Reading Passage 1
A Americans today choose among more options in more parts of life than has ever been possible before. To an extent, the opportunity to choose enhances our lives. It is only logical to think that if some choices are good, more is better; people who care about having infinite options will benefit from them, and those who do not can always just ignore the 273 versions of cereal they have never tried. Yet recent research strongly suggests that, psychologically, this assumption is wrong, with 5% lower percentage announcing they are happy. Although some choices are undoubtedly better than none, more is not always better than less.
B Recent research offers insight into why many people end up unhappy rather than pleased when their options expand. We began by making a distinction between “maximizers” (those who always aim to make the best possible choice) and “satisficers” (those who aim for “good enough,” whether or not better selections might be out there).
C In particular, we composed a set of statements—the Maximization Scale—to diagnose people’s propensity to maximize. Then we had several thousand people rate themselves from 1 to 7 (from “completely disagree” to “completely agree”) on such statements as “I never settle for second best.” We also evaluated their sense of satisfaction with their decisions. We did not define a sharp cutoff to separate maximizers from satisficers, but in general, we think of individuals whose average scores are higher than 4 (the scale’s midpoint) as maxi- misers and those whose scores are lower than the midpoint as satisficers. People who score highest on the test—the greatest maximizers—engage in more product comparisons than the lowest scorers, both before and after they make purchasing decisions, and they take longer to decide what to buy. When satisficers find an item that meets their standards, they stop looking. But maximizers exert enormous effort reading labels, checking out consumer magazines and trying new products. They also spend more time comparing their purchasing decisions with those of others.
D We found that the greatest maximizers are the least happy with the fruits of their efforts. When they compare themselves with others, they get little pleasure from finding out that they did better and substantial dissatisfaction from finding out that they did worse. They are more prone to experiencing regret after a purchase, and if their acquisition disappoints them, their sense of well-being takes longer to recover. They also tend to brood or ruminate more than satisficers do.
E Does it follow that maximizers are less happy in general than satisficers? We tested this by having people fill out a variety of questionnaires known to be reliable indicators of wellbeing. As might be expected, individuals with high maximization scores experienced less satisfaction with life and were less happy, less optimistic and more depressed than people with low maximization scores. Indeed, those with extreme maximization ratings had depression scores that placed them in the borderline of clinical range.
F Several factors explain why more choice is not always better than less, especially for maximisers. High among these are “opportunity costs.” The quality of any given option cannot be assessed in isolation from its alternatives. One of the “costs” of making a selection is losing the opportunities that a different option would have afforded. Thus, an opportunity cost of vacationing on the beach in Cape Cod might be missing the fabulous restaurants in the Napa Valley. Early Decision Making Research by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky showed that people respond much more strongly to losses than gains. If we assume that opportunity costs reduce the overall desirability of the most preferred choice, then the more alternatives there are, the deeper our sense of loss will be and the less satisfaction we will derive from our ultimate decision.
G The problem of opportunity costs will be better for a satisficer. The latter’s “good enough” philosophy can survive thoughts about opportunity costs. In addition, the “good enough” standard leads to much less searching and inspection of alternatives than the maximizer’s “best” standard. With fewer choices under consideration, a person will have fewer opportunity costs to subtract.
H Just as people feel sorrow about the opportunities they have forgone, they may also suffer regret about the option they settled on. My colleagues and I devised a scale to measure proneness to feeling regret, and we found that people with high sensitivity to regret are less happy, less satisfied with life, less optimistic and more depressed than those with low sensitivity. Not surprisingly, we also found that people with high regret sensitivity tend to be maximizers. Indeed, we think that worry over future regret is a major reason that individuals become maximizers. The only way to be sure you will not regret a decision is by making the best possible one. Unfortunately, the more options you have and the more opportunity costs you incur, the more likely you are to experience regret.
I In a classic demonstration of the power of sunk costs, people were offered season subscriptions to a local theatre company. Some were offered the tickets at full price and others at a discount. Then the researchers simply kept track of how often the ticket purchasers actually attended the plays over the course of the season. Full-price payers were more likely to show up at performances than discount payers. The reason for this, the investigators argued, was that the full-price payers would experience more regret if they did not use the tickets because not using the more costly tickets would constitute a bigger loss. To increase sense of happiness, we can decide to restrict our options when the decision is not crucial. For example, make a rule to visit no more than two stores when shopping for clothing.
Look at the following descriptions or deeds (Questions 1-4) and the list of categories below. Match each description or deed with the correct category, A-D. Write the correct letter, A-D, in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.
