# What is a real-world example of a conditional statement with a positive and negative converse?

A conditional statement is a statement that is stated in "if/then" format. This kind of statement is something that is often used to write a hypothesis in science. The hypothesis can be created before a test is ever imagined, and the test is then designed to test the hypothesis. On...

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A conditional statement is a statement that is stated in "if/then" format. This kind of statement is something that is often used to write a hypothesis in science. The hypothesis can be created before a test is ever imagined, and the test is then designed to test the hypothesis. On the other hand, the test might be known, and the conditional statement (hypothesis) is then used to predict the outcome of the experiment.

I watched a TED Talk from Harvard Professor Michael Norton in 2014 that has a great conditional statement:

If you believe “money can’t buy happiness,” then you’re not spending it correctly.

This conditional statement then led to a great experiment in which Norton's test gave people either \$5 or \$20 and asked them to spend it on either themselves or someone else by the end of the day. The thinking is that how a person spends the money will directly contribute to his or her happiness. From that initial setup, some conditional statements can be made.

If a person spends the money on himself, he will be happier at the end of the day.

The negative converse would then be:

If a person doesn't spend the money on himself, he will be happier at the end of the day.

Interestingly, the experiment supports the second statement. Norton discovered that the people that gave their money away were happier, but those who spent it on themselves felt the same.

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It is best to start with definitions. A conditional statement is otherwise known as an if/then construction. These constructions are very useful, because you can make hypothetical statements. Writing can become more precise this way.

Since you want a real life example, let me give you an example from an article from the New York Times.

In an article dated to September 6th, we read the following words:  "If the German quota system highlights a possible path to a European solution, it is also laying bare the many pitfalls along the way."

If you want to write the converse of the above sentence, you can write:

"If the German quota system is laying bare the many pitfalls along the way, then it is also highlighting a possible path to a European solution."

If you want to make the converse negative, you can write:

"If the German quota system is not laying bare the many pitfalls along the way, then it is also highlighting a possible path to a European solution."

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