QUESTION TYPE: Strengthen
CONCLUSION: Ads played on supermarket audio systems work.
REASONING: People that get to supermarket checkouts shortly after ads have played are more likely to purchase products advertised in those ads.
ANALYSIS: This question introduces a correlation between ads and product purchases. But correlation doesn’t prove causation. You need to find an answer that shows the ads actually led to purchases. The alternative explanation is that the spike in purchases was just random.
Note that the ads aired on the supermarket’s audio systems. So the ads were targeting people who were already in the store.
- This doesn’t matter. The stimulus said consumers were “more likely” to purchase. That’s a ratio, like “43%”. It has nothing to do with number, which is what this answer talks about.
- CORRECT. This shows that the ads likely changed behavior. Consumers hadn’t intended to buy, but then they heard in-store ads, and bought. This doesn’t prove the ads were the cause, but it eliminates the alternate explanation that consumers had intended to buy the products before hearing the ad.
- This answer would tend to weaken the argument by showing pre-planning. But, it actually has no impact. Despite the fact that people planned to buy, more people bought after the ad played. So presumably at least some people don’t always buy the product and did buy as a result of the ad.
- So? The author doesn’t require that everyone noticed the ad. They just require that some people noticed the ad and decided to buy.
- This doesn’t really add any info. Imagine an ad for laundry detergent: everyone hears “half-off on laundry detergent”. People don’t buy laundry detergent frequently, but an ad for detergent could nonetheless increase sales.
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