Joseph M. Delghingaro


Accountant/Business Analyst


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Example of using Logic or being Analytical

8 October 2013 | Category: Default | Author: Joe Delghingaro

Tell me about a time when you used logic to aid in deriving an answer? Give an example of when you used analytical skills when solving a problem?

 

This is a question I have been asked many times now in the job hunt.  Prove your analytical or show me you think logically.  It’s a shame that I cannot just give my thought process to answering this question as the example of me being analytical.  I feel I am one of the most analytical people I have met. I am almost incapable of making a decision without assigning some logic to it.  Let's define.

 

Logic – the use of valid reasoning in making a conclusion

 

Analytical - Dividing a situation into its elemental parts and defining a reason based on how those elements interwork with each other

 

It’s funny because logically, the idea of leaning heavily on sound logic could very well be the fabric the makes an argument wrong.  We have few types of logically reasoning that help show this.   Deductive reasoning is the most concrete form of logic because the deduction guarantees the validity of the statement.  If A = B and B = C then A = B (also known as transitive theory).  If my staff is always late to work and Write ups make employees correct their problems, then writing up my staff will make them come in on time.  Easy, but you can’t use this in all problems because to be that definite about a solution is sometimes no possible.  I fell into this problem last weekend, when I found a lump on my dog and proceeded with hysteria for the remainder of the weekend until I could take her to the vet.  Lumps equal cancer and my Dog had a lump; therefore, she has cancer.   Nope, she had a fatty mass that I didn’t realize could exist.  The flaw is the unknown, limiting your scope of a correct answer because you didn’t think of the solution that could have been deduced.

 

Inductive Reasoning is making inferences based on observations and this introduces the possibility of error.  I’ve only seen black cats, so all cats are black.  We know that’s not true, and when you look at the example with my dog you see this is an inference I made about her lump.  However, I didn’t know that at the time and felt that I deduced that logically.  I see most people you this form of logic when making a conclusion.  A person notices a trait or behavior and acts a particular way to try and affect the outcome.

 

The last that I will discuss is abductive reasoning.  You know that two things are related and then abduct the consequence from this.   I have a theory that our customer levels are inelastic, and if we raise all the prices we will retain our price increase and customers. The problem is time or the “4th dimensional” component.  Customers will except the price increase until their contracts expire and then you lose customer base making them inelastic in the short run and elastic in the long run.

 

Finally, I will answer the question.  How do I use logic? Or which form represents how I think?

 

The answer is yes, all of the above.

 

I take a big problem and break it down into its core components.  Then I deduce what I have the knowledge to support and start forming hypothesis' to test the other components.  If something is not testable, I will then infer the answer based on observation.  Now I draft it up and ship it out.

 

Example,

 

Finding a job.

 

Step 1.  We know that finding a job is a daunting task, but in order to do this I break it down into individual parts.

 

1.     Gather the tools to apply

 

2.     Find the positions

 

3.     Apply for the position

 

4.     Follow-up

 

5.     Interview

 

6.     Negotiate terms

 

7.     Accept or reject the position

 

Step 2.  I knew having the right tools to do the job would be invaluable to making the right impression.  I rebuilt my resume and started drafting ideas for cover letters, along the way I noticed that being an accountant is subjective and I did not have enough room to explain my accomplishments.  My website was born.  This would let me give an indefinite amount of information and quantify why I excel at what I do.  As you see looking at the site, it is huge compared to my resume and the user can pull what they want from it.

 

I am actually going to stop there.  Having already demonstrated the use of analytics to break the problem down.  I have used logical reasoning to abduce that creating this website is a means for me to allow employers to get a learn about me.  I also inferred that this is a good thing.  Perhaps I have given too much of myself?

 

The purpose of writing so much about this is to show this question is multilateral. Logical is not always the best choice and sometimes you need to use emotion.  However, knowing the possibilities is what I value the most. On many accords, I have reached out to someone and asked for advice because I knew I had an anchoring bias.  I have also recognized my own hindsight bias and defer my answer to someone else after I present them the facts.  We have all shown a cognitive dissonance when looking to our past and remembering something that we later find out was not as we remembered.  The brain is elusive meaning we want things to fall under black or white.  However, the world is in the grey area and identifying this is paramount.  Explain a time when you used logic to derive an answer?  This blog post. 


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