It is a mistake to give post office employees individual : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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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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New post 20 Nov 2010, 06:18
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  65% (hard)

Question Stats:

51% (02:05) correct 49% (01:29) wrong based on 275 sessions

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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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Re: Post office employees [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2010, 11:46
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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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New post 08 Mar 2015, 04:56
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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New post 18 Mar 2016, 20:10
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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New post 01 Feb 2017, 06:39
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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New post 02 Feb 2017, 04:41
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.
Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual   [#permalink] 02 Feb 2017, 04:41
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