Comprehension Questions 03

Passage 1:

Fifty feet away three male lions lay by the road. They didn’t appear to have a hair on their heads. Noting the color of their noses (leonine noses darken as they age, from pink to black), Craig estimated that they were six years old young adults. “This is wonderful!” he said, after staring at them for several moments. “This is what we came to see. They really are maneless.” Craig, a professor at the University of Minnesota, is arguably the leading expert on the majestic Serengeti lion, whose head is mantled in long, thick hair. He and Peyton West, a doctoral student who has been working with him in Tanzania, had never seen the Tsavo lions that live some 200 miles east of the Serengeti. The scientists had partly suspected that the maneless males were adolescents mistaken for adults by amateur observers. Now they knew better.

The Tsavo research expedition was mostly Peyton’s show. She had spent several years in Tanzania, compiling the data she needed to answer a question that ought to have been answered long ago: Why do lions have manes? It’s the only cat, wild or domestic, that displays such ornamentation. In Tsavo she was attacking the riddle from the opposite angle. Why do its lions not have manes? (Some “maneless” lions in Tsavo East do have partial manes, but they rarely attain the regal glory of the Serengeti lions.) Does environmental adaptation account for the trait? Are the lions of Tsavo, as some people believe, a distinct subspecies of their Serengeti cousins?

The Serengeti lions have been under continuous observation for more than 35 years, beginning with George Schaller’s pioneering work in the 1960s. But the lions in Tsavo, Kenya’s oldest and largest protected ecosystem, have hardly been studied. Consequently, legends have grown up around them. Not only do they look different, according to the myths, but they also behave differently, displaying greater cunning and aggressiveness. “Remember too,” Kenya: The Rough Guide warns, “Tsavo’s lions have a reputation of ferocity.” Their fearsome image became well known in 1898 when two males stalled construction of what is now Kenya Railways by allegedly killing and eating 135 Indian and African laborers. A British Army officer in charge of building a railroad bridge over the Tsavo River, Lt. Col. J. H.Patterson, spent nine months pursuing the pair before he brought them to the bay and killed them. Stuffed and mounted, they now glare at visitors to the Field Museum in Chicago. Patterson’s account of the leonine reign of terror, The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, was an international bestseller when published in 1907. Still in print, the book has made Tsavo’s lions notorious. That annoys some scientists. “People don’t want to give up on mythology,” Dennis King told me one day. The zoologist has been working in Tsavo off and on for four years. “I am so sick of this man-eater business. Patterson made a helluva lot of money off that story, but Tsavo’s lions are no more likely to turn man-eater than lions from elsewhere.”

But tales of their savagery and wiliness don’t all come from sensationalist authors looking to make a buck. Tsavo lions are generally larger than lions elsewhere, enabling them to take down the predominant prey animal in Tsavo, the Cape buffalo, one of the strongest, most aggressive animals on Earth. The buffalo don’t give up easily: They often kill or severely injure an attacking lion, and a wounded lion might be more likely to turn to cattle and humans for food. And other prey is less abundant in Tsavo than in other traditional lion haunts. A hungry lion is more likely to attack humans. Safari guides and Kenya Wildlife Service rangers tell of lions attacking Land Rovers, raiding camps, stalking tourists. Tsavo is a tough neighborhood, they say, and it breeds tougher lions.

But are they really tougher? And if so, is there any connection between their manelessness and their ferocity? An intriguing hypothesis was advanced two years ago by Gnoske and Peterhans: Tsavo lions may be similar to the unmaned cave lions of the Pleistocene. The Serengeti variety is among the most evolved of the species. The latest model, so to speak-while certain morphological differences in Tsavo lions (bigger bodies, smaller skulls, and maybe even lack of a mane) suggests that they are closer to the primitive ancestor of all lions. Craig and Peyton had serious doubts about this idea but admitted that Tsavo lions pose a mystery to science.


Based on the Passage, answer the following questions:

1) The book Man-Eaters of Tsavo annoys some scientists because

a) it revealed that Tsavo lions are ferocious

b) Patterson made a helluva lot of money from the book by sensationalism.

c) it perpetuated the bad name Tsavo lions had.

d) it narrated how two male Tsavo lions were killed.


2) The sentence which concludes the first paragraph, “Now they knew better”, implies that

a) The two scientists were struck by wonder on seeing maneless lions for the first time.

b) Though Craig was an expert on the Serengeti lion, now he also knew about the Tsavo lions.

c) Craig was now able to confirm that darkening of the noses as lions aged applied to Tsavo lions as well.

d) Earlier, Craig and West thought that amateur observers had been mistaken.


