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Critical Reasoning: Inference Questions

Ms. Edmonds does not like to see children gossiping about each other on the school grounds. Yesterday, when she overheard Tom gossiping about Jack behind his back, she asked Tom to come over and explained the harm that gossip can cause. Today Ms. Edmonds overheard Dorothy gossiping about Amy behind her back.

Which of the following conclusions is most strongly supported by the information above?



We have no idea what Dorothy is likely to do, as the premises tell us nothing on the subject. The inference you make must be based on the premises.



Since we know Ms. Edmonds chose to talk to Tom (Premise B), rather than expel him for a day, it would be incorrect to infer that Ms. Edmonds is likely to treat Dorothy in such a different manner.

Judging by past experience, Ms. Edmonds is not the type to keep her thoughts on gossiping to herself. Your inference should be a small step forward beyond the premises, not a step in the opposite direction.

Well done!


If Ms. Edmonds doesn't care for gossip (Premise A) and upon hearing it yesterday intervened by way of explanation (Premise B), it makes sense to infer that she may act the same way today, when faced with a similar incident (Premise C).




This answer choice goes beyond the scope of the question. We haven't a clue what the future holds for Amy and Dorothy, and so cannot infer about it.

Ms. Edmonds is likely to expel Dorothy from school for a day.
Ms. Edmonds will probably keep her thoughts on the subject to herself.
Dorothy is likely to burst into tears as a result of a severe reprimand from Ms. Edmonds.
Ms. Edmonds may call Dorothy over and explain the harm that gossip can cause.
Amy is not likely to forgive Dorothy for quite a while.