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An assumption is defined as something which is assumed, supposed or taken for granted. In real life, when someone says something, he does not put everything into words. He leaves a lot of things unsaid, which he takes for granted, which may be defined as an assumption. Implicit means hidden; therefore Implicit Assumptions are those assumptions which are hidden. A typical question on implicit assumptions goes like this:

Directions: In each of the questions below, a statement is followed by two assumptions numbered I and II.An assumption is something supposed or taken for granted. You have to consider the statement and the following assumptions and decide which of the assumptions is implicit in the statement.

Mark answer 1 if the assumption I is implicit;       Mark 2 if only assumption II is implicit;
Mark 3 if either I or II is implicit;                            Mark 4 if neither I nor II is implicit
and Mark 5 if both I and II are implicit.

Statement: “In my opinion, you should get training from an experienced person in order to succeed in life”, X to Y.
Assumptions:    I.Y had asked for advice from X.
    II. Experienced persons are better able to guide a person to the path of success.

The correct answer to the question is 2 i.e. only II is implicit but not I. I is not an implicit assumption because there are many examples in real life when we get advice from a person which we have not asked for. So in this light, I is not definitely valid. But II certainly follows from the statement because if it had not been so, X would not have advised Y to get training from an experienced person. Therefore, it is correct to assume that experienced people make better guides.

Statement: “This CD - ROM is meant to help you learn computers without a teacher”. — an ad in a paper.
Assumptions:    I. Everyone may not be able to get help from a teacher.
    II. Computers can be learnt with the help of a CD-ROM.

In the above, both I and II are valid. The CD-ROM intends to teach computers in the absence of a teacher.This means that the absence of a teacher is a distinct possibility for some people.

Therefore I is valid. The advertiser has come out with a CD-ROM on computers, it definitely implies that he feels that computers can be learnt by CD-ROMs. Hence II is also valid.

Statement: Miss Yukta Mookhey of Bombay has won the Miss Universe contest held in Honolulu.
Assumptions:    I. The result of the Miss Universe contest is out.
    II. The Honolulu Government always permits the holding of such contests.

Now,in this example, I is definitely implied, otherwise, how do we come to know that Yukta has won the contest? The validity of II is doubtful because the statement mentions or implies this fact nowhere. The Honolulu Government may be unfavorable towards such ideas, but could have agreed on the contest this time only. So far, nothing can be derived about the attitude of the Honolulu Government on the basis of the main statement. Therefore, II is not 100% justifiable. Hence, it is not a valid assumption.

Many words used in assumptions can delineate the scope of their meaning. Some of these Stand-Out Words are Only, All,Definitely, Certainly, Strongly, Best, Worst, Exclusively, Most Certainly,Usually, Rarely, Probably etc.  The list here is not exhaustive. But you can get a feel of the point by practicing with such sentences.

Statement: The standard of Indian sports has fallen to abysmal levels and we should make every effort to improve the training facilities for sportspersons
Assumptions: The trend of the falling standards of Indian sports will probably be arrested by improving training facilities.

Undoubtedly,if the writer of the statement is saying that training facilities should be improved in the context of falling standards, it certainly follows that better training should result in an improvement in standards. The assumption is most likely true. But pause for a moment. If the word definitely had been used instead of probably, our assumption would have been invalid because it is not clear from the statement whether training is the only thing responsible for the falling standards of sports.

Statement: The common man’s position remains pitiable despite a massive cut in taxes.
Assumptions: The common man’s position is usually expected to improve as a result of a massive cut in taxes.

The above assumption is valid. Remember this format (when a particular event does not usually occur when another one occurs—indicated by words Even, Despite, In spite of,Notwithstanding, Although, Though)



Statement: India will not achieve economic prosperity unless it adopts the free economy model.
Assumption:  At the moment,India does not have a free-economy model in operation

The above is case of a valid assumption. The word unless indicates ‘as long as it is not there’. All such assumptions are valid.

Statement: Poor people often face a harsh life.
Assumption: There are poor people in the world.

This again is a case of a valid assumption. If poor people do not exist at all, how can we speak of what kind of life they lead? It implies they must exist for the main statement to be true. That is why this assumption is definitely valid.

Statement: His jovial disposition often leads people to brand him as non-serious.
Assumption: One’s true intentions may be misread by other people.