3) Which of the following, if true, would weaken the hypothesis advanced by Gnoske and Peterhans most?

a) Craig and Peyton develop even more serious doubts about the idea that Tsavo lions are primitive

b) The manelessTsavo East lions are shown to be closer to the cave lions.

c) Pleistocene cave lions are shown to be far less violent than believed.

d) The morphological variations in body and skull size between the cave and Tsavo lions are found to be insignificant.


4) According to the passage, which of the following has NOT contributed to the popular image of Tsavo lions as savage creatures?

a) Tsavo lions have been observed to bring down one of the strongest and most aggressive animals-the Cape buffalo.

b) In contrast to the situation in traditional lion haunts, scarcity of non-buffalo prey in the Tsavo makes the Tsavo lions more aggressive

c) The Tsavo lion is considered to be less evolved than the Serengeti variety.

d) Tsavo lions have been observed to attack vehicles as well as humans.



Passage 2

Recently I spent several hours sitting under a tree in my garden with the social anthropologist William Ury, a Harvard University professor who specializes in the art of negotiation and wrote the bestselling book, “Getting to Yes”. He captivated me with his theory that tribalism protects people from their fear of rapid change. He explained that the pillars of tribalism that humans rely on for security would always counter any significant cultural or social change. In this way, he said, change is never allowed to happen too fast. Technology, for example, is a pillar of society. Ury believes that every time technology moves in a new or radical direction, another pillar such as religion or nationalism will grow stronger -in effect, the traditional and familiar will assume greater importance to compensate for the new and untested. In this manner, human tribes avoid rapid change that leaves people insecure and frightened. But we have all heard that nothing is as permanent as change. Nothing is guaranteed. Pithy expressions, to be sure, but no more than cliches. As Ury says, people don’t live that way from day to day. On the contrary, they actively seek certainty and stability. They want to know they will be safe.

Even so, we scare ourselves constantly with the idea of change. An IBM CEO once said: ‘We only re-structure for a good reason, and if we haven’t re-structured in a while, that’s a good reason.’ We are scared that competitors, technology and the consumer will put us out of business -so we have to change all the time just to stay alive. But if we asked our fathers and grandfathers, would they have said that they lived in a period of little change? The structure may not have changed much. It may just be the speed with which we do things.

Change is over-rated, anyway. Consider the automobile. It’s an especially valuable example because the auto industry has spent tens of billions of dollars on research and product development in the last 100 years. Henry Ford’s first car had a metal chassis with internal combustion, a gasoline-powered engine, four wheels with rubber tyres, a foot-operated clutch assembly and brake system, a steering wheel, and four seats, and it could safely do 18 miles per hour. A hundred years and tens of thousands of research hours later, we drive cars with a metal chassis with internal combustion, gasoline-powered engine, four wheels with rubber tyres, a foot-operated clutch assembly and brake system, a steering wheel, four seats -and the average speed in London in 2001 was 17.5 miles per hour! That’s not a hell of a lot of return for the money. Ford evidently doesn’t have much to teach us about change. The fact that they’re still manufacturing cars is not proof that Ford Motor Co. is a sound organization, just proof that it takes very large companies to make cars in great quantities -making for an almost impregnable entry barrier. Fifty years after the development of the jet engine, planes are also little changed. They’ve grown bigger, wider and can carry more people. But those are incremental, largely cosmetic changes.

Taken together, this lack of real change has come to mean that in travel -whether driving or flying -time and technology have not combined to make things much better. The safety and design have of course accompanied the times and the new volume of cars and flights, but nothing of any significance has changed in the basic assumptions of the final product.

At the same time, moving around in cars or aeroplanes becomes less and less efficient all the time. Not only has there been no great change, but also both forms of transport have deteriorated as more people clamour to use them. The same is true for telephones, which took over hundred years to become a mobile or photographic film, which also required an entire century to change. The only explanation for this is anthropological. Once established in calcified organizations, humans do two things: sabotage changes that might render people dispensable, and ensure industry-wide emulation. In the 1960s, German auto companies developed plans to scrap the entire combustion engine for an electrical design. (The same existed in the 1970s in Japan, and in the 1980s in France.) So for 40 years, we might have been free of the wasteful and ludicrous dependence on fossil fuels. Why didn’t it go anywhere? Because auto executives understood pistons and carburettors and would be loath to cannibalize their expertise, along with most of their factories.


Based on the Passage, answer the following questions:

5) According to the passage, the reason why we continued to be dependent on fossil fuels is that:

a) Auto executives did not wish to change.

b) No alternative fuels were discovered.

c) Change in technology was not easily possible.

d) German, Japanese and French companies could not come up with new technologies


6) Which of the following views does the author fully support in the passage?

a) Nothing is as permanent as change

b) Change is always rapid

c) More money spent on innovation leads to more rapid change

d) Over decades, structural change has been incremental.