C neither “maximizers” nor “satisficers”
D both “maximizers” and “satisficers”
1. rated to the Maximization Scale of making choice
2. don’t take much time before making a decision
3. are likely to regret about the choice in the future
4. choose the highest price in the range of purchase
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 5-8 on you answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN If there is no information on this
5. In today’s world, since the society is becoming wealthier, people are happier.
6. In society, there are more maximisers than satisficers.
7. People tend to react more to loses than gains.
8. Females and males acted differently in the study of choice making.
Choose the correct letter. A, B, C or D. Write the correct letter in boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet.
9. The Maximization Scale is aimed to
A know the happiness when they have more choices.
B measure how people are likely to feel after making choices.
C help people make better choices.
D reduce the time of purchasing.
10. According to the text, what is the result of more choices?
A People can make choices more easily
B Maximizers are happier to make choices.
C Satisficers are quicker to make wise choices.
D People have more tendency to experience regret.
11. The example of theatre ticket is to suggest that
A they prefer to use more money when buying tickets.
B they don’t like to spend more money on theatre.
C higher-priced things would induce more regret if not used properly
D full-price payers are real theatre lovers.
12. How to increase the happiness when making a better choice?
A use less time
B make more comparisons
C buy more expensive products
D limit the number of choices in certain situations
13. What is the best title for Reading Passage 1?
A Reasoning of Worse Choice Making
B Making Choices in Today’s World
C The Influence of More Choices
D Complexity in Choice Making
Implication of False Belief Experiments
A A considerable amount of research since the mid 1980s has been concerned with what has been termed children’s theory of mind. This involves children’s ability to understand that people can have different beliefs and representations of the world– a capacity that is shown by four years of age. Furthermore, this ability appears to be absent in children with autism. The ability to work out that another person is thinking is clearly an important aspect of both cognitive and social development. Furthermore, one important explanation for autism is that children suffering from this condition do not have a theory of mind(TOM). Consequently, the development of children’s TOM has attracted considerable attention.
B Wimmer and Perner devised a ‘false belief task’ to address this question. They used some toys to act out the following story. Maxi left some chocolate in a blue cupboard before he went out. When he was away his mother moved the chocolate to a green cupboard. Children were asked to predict where Maxi willlook for his chocolate when he returns. Most children under four years gave the incorrect answer, that Maxi will look in the green cupboard. Those over four years tended to give the correct answer, that Maxi will look in the blue cupboard. The incorrect answers indicated that the younger children did not understand that Maxi’s beliefs and representations no longer matched the actual state of the world, and they failed to appreciate that Maxi will act on the basis of his beliefs rather than the way that the world is actually organised.
C A simpler version of the Maxi task was devised by Baron-Cohen to take account of criticisms that younger children may have been affected by the complexity and too much information of the story in the task described above. For example, the child is shown two dolls, Sally and Anne, who have a basket and a box， respectively. Sally also has a marble, which she places in her basket，and then leaves to take a walk. While she is out of the room, Anne takes the marble from the basket, eventually putting it in the box. Sally returns，and child is then asked where Sally will look for the marble. The child passes the task if she answers that Sally will look in the basket, where she put the marble; the child fails the task if she answers that Sally will look in the box，where the child knows the marble is hidden， even though Sally cannot know, since she did not see it hidden there. In order to pass the task, the child must be able to understand that another’s mental representation of the situation is different from their own, and the child must be able to predict behavior based on that understanding. The results of research using false-belief tasks have been fairly consistent: most normally-developing children are unable to pass the tasks until around age four.
D Leslie argues that, before 18 months, children treat the world in a literal way and rarely demonstrate pretence. He also argues that it is necessary for the cognitive system to distinguish between what is pretend and what is real. If children were not able to do this, they would not be able to distinguish between imagination and reality. Leslie suggested that this pretend play becomes possible because of the presence of a de-coupler that copies primary representations to secondary representations. For example, children, when pretending a banana is a telephone, would make a secondary representation of a banana. They would manipulate this representation and they would use their stored knowledge of ‘telephone’ to build on this pretence.
E There is also evidence that social processes play a part in the development of TOM. Meins and her colleagues have found that what they term mind mindedness in maternal speech to six-month old infants is related to both security of attachment and to TOM abilities. Mind Mindedness involves speech that discusses infants’ feelings and explains their behaviour in terms of mental stages (e.g_ ‘you1 re feeling hungry’)
F Lewis investigated older children living in extended families in Crete and Cyprus. They found that children who socially interact with more adults，who have more friends. And who have more older siblings tend to pass TOM tasks at a slightly earlier age than other children. Furthermore, because young children are more likely to talk about their thoughts and feelings with peers than with their mothers, peer interaction may provide a special impetus to the development of a TOM. A similar point has been made by Dunn, who argues that peer interaction is more likely to contain pretend play and that it is likely to be more challenging because other children, unlike adults, do not make large adaptations to the communicative needs of other children.
