Fact, Inference or Judgement


Introduction

Any statement can belong to one of the three types. Fact, inference or judgment. In this category of questions in CAT, you are expected to figure out which type it is.

Facts

• Can always be verified
• Facts are events which have occurred or results which have been observed
• Since they need to occur in order to become a fact, facts can not be based
in the future.
• May contain consequences, but even these can be verified. See example 1 below.

Examples of a Fact:

1.The government has been supplying free drugs since 2004, and 35 000 have benefited up to now- though the size of the affected population is 150 times this number.
2.Only about 13 million children in the age group of 6 to 14 years are out of school.
3.The truth is that we have more red tape- we take eighty- nine days to start a small business, Australians take two.
4.The economies of the industrialized western world derive 20% of their income from the sale of all kinds of arms.

Inference and judgment unlike facts are not real happenings or situations. They are some kind of a conclusion that we arrive at based on the facts. What then, is the difference between an inference and a judgment?

Inference or Judgment?

Judgments are arguable and contestable. Inferences are rock solid. Although both judgments and inferences are based on facts, in the latter the conclusion is so unquestionable that it becomes fact itself.

Inferences

• Are conclusions drawn based on facts.
• Are logical consequences concluded from evidence.
• They always appear along with facts. They are not baseless statements and are not questionable

Examples of Inference

1. The recent initiatives of networks and companies like AIDScare Network, Emcure, Reliance-Cipla-CII, would lead to availability of much-needed drugs to a larger number of affected people.
2. According to all statistical indications, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has managed to keep pace with its ambitious goals.
3. Every red tape procedure is a point of contact with an official, and such contacts have the potential to become opportunities for money to change hands.
4. Even without war, we know that conflicts continue to trouble us- they only change in color.

Judgments
• Are opinions, suggestions and recommendations
• Include a lot of quantities that cannot be measured, such as happiness, beauty, joy etc.
• Many a times, judgments are not accompanied by facts at all but are only opinion statements. When there is no fact involved, the statement can only be a judgment statement.
• A judgment is an honest attempt to make reasonable observations about the given facts but they do not conclusively prove anything.

Examples of Judgments:

1. So much of our day-to-day focus seems to be on getting thins done, trudging our way through the tasks of living- it can feel like a treadmill that gets you nowhere; where is the childlike joy?
2. We are not doing things that make us happy; that which brings us joy; the things that we cannot wait to do because we enjoy them so much.
3. This is the stuff that joyful living is made of- identifying your calling and committing yourself wholeheartedly to it.
4. When this happens, each moment becomes a celebration of you; there is a rush of energy that comes with feeling completely immersed in doing what you love most.

Question Format

The question consists of some statements.
Each is either a fact or an inference or a judgment.
You are expected to determine which is which and match the order with the four options that follow.

Sample Questions

E.g. 1

(1) In its 15th report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice has recommended creation of an all India judicial service (AIJS) on the pattern of the All India Civil Services and directed the Law Ministry to take immediate steps for setting up such a service.
(2) As of now, while most government departments have all India service recruits, selected after an all India competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission every year, the judiciary is the only set-up that does not have an all India selection process.
(3) In this scheme of things, the measure of uniformity in the standards for selection will improve the quality of personnel in different High Courts.
(4) The quality of dispensation of justice will also improve considerably right from the bottom to the top.

(1) FIJI (2) FFJJ (3) FIIJ (4) IFJI (5) JIIJ

Answer: 2

E.g. 2

1. Recently nicotine, the main chemical additive in cigarettes, was declared addictive by the Food and Drug Administration.
2. This explains why smokers continue to use cigarettes even though smokers are aware of the constantly warned about health dangers in cigarettes.
3. Studies show that this year alone cigarettes will kill over 420,000 Americans, and many more will suffer from cancers, and circulatory and respiratory system diseases.
4. Thus, it’s high time that cigarettes be banned in the country.

(1) FIJI (2) FFJJ (3) FIIJ (4) FIFJ

Answer: 4