QUESTION TYPE: Principle – Parallel
SITUATION: People sometimes buy stylish winter coats even though those coats are not warm. They do this to seem sophisticated.
PRINCIPLE: People will sometimes sacrifice comfort/pleasure in order to look better.
ANALYSIS: This is fairly straightforward. We have a situation where there is a tradeoff between appearances and comfort.
- A warm coat looks worse.
- A warm coat is more comfortable.
People decide they don’t need the comfort, and go for style. To match this, look for a situation with a clear tradeoff, and where people choose style.
- We don’t know why the person bought the car. It could be to show off, but it could also be because they prefer to be in a private space. (which is comfort)
- There’s no tradeoff in this case between comfort and appearance. The seat is no safer, but it’s not less safe.
- CORRECT. This is a clear tradeoff. The favorite wine clearly offers more comfort (and the advantage of a reduced price). The expensive wine only offers the advantage of seeming stylish.
- This would only have been correct if it had said “because the person wanted to show off her eco-consciousness to her friends”. That would have established a tradeoff between comfort and showing off.
- This uses a different version of “impress”. When you try to impress your friends, you’re looking for social benefits. But when an acrobat impresses the audience, that usually results in good word of mouth and more money for the circus. So there’s no tradeoff.
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