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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, 07:22
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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?
A Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.
B Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
C The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.
D There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages.
E Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.

Source <V05>
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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20 Nov 2010, 08:45
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IMO E.

Explanation::

Conclusion: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages.

Premise: 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.

Possible assumptions:
A strict protocol is already in place.
Employees are not allowed to open the packages unless they follow a strict protocol
All packages will seem suspicious
Employees in general are curious
Options:
A) Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages. - Apply negation, service managers are not the only ones allowed to open packages, this does not affect the conclusion.
B) Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package. - Not associated with main conclusion. Even if the two types can be identified, behavior of the employees is not going to change.
C) The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected. - Out of scope.
D) There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages. - Using negation, there is a protocol in place, it in fact strengths the argument. This can not be an assumption.
E) Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity - Using negation, employees are not curious therfore will not open the package, destroys the argument. This is the correct option.
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21 Nov 2010, 05:06
And what is the official answer ?
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21 Nov 2010, 05:29
OA E
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2012, 13:48
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Between B & E
Premise: If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol,
Conclusion1: it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity.
Conclusion2: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages.

Premise --> conclusion1 needs assumption B and no necessarily E.

B Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package. if the packages are indistinguishable then employees are allowed to open all packages.
E Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity. This is certainly an assumption but it's not an assumption on which argument depends - It doesn't imply that all packages will be opened due to some employee's curiosity. B direclty connects with argument that all packages would be opened coz they cannot distinguish.

Note: Conclusion1 is more of inference than conclusion because it's direct consequence of 'IF' premise.

OA given is E, but I feel this questions is either wrong or at best ambigous.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2012, 22:32
E, postal service officials desire to open packages out of curiosity that's why author wants to propose stricter protocols.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2012, 22:29
E
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2012, 21:43
Initially I thought D should be the answer. Later realized, even giving employees individual discretion is also a policy and hence D is not valid.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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29 Feb 2012, 00:46
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IMO B,

Agree with SyedSan.Whats is the source of this question?
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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29 Feb 2012, 01:17
SyedSan wrote:
Between B & E
Premise: If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol,
Conclusion1: it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity.
Conclusion2: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages.

Premise --> conclusion1 needs assumption B and no necessarily E.

B Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package. if the packages are indistinguishable then employees are allowed to open all packages.
E Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity. This is certainly an assumption but it's not an assumption on which argument depends - It doesn't imply that all packages will be opened due to some employee's curiosity. B direclty connects with argument that all packages would be opened coz they cannot distinguish.

Note: Conclusion1 is more of inference than conclusion because it's direct consequence of 'IF' premise.

OA given is E, but I feel this questions is either wrong or at best ambigous.

I do not see anything wrong with the question and answer. (BTW, source is GMATClub, AFAIK)

Let us think that we need to decide to setup a police station at a town. What would be the basis?
Is it enough to find that whether or not people at that town know what is crime and what is not crime?
Or is it required to know the crime rate?

Obviously the answer is to know the crime rate which is the measure of people behavior not their knowledge.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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29 Feb 2012, 16:47
Quote:
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.

As per the original sentence, if the workers are allowed to open suspicious packages, there is a fear that almost all of the packages at the recipients will be found as opened. Thus it assumes that the postal workers have a tendency to open packages out of curiosity.

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

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29 Feb 2012, 21:11
Man i feel so lame. One of the main things i learnt is in CR i shld read all answer choices. I tried to answer this without even reading E. how lame of me?
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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29 Feb 2012, 23:20
It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages.

Negate choice E
E Postal employees DO NOT desire to open packages out of curiosity. => not all of the packages will be opened, so the new protocol is not mistake. The conclusion is broken.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2012, 03:45
the desire to open the the packages is already stated in the argument. How can that be an assumption??
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2014, 21:49
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I still don't agree with the OA. I guess there are two assumptions.

premise: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.
Conclusion : It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages

So the postal employees will open the package if postal employees are allowed to open "suspicious" packages.

Option B) Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
Negate option B) Suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of package.
-> That means the postal employees are able to distinguish suspicious packages from normal one and even if they are curious, not "ALL" packages will be opened.

Option E) Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.
If we negate it, obviously the conclusion breaks.

I guess both Option E) and Option B) are assumptions.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2014, 14:57
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kinjiGC wrote:
I still don't agree with the OA. I guess there are two assumptions.

premise: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.
Conclusion : It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages

So the postal employees will open the package if postal employees are allowed to open "suspicious" packages.

Option B) Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
Negate option B) Suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of package.
-> That means the postal employees are able to distinguish suspicious packages from normal one and even if they are curious, not "ALL" packages will be opened.

Option E) Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.
If we negate it, obviously the conclusion breaks.

I guess both Option E) and Option B) are assumptions.

I doubt if GMAT will have such ambiguous/grey questions. I also picked B over E and after quite some deliberation, I feel the question is not representative of GMAT standards. Can any of the experts out there comment on this?
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2014, 12:01
Isn't the option 'E' too extreme ?
It says postal employees have curiosity instead of saying some employees ?
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2014, 14:09
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Negate option B) Suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of package.
-> That means the postal employees are able to distinguish suspicious packages from normal one and even if they are curious, not "ALL" packages will be opened.

