A survey taken ten years ago of residents of area L showed that although living conditions were slightly below their ...

on June 21, 2019

A, C, D, and E

Could someone please explain why the other answers are incorrect?

Create a free account to read and take part in forum discussions.

Already have an account? log in

Ravi on June 22, 2019


Happy to help. Let’s take a look at (A), (C). (D), and (E).

(A) says, "Residents of area L typically value aspects of living
conditions different from the aspects of living conditions that are
valued by residents of adjacent areas."

With (A), we know that residents of area L currently do care about
things that their neighbors do not care about. However, (A) still
doesn't help us explain the first survey's results from ten years ago,
and explaining those results is necessary in order to resolve the
conflict. Thus, (A) is out.

(C) says, "Optimal living conditions were established in the survey by
taking into account governmental policies and public demands on three

(C) introducing us to a new standard of living conditions doesn't help
us to resolve the results of the survey because we don't know any
information about optimal living conditions. What we're concerned with
is how the residents of area L viewed their living conditions; we
don't care whether they were optimal or not. Thus, (C) is out.

(D) says, "Living conditions in an area generally improve only if
residents perceive their situation as somehow in need of improvement."

The problem with (D) is that we know from the stimulus that the
perceived living conditions in area L declined, which is the opposite
of improving. Additionally, even if we were to argue that the
residents of area L would not have believed there to be a need for
improvement (since they were happy), this would simply mean that they
did not improve (they could've stayed the same and not necessarily
gotten any worse). Thus, (D) is out.

(E) says, "Ten years ago the residents of area L were not aware that
their living conditions were below the national average."

(E) describes the ignorance of area L residents tent years ago, but in
order to help resolve the conflict in the survey, it must explain the
current survey's results of why the residents are dissatisfied now,
and it fails to do this. Thus, (E) is out.

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any other questions!

Brittany on June 25, 2020

How do you know that (A) only applies to the recent study and not the one from 10 years ago?

Shunhe on July 3, 2020

Hi @bcross,

Thanks for the question! So we actually don’t know that (A) only applies to the recent study and not the one from 10 years ago. (A) could apply to the residents of area L in both time periods. But again, the main question we have here is, does (A) help us resolve the paradox? Does it explain why living conditions are relatively more similar but members of residents L went from satisfied to dissastisfied? No, not necessarily. It certainly opens up the possibility but it doesn’t definitively explain it like (B) does. And that’s why (A) has to be incorrect.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.