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# It is a mistake to give post office employees individual

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It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2010, 07:18
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It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages. If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol, it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity.

The conclusion above is based on which of the following assumptions?
* Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.
* Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
* The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.
* There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages.
* Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.

Source <v05>
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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20 Nov 2010, 12:46
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BellTheGmat wrote:
It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages. If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol, it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity.

The conclusion above is based on which of the following assumptions?
* Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.
* Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
* The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.
* There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages.
* Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.

For assumption questions, we want to deconstruct the argument: paraphrase the conclusion and evidence. Once we have done so, we then identify the missing link between the two.

In this case, the author concludes that it's a mistake to allow postal workers discretion regarding inspecting packages. Why? Because (so here comes the evidence...) curiousity and boredom will lead to all packages being opened.

What does the author have to be assuming to reach his conclusion based on his evidence? That postal workers do, in fact, want to know what's inside the packages.

So, armed with that prediction, we attack the choices looking for a match.

A) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
B) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
C) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
D) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
E) aha! Here's exactly what we predicted, we know (E) is correct.

Kaplan's denial test can be a very useful tool for assumption questions. If we weren't already convinced that (E) is correct, we'd consider the opposite of (E):

Quote:
Postal workers do not desire to open packages out of curiousity.

Well, if postal workers aren't curious, the author's argument makes no sense at all. Since the denial of (E) destroys the argument, (E) must be an essential element, the exact definition of an assumption.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2015, 05:56
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2016, 21:10
BellTheGmat wrote:
It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages. If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol, it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity.

The conclusion above is based on which of the following assumptions?
* Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.
* Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
* The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.
* There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages.
* Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.

Source <v05>

bu the % of each answer choice, I see I am not the only one who was thinking between B and E.
A - irrelevant.
B - even if they are distinguishable, it does not mean that the postal employees would not open other packages out of curiosity.
C - efficiency of postal service is out of scope
D - even if there was such a protocol, employees would still open the packages out of curiosity.
E - if we negate this one, the conclusion does not stand anymore. so E it is.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2017, 07:39
Why D is not an assumption? If there are protocols , then post office employees will stick to that and not get driven by their curiosity to unleash the packages.
If we negate both D and E, the conclusion fails.
Can somebody please throw more reasoning light on this ?
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2017, 05:41
RK84 wrote:
Why D is not an assumption? If there are protocols , then post office employees will stick to that and not get driven by their curiosity to unleash the packages.
If we negate both D and E, the conclusion fails.
Can somebody please throw more reasoning light on this ?

D is an inference, not an assumption. One can infer D from the statement "If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol", implying that currently there is no protocol.

I have already suggested in one of my posts that negation technique should be used as sparingly as possible (only when one is stuck betwen two choices in an assumption type question). It is easy to mistake an inference for an assumption, if the negation technique is used mechanically. Take any inference and negate it, you would always find that the conclusion breaks down.

Also note that an argument is NOT JUST about the conclusion. The correct assumption MUST LINK the premise and conclusion - an assumption is not just related to the conclusion.
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It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2017, 08:20
skovinsky wrote:
BellTheGmat wrote:
It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages. If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol, it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity.

The conclusion above is based on which of the following assumptions?
* Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.
* Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
* The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.
* There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages.
* Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.

For assumption questions, we want to deconstruct the argument: paraphrase the conclusion and evidence. Once we have done so, we then identify the missing link between the two.

In this case, the author concludes that it's a mistake to allow postal workers discretion regarding inspecting packages. Why? Because (so here comes the evidence...) curiousity and boredom will lead to all packages being opened.

What does the author have to be assuming to reach his conclusion based on his evidence? That postal workers do, in fact, want to know what's inside the packages.

So, armed with that prediction, we attack the choices looking for a match.

A) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
B) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
C) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
D) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
E) aha! Here's exactly what we predicted, we know (E) is correct.

Kaplan's denial test can be a very useful tool for assumption questions. If we weren't already convinced that (E) is correct, we'd consider the opposite of (E):

Quote:
Postal workers do not desire to open packages out of curiousity.

Well, if postal workers aren't curious, the author's argument makes no sense at all. Since the denial of (E) destroys the argument, (E) must be an essential element, the exact definition of an assumption.

skovinsky But it is mentioned in the passage "due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity". So we already know that postal employees open package out of curiosity. Option E is not bringing any new information. Kindly clarify.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2017, 11:21
BellTheGmat wrote:
It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages. If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol, it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity.

The conclusion above is based on which of the following assumptions?
* Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.
* Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
* The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.
* There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages.
* Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.

Source <v05>

I was hoping the answer would either be A or B but more strongly hoping for A. Why E???? Isn't E merely a repetition of what is stated in the premise?
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2017, 13:24
Great question.

Firstly an Assumption is an integral component of the author’s argument, a piece that must be true in order for the conclusion to be true, assumptions are necessary for the conclusion. Hence, the answer you select as correct must contain a statement that the author relies upon and is fully committed to in the in the argument. Assumption answers contain statements the author must believe in order for the conclusion to be valid.

Now let’s Rephrase the question. The author believes that the post office employees must not be given individual discretion to open a package and that they must follow Strict protocol to open the package otherwise they may start opening packages strictly out of curiosity.

Best way to deal with assumption questions is to apply the assumption negation technique.

1- Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.- Incorrect.
Nothing in the passage justifies this choice. Further avoid answers that use extremely strong phrases such as managers are the only people etc as the passage doesn’t support such strong words.

2- Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package. Incorrect.
Again the passage doesn’t support this choice. Strong words such as indistinguishable should be a red flag.

3- The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.- Incorrect. There is nothing in the passage that talks about efficiency. Out of scope.

4- There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages- Incorrect.
This is clearly incorrect as the second paragraph clearly states "If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol" implying that there is already a strict protocol in place, the employees are just not following it.

5- Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity- Correct.
If we negate this choice it says “Postal employees do not desire to open packages out of curiosity” if this were true then the conclusion that all “packages will arrive having already been opened due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity” is weakened and the argument falls apart.

Hope this helps.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2017, 12:09
samwui94 wrote:
BellTheGmat wrote:
It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages. If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol, it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity.

The conclusion above is based on which of the following assumptions?
* Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.
* Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
* The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.
* There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages.
* Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.

Source <v05>

I was hoping the answer would either be A or B but more strongly hoping for A. Why E???? Isn't E merely a repetition of what is stated in the premise?

The desire of the employees have not been discussed in the passage. Can you quote the line in the passage that you feel is repeated in option E? The last sentence of the passage never states that the workers desire to open (but assumes that the workers desire so.)
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It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2017, 16:24
sayantanc2k wrote:
samwui94 wrote:
BellTheGmat wrote:
It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages. If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol, it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity.

The conclusion above is based on which of the following assumptions?
* Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.
* Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
* The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.
* There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages.
* Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.

Source <v05>

I was hoping the answer would either be A or B but more strongly hoping for A. Why E???? Isn't E merely a repetition of what is stated in the premise?

The desire of the employees have not been discussed in the passage. Can you quote the line in the passage that you feel is repeated in option E? The last sentence of the passage never states that the workers desire to open (but assumes that the workers desire so.)

I support the option D since the argument mentions that 'If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol'
then the employees will open the packages out of curiosity.that means that there is no protocol for the existing employees.But the usage of ' if ' makes the reader suspecious that weather there is a protocol or not.

If we negate the Option D the employees will not be able to open the package just out of curiosity.
It is a mistake to give post office employees individual   [#permalink] 09 Mar 2017, 16:24
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