Home > SAT Test > SAT Reading Practice Tests
See All test questions
Take more free SAT Reading Practice Tests available from cracksat.net.
The Woes of Consumerism
Ah, but you see my friend, I fail to be "hipster"without the checkered shirt, bow tie,and skinny jeans.My free-spirited best friend is only "boho"05with her headband and fringe bag. And my"preppy" sister is rarely seen without herbean boots and striped cardigans. One day, Iwill drive a Mercedes-Benz because, well whywouldn't I? And when all of my aspirations10and the labels attached to them cause in mea great migraine, I will take Tylenol beforestopping at the neighborhood Starbucksfor my daily mocha latte. You see where thisis going because you are so perceptive and15undoubtedly a Millennial, known for yourskepticism, feelings of self-importance, andimmunity to the pathetic propaganda that soeasily tricked the previous generations. But,are you immune to being tricked?20You would do well to study the followinglist of definitions before continuing. Theywere all found via a simple Google search forthe respective term.■capitalism: an economic and political25system in which a country's trade andindustry are controlled by private ownersfor profit, rather than by the state■consumerism: a social and economicorder and ideology that encourages the30acquisition of goods and services inever-increasing amounts■propaganda: information, especially ofa biased or misleading nature, used toinfluence an audience and further an35agenda■advertising: the marketing communicationused by companies to persuade anaudience to purchase their productsand/or services40mere exposure: a psychological phenomenonin which people develop a preferencefor things through familiarity■affective conditioning: the transfer offeelings from one set of items to another45to encourage the public to associate aproduct with positivityCertainly, you have ascended beyond themanipulation accompanying such ridiculoussubculture labels as those mentioned above.50You have seen it and heard it all. Advertisingis all around you; we live in a commercialworld—a capitalist economy with an unparalleledattachment to consumerism. Butthose sly little devils are far from bringing55you to the dark side.?Or so you think.Nobody wants to feel easily influenced.Yet, I beg you to hear me out: advertising iseverywhere because it works. U.S. companiesspend an annual $70 billion in television60ads, and this is before we take a lookat other mediums of advertising like radios,magazines, website cookies, and even thoseterrible social media "sponsored" ads. Thetruth is we don't like to feel manipulated, but65we are. Advertising is by its nature a form ofpropaganda in that it changes perceptionswith limited information—it is neither objectivenor complete.Advertising is meant to do a few things.70First, it informs the public of a product'sexistence (no harm in that, right?). Next, it ismeant to build brand recognition—as consumers,we want to trust and recognize thenames behind our products. Third, advertising75creates lifestyle identification. The productis somehow "like you"; it says somethingabout you; you can relate to the product andits other consumers. The world of advertisingspends a lot of money and time developing80strategies to accomplish these three goals.We will first look at logical persuasion, orthe exposition of facts about products. Thistechnique in itself is quite harmless. Wecannot be informed consumers without85information. Yet, I urge you to be skeptical ofeven the most straightforward advertising.Mere exposure is an effective tool in leavinglasting impressions on the public. Withyour only basis as recognition, you would be90surprised to see how quickly you choose oneproduct over another, even at a higher cost.Perhaps more dangerous is the strategy ofnonrational influence, in which advertisingschemes circumvent consumers' conscious95awareness by depicting a fun or pleasantscene quite unrelated to the product itself.Here, affective conditioning allows you toassociate positive feelings with specificproducts. For instance, a commercial might100flash images of colorful flowers, sunshine,puppies, etc.; and even years later, your subconsciouswill recall these "feel good" imageswhen you spot that product. PsychologyToday found that this type of advertising105lowers brain activity and causes less restraintin the consumer. According to the study, youare 70–80% more likely to buy an inferiorproduct when you have paired it with positivefeelings.110Just remember, my wary consumer, to usecaution in a society of distortion and illusion.Advertising can be subtle, but powerful. Andif you think you are unaffected, think again.
Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior
1. It is most reasonable to infer that the author believes the members of her readership think they are
2. What is the most likely reason that the author chose to begin the essay as she did rather than beginning with the second paragraph?
3. As used in lines 1-6, the words "hipster," "boho," and "preppy" most closely mean
4. The author most strongly suggests that the overall attitude that consumers should have towards advertising should be
5. Which option gives the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
6. What is most likely the purpose of lines 58-63 ("U.S. . . . ads")?
7. As used in line 61, the word "mediums" most closely means
8. According to the graph, cultural factors are approximately what percentage greater in their influence than the combination of personal and psychological factors?
9. Based on the information in the graph and the passage, an advertiser wishing to effectively use affective conditioning would most likely show what sort of a scene to advertise a car?
10. Which option gives the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
11. Which of the following modifications to the graph would make it more helpful to a consulting firm advising clients from a wide range of industries as to how to best spend their advertising dollars?
* SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.
All content of site and practice tests copyright © 2016 Max.sitemap
contactlink to us