Paradox question / Resolve the conflict question

The question from this question type will give you seemingly conflicting statement and you will be asked to choose the statement that solves the conflict.
Common words used in question – Resolves the paradox, resolves the conflict, reconciles the discrepancies, and explain the paradox.
To solve this type of question, first, understand the conflict present in the question. Then come up with a way to solve to conflict. Lastly, eliminate the options, which do not solve the conflict.

Let’s try to solve such questions –

1)
To reduce productivity losses from employees calling in sick. Corporation X implemented a new policy requiring employees to come into work unless they were so sick that they had to go to a doctor. But a year after the policy was implemented, a study found that Corporation X’s overall productivity losses due to reported employee illnesses had increased.

Which of the following, if true, world best explain why the policy produced the reverse of its intended effect?

(A) Alter the policy was implemented. employees more frequently went to the doctor when they felt sick

(B) Before the policy was implemented, employees who were not sick at all often called in sick

(C) Employees coming into work when sick often infect many of their coworkers

(D) Unusually few employees became genuinely sick during the year after the policy was implemented

(E) There are many other factors besides employee illness that can adversely affect productivity

 

Statement –
To reduce productivity losses from employees calling in sick. Corporation X implemented a new policy requiring employees to come into work unless they were so sick that they had to go to a doctor. But a year after the policy was implemented, a study found that Corporation X’s overall productivity losses due to reported employee illnesses had increased.

Identify the conflict –
1) To reduce productivity losses from employees calling in sick. Corporation X implemented a new policy requiring employees to come into work unless they were so sick that they had to go to a doctor.
2) a year after the policy was implemented, a study found that Corporation X’s overall productivity losses due to reported employee illnesses had increased.

Conflict – Even though the policy was intended to decrease the employee calling in sick unless they were so sick that they have to go to the doctor, the productivity losses due to reported employee illnesses had increased.

Identify a Possible Solution –
What if the sick employee coming in office has infected the other employees? If this is true then it solves the conflict.

Eliminate the Option –
(A) Alter the policy was implemented. employees more frequently went to the doctor when they felt sick
This does not solve the conflict. Even though employees more frequently went to the doctor, the number of people calling in sick will not increase. At max, that number will be equal to the number of people calling sick before the policy .

(B) Before the policy was implemented, employees who were not sick at all often called in sick.
If this was true, the new policy should have increased the productivity.

(C) Employees coming into work when sick often infect many of their coworkers.
This is the right option.

(D) Unusually few employees became genuinely sick during the year after the policy was implemented.
If this was true, the new policy should have increased the productivity.

(E) There are many other factors besides employee illness that can adversely affect productivity
This is out of scope. The question talks about productivity loss from employee sickness only.

 

2)
Contrary to earlier predictions, demand for sugarcane has not increased in recent years. Yet, even though prices and production amounts have also been stable during the last three years, sugarcane growers last year increased their profits by more than 10% over the previous year’s level.

Any of the following statements, if true about last year, helps to explain the rise in profits EXCEPT:

(A) Many countries that are large consumers of sugarcane increased their production of sugarcane-based ethanol, yet their overall consumption decreased.

(B) Sugarcane growers have saved money on wages by switching from paying laborers an hourly wage to paying them by the amount harvested.

(C) The price of the oil, the major energy source used by sugarcane growers in harvesting their crops, dropped by more than 20%.

(D) Many small sugarcane growers joined together to form an association of sugarcane producers and began to buy supplies at low group rates.

(E) Rainfall in sugarcane-growing regions was higher than it had been during the previous year, allowing the growers to save money on expensive artificial irrigation.

 

Statement –
Contrary to earlier predictions, demand for sugarcane has not increased in recent years. Yet, even though prices and production amounts have also been stable during the last three years, sugarcane growers last year increased their profits by more than 10% over their previous year’s level.

Identify the conflict –
1) Demand for sugarcane has not increased.
2) Prices and production amounts have been stable during the last three years.
3) Sugarcane growers last year increased their profits by more than 10%.
Conflict –
Even though Demand, prices and production have been stable during the last three years, the sugarcane growers last year increased their profits by more than 10%.

 

Identify a Possible Solution –
This conflict can be resolved by providing information that the cost to sugarcane growers last year has decreased. However the question has asked to choose option that does not resolve the conflict. Hence any option that suggest that the cost of growing sugarcane has decreased will be a wrong option.

 

Eliminate the Option –
(A) Many countries that are large consumers of sugarcane increased their production of sugarcane-based ethanol, yet their overall consumption decreased.
This is the right option, it does not affect the conflict.

(B) Sugarcane growers have saved money on wages by switching from paying laborers an hourly wage to paying them by the amount harvested.
It provides information that the cost related to sugarcane growing has decreased.

(C) The price of the oil, the major energy source used by sugarcane growers in harvesting their crops, dropped by more than 20%.
It provides information that the cost related to sugarcane growing has decreased.

(D) Many small sugarcane growers joined together to form an association of sugarcane producers and began to buy supplies at low group rates.
It also provides information that the cost related to sugarcane growing has decreased.

(E) Rainfall in sugarcane-growing regions was higher than it had been during the previous year, allowing the growers to save money on expensive artificial irrigation.
Similar to option B,C, and D, this option also provides information that the cost related to sugarcane growing has decreased.

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