to remember is that if, in a question, you have two option statements, one a broader assumption and one a narrow one, then select the narrow one because in that case, you are being given a choice to be as narrow as possible. Take a stab at the following OG question:

"A proposed change to federal income tax laws would eliminate deductions from taxable income for donations a taxpayer has made to charitable and educational institutions. If this change were adopted, wealthy individuals would no longer be permitted such deductions. Therefore, many charitable and institutions would have to reduce services, and some would have to close their doors.
The argument above assumes which of the following?
(A) Without incentives offered by federal income tax laws, at least some wealthy individuals would not donate as much money to charitable and educational institutions as they otherwise would have.
(B) Money contributed by individuals who make their donations because of provisions in the federal tax laws provides the only source of funding for many charitable and educational institutions.
(C) The primary reason for not adopting the proposed change in the federal income tax laws cited above is to protect wealthy individuals from having to pay higher taxes.
(D) Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.
(E) Income tax laws should be changed to make donations to charitable and educational institutions the only permissible deductions from taxable income."

Thanks,
Chiranjeev

Hi Chiranjeev,
Thanks for your detailed and patient reply to all of my points.
Message well received!

Thanks again for pointing to this apt question for the moment. Never thought spending several hours on blog can be so educating.
I never thought that Negation Test can be so handy. I mostly relied on my pre-thought assumption, prethinking and analysis and not so much on Negation Test. Now I see its value as a great time saver.

As I mentioned earlier, the Takeaway was for me. And I am happy to find out how Negation Test can "save" time.

My attempt on the question:

P1)Now there is some law which gives tax deduction if someone donates to charitable and educational institutions (=C&E Inst.)
P2) Proposed change will eliminate this deduction = The money people donates will still count as imposable revenue and people will have to pay tax on this 'Imposable Income'
P3) If this change were adopted, wealthy individuals would no longer be permitted such deductions.

Concl: Therefore, many charitable and institutions would have to reduce services, and some would have to close their doors.

Prethinking:
a1) Many C&E Inst. are running only due to donation money coming from "wealthy" people... in other words, C&E Inst. significant source of donation is coming from "wealthy" people
a2) These wealthy people are donating to save tax. (~Many of them are not philanthropists)

The argument above assumes which of the following?
(A) Without incentives offered by federal income tax laws, at least some wealthy individuals would not donate as much money to charitable and educational institutions as they otherwise would have.

First read: Close to prethought assumption
I keep it
(B) Money contributed by individuals who make their donations because of provisions in the federal tax laws provides the only source of funding for many charitable and educational institutions.
First read: Close to prethought assumption
I keep it

(C) The primary reason for not adopting the proposed change in the federal income tax laws cited above is to protect wealthy individuals from having to pay higher taxes.
OFS

(D) Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.
Close to prethought assumption. Its seems to the point...

(E) Income tax laws should be changed to make donations to charitable and educational institutions the only permissible deductions from taxable income."
OFS

Lets evaluate A, B, and D.
I tried, and for sure it is way too long to reject answer choices on narrowed/broad assumption compared to applying Negation Test.

So I will apply NT here:
A:
-A: Without incentives offered by federal income tax laws, NO wealthy individuals would not donate as much money to charitable and educational institutions as they otherwise would have.
=> All will donate equal money, with or without tax benefit = Concl fails => A Correct

B:
-B: Money contributed by individuals who make their donations because of provisions in the federal tax laws IS NOT THE ONLY source of funding for many charitable and educational institutions.
=> Then the C&E Inst. might still be able to run => Concl. is not shattered !

D:
-D: Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are NOT THE ONLY individuals who donate money to such institutions.
=>case 1: Wealthy people are significant contributor to these C&E Inst. => C&E Inst. will close ( Concl. stands)
=> Case 2: Wealthy people are not contributing significantly => C&E I will not close... any way these rich ppl. were not contributing much... not a big loss if they have stopped. So, Concl. fails

A is the right answer.

Takeaway (for me): Stick to NT when evaluating more than one seemingly correct answer.

