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Inferences and Assumptions

            Life is an entangled web of decisions, both good and bad. Oftentimes one will arrive to a decision based on prior knowledge, a judgement based on events from the past. An assumption is made when one subconsciously uses prior knowledge to form a judgment about a current situation[CITATION Pau11 l 1033 ]. Once a judgment is reached, an inference consciously presents itself and a decision has been made[ CITATION Pau11 l 1033 ]. Humans make assumptions and inferences regularly, often without any conscious awareness; that is what makes assumptions so questionable. People tend to form biased opinions or assumptions without as much as a second thought. Even though assumptions and inferences can be biased and questionable, they are essential to communication and the decision making process to which one's life depends.
             Assumptions are beliefs formed by something previously experienced and are rarely questioned, whereas inferences are formed from one's assumptions and while sometimes questioned may be proper or improper[ CITATION Pau11 l 1033 ]. For example, one might assume that all car accidents are caused by careless people. This is belief based on the idea that if every driver were paying attention while driving, accidents could be avoided. This assumption is not often debated and leads to an inference. Upon witnessing a car accident, one would infer that one or more drivers was not paying attention and caused the accident. The problem with this assumption and inference is that unforeseen and unpreventable events occur regularly and that is not taken into account. Perhaps a deer ran out in front of a driver causing him or her to stop immediately and the following driver to hit the person attempting to avoid the deer. No amount of attention could ever prevent every single accident from happening and yet assumptions are made and inferences are met about the car accident.
             One might assume that high crime areas are riddled with drugs.

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