1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data The numbers aren't important because I'm after getting a more intuitive sense of the problem. When an elevator is accelerating upwards with a mass in it on a scale. Why is the apparent weight the normal force? 2. Relevant equations F=ma W=mg 3. The attempt at a solution I get that the resultant force upwards is equal to the pushing force (normal force) of the elevator - the weight of the mass so that: +ma-mg = ƩF. But why is the term ma equal to the apparent weight of the mass?