Often, a product popularly believed to be the best of its type is no better than any other; rather, the product's rep...

tselimovic on November 8, 2014


Really confused with this one - could you please break it down?

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Naz on November 13, 2014

The conclusion of the argument is: "although there is no harm in paying for status if that is what one wants, one should know that one is paying for prestige, not quality."

Why? We know that often a product is believed to be the best of its type when it is in actuality no better than any other. Rather, it is the product's reputation--which could be independent of its quality--that is giving its owner status.

So, we are saying two different qualities that are independent of each other are being confused with one another: quality and reputation.

Many people think that a product is better because of its quality, when it is merely that the product has a better reputation. The argument says that there is nothing wrong with a product being better merely because of reputation, but that the consumer should know that paying for reputation does not necessarily equate paying for quality.

Answer choice (D) has the same reasoning. Just as in the argument in the stimulus, we have two independent qualities that are being confused for the other: personal charm and virtue.

Just as in the stimulus, it is okay to befriend someone that is merely charming, but they should know that befriending a charming person does not necessarily equate to befriending a virtuous person, i.e. a good and loyal person.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

joryjes on September 7, 2018

I'm having a hard time with the step between reading the stimulus and choosing an answer. Is there a way that you can suggest how to critically assess the stimulus to identify exactly what is happening so that once you hit the answer choices, you're clearer as to what you're looking for?