A hardware store generally sells roughly equal numbers of Maxlast brand hammers and Styron brand hammers. Last week, ...

Cirrus on December 3, 2019

Why is A correct and B incorrect?


3 Replies

Ben on December 3, 2019

Hi Cjahangiri, thanks for the question!

For Paradox questions, we are trying to find the new piece of information that will allow two seemingly incompatible items/events to occur together.

How is it possible that Styron hammers outsold Maxlast hammers when they typically sell in roughly equal numbers and the Maxlast hammers were put in a display case and at promotional pricing, while the Styron hammer remained unchanged?

Answer choice A provides a very good solution to this paradox. It says that people don't pay attention to merchandise in the first 5 seconds that they walk into a store. Considering the display case was placed just inside the store entrance, in those 5 seconds that people are unaware, they are walking right by the discounted hammer. This would explain its decreased sale relative to the Styron hammer.

Answer choice B may seem reasonable because it might be easy to assume that people chose the full price hammer (Styron) because it is of better quality and that company may have better customer service. However, the stimulus does not talk at all about the difference in quality and/or service of the two hammers, and gives no reason to suspect that one is superior to the other in either respect. That is why it doesn't solve the paradox. We simply don't know which hammer is superior, nor do we know if there is a difference at all between the hammers, other than brand.

I hope this helped, please let me know if you have any other questions.

Daniel on February 17, 2020

Following up on this, I don't understand how choice A solves the paradox, since the hammers were still discounted. Even if the display was not effective, this doesn't explain why the discount wasn't. Answer choice B seems to resolve both aspects of the paradox by offering an alternate explanation, namely the patrons had an alternative motive for selecting Styron over Maxlast. Could you please explain, thanks!

Daniel on April 8, 2020

Bumping up for an explanation, thanks