Coming to broader/narrow assumption:
D: For concl. to hold true ONLY is not required, SIGNIFICANT number is sufficient - tis option is too narrow, narrower than the absolute narrowed down assumption

B and D are strengthener but not Assumption.

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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2013, 03:34
drebellion wrote:
Hi Chiranjeev,
Thanks for your detailed and patient reply to all of my points.
Message well received!

Thanks again for pointing to this apt question for the moment. Never thought spending several hours on blog can be so educating.
I never thought that Negation Test can be so handy. I mostly relied on my pre-thought assumption, prethinking and analysis and not so much on Negation Test. Now I see its value as a great time saver.

As I mentioned earlier, the Takeaway was for me. And I am happy to find out how Negation Test can "save" time.

My attempt on the question:

P1)Now there is some law which gives tax deduction if someone donates to charitable and educational institutions (=C&E Inst.)
P2) Proposed change will eliminate this deduction = The money people donates will still count as imposable revenue and people will have to pay tax on this 'Imposable Income'
P3) If this change were adopted, wealthy individuals would no longer be permitted such deductions.

Concl: Therefore, many charitable and institutions would have to reduce services, and some would have to close their doors.

Prethinking:
a1) Many C&E Inst. are running only due to donation money coming from "wealthy" people... in other words, C&E Inst. significant source of donation is coming from "wealthy" people
a2) These wealthy people are donating to save tax. (~Many of them are not philanthropists)

The argument above assumes which of the following?
(A) Without incentives offered by federal income tax laws, at least some wealthy individuals would not donate as much money to charitable and educational institutions as they otherwise would have.

First read: Close to prethought assumption
I keep it
(B) Money contributed by individuals who make their donations because of provisions in the federal tax laws provides the only source of funding for many charitable and educational institutions.
First read: Close to prethought assumption
I keep it

(C) The primary reason for not adopting the proposed change in the federal income tax laws cited above is to protect wealthy individuals from having to pay higher taxes.
OFS

(D) Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.
Close to prethought assumption. Its seems to the point...

(E) Income tax laws should be changed to make donations to charitable and educational institutions the only permissible deductions from taxable income."
OFS

Lets evaluate A, B, and D.
I tried, and for sure it is way too long to reject answer choices on narrowed/broad assumption compared to applying Negation Test.

So I will apply NT here:
A:
-A: Without incentives offered by federal income tax laws, NO wealthy individuals would not donate as much money to charitable and educational institutions as they otherwise would have.
=> All will donate equal money, with or without tax benefit = Concl fails => A Correct

B:
-B: Money contributed by individuals who make their donations because of provisions in the federal tax laws IS NOT THE ONLY source of funding for many charitable and educational institutions.
=> Then the C&E Inst. might still be able to run => Concl. is not shattered !

D:
-D: Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are NOT THE ONLY individuals who donate money to such institutions.
=>case 1: Wealthy people are significant contributor to these C&E Inst. => C&E Inst. will close ( Concl. stands)
=> Case 2: Wealthy people are not contributing significantly => C&E I will not close... any way these rich ppl. were not contributing much... not a big loss if they have stopped. So, Concl. fails

A is the right answer.

Takeaway (for me): Stick to NT when evaluating more than one seemingly correct answer.

Coming to broader/narrow assumption:
D: For concl. to hold true ONLY is not required, SIGNIFICANT number is sufficient - tis option is too narrow, narrower than the absolute narrowed down assumption

B and D are strengthener but not Assumption.

Good job! You are really good at picking up things early What is your target score?

drebellion wrote:
Coming to broader/narrow assumption:
D: For concl. to hold true ONLY is not required, SIGNIFICANT number is sufficient - tis option is too narrow, narrower than the absolute narrowed down assumption

Option D is not too narrow, it is broader. Broader means that requires more than necessary. Narrow means that requires less than necessary. We do not require "only", so option D is broader than required.

Look at how we used these terms so far:

drebellion wrote:
the ABSOLUTE minimum, the most narrowed down assumption will be:
a1)the diagram accurately represents the composition of Sviatov's father[/u] at the time Sviatovin was written
A wider assumption would be:
a2)the diagram accurately represents the composition of Sviatov's [u]family at the time Sviatovin was written

So, an option statement that demand/requires more is broader. As in case above, "family" was broader than "father". Right?

