Junk mail

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Junk mail

by navdeepbajwa » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:06 am
Every day the mailboxes of America are filled with solicitations provided by the direct marketing industry. America's response to this deluge has been strangely mixed. On the negative side, poorly executed direct marketing produces unwanted, annoying and wasteful solicitations, also known as "junk mail." Also, aggressive direct marketing techniques, aided by new tools in technology, represent a serious threat to informational privacy. Sophisticated computer matching programs can produce intrusive personal profiles from information which, standing alone, does not threaten individual privacy.
The 1991 Harris-Equifax Consumer Privacy Survey addressed popular attitudes towards direct mailing practices and their impact on informational privacy. When asked how they viewed direct mail offers in general, 46 percent of the respondents said they were a "nuisance," 9 percent considered them to be "invasions of privacy," and only 6 percent said they were "useful." But if Americans have such a negative opinion of the direct marketing industry, they have a strange way of showing it. Direct mail advertising expenditures rose from $7.6 billion in 1980 to $23.4 billion in 1990. The laws of the market dictate that companies would not have made these efforts without prospects of success. Moreover, almost half of the citizens surveyed who considered direct mail offers to be "invasions of privacy" had themselves bought something in response to a direct mail ad in the past year.
Analysis of this seeming contradiction reveals the central problem of regulation in this industry: everyone hates receiving "junk mail," and everyone ought to be concerned about informational privacy. Still, direct marketing offers real advantages over other means of shopping. Even those who believe that the direct mailing industry has a generally negative societal impact probably would prefer to remain on some mailing lists. We like shopping by mail, and we don't want to throw out the good with the bad.


1 Which one of the following, if true, would best strengthen the author's explanation of the "seeming contradiction" expressed in line 35?
(A) Awareness of commercial infringements on the rights of citizens has never been higher.
(B) The number of people on more than one mailing list has increased in direct proportion to the increase in direct marketing expenditures.
(C) Consumers do not perceive a connection between their individual purchasing behavior and infringements on their personal rights.
(D) Some people believe that the benefits associated with the recent success of the direct marketing industry will filter down to consumers over time.
(E) Some opinion polls on other topics indicate a similar discrepancy between what people say about an issue and how they act in relation to that issue.

2 The author would most likely agree with which one of the following statements?
(A) Despite its drawbacks, direct marketing has had an overall positive effect on American society.
(B) The attitudes revealed in opinion polls can provide insight into actual behavior.
(C) Regarding the effects of commercial enterprises, presenting a nuisance is a more serious offense to society than is invasion of privacy.
(D) Everyone who would prefer to remain on at least one mailing list thinks that direct marketing negatively affects society in some way.
(E) The growth in direct marketing would be even more significant in the future if the percentage of people who found direct mail offers to be a nuisance were to decrease.

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by navdeepbajwa » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:14 am
Source Kaplan 800
OA for 1 is C
My question is why C and not E and B

IF consumers perceive no contradiction between their individual purchasing behavior and infringements on their personal rights then how can be there any contradiction Does not C weaken the question instead of strenghtening it.


OA for 2 is B
Why not A
The passage states success of junk mail-rise of expenditure, people buying despite its negatives,people remain on mailing lists etc

How can answer be B as the attitudes and actual behavior are contradicting in the passage so how can author infer that attitude reveals actual behavior.Moreover the survey in itself only tells negative things about junk mail and the expenditure rose is not a part of survey If we take survey and statistics that expenditure rose then we can conclude that B is correct

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by NL48 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:10 pm
I'm not the best at explaining answers, but I'll give it a shot. It's also a great way to learn ymself.

First I tried to rephrase the author's point.

Author's Conclusion/Explanation is that Despite consumers being against junk mail, they still uses it as a means of shopping because of the benefits.

[C] Would strengthen the author's explanation because it can serve as a plausible reason to this "contradiction". BECAUSE people see no connection between their purchases and infringmenent on their personal rights, it would makes sense as to why they're contradicting themselves, which would "strengthen" the author's explanation.

Simply serves as a supplement to the first paragraph's main point, so I removed it.

[E] Serves as supplument to the author's explanation, but fails to specifically address the author's point concerning the consumer's actual actions.

As for 2,

we can also use the author's point. He states that people, despite being against something (Opinion), they act otherwise (actual behavior).

I apologize for not being able to come up with a better explanation.

But [A] can't be right because the author doesn't directly state that he feels its overly positive or negative. He doesn't really focus much at all about how he feels towards the issue, but focuses on the contradiction instead.

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Re: Junk mail

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