QUESTION TYPE: Paradox – Exception
FACTS: Downsizing affected corporate job security in the 1980s and 1990s. Yet in 1984 58% of employees said they felt secure and in 1994 55% said they felt secure. (The percentage barely changed despite a long period of downsizing.)
ANALYSIS: This can be a hard question. It shows why it is important to keep in mind exactly what the stimulus is talking about: people’s perception of how safe their own jobs are. The jobs of other people are irrelevant (answer choice B.)
- The survey sample was biased in favor of companies where few people were at risk. This helps.
- CORRECT. The employees were asked about how secure their own jobs were. This talks about the jobs of others. It’s irrelevant.
- This shows that people already felt insecure and weren’t surprised by the downsizing.
- This means that in 1984 most of the bad stuff hadn’t happened. Then by 1994 it had been nine years since bad stuff happened. So people could feel optimistic again.
- So the downsizing would have made them more pessimistic but the general mood made them more optimistic. The effects balanced out.
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