-> I was also confused initially but looking at it again, this is definitely not an assumption. Even if suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of packages, some idle postal employee can still open the package out of curiosity. You already mentioned this above. Going one step further, note that this set includes possibility that 'All' packages will be opened. Though unlikely, but still possible.

Negating 'All' should give us 'Not All' / 'Some'. But in this case, 'All' is also a possibility. Say for example there were 100 postal employees = All employees. Now negating will give us 1 to 99 (Not All/Some). However, in our case since it is possible that All 100 employees were curious, they can open All mails. Maybe because it's christmas and they are curious to see what gifts are in there.

kinjiGC wrote:
I still don't agree with the OA. I guess there are two assumptions.

premise: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.
Conclusion : It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages

So the postal employees will open the package if postal employees are allowed to open "suspicious" packages.

Option B) Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
Negate option B) Suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of package.
-> That means the postal employees are able to distinguish suspicious packages from normal one and even if they are curious, not "ALL" packages will be opened.

Option E) Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.
If we negate it, obviously the conclusion breaks.

I guess both Option E) and Option B) are assumptions.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2015, 02:31
hubahuba wrote:
Negate option B) Suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of package.
-> That means the postal employees are able to distinguish suspicious packages from normal one and even if they are curious, not "ALL" packages will be opened.

-> I was also confused initially but looking at it again, this is definitely not an assumption. Even if suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of packages, some idle postal employee can still open the package out of curiosity. You already mentioned this above. Going one step further, note that this set includes possibility that 'All' packages will be opened. Though unlikely, but still possible.

Negating 'All' should give us 'Not All' / 'Some'. But in this case, 'All' is also a possibility. Say for example there were 100 postal employees = All employees. Now negating will give us 1 to 99 (Not All/Some). However, in our case since it is possible that All 100 employees were curious, they can open All mails. Maybe because it's christmas and they are curious to see what gifts are in there.

kinjiGC wrote:
I still don't agree with the OA. I guess there are two assumptions.

premise: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.
Conclusion : It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages

So the postal employees will open the package if postal employees are allowed to open "suspicious" packages.

Option B) Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
Negate option B) Suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of package.
-> That means the postal employees are able to distinguish suspicious packages from normal one and even if they are curious, not "ALL" packages will be opened.

Option E) Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.
If we negate it, obviously the conclusion breaks.

I guess both Option E) and Option B) are assumptions.

You mean even if the postmen can distinguish suspicious packages, they can possibly still open ALL of them because they are curious?

Fair enough. I took less than 2 minutes because I didn't bother reading beyond option B.
Can you help me map this passage in a way that it becomes possible to solve in 2 minutes?
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2015, 08:21
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I first map the logical structure with all the premises, intermediate conclusions, main conclusions etc. Then I find the links between premises and premise-conclusion. While doing this I am also thinking of what logical gaps do we have when going from one fact to another fact/conclusion. So with this approach in mind, lets try our luck with this from scratch.

Premise: If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol + due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity --> it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened

Main Conclusion: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages.

Under Premise, you see 3 statements. Statement 1 and 2 are provided as reasons to come to the Intermediate Conclusion (Statement 3). Note, Intermediate Conclusion is never the main conclusion of the argument. Moreover, there can be multiple IC in an arguments. So coming back to the argument, before looking at the answers, lets pre-think what gaps do we have within our logical structure.

We clearly see that following reasoning has something missing, " due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity" --> "it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened". We can easily see "if the postal employees are not curious, then this reasoning falls apart.

Lets compare this with option B. It says that "Suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of package." In the premise logical structure we can clearly see that even if this is not true, we can still have our intermediate conclusion, and hence main conclusion hold true. This is not the assumption. It doesn't impact our logic when negated.

four321zero wrote:
hubahuba wrote:
Negate option B) Suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of package.
-> That means the postal employees are able to distinguish suspicious packages from normal one and even if they are curious, not "ALL" packages will be opened.

-> I was also confused initially but looking at it again, this is definitely not an assumption. Even if suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of packages, some idle postal employee can still open the package out of curiosity. You already mentioned this above. Going one step further, note that this set includes possibility that 'All' packages will be opened. Though unlikely, but still possible.

Negating 'All' should give us 'Not All' / 'Some'. But in this case, 'All' is also a possibility. Say for example there were 100 postal employees = All employees. Now negating will give us 1 to 99 (Not All/Some). However, in our case since it is possible that All 100 employees were curious, they can open All mails. Maybe because it's christmas and they are curious to see what gifts are in there.

kinjiGC wrote:
I still don't agree with the OA. I guess there are two assumptions.

premise: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.
Conclusion : It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages

So the postal employees will open the package if postal employees are allowed to open "suspicious" packages.

Option B) Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
Negate option B) Suspicious packages are distinguishable from all other kinds of package.
-> That means the postal employees are able to distinguish suspicious packages from normal one and even if they are curious, not "ALL" packages will be opened.

Option E) Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.
If we negate it, obviously the conclusion breaks.

I guess both Option E) and Option B) are assumptions.

You mean even if the postmen can distinguish suspicious packages, they can possibly still open ALL of them because they are curious?

Fair enough. I took less than 2 minutes because I didn't bother reading beyond option B.
Can you help me map this passage in a way that it becomes possible to solve in 2 minutes?
Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual   [#permalink] 29 Jan 2015, 08:21

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