7) According to the passage, which of the following statements is true?

a) Executives of automobile companies are inefficient and ludicrous.

b) The speed at which an automobile is driven in a city has not changed much in a century

c) Anthropological factors have fostered innovation in automobiles by promoting the use of new technologies.

d) Further innovation in jet engines has been more than incremental.


8) Which of the following best describes one of the main ideas discussed in the passage?

a) Rapid change is usually welcomed in society.

b) Industry is not as innovative as it is made out to be.

c) We should have less change than what we have now.

d) Competition spurs companies into radical innovation



Passage 3

Any type of psychology that treats motives, thereby endeavoring to answer the question as to why men behave as they do, is called dynamic psychology. By its very nature, it cannot be merely descriptive psychology, content to depict the what and the how of human behavior. The boldness of dynamic psychology is striking for causes stands in marked contrast to the timid, “more scientific,” view that seeks nothing else than the establishment of a mathematical function for the relation between some artificially simple stimulus and some equally artificial and simple response. If the psychology of personality is to be more than a matter of coefficients of correlation it too must be dynamic psychology and seek first and foremost a sound and adequate theory of the nature of human dispositions.

The type of dynamic psychology almost universally held, though sufficient from the point of view of the abstract motives of the generalized mind, fails to provide a foundation solid enough to bear the weight of any single full-bodied personality. The reason is that prevailing dynamic doctrines refer every mature motive of personality to underlying original instincts, wishes, or needs, shared by all men. Thus, the concert artist’s devotion to his music is sometimes ‘explained’ as an extension of his self-assertive instinct, of the need for sentience, or as a symptom of some repressed striving of the libido. In McDougall’s hormic psychology, for example, it is explicitly stated that only the instincts or propensities can be prime movers. Though capable of extension (on both the receptive and executive sides), they are always few in number, common in all men, and established at birth. The enthusiastic collector of bric-a-brac derives his enthusiasm from the parental instinct; so too does the kindly old philanthropist, as well as the mother of a brood. It does not matter how different these three interests may seem to be, they derive their energy from the same source. The principle is that very few basic motives suffice for explaining the endless varieties of human interests. The psychoanalyst holds the same over-simplified theory. The number of human interests that he regards as so many canalizations of the one basic sexual instinct is past computation

The authors of this type of dynamic psychology are concerning themselves only with mind-in-general. They seek classification of the common and basic motives by which to explain both normal or neurotic behavior of any individual case. (This is true even though they may regard their own list as heuristic or even as fictional.) The plan really does not work. The very fact that the lists are so different in their composition suggests — what to a naïve observer is plain enough — that motives are almost infinitely varied among men, not only in form but in substance. Not four wishes, nor eighteen propensities, nor any and all combinations of these, even with their extensions and variations, seem adequate to account for the endless variety of goals sought by an endless variety of mortals. Paradoxically enough, in many personalities, the few simplified needs or instincts alleged to be the common ground for all motivation, turn out to be completely lacking.

The second type of dynamic psychology, the one here defended, regards adult motives as infinitely varied, and as self-sustaining, contemporary systems, growing out of antecedent systems, but functionally independent of them. Just as a child gradually repudiates his dependence on his parents, develops a will of his own, becomes self-active and self-determining, and outlives his parents, so it is with motives. Each motive has a definite point of origin which may possibly lie in instincts, or, more likely, in the organic tensions of infancy. Chronologically speaking, all adult purposes can be traced back to these seed-forms in infancy, but as the individual matures the tie is broken. Whatever bond remains, is historical, not functional.

Such a theory is obviously opposed to psychoanalysis and to all other genetic accounts that assume inflexibility in the root purposes and drives of life. (Freud says that the structure of the Id never changes!) The theory declines to admit that the energies of adult personality are infantile or archaic in nature. Motivation is always contemporary. The life of modern Athens is continuous with the life of the ancient city, but it in no sense depends upon its present “go.” The life of a tree is continuous with that of its seed, but the seed no longer sustains and nourishes the full-grown tree. Earlier purposes lead into later purposes and are abandoned in their favor. William James taught a curious doctrine that has been a matter for incredulous amusement ever since, the doctrine of the transitoriness of instincts. According to this theory — not so quaint as sometimes thought — an instinct appears but once in a lifetime, whereupon it promptly disappears through its transformation into habits. If there are instincts this is no doubt of their fate, for no instinct can retain its motivational force unimpaired after it has been absorbed and recast under the transforming influence of learning. Such is the reasoning of James, and such is the logic of functional autonomy. The psychology of personality must be psychology of post-instinctive behavior.

