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Critical Reasoning of Assertion & Reason | Logical Reasoning (LR) and Data Interpretation (DI) - CAT PDF Download

What is Critical Reasoning?

  • Simply put, it is the process of using evidence to evaluate assertions. 
  • In order to reason critically, you must be able to identify assertions and determine the reasons for them. 
  • This involves breaking assertions down into their component parts so that you can analyze them more effectively.
  • One of the most important concepts in critical reasoning is assertion and reason.

Critical Reasoning of Assertion & Reason | Logical Reasoning (LR) and Data Interpretation (DI) - CAT

Types of Critical Reasoning 

Let us see the various types of Critical Reasoning questions that may come up in competitive exams. Let's take a look at them one by one: 

  • Statement & Argument: In these types of critical reasoning questions, a series of statements in which a certain point of view is put up, expressing different opinions for or against something. Candidates need to choose the correct argument from the given one. 
  • Statement & Assumption: In these critical thinking reasoning questions, by reading the given statements, candidates need to take the right decision. Here taking the right decision means selecting the correct assumption. 
  • Statement & Conclusion: In these types of critical reasoning questions, passages or statements will be given followed by some conclusions. Candidates need to take decisions based on these statements and select the correct conclusion from the given ones. 
  • Statement & Course of Action: In these types of critical thinking reasoning questions, a situation will be given as a statement and some probable course of action will be given in the context of that situation. Candidates will be asked to determine, which of them should be followed based on the given statement or event. 
  • Cause & Effect: In these types of critical reasoning questions, two statements will be provided, and candidates need to decide whether the statements given are independent causes or effects of independent cause, or is simply a common cause. 

Assertion and Reason

  • The word “assertion” means a confident and forceful statement of fact or belief when we talk about it as a noun. 
  • In these questions, the candidate is provided with a statement. This statement presents an opinion, a fact, or a comment. We call it the assertion. 
  • The other statement is the reason. These two statements form a pair of reason and assertion statements. 
  • There may or may not be a relation between the two. 
  • The most common misconception is that the assertion is a statement and the reason has to be a defending statement or the cause for it. 

What are the reasons for critical concepts?

The reason is the justification given for assertions. In other words, assertions need reasons in order to be acceptable. This is where critical thinking comes in – being able to ask questions about assertions and reasons in order to determine their validity.

Assertion:
A simple statement

Reason:
Reason is the explanation for the assertion.

In assertion/reason question the options given are:

Study the two statements labeled as Assertion (A) and Reason (R).

Point out if:

(a) Both, A and R, are true and R is the correct explanation of A

(b) Both, A and R, are true but R is not the correct explanation of A

(c) If A is true but R is false

(d) If A is false but R is true

Solved Examples

Directions: For the Assertions (A) and Reasons (R), choose the correct alternative from the following.
Assertion: Crude oil is abundantly found in nature.
Reason: It is the main raw material for all automobiles.
(a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. 
(b) Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A. 
(c) A is true but R is false. 
(d) A is false but R is true. 
(e) If both A and R are false.

Both Assertion and Reason are true but the Reason does not explain the Assertion. Hence, (b) is the answer.

Directions: In the following questions, the Assertions (A) and Reason(s) (R) have been put forward. Read both the statements carefully and choose the correct alternative from the following:

(A) Both the Assertion and the Reason are correct and the Reason is the correct explanation of the Assertion.
(B) The Assertion and the Reason are correct but the Reason is not the correct explanation of the Assertion.
(C) Our Assertion is true but the Reason is false.
(D) The statement of the Assertion is false but the Reason is true.
(E) Both the statements are false.

Assertion: All the crow species are entirely black in colour.
Reason: The colour of the crows is a biological adaptation.

Answer: Well the most rookie mistake that people make is this. They argue that if the assertion and the reason sound similar, the option must be A. 

In other words, the reason must be the correct explanation of the assertion. Let us first check the statements. 

The first statement presents a strong opinion or in other words, a blanket opinion. 

Such opinions are often not correct. For example, if someone says that all insects are small, the statement is incorrect. rather if you say insects are small, the statement is genuine.

