Fact, Inference, Judgement


FIJ looks like a simple topic, but often makes students commit mistakes.  Let us have a look at the definitions of FIJs and related concepts. 

Fact: Facts, which deal with the pieces of information that one has heard, seen or read, and which are open to discovery or verification.
Also fact is something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed.  The wording here is very important.  Fact is a piece of information known to people, but may not be true.  For example, "The sun revolves around the earth" is a fact at that time, but not now. 


Judgement: Judgements, which are opinions that imply approval or disapproval of persons, objects, situations and occurrences in the past, the present or the future.
So judgements are personal opinions and subjective.  The following information is helpful in classifiying judgements
1. Statement that imply "approval" or "disapproval"
What a magnificent view!, 
2. Statements that "impose compulsion" using should or must 
You should work harder
3. Statement that "compare" non - measurable things
He is the best boy in class
4. Statements modify the nature of attributes.
You are running very slowly
5. Statements of prediction using will or shall
I will become the Captain of the team
6. Proverbs and maxims which are not universal truths
Honesty is the best policy (how do we verify?)

Inference: Inferences, which are conclusions drawn about unknown, on the basis of the known.
1. Results of some action taken or incident taken place.
Ever since the bridge collapsed, the villagers are facing a big problem to go to town
2. Expectations or possibilities of something happenning as a result of something else.
If there is an earthquake, people will be killed
3.  Any proverb that functions on cause and effect
An apple a day, keeps the doctor away

How to answer these questions: Judgements can be identified by observing the tone of the sentence along with the key words discussed above.  If the statement has been given by an individual and a personal compositon, may not be accepted by others, then it is a judgement.  A statement is a fact which can be verified by the "senses".  Otherwise it is a judgement. If a judgement is based on some facts, then it is an inference. 
Let us have a look at some examples:

Example - 1

1.  So much of our day-to-day focus seems to be on getting things 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 the 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.
(1)  IIIJ
(2)  IFIJ
(3)  JFJJ
(4)  JJJJ
(5)  JFII
  1. So much of our day-to-day focus seems to be on getting things done, trudging our
way through the tasks of living - it can feel like a treadmill that gets you nowhere;
where is the childlike joy? 
Statement 1 states, “It can feel like a treadmill that gets you nowhere”. This is a personal view point. so Judgement. 
2. We are not doing the things that make us happy; that which brings us joy; the things that we cannot wait to do because we enjoy them so much. 
Statement 2 is a personal viewpoint not necessarily agreed by many. It is a judgment.
3. This is the stuff that joyful living is made ofidentifying your calling and committing yourself wholeheartedly to it.
Statement 3 is an opinion, neither verifiable or directly experienced. It is a judgement. 
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.
Statement 4 is someone’s personal assessment of his own experience.  This cannot be verified. It is also a judgment.
Hence, the correct answer is option 4.



Example - 2

1. Given the poor quality of service in the public sector, the HIV/AIDS affected should
be switching to private initiatives that supply anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) at a low
cost.
2.  The government has been supplying free drugs since 2004, and 35000 have
benefited up to now œ though the size of the affected population is 150 times this
number.
3.  The recent initiatives of networks and companies like AIDS Care Network, Emcure,
Reliance-Cipla-CII, would lead to availability of much-needed drugs to a larger
number of affected people.
4.  But  how ironic   it is   that  we should face  a   perennial   shortage   of   drugs  when
India   is   one of   the world‘s largest suppliers of generic drugs to the developing
world.
(1)  JFIJ
(2)  JIIJ
(3)  IFIJ
(4)  IFFJ
(5)  JFII

The given options require you to evaluate statement 1 as either a Judgment or an Inference. ‘Given the poor quality of services in the public sector … ’ is more of a judgement than a fact.  Eventhough "poor quality" of service in publicsector is known to us,  the same opinion cannot be agreed by everyone.   Even I have seen personally there are some public sector hospitals provide the same world class facilities to poor at no cost.   Based on this the judgement  “should be switching….” is also a judgement.  Remember, A conclusion drawn from a fact is an inference, but drawn from a judgement is still a judgement. Statement 1 is a judgment. This eliminates option 3 and 4.
The numbers in statement 2 are a result of direct verification. Hence it is easy to see that statement 2 is a fact. This eliminates option 2.
Evaluating options 1 and 5 both of which say statement 4 is an inference, one has to now establish whether statement 5 is an inference or a judgment (as per the options 1 and 5).
“ … how ironic it is..” is neither verified nor verifiable through facts. Statement 4 is a judgment.
Hence, the correct answer is option 1. 
Statement 3 is an inference as Initiatives (which is a fact) lead to availability of much-needed drugs to a larger number of affected people. (which is a judgement)