This assumption says ‘may be’ which does not imply a 100% case. But it is very much possible as illustrated by the main statement. Therefore, this is a valid assumption.

Statement: Since you lack talent, you cannot be admitted to this programme.
Assumption: Talent is essential for admission to the programme.

This type of assumption may be classified as ‘cause-and-effect’ type. In this case, the cause is the presence of talent and admission is the effect, which takes place because of talent. In this case, the assumption is valid.

Statement: Although the maximum security cover was provided to the visiting President, yet it could not prevent the mischief from occurring.
Assumption: The maximum security cover is usually sufficient to prevent any mischief.
You can see for yourself that the above assumption is a valid one in the light of the statement.

Statement: In a psychology experiment, a dog, unable to exercise any control on its surroundings because it was tied to a harness, soon developed ulcers. This proves that the cause of ulcers in humans is the lack of control.
Assumption: Humans and dogs behave similarly in similar situations.

This is a case of using similar situations and extending the results of one situation to the other. We call it assumption by analogy. In the above, the assumption made is a valid one.

In case of advertisements/public notices/appeals, the following standard assumptions apply.

1. The ad/appeal/notice does have some effect.
2. In ads, the thing highlighted is desired/expected/looked for by people.
3. For a public notice, the issuing body has the duty of issuing such notices.
4. In case of a public-notice, the advice given must be beneficial or must be reducing the harm caused otherwise.
5. In case of a notice, the results of implementing it will be useful for the issuing body.
6. In the context of an appeal, there are reasons for issuing that appeal.

Now look at the following examples.

Statement: “India _ the only portal that lets you shop under one roof for all your daily needs – right from needles to noodles.”An ad in a paper.
Assumptions:    I. The ad will motivate the readers to buy from the portal
   II. People do not like to go from shop to shop looking for their daily necessities.

In the light of the above discussion, I is valid. II is also valid in this case because if people desire to go from shop to shop looking for necessities, the advertiser would not have highlighted the one-stop shop he is offering.Therefore, sufficient reasons exist to justify the validity of the second statement also.

Statement: “Every worker in this company will report in time from tomorrow onwards”- a company notice.
Assumption:    I.Workers have the ability to understand the notice.
 II. Reporting in time is good for the company’s performance.

Now you can logically conclude that both of the above assumptions are valid.

Statement: “Please count your cash carefully before leaving the cash counter” - a notice at a bank counter.
Assumption: I. It is the duty of the bank to ensure that people get correct amounts of cash whenever they make a transaction at the bank.
II. Unless forewarned, people may not count the cash and may take it to be their correct amount.
In this case again, both the assumptions are valid.

So far, our discussions have focussed on finding valid assumptions. There are certain broad parameters which can help you identify invalid assumptions straightway. In the following section, we will discuss the parameters which can help us sift the invalid assumptions from the valid ones.
Statement: Travel Air-India for Comfort, Timeliness and Economy--An ad in a paper
Assumption: Air-India is the only airline operating there.

It can be easily deduced that the assumption is invalid because the statement does not say or imply that this is the only airline operating in that area.Therefore it can be rejected.

Statement: Airtel is the finest cellphone service in India.
Assumption: All other cellphone services except Airtel are inferior to it.

This assumption is merely a restatement or rephrasal (saying the same thing indifferent words) of the what has been said in the statement. Therefore, it can be rejected straightway. Remember, a re-statement is never a valid assumption.

Statement: Internet is useful to all.
Assumption: Internet is not useless to any one.

Again this is an example of re-statement. Therefore, we can reject it straightway as an invalid assumption.

An assumption will be classified as invalid if it is an inference or conclusion derived on the basis of the main statement. An assumption is something on which the main statement is based while an inference is itself based on the main statement.Look at the following example

Statement: Appeals to people to donate generously for a cause are useless if one does not practice what one preaches.
Assumption: Practicing something which one preaches is essential for achieving that thing.
Now this is a conclusion which follows from the main statement. And since we are looking for assumptions, we can reject it straightway as an invalid assumption.


Statement: The Income-Tax Department has introduced a simplified system for filing returns by the assessees.
Assumption: I. The assessees will welcome the new step.
                  II. The Income-Tax authorities had studied the oldsystem carefully before discarding it.

Both of these are far-fetched conclusions, which arenot justified by the main statement. They appear be probably correct, but they are quite far-fetched. Therefore, they can be rejected as invalid assumptions straightway.

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