Similarly to say that all crows are black is not correct as there are species of the common crow, that are grey in colour. So the assertion is not right. The reason, however, is correct. Therefore the correct option here is D).

Assertion: The Mountains on Moon are way taller than Mount Everest.
Reason: The force of gravity is stronger on Earth than on the moon.

(A) Both the Assertion and the Reason are correct and the Reason is the correct explanation of the Assertion.
(B) The Assertion and the Reason are correct but the Reason is not the correct explanation of the Assertion.
(C) Our Assertion is true but the Reason is false.
(D) The statement of the Assertion is false but the Reason is true.
(E) Both the statements are false.

Answer: The two statements don’t seem to have the same topic but that doesn’t matter. The reason that the height of Everest is not greater than the mountains on the surface of the moon is gravity. The stronger force of gravity on the surface of earth makes sure that the mountains are shorter. Thus the reason and assertion are not only true but the reason is the correct explanation of the assertion. Therefore the answer is A).

Assertion: Humans have evolved from an ape-like species of primates.
Reason: There are many fossils that support the theory of evolution in case of humans.

(A) Both the Assertion and the Reason are correct and the Reason is the correct explanation of the Assertion.
(B) The Assertion and the Reason are correct but the Reason is not the correct explanation of the Assertion.
(C) Our Assertion is true but the Reason is false.
(D) The statement of the Assertion is false but the Reason is true.
(E) Both the statements are false.

Answer: You might be tempted to select A) here but wait, there is caution here. The answer is not A). Of course, humans are evolved from apes and there are fossils that support the theory of evolution. But the reason has to explain why humans have evolved from apes. A simple trick to see if reason explains the assertion is to change the assertion into a question.

For example, here the assertion becomes, “why have humans evolved from apes?” or “How have humans evolved from apes”. The reason doesn’t answer that. So both the statements are correct but the reason is the explanation of the assertion. Therefore the correct option here is B).

Conclusion

  • In conclusion, assertions are statements that are made without any evidence to support them. 
  • They are often used in arguments as a way to try and support one’s point of view, but they are not actually evidence. 
  • Assertions can be questioned to determine their validity, and the reason for making them should be clear. 
  • By understanding these concepts, you can better analyse arguments and determine whether the assertions made within them are valid or not.
The document Critical Reasoning of Assertion & Reason | Logical Reasoning (LR) and Data Interpretation (DI) - CAT is a part of the CAT Course Logical Reasoning (LR) and Data Interpretation (DI).
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FAQs on Critical Reasoning of Assertion & Reason - Logical Reasoning (LR) and Data Interpretation (DI) - CAT

1. What is critical reasoning?
Critical reasoning is a cognitive process that involves analyzing and evaluating arguments or statements for their logical consistency, relevance, and strength. It requires thinking critically and objectively to assess the validity and soundness of an argument.
2. How is critical reasoning different from other types of reasoning?
Critical reasoning differs from other types of reasoning, such as deductive or inductive reasoning, as it focuses specifically on evaluating the logical structure and strength of arguments. While deductive reasoning aims to draw specific conclusions from general premises, and inductive reasoning seeks to make generalizations based on specific observations, critical reasoning aims to assess the validity and strength of arguments themselves.
3. Why is critical reasoning important in exams and academic settings?
Critical reasoning is important in exams and academic settings because it allows students to demonstrate their ability to think analytically, evaluate information objectively, and construct well-reasoned arguments. It helps assess their understanding of the subject matter, their ability to identify logical fallacies, and their capacity to form evidence-based conclusions.
4. How can critical reasoning skills be developed and improved?
To develop and improve critical reasoning skills, individuals can engage in activities such as analyzing arguments, practicing logical reasoning exercises, and actively seeking out diverse perspectives. Reading and evaluating well-constructed arguments, participating in debates or discussions, and seeking feedback from others can also contribute to enhancing critical reasoning abilities.
5. Can critical reasoning be applied outside of academic settings?
Absolutely! Critical reasoning is a valuable skill that can be applied in various contexts beyond academia. It can help individuals make informed decisions, evaluate the credibility of information in everyday life, and engage in constructive discussions or debates. Critical reasoning is particularly useful in professional settings where logical analysis and sound judgment are essential.
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