mshinners
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Atticus Finch
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Q25 - Direct-mail advertising usually consists

by mshinners Fri Dec 31, 1999 8:00 pm

Question Type:
Strengthen

Stimulus Breakdown:
PREMISE: Direct mail is for the purpose of home purchase (online/phone)
purchasing these goods from a store would have used a car/pollutants
CONCLUSION: Direct mail NOT bad for environment

Answer Anticipation:
Essentially, this author is making an argument about a comparison - without direct-mail, there would be less garbage (less paper used), but there would be more car-pollution. But, do we really know there would be more car-pollution in a world without direct-mail? What if, without those direct-mailings, those items simply never got purchased at all? If that were true, then both worlds would have exactly the same amount of car-pollution, but the direct-mail world still has more garbage!

Correct answer:
(B)

Answer choice analysis:
(A) This is actually a weakener! In the direct-mail world, we are actually increasing sales at stores - which could mean increased car pollution in that world! This makes it more likely that direct-mail IS bad for the environment!

(B) Bingo. If we knew that most of these products would have been purchased with or without those direct-mailings, then it makes it more likely that in the world without direct-mail, those purchases mean more car-pollution. Notice that this wouldn't guarantee that direct-mail isn't bad for the environment on average - to do that we'd need to show that the garbage doesn't outweigh the reduced car pollution somehow. But strengtheners don't need to guarantee the conclusion, they just need to make it a bit more likely!

(C) This compares a person who gets direct-mail to a person who sees a magazine ad - and it doesn't tell me anything about WHERE each person buys their product! They could both buy them in stores (car pollution), or they could both buy them online (no car pollution) - no idea! This doesn't tell me anything about the difference between the direct-mail world and the world without any direct-mail.

(One *might* try to argue that this weakens - if magazine ads make you less likely to buy, then maybe a bunch of purchases just don't get made in the world without direct mail. That could mean that each world has the same car pollution, but the direct mail world still has the direct-mail garbage, and direct mail might be more likely to be bad for the environment.)

(D) If this is true, then it means that the direct-mail people are at least attempting to limit the amount of garbage they produce by sending them only to people that they think will respond. But when we compare the direct-mail world to the world without direct mail, it still means the direct-mail world has more garbage from direct mail - it's just not as bad as it could be.

(E) This answer tries to trick you with percents vs absolutes! Saying that the portion of purchases that is because of direct-mail is increasing might make you think that purchases are switching from stores to online/phone (which might be better for the environment). But that's only likely if the whole pie of purchases is staying the same size! instead imagine that last year we had 100 purchases, 10 of which were because of direct-mail (online/phone). Now this year, there are 200 purchases, 110 of which are because of direct-mail (online/phone). The 90 purchases made in stores stays the same.

Looking at these numbers, it would look like even though the online/phone purchases take up a larger proportion, the store purchases are not decreasing - they are staying exactly the same. So, when we turn back to comparing the world of direct-mail to the world without direct-mail, in this situation they would have identical car pollution. In this scenario, the argument is weakened.

So, if (E) were true, there are situations where this would weaken the argument, situations where it would strengthen the argument, and situations where it would do nothing at all - there's no way to know which situation we're in! In other words, the 'increasingly large portion' doesn't actually tell us anything about whether the car pollution is actually decreased in the direct-mail world.

Takeaway/Pattern:
The crux of this argument rests on comparing these two worlds - one with direct mail, and one without - so that we can make a conclusion about the environmental impact of direct-mail. A number of the incorrect answers compare other things - things that aren't relevant to the comparison of these two worlds.

#officialexplanation
 
ShiyuF391
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Vinny Gambini
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Re: Q25 - Direct-mail advertising usually consists

by ShiyuF391 Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:29 am

mshinners wrote:Question Type:
Strengthen

Stimulus Breakdown:
PREMISE: Direct mail is for the purpose of home purchase (online/phone)
purchasing these goods from a store would have used a car/pollutants
CONCLUSION: Direct mail NOT bad for environment

Answer Anticipation:
Essentially, this author is making an argument about a comparison - without direct-mail, there would be less garbage (less paper used), but there would be more car-pollution. But, do we really know there would be more car-pollution in a world without direct-mail? What if, without those direct-mailings, those items simply never got purchased at all? If that were true, then both worlds would have exactly the same amount of car-pollution, but the direct-mail world still has more garbage!

Correct answer:
(B)

Answer choice analysis:
(A) This is actually a weakener! In the direct-mail world, we are actually increasing sales at stores - which could mean increased car pollution in that world! This makes it more likely that direct-mail IS bad for the environment!

(B) Bingo. If we knew that most of these products would have been purchased with or without those direct-mailings, then it makes it more likely that in the world without direct-mail, those purchases mean more car-pollution. Notice that this wouldn't guarantee that direct-mail isn't bad for the environment on average - to do that we'd need to show that the garbage doesn't outweigh the reduced car pollution somehow. But strengtheners don't need to guarantee the conclusion, they just need to make it a bit more likely!

(C) This compares a person who gets direct-mail to a person who sees a magazine ad - and it doesn't tell me anything about WHERE each person buys their product! They could both buy them in stores (car pollution), or they could both buy them online (no car pollution) - no idea! This doesn't tell me anything about the difference between the direct-mail world and the world without any direct-mail.

(One *might* try to argue that this weakens - if magazine ads make you less likely to buy, then maybe a bunch of purchases just don't get made in the world without direct mail. That could mean that each world has the same car pollution, but the direct mail world still has the direct-mail garbage, and direct mail might be more likely to be bad for the environment.)

(D) If this is true, then it means that the direct-mail people are at least attempting to limit the amount of garbage they produce by sending them only to people that they think will respond. But when we compare the direct-mail world to the world without direct mail, it still means the direct-mail world has more garbage from direct mail - it's just not as bad as it could be.

(E) This answer tries to trick you with percents vs absolutes! Saying that the portion of purchases that is because of direct-mail is increasing might make you think that purchases are switching from stores to online/phone (which might be better for the environment). But that's only likely if the whole pie of purchases is staying the same size! instead imagine that last year we had 100 purchases, 10 of which were because of direct-mail (online/phone). Now this year, there are 200 purchases, 110 of which are because of direct-mail (online/phone). The 90 purchases made in stores stays the same.

Looking at these numbers, it would look like even though the online/phone purchases take up a larger proportion, the store purchases are not decreasing - they are staying exactly the same. So, when we turn back to comparing the world of direct-mail to the world without direct-mail, in this situation they would have identical car pollution. In this scenario, the argument is weakened.

So, if (E) were true, there are situations where this would weaken the argument, situations where it would strengthen the argument, and situations where it would do nothing at all - there's no way to know which situation we're in! In other words, the 'increasingly large portion' doesn't actually tell us anything about whether the car pollution is actually decreased in the direct-mail world.

Takeaway/Pattern:
The crux of this argument rests on comparing these two worlds - one with direct mail, and one without - so that we can make a conclusion about the environmental impact of direct-mail. A number of the incorrect answers compare other things - things that aren't relevant to the comparison of these two worlds.

#officialexplanation



I eliminated B because I thought it as a weakener, since if people would still buy those products without DMA, probably by other means such as online shopping, then DMA is basically useless and just adds garbage to the environment. Please help me to see where I got wrong.

Thx.