G In addition, there has been concern that some aspects of the TOM approach underestimate children’s understanding of other people. After all，infants will point to objects apparently in an effort to change a person’s direction of gaze and interest; they can interact quite effectively with other people; they will express their ideas in opposition to the wishes of others; and they will show empathy for the feeling of others. Schatz studied the spontaneous speech of three-year-olds and found that these children used mental terms，and used them in circumstances where there was a contrast between, for example, not being sure where an object was located and finding it, or between pretending and reality. Thus the social abilities of children indicate that they are aware of the difference between mental states and external reality at ages younger than four.
H A different explanation has been put forward by Harris. He proposed that children use ‘simulation’. This involves putting yourself in the other person’s position, and then trying to predict what the other person would do. Thus success on false belief tasks can be explained by children trying to imagine what they would do if they were a character in the stories, rather than children being able to appreciate the beliefs of other people. Such thinking about situations that do not exist involves what is termed counterfactual reasoning.
I A different explanation has been put forward by Harris. He proposed that children use “simulation”. This involves putting yourself in the other person’s position, and then trying to predict what the other person would do. Thus, success on false belief tasks can be explained by children trying to imagine what they would do if they were a character in the stories, rather than children being able to appreciate the beliefs of other people. Such thinking about situations that do not exist involves what is termed counterfactual reasoning.
Look at the following statements (Questions 14-20) and the list of researchers below. Match each statement with the correct researcher, A-G. Write the correct letter. A-G. in boxes 14-20 on your answer sheet.
List of Researchers
C Wimmer and Pemer
D Lewis E Dunn F Schatz G Harris
14. gave an alternative explanation that children may not be understanding other’s belief
15. found that children under certain age can tell difference between reality and mentality
16. conducted a well-known experiment and drew conclusion that young children were unable to comprehend the real state of the world
17. found that children who get along with adults often comparatively got through the test more easily
18. revised an easier experiment to rule out the possibility that children might be influenced by sophisticated reasoning
19. related social factor such as mother-child communication to capability act in TOM
20. explained children are less likely to tell something interactive to their mother than to their friends
Complete the summary below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.
In 1980s, research studies were designed to test the subject called Theory of Mind that if children have the ability to represent the reality. First experiments were carried out on this subject on a boy. And questions had been made on where the boy can find the location of the (21)……………………. But it was accused that it had excessive (22)……………………………. So second modified experiment was can ducted involving two dolls, and most children passed the test at the age of (23)………………………………. Then Lewis and Dunn researched (24)………………….. children in a certain place, and found children who have more interaction such as more conversation with (25)…………………………….have better performance in the test, and peer interaction is (26)………………………….. because of consisting pretending elements.
What is Meaning
The end, product of education, yours and mine and everybody’s, is the total pattern of reactions and possible reactions we have inside ourselves. If you did not have within you at this moment the pattern of reactions that we call “the ability to read.” you would see here only meaningless black marks on paper. Because of the trained patterns of response, you are (or are not) stirred to patriotism by martial music, your feelings of reverence are aroused by symbols of your religion, you listen more respectfully to the health advice of someone who has “MD” after his name than to that of someone who hasn’t. What I call here a “pattern of reactions”, then, is the sum total of the ways we act in response to events, to words, and to symbols.
Our reaction patterns or our semantic habits, are the internal and most important residue of whatever years of education or miseducation we may have received from our parents’ conduct toward us in childhood as well as their teachings, from the formal education we may have had, from all the lectures we have listened to, from the radio programs and the movies and television shows we have experienced, from all the books and newspapers and comic strips we have read, from the conversations we have had with friends and associates, and from all our experiences. If, as the result of all these influences that make us what we are, our semantic habits are reasonably similar to those of most people around us, we are regarded as “normal,” or perhaps “dull.” If our semantic habits are noticeably different from those of others, we are regarded as “individualistic” or “original.” or, if the differences are disapproved of or viewed with alarm, as “crazy.”
Semantics is sometimes defined in dictionaries as “the science of the meaning of words”— which would not be a bad definition if people didn’t assume that the search for the meanings of words begins and ends with looking them up in a dictionary. If one stops to think for a moment, it is clear that to define a word, as a dictionary does, is simply to explain the word with more words. To be thorough about defining, we should next have to define the words used in the definition, then define the words used in defining the words used in the definition and so on. Defining words with more words, in short, gets us at once into what mathematicians call an “infinite regress”. Alternatively, it can get us into the kind of run-around we sometimes encounter when we look up “impertinence” and find it defined as “impudence,” so we look up “impudence” and find it defined as “impertinence.” Yet—and here we come to another common reaction pattern—people often act as if words can be explained fully with more words. To a person who asked for a definition of jazz, Louis Armstrong is said to have replied, “Man. when you got to ask what it is, you’ll never get to know,” proving himself to be an intuitive semanticist as well as a great trumpet player.
