seeing as how I always struggle with elevator problems so I decided to do an entry on them to help with my understanding of them. when accelerating upward in an elevator, a persons inertia wants to stay put so it results in a greater force between the scale and the person. because of this the normal force is larger and the weight is larger. when accelerating downward in an elevator, a persons inertia still wants to remain put so it results in a lesser force between the scale and the person. therefore the normal force is smaller and the reading on the scale is smaller.