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2013, 02:00
egmat wrote:
bagdbmba wrote:
egmat wrote:
"A proposed change to federal income tax laws would eliminate deductions from taxable income for donations a taxpayer has made to charitable and educational institutions. If this change were adopted, wealthy individuals would no longer be permitted such deductions. Therefore, many charitable and institutions would have to reduce services, and some would have to close their doors.
The argument above assumes which of the following?
(A) Without incentives offered by federal income tax laws, at least some wealthy individuals would not donate as much money to charitable and educational institutions as they otherwise would have.
(B) Money contributed by individuals who make their donations because of provisions in the federal tax laws provides the only source of funding for many charitable and educational institutions.
(C) The primary reason for not adopting the proposed change in the federal income tax laws cited above is to protect wealthy individuals from having to pay higher taxes.
(D) Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.
(E) Income tax laws should be changed to make donations to charitable and educational institutions the only permissible deductions from taxable income."

Hi Chiranjeev,
Can you please explain why A is preferred to D as OA for the above question?

Hi,

Does negation test work on option D?

What is the negation of option D?

Share you analysis. You'll learn much more if I help you in your analysis than if I just present you the complete solution.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev

Hi Chiranjeev,
As you suggested, here's my analysis -
Option D :Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.
negation: Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are NOT the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.

What I understood(although it's wrong I know) - So,as per the negated statement, it can be said that there are other sources of funding to many charitable and educational institutions. Hence, the conclusion that these charitable and educational institutions would need to cut down their service or close doors, doesn't hold good.

Option A: No confusion if we're to consider this alone. But, when I see option D, confusion arises.

However, just thinking is option D O/S for the reason it's too narrow w.r.t the argument because of using 'ONLY'?

Look forward to your comments and analysis.
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2013, 15:02
Hi Chiranjeev,
Thanks!
In fact the School I would love to go has the highest average GMA score, so anything less than 720 would be a bad score for me. I am a retaker and currently standing at 640.

So, may be more than a quick learner I am being driven by experience.

Once I realized that narrow/broad concept is time taking I almost give it a skip.
Yeah, according to our earlier discussion D is broader but I guess this very concept of narrow/broad depends on from which side of an argument (positive side, or negative side) we approach it.

Moving forward,
As of now, I do not yet apply Variance Test. I have the habit of pre-thinking and then going for POE. When faced with two seemingly correct choices I reread them, apply logic and select one. Do you also have some examples (preferred from OG) in which application of Variance Test is advisable. I mean examples where we do have more than one very attractive choices. Application of Variance Test not for the sake of applying it but because other methods are not as effective as VT.

The Rebellion!

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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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09 Sep 2013, 03:05
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bagdbmba wrote:
Hi Chiranjeev,
As you suggested, here's my analysis -
Option D :Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.
negation: Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are NOT the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.

What I understood(although it's wrong I know) - So,as per the negated statement, it can be said that there are other sources of funding to many charitable and educational institutions. Hence, the conclusion that these charitable and educational institutions would need to cut down their service or close doors, doesn't hold good.

Option A: No confusion if we're to consider this alone. But, when I see option D, confusion arises.

Hi,

Good to see your analysis

You negated option D correctly. I thought the problem might lie in the negation but there is no problem there.

So, as you rightly said, now we know that there are other sources of funding also. Right?

So, Funds available to ECI (Education and Charitable Institutions) = W (funds from Wealthy) + OTH (funds from others)

Now, if W reduces, won't the total funds also decrease? Note that you cannot assume that OTH will increase. Unless, we are explicitly given, we have to assume that everything else will remain constant.

So, if OTH remains same and W decreases, won't total funds decrease?

They will. Right?

Now, if total funds decrease, then ECIs will have to reduce their services. Also, there will be some ECIs which were barely making their ends meet, they might not be able to suffer a further reduction in their funds. These ECIs will need to close down their shops.

