Sat 20 Jan, 2018 03:47 am
Seeking views on a comprehension question we completed at a corporate conference:
Read the following passage:
“A business man had just turned off the lights in the store when a man appeared and demanded money. The owner opened a cash register. The contents of the cash register were scooped up and the man sped away. A member of the police force was notified promptly.”
Question (answer True; False; or Uncertain/insufficient information):
The following events were included in the story: someone demanded money, a cash register was opened, its contents were scooped out, and a man dashed out of the store.
My answer was false, as the passage doesn’t include the content of the man dashed out of the store.
The official answer is ‘uncertain’, as “We don’t know if the man dashed, walked, or rolled out of the store. We only know that he sped away.”
I disagree, as clearly the question asks if the events were included (that event wasn’t included, therefore false).
Keen for your thoughts and explanation as to why the official answer would be correct?
These questions are not just about what is stated clearly, but also (and importantly) about what can be deduced. It is stated clearly that the robber sped away. You can (and should) deduce that he must have got out of the building to do that, but it is not made clear how, or in what manner, he left the building. Thus the answer given by the organisers is correct.
These questions are tests of verbal reasoning. They are often called "true/false/cannot say" questions.
True - the statement is true as it logically follows on from the information or opinions contained in the passage.
False - the statement is logically false based on the information or opinions contained in the passage.
Cannot say - it is impossible to decide whether the statement is true or false without more information.