Example - 3

1.  According to all statistical indications, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has managed to keep pace with its ambitious goals. 
2.  The Mid-day Meal Scheme has been a significant incentive for the poor to send their little ones to school, thus establishing the vital link between healthy bodies and
healthy minds. 
3.  Only about 13 million children in the age group of 6 to 14 years are out of school. 
4.  The goal of universalisation of elementary education has to be a pre-requisite for the evolution and development of our country.
(1)  IIFJ
(2)  JIIJ
(3)  IJFJ
(4)  IJFI
(5)  JIFI 
Statement 1 is an inference. “According to statistical indications ….” tells us that what follows is based on statistics, hence an inference. This eliminates options 2 and 5.
*In statement 2 (to be evaluated as Judgement or Inference), ‘significant incentive’ is a judgement,(How much significant can be verified though statistical data, then this statement is an inference but not a fact). ‘the vital link" between healthy bodies and healthy minds’ cannot be verified. Hence, it is a judgment.
Options 3 and 4 remain. The options state that sentence 3 is Fact. Sentence 4 to be evaluated as either an Inference or a Judgement. “… has to be a prerequisite for the evolution….” cannot be verified from facts making sentence 4 a Judgment. Hence, the correct answer is option 3.


Example - 4

1.  We should not be hopelessly addicted to an erroneous belief that corruption in India is caused by the crookedness of Indians.
2.  The truth is that we have more red tape  - we take eighty-nine days to start a small business, Australians take two.
3.  Red tape leads to corruption and distorts a people‘s character.
4.  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.
(1)  JFIF
(2)  JFJJ
(3)  JIJF
(4)  IFJF
(5)  JFJI
Several things make statement 1 a judgment – 'should not be', 'hopelessly addicted', 'erroneous belief', and ‘crookedness of Indians’; none of them are facts, nor verifiable inferences.
Statement 2 is a combination of inference and facts. ‘we have more red tape’ is an inference, but "the truth is" clarifies that the author take it for granted as there is more redtape and sites an example ‘we take 89 days etc..” which is a fact. Author is not drawing the conclusion from the statistical example, but after confirming we have more redtape just giving an example. Since the thrust of the statement is based on the facts it has to be classified as a fact. Therefore options 3 and 4 are eliminated.
Options 1, 2 and 5 remain. Statement 3 is classified in both options 2 and 5 as a Judgement. and surely this is a personal opinion.  Distortion of personal character is a subjective opinion.
Statement 4 is to be evaluated a Judgement or an Inference. The first part of sentence 4 is a fact. In the second part, ‘potential’ is inferred based on facts/experiences. Hence it is an inference. This eliminates options 1 and 2.
Hence, the correct answer is option 5.


Example - 5

1.  Inequitable distribution of all kinds of resources is certainly one of the strongest and most sinister sources of conflict. 
2.  Even without war, we know that conflicts continue to trouble us - they only change in character. 
3.  Extensive disarmament is the only insurance for our future; imagine the amount of resources that can be released and redeployed. 
4.  The economies of the industrialized western world derive 20% of their income from
the sale of all kinds of arms.
(1)  IJJI
(2)  JIJF
(3)  IIJF
(4)  JIIF
(5) JIF
The first sentence is to be evaluated as a Judgement or an Inference. ‘Most sinister’ is neither verified nor verifiable. It is clearly an opinion, making it a Judgement. This eliminates options 1, 3 and 5.
Evaluating options 2 and 4, one has to decide whether statement 3 is an Inference or a Judgment. ‘Only insurance’ is neither a verified fact nor a verifiable inference. Hence it is a judgment, which eliminates option 4.
Statement 3 is an inference.  We could say  "conflicts continue to trouble us" only from our past experiences. 
Hence, the correct answer is option 2.