So, even if negation of option D holds, the conclusion can also hold. Therefore, option D is incorrect.

bagdbmba wrote:
However, just thinking is option D O/S for the reason it's too narrow w.r.t the argument because of using 'ONLY'?

No. Don't use these kinds of rules/reasoning. Stick to logic. If you are not able to understand something, then ask someone, look up in the books. But don't satisfy yourself with such rules. Such rules are almost always counter productive.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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09 Sep 2013, 03:31
drebellion wrote:
Hi Chiranjeev,
Thanks!
In fact the School I would love to go has the highest average GMA score, so anything less than 720 would be a bad score for me. I am a retaker and currently standing at 640.

Oh cool All the best this time!

drebellion wrote:
Once I realized that narrow/broad concept is time taking I almost give it a skip.

Agree. Negation test is much more cleaner to understand.

[quote="drebellion"]Moving forward,
As of now, I do not yet apply Variance Test. I have the habit of pre-thinking and then going for POE. When faced with two seemingly correct choices I reread them, apply logic and select one. Do you also have some examples (preferred from OG) in which application of Variance Test is advisable. I mean examples where we do have more than one very attractive choices. Application of Variance Test not for the sake of applying it but because other methods are not as effective as VT.[quote]

I do not have any such question handy, but if I come across one, I'll try to remember to post it here. Also, if you are able to solve question without VT, this is perfectly fine. Frankly, I rarely use VT. Generally, the correct pops out in front of me just by applying the logic

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Inference vs Assumption [#permalink]

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09 Sep 2013, 23:21
egmat wrote:
bagdbmba wrote:
Hi Chiranjeev,
As you suggested, here's my analysis -
Option D :Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.
negation: Wealthy individuals who donate money to charitable and educational institutions are NOT the only individuals who donate money to such institutions.

What I understood(although it's wrong I know) - So,as per the negated statement, it can be said that there are other sources of funding to many charitable and educational institutions. Hence, the conclusion that these charitable and educational institutions would need to cut down their service or close doors, doesn't hold good.

Option A: No confusion if we're to consider this alone. But, when I see option D, confusion arises.

Hi,

Good to see your analysis

You negated option D correctly. I thought the problem might lie in the negation but there is no problem there.

So, as you rightly said, now we know that there are other sources of funding also. Right?

So, Funds available to ECI (Education and Charitable Institutions) = W (funds from Wealthy) + OTH (funds from others)

Now, if W reduces, won't the total funds also decrease? Note that you cannot assume that OTH will increase. Unless, we are explicitly given, we have to assume that everything else will remain constant.

So, if OTH remains same and W decreases, won't total funds decrease?

They will. Right?

Now, if total funds decrease, then ECIs will have to reduce their services. Also, there will be some ECIs which were barely making their ends meet, they might not be able to suffer a further reduction in their funds. These ECIs will need to close down their shops.

So, even if negation of option D holds, the conclusion can also hold. Therefore, option D is incorrect.

bagdbmba wrote:
However, just thinking is option D O/S for the reason it's too narrow w.r.t the argument because of using 'ONLY'?

No. Don't use these kinds of rules/reasoning. Stick to logic. If you are not able to understand something, then ask someone, look up in the books. But don't satisfy yourself with such rules. Such rules are almost always counter productive.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev

Hi Chiranjeev,
Thanks for this clarification. +1M Sir

Just a thought on what you've mentioned -
bagdbmba wrote:
However, just thinking is option D O/S for the reason it's too narrow w.r.t the argument because of using 'ONLY'?

egmat wrote:
No. Don't use these kinds of rules/reasoning. Stick to logic. If you are not able to understand something, then ask someone, look up in the books. But don't satisfy yourself with such rules. Such rules are almost always counter productive.

It's very true that logic should be the primary consideration but at the same time 'scope' is also another important factor in order to eliminate the wrong answer choices in CR (also in RC) I guess....So, something which is too narrow or too broad in the context of the scope of the argument shouldn't be eliminated?

Let me know your thoughts on this please.
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Re: Inference vs Assumption   [#permalink] 09 Sep 2013, 23:21

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