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# It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as

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

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Updated on: 06 Jan 2019, 09:18
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Question Stats:

52% (01:36) correct 48% (01:43) wrong based on 930 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?

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>

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Originally posted by BellTheGmat on 20 Nov 2010, 06:18.
Last edited by Bunuel on 06 Jan 2019, 09:18, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as  [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2013, 14:23
7
2
ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

The wording is quite convoluted, but the main idea is:

Hypothesis: Individual employees open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol probably because of postal employee’s idle curiosity.
KEY word: “without first following a strict protocol” because: although there is strict protocol (it means the opening suspicious packages may not be necessary if the postal employees follow strict protocol), employees still want open the packages. Why? Because they are curious. Make sense
Conclusion: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages.

Assumption: The first reason postal employees open suspicious packages is that they are curious. Or no other reasons make postal employees want to open suspicious packages.
Negate the assumption to confirm: postal employees are not curious when they decide to open suspicious packages. ==> Cannot say “it’s a mistake to give them rights to open suspicious packages”.

ANALYZE EACH OPTIONS:

-Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.
Wrong. Out of scope. Nothing about the right of “service managers”.

-Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
Wrong. The fact that suspicious packages are indistinguishable or distinguishable does not affect “curious” employees, who want to open all suspicious packages (does not matter the packages are distinguishable/indistinguishable). Thus, B is not the assumption.

-The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.
Wrong. Out of scope. Nothing about “the efficiency”.

-There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages.
Wrong. TEMPTING because of the wording, not of the meaning.
The stimulus only says employees open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol because of their curiosity. Let rephrase, although there is strict protocol (it means the opening suspicious packages may not be necessary if the postal employees follow strict protocol), employees still open the packages. Why? Because they are curious. Therefore, If there is no protocol, we do not know they are curious or not.. Hence, D cannot be the assumption.

-Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.
Correct. As stated above.

Hope it helps.
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##### General Discussion
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as  [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2010, 07:45
3
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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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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as  [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2010, 11:46
1
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 discretion as  [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2012, 12:48
1
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 discretion as  [#permalink]

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29 Feb 2012, 00:17
1
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 discretion as  [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2013, 19:17
Hi,

I have a question on option E, which I presume is the OA.

A basic tenet of Assumption question is "it" being not explicitly mentioned in the passage.

Curiosity as a trait is mentioned in the passage as the reason which leads to opening of suspicious packages.

How can then option E be correct?

Regards

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

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12 Aug 2013, 20:15
argha wrote:
Hi,

I have a question on option E, which I presume is the OA.

A basic tenet of Assumption question is "it" being not explicitly mentioned in the passage.

Curiosity as a trait is mentioned in the passage as the reason which leads to opening of suspicious packages.

How can then option E be correct?

Regards

Argha

I think you're correct. An assumption, according to GMAT standards, has some characteristics:
- An assumption is a hidden statement which must be true for a conclusion to hold true.
- We cannot t deduct an assumption simply from given information because it has some new information.

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

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13 Aug 2013, 02:28
argha wrote:
Hi,

I have a question on option E, which I presume is the OA.

A basic tenet of Assumption question is "it" being not explicitly mentioned in the passage.

Curiosity as a trait is mentioned in the passage as the reason which leads to opening of suspicious packages.

How can then option E be correct?

Regards

Argha

I would be careful of such a blanket rule that an assumption must not be mentioned in a passage. While that may often be the case, sometimes the author clearly states an assumption. Here, the author implies curiosity is the reason that causes opening of suspicious packages but nowhere is there evidence provided that this the case--hence it's an assumption. The only "proof" provided is an opinion disguised as an authoritative statement (it would be otherwise if there was a mention of a survey which found that if given the opportunity, postal workers would like to open packages due to curiosity). The conclusion here is that it is a mistake to give the employees discretion, based on a premise that relies on a few assumptions, two of which are directly stated--1) some employees will certainly abuse discretion 2) the reason they will do so is their curiosity and 3) the degree of abuse would be so rampant as to cause ALL packages to be opened (or alternatively, the urge to open could not be resisted).
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as  [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2013, 06:35
pqhai wrote:
ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

The wording is quite convoluted, but the main idea is:

Hypothesis: Individual employees open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol probably because of postal employee’s idle curiosity.
KEY word: “without first following a strict protocol” because: although there is strict protocol (it means the opening suspicious packages may not be necessary if the postal employees follow strict protocol), employees still want open the packages. Why? Because they are curious. Make sense
Conclusion: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages.

Assumption: The first reason postal employees open suspicious packages is that they are curious. Or no other reasons make postal employees want to open suspicious packages.
Negate the assumption to confirm: postal employees are not curious when they decide to open suspicious packages. ==> Cannot say “it’s a mistake to give them rights to open suspicious packages”.

ANALYZE EACH OPTIONS:

-Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.
Wrong. Out of scope. Nothing about the right of “service managers”.

-Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
Wrong. The fact that suspicious packages are indistinguishable or distinguishable does not affect “curious” employees, who want to open all suspicious packages (does not matter the packages are distinguishable/indistinguishable). Thus, B is not the assumption.

-The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.
Wrong. Out of scope. Nothing about “the efficiency”.

-There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages.
Wrong. TEMPTING because of the wording, not of the meaning.
The stimulus only says employees open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol because of their curiosity. Let rephrase, although there is strict protocol (it means the opening suspicious packages may not be necessary if the postal employees follow strict protocol), employees still open the packages. Why? Because they are curious. Therefore, If there is no protocol, we do not know they are curious or not.. Hence, D cannot be the assumption.

-Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.
Correct. As stated above.

Hope it helps.

picked b

Could you explain how it does not matter whether packages are indistinguishable or not. If they are clearly distinguishable employees should not open the other ones and hence all packages may not arrive opened. The argument also says employees are allowed to open only suspicious packages and if we can identify which ones are suspicious not all the packages will arrive opened.

Also e was explicitly stated in the argument.
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as  [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2013, 11:39
ramannanda9 wrote:
picked b

Could you explain how it does not matter whether packages are indistinguishable or not. If they are clearly distinguishable employees should not open the other ones and hence all packages may not arrive opened. The argument also says employees are allowed to open only suspicious packages and if we can identify which ones are suspicious not all the packages will arrive opened.

Also e was explicitly stated in the argument.

Hi ramannanda9

I think you misunderstood a little bit. Do NOT assume "distinguishable" is "suspicious". They are totally different. "Suspicious" does not need to be "distinguishable" and vice versa. The "suspicious" packages may look the same as other packages.

B does not matter because the "suspicious" packages may or may not be distinguishable from all other packages. Hence, B cannot be the assumption.

About E, yes, it is stated in the stimulus. Technically, it "should not" be the assumption per GMAT standards. However, it's the best among all.

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

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01 Jan 2014, 20:49
2
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 discretion as  [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2014, 13:57
1
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 discretion as  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2014, 13:09
2
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 discretion as  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2015, 01:31
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 discretion as  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2015, 07:21
1
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?
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Re: It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as  [#permalink]

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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 discretion as  [#permalink]

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

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03 Mar 2017, 10:21
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 discretion as  [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2017, 12:24
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 discretion as   [#permalink] 03 Mar 2017, 12:24

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