People aged 46 to 55 spend more money per capita than people of any other age group. So it is puzzling that when comp...

on December 9, 2019

Please explain why D is correct.

I am very confused how the correct answer explains the puzzling facts in the stimulus.

1 Reply

Andrea on December 10, 2019

Hi @JShahar,

Good question. This question stem asks us, in other words, to resolve the paradox/explain the incongruous circumstances given above. Essentially, what that means is that we should expect to be given two sets of circumstances that are seemingly incompatible with each other, and to solve the problem, select an answer choice that best explains how the seemingly incompatible circumstances could both be true together.

Let’s dive into this stimulus.

We’re first told that the people who spend the most money are middle aged adults (46 to 55). For that reason, then, it’s puzzling that companies focus their advertising on a different age group, specifically the young adults aged 25 and under.

Remembering what the primary objective for this question stem is (what we discussed above), think about why that might be the case. Thinking critically about the conundrum given, a couple ideas float into my mind:

1. Just because middle aged adults spend the most money, doesn’t mean people aged under 25 don’t spend a lot. It could be the case that the reason middle aged adults spend the most money is because they’re buying bigger purchases like homes, which are typically not advertised on TV. What if it’s the young adults, fresh out into the world with limited financial obligation, who have the most extra cash to spend?

2. The middle aged adults spend the most money, yes, but we still don’t know what they spend it on or why they spend. It could be the case that the middle aged adults, more traditional in their thinking, have pre-established brand loyalties to the products they’ve been using their whole lives since they were young adults. Maybe it’s the young adults who are most vulnerable to advertisement, because they have had fewer years to establish a tightly held brand loyalty. If that were the case, the advertisers would potentially be making a smart decision trying to catch a customer while they’re young and ideally, keeping them for decades to come.

These are just a few ideas. However, there are countless what-if scenarios you could explore in your head. For these questions, really try to ask yourself, “Why?” when you’re given puzzling circumstances. The right answer will address one possible reason why two seemingly incompatible ideas could be at play together, and the wrong answers will beat around the bush and miss this point.

A) As touched upon above, this is relying on information we don’t have. We don’t know which group is “most likely” to purchase their products from the information in the stimulus.
B) This is preying on some familiar ideas from the stimulus, but not putting them together the right way. We don’t have information about news programs or sitcoms to be able to draw any conclusions with this answer choice.
C) Like above, ratings and renewals are out of the scope of the information we are given. Remember, the goal is to explain why advertisers target a group that is not the group that spends the most money.
D) Bingo! This looks a bit like prediction 2 from above, doesn’t it? Brand loyalty? This explains why advertisers would focus on a group that isn’t the one that spends the most money.
E) Like the other wrong answers, what happens in print media is totally off topic. We want to address the situation in the stimulus, and this answer choice is addressing a different situation.

Hope this helps! Feel free to follow up if you have any other questions.