Semantics, then, does not deal with the “meaning of words” as that expression is commonly understood. P. W. Bridgman, the Nobel Prize winner and physicist, once wrote, “The true meaning of a term is to be found by observing what a man does with it, not by what he says about it.” He made an enormous contribution to science by showing that the meaning of a scientific term lies in the operations, the things done, that establish its validity, rather than in verbal definitions.
Here is a simple, everyday kind of example of “operational” definition. If you say, “This table measures six feet in length,” you could prove it by taking a foot rule, performing the operation of laying it end to end while counting, “One…two…three…four…” But if you say—and revolutionists have started uprisings with just this statement “Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains!”—what operations could you perform to demonstrate its accuracy or inaccuracy?
But let us carry this suggestion of “operationalism” outside the physical sciences where Bridgman applied it, and observe what “operations” people perform as the result of both the language they use and the language other people use in communicating to them. Here is a personnel manager studying an application blank. He comes to the words “Education: Harvard University,” and drops the application blank in the wastebasket (that’s the “operation”) because, as he would say if you asked him, “I don’t like Harvard men.” This is an instance of “meaning” at work—but it is not a meaning that can be found in dictionaries.
If I seem to be taking a long time to explain what semantics is about, it is because I am trying, in the course of explanation, to introduce the reader to a certain way of looking at human behavior. I say human responses because, so far as we know, human beings are the only creatures that have, over and above that biological equipment which we have in common with other creatures, the additional capacity for manufacturing symbols and systems of symbols. When we react to a flag, we are not reacting simply to a piece of cloth, but to the meaning with which it has been symbolically endowed. When we react to a word, we are not reacting to a set of sounds, but to the meaning with which that set of sounds has been symbolically endowed.
A basic idea in general semantics, therefore, is that the meaning of words (or other symbols) is not in the words, but in our own semantic reactions. If I were to tell a shockingly obscene story in Arabic or Hindustani or Swahili before an audience that understood only English, no one would blush or be angry; the story would be neither shocking nor obscene-induced, it would not even be a story. Likewise, the value of a dollar bill is not in the bill, but in our social agreement to accept it as a symbol of value. If that agreement were to break down through the collapse of our government, the dollar bill would become only a scrap of paper. We do not understand a dollar bill by staring at it long and hard. We understand it by observing how people act with respect to it. We understand it by understanding the social mechanisms and the loyalties that keep it meaningful. Semantics is therefore a social study, basic to all other social studies.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Write the correct letter in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.
27. What point is made in the first paragraph?
A The aim of education is to teach people to read
B Everybody has a different pattern of reactions.
C Print only carries meaning to those who have received appropriate ways to respond.
D The writers should make sure their works satisfy a variety of readers.
28. According to the second paragraph, people are judged by
A the level of education.
B the variety of experience.
C how conventional their responses are.
D complex situations.
29. What point is made in the third paragraph?
A Standard ways are incapable of defining words precisely.
B A dictionary is most scientific in defining words.
C A dictionary should define words in as few words as possible.
D Mathematicians could define words accurately.
30. What does the writer suggest by referring to Louis Armstrong?
A He is an expert of language.
B Music and language are similar.
C He provides insights to how words are defined.
D Playing trumpet is easier than defining words.
31. What does the writer intend to show about the example of “personnel manager”?
A Harvard men are not necessarily competitive in the job market.
B Meaning cannot always be shared by others.
C The idea of operationalism does not make much sense outside the physical science.
D Job applicants should take care when filling out application forms.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 32-35 on you answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN If there is no information on this
32. Some statements are incapable of being proved or disproved.
33. Meaning that is personal to individuals is less worthy to study than shared meanings.
34. Flags and words are eliciting responses of the same reason.
35. A story can be entertaining without being understood.
Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-H, below. Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.
36. A comic strip
37. A dictionary
39. A story in a language the audience cannot understand
40. A dollar bill
A is meaningless.
B has lasting effects on human behaviors.
C is a symbol that has lost its meaning.
D can be understood only in its social context.
E can provide inadequate explanation of meaning.
F reflects the variability of human behaviors.
G emphasizes the importance of analyzing how words were used.
H suggests that certain types of behaviors carry more meanings than others.
Academic Reading Practice Tests
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