Deductive and Inductive Reasoning Study Guide for McGraw-Hill's Police Officer Exam (page 3)
Deductive reasoning is the ability to apply general rules to a specific situation. The three most common types of questions involving the use of deductive reasoning are applying verbal rules/procedures, applying quantitative rules, and interpreting laws.
Applying Verbal Rules/Procedures
This type of question is usually presented as a list of rules or procedures or classifications followed by a scenario. The applicant must choose the rule that best fits the scenario.
Emergency Equipment Use
Image Officer Parker has been dispatched to the scene of an accident with a possible injury. What level of emergency equipment use is procedurally permitted?
(A) No emergency equipment
(B) Lights only
(C) Lights and sirens
(D) Sirens only
The correct answer according to the procedures is C.
Applying Quantitative Rules
This type of question is usually presented as a numerical word problem.
Fees for exceeding maximum speed limits:
- 1–10 miles per hour (mph) over the limit, $30
- 11–20 mph over the limit, $30 plus $6 per mph over 10 mph over the limit
- 21–30 mph over the limit, $90 plus $9 per mph over 20 mph over the limit
- 31 and more mph over the limit, $180 plus $15 per mph over 30 mph over the limit
Officer Maxwell has issued a speeding citation for 45 mph in a 30 mph zone. If mandatory court costs are $50, which of the following equations will provide an accurate amount of the total cost of the citation?
(A) 30 + 50
(B) 30 + (6 × 5) + 50
(C) 15(45 − 31) + 30 + 50
(D) 15(15) + 30 + 50
The correct answer is B. The citation was for 15 mph over the posted speed limit. The rule states that the fine is $30 + $6 for every mile over 10 mph, which is 15 − 10 = 5 miles. So $30 + ($6 × 5) + the court costs ($50).
This type of question involves reading the definition of a law or a series of similar laws. Then you will be given a scenario. The question will ask you either to determine if the act described in the scenario matches the definition provided, or to match the act described in the scenario to one of a list of criminal definitions. Example
Theft: A person commits the offense of theft if he unlawfully appropriates the property of another with intent to permanently deprive the owner of the use of the property.
Which of the following scenarios best represents an example of theft?
(A) Tara takes her neighbor's lawn chairs without asking to use during her dinner party.
(B) Tara takes her neighbor's child because she wants one of her own.
(C) Tara finds a $100 bill lying on the sidewalk near her house. She picks it up and keeps it.
(D) Tara finds her neighbor's poodle that has wandered into Tara's backyard. She brings the poodle into her house and keeps it. The correct answer is D. Answer A does not involve intent to permanently deprive, Answer B does not involve taking property, and Answer C does not involve unlawfully taking or appropriating the property of another. Therefore, the answer is D, in which Tara takes the poodle into her house and keeps it. Inductive Reasoning Inductive reasoning is the ability to reason from the specific to the general. For example, a police officer must often look at a specific situation, rule, or concept and see the similarities to a group of other situations or concepts. For this reason, law enforcement tests seek to assess your ability to find a rule or concept that applies to a specific fact pattern.
Police Officer Ludwig received three reports of home break-ins that all occurred in the same neighborhood during the week of June 15–21. Each report included a description of a suspect(s).
On June 22nd another report of a home break-in was received. In this case, however, the four young men living in the house surprised the suspect, tackled him to the ground, and held him there while they waited for the police to arrive. Police found items from the young men's home in the suspect's car. The description of the suspect in this break-in is:
Based on the description of the suspects in the first three reports, the suspect in Report No. 4 should also be considered a suspect in:
(A) Report No. 1, but not report Nos. 2 or 3
(B) Report No. 2, but not report Nos. 1 or 3
(C) Report Nos. 1 and 3, but not report No. 2
(D) Report No. 3, but not report Nos. 1 or 2
The answer is A. The suspects in reports No. 2 and No. 3 do not match the description of the individual in report No. 4.
This ability area requires you to apply rules to a factual situation in order to determine the correct or best order to resolve that situation.
Example Upon arrival at the scene of a building with an activated burglar alarm, the officer should:
- Note any open doors or windows and note whether the rooftop would be a possible point of exit. Maintain radio connection to dispatch.
- Note any people visible in the area and any suspicious behavior. But do not disregard individuals acting in a non-suspicious manner.
- When all evidence suggests that the burglar(s) are still at the scene, a determination should be made as to whether civilians are in danger. If the burglars are visible, dispatch should be provided with a physical description. If no civilians appear to be in danger, the officer should plan a strategy to block any escape, including disabling an apparent getaway vehicle.
- Wait for back-up before entering any structure unless a civilian is clearly in danger and you have a real opportunity to assist without unnecessary danger to yourself or others at the scene. It is preferable for the burglar to exit the building and leave rather than for the officer to enter an occupied building and possibly create a hostage situation.
- While waiting for back-up, place yourself in a position that provides you the greatest possible view of the interior and exterior of the building, and any possible points of entrance or exit.
Officer Lutz arrives at the scene of a building with an activated burglar alarm. She can clearly see through the front windows of the building that two individuals are removing money from a damaged cash register. What should Officer Lutz do next?
(A) Fire her service weapon through the front of the building at the suspects.
(B) Plan a strategy for blocking an escape.
(C) Enter the structure with her service revolver drawn.
(D) Approach the front of the building and call out to the suspects to surrender.
The answer is B according to the procedures set forth above. Officer Lutz discovered two suspects in the building that she could watch without entering the building. No civilians appeared to be in immediate danger.
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