An Uncritical Inference Test
Based on the work of William V. Haney
Carefully read the brief story which follows. Assume
that all of the information presented in the story is definitely accurate
and true. Next, read the statements following the story. If the statement
is definitely true based on the information presented in the story, mark
the statement with a "T". If the statement is definitely false based on
the information presented, mark the statement with an "F". If the true
or false answer cannot be determined based on the information presented,
mark the statement with a "?". You may refer back to the story whenever
you wish. But you must answer the questions in order, and once answered,
you can't go back and make changes.
Stephanie and her friend walked
into the music store after lunch. Stephanie wanted to buy the new
CD by the group, "No Girls Allowed". There was only one other person in
the store when Stephanie and her friend arrived. Stephanie asked, "How
much is this CD?" Stephanie's friend said, "Here, let me see it. I don't
think he heard you. This tag says it costs $11.99."
1. Stephanie wanted to buy a CD.
2. Stephanie and her friend ate
3. Stephanie owns a CD player.
4. There was only one boy in the
5. Two girls walked into a music
6. There are no boys in the "No
Girls Allowed" group.
7. Stephanie and her friend are
8. The store's owner didn't hear
Stephanie because the music was too loud.
9. Stephanie had enough money to
buy the CD.
10. The "No Girls Allowed" CD cost
11. The owner of the store is a
12. Stephanie wanted to buy a CD
as a gift.
13. One of the CDs costs $11.99.
14. There were two boys in the
15. The clerk was hard of hearing.
easy? Did you notice how you projected information into this simple
story which wasn't stated as 'fact'? In every encounter or situation we
face, we bring our past experiences to it in the form of unstated, usually
unconscious assumptions and premises. We draw inferences based on
these assumptions about the situation as if they were fact. Many
times we cause problems for ourselves and others when we confuse our inferences
with the 'facts', and when we don't recognize our projections as projections.