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#7 - Because of the recent recession in Country A, most

LSAThangman
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I can understand why C is the correct response, but I don't understand why answer choice A is incorrect.

The stimulus states that the readership of magazines has increased, as has the number of financially successful magazines; the info which conflicts is that advertising revenue for the most popular magazines has decreased. I think that option A should resolve that paradox by providing an explanation why advertising revenue has decreased while other measures of magazine success have increased.

I would appreciate it if anyone could explain to me what shortcoming(s) I have missed within answer choice A. Many thanks!
Dave Killoran
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Hi Hangman,

Good question! Let's first start by noting how (C) helps explains both sides of the situation. We can see why the most widely read magazines are going down but there is still a rise elsewhere. As we should see with (A), it doesn't do that for us, and only explains one side.

In (A), if the amount charged for advertisements goes down, you can see why that would threaten any given magazine—it typically means less income coming in. So, I could see that helping with the first part of the paradox. But, if this is the case, I'm still confused why suddenly a bunch of magazines are now financially successful. Shouldn't they have been affected too? Now, if you say they have greater readership, shouldn't that have positively affected the biggest magazines too? In this sense, (A) is an answer that affects both sides equally, and you cannot explain a difference with a similarity. You need a difference (such as the one in (C)) to explain a difference like the one we have in this stimulus.

By the way, since this "you cannot explain a difference with a similarity" is a frequently appearing concept in Resolve questions, let me explain it a bit more. Let's say that we have two students—Marco and Tran—and one receives an A in History and the other receives a C in that same class. While it's not a paradox, it is a difference, and how could we explain such a difference? Would any of the following work?:


    * Both students studied an equal number of hours each week for History.
    * Both students were well-rested for each test in the class.
    * Both students enjoyed the teacher and thoughts she was entertaining and informative.

None of those explain the difference above because they each rest on a similarity between the two students. Instead, to explain the difference in grades, we need something that shows a difference, such as:


    * Marco, the student who received a C, suffers from test anxiety whereas Tran does not.
    * The student with the lower grade in History studied less than any other student.

Both of those answers (and many more we could create) show a difference in the two students that can lead to an explanation. So, the simple lesson for some of the Resolve questions you encounter (the ones with relevant similarities and differences) comes down to:


    You cannot explain a difference with a similarity, you need a difference. And, you cannot explain a similarity with a difference, you typically need a similarity.



Please let me know if that helps. Thanks!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation

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LSAThangman
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Hello Mr. Killoran,


This is exactly the kind of explanation I was looking for. I see what you mean when you say that to resolve a paradox of differences, we generally seek to explain differences between two items rather than shared similarities. I'll look out for this in the future. Thank you so much, again!