Woodworth has spoken of the transformation of “mechanisms” into “drives.” A mechanism Woodworth defines as any course of behavior that brings about an adjustment. A drive is any neural process that releases mechanisms especially concerned with consummatory reactions. In the course of learning, many preparatory mechanisms must be developed in order to lead to the consummation of an original purpose. These mechanisms are the effective cause of activity in each succeeding mechanism, furnishing the drive for each stage following in the series. Originally all these mechanisms were merely instrumental, only links in the long chain of processes involved in the achievement of an instinctive purpose; with

time and development, with integration and elaboration, many of these mechanisms become activated directly, setting up a state of desire and tension for activities and objects no longer connected with the original impulse. Activities and objects that earlier in the game were means to an end, now become ends in themselves.

Although Woodworth’s choice of quasi-neurological terminology is not the best, his doctrine or one like it is indispensable in accounting for the infinite number of effective motives possible in human life, and for their severance from the rudimentary desires of infancy.


Based on the Passage, answer the following questions:

9) Which is the thematic highlight of this passage?

a) The two kinds of dynamic psychology.

b) The psychology of post- instinctive behaviour.

c) The effective motives in human life.

d) The transforming influence of learning


10) Dynamic psychology refers to

a) The depiction of human behaviour

b) The accepting of why people behave in a certain manner.

c) The understanding of human disposition vis-à-vis behaviour.

d) The classification of human behaviour.


11) According to the passage, the term “transitoriness of instincts” refers to

a) The appearance and transformation of instinct.

b) The lingering nature of instincts.

c) The lone appearance of instinct.

d) The appearance and transformation of instinct.

Passage 4

At the heart of the enormous boom in wine consumption that has taken place in the English-speaking world over the last two decades or so is a fascinating, happy paradox. In the days when wine was exclusively the preserve of a narrow cultural elite, bought either at auctions or from gentleman wine merchants in wing collars and bow-ties, to be stored in rambling cellars and decanted to order by one’s butler, the ordinary drinker didn’t get a look-in. Wine was considered a highly technical subject, in which anybody without the necessary ability could only fall flat on his or her face in embarrassment. It wasn’t just that you needed a refined aesthetic sensibility for the stuff if it wasn’t to be hopelessly wasted on you. It required an intimate knowledge of what came from where, and what it was supposed to taste like.

Those were times, however, when wine appreciation essentially meant a familiarity with the great French classics, with perhaps a smattering of other wines—like sherry and port. That was what the wine trade dealt in. These days, wine is bought daily in supermarkets and high-street chains to be consumed that evening, hardly anybody has a cellar to store it in and most don’t even possess a decanter. Above all, the wines of literally dozens of countries are available on our market. When a supermarket offers its customers a couple of fruity little numbers from Brazil, we scarcely raise an eyebrow.

It seems, in other words, that the commercial jungle that wine has now become has not in the slightest deterred people from plunging adventurously into the thickets in order to taste and see. Consumers are no longer intimidated by the thought of needing to know their Pouilly-Fume from their Pouilly-Fuisse, just at the very moment when there is more to know than ever before. The reason for this new mood of confidence is not hard to find. It is on every wine label from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States: the name of the grape from which the wine is made. At one time that might have sounded like a fairly technical approach in itself. Why should native English speakers know what Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay were? The answer lies in the popularity that wines made from those grape varieties now enjoy. Consumers effectively recognize them as brand names and have acquired a basic lexicon of wine that can serve them even when confronted with those Brazilian upstarts.

In the wine heartlands of France, they are scared to death of that trend—not because they think their wine isn’t as good as the best from California or South Australia (what French winemaker will ever admit that?) but because they don’t traditionally call their wines Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. They call them Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou or Corton-Charlemagne, and they aren’t about to change. Some areas, in the middle of southern France, have now produced a generation of growers using the varietal names on their labels and are tempting consumers back to French wine. It will be an uphill struggle, but there is probably no other way if France is to avoid simply becoming a speciality source of old-fashioned wines for old fashioned connoisseurs.

Wine consumption was also given a significant boost in the early 1990s by the work of Dr. Serge Renaud, who has spent many years investigating the reasons for the uncannily low incidence of coronary heart disease in the south of France. One of his major findings is that the fat-derived cholesterol that builds up in the arteries and can eventually lead to heart trouble, can be dispersed by the tannins in wine. Tannin is derived from the skins of grapes and is therefore present in higher levels in red wines because they have to be infused with their skins to attain the red colour. That news caused a huge upsurge in red wine consumption in the United States. It has not been accorded the prominence it deserves in the UK, largely because the medical profession still sees all alcohol as a menace to the health, and is constantly calling for it to be made prohibitively expensive. Certainly, the manufacturers of anticoagulant drugs might have something to lose if we all got the message that we would do just as well in our hearts by taking half a bottle of red wine every day!


Based on the Passage, answer the following questions:

12) Which one of the following CANNOT be reasonably attributed to the labelling strategy followed by wine producers in English-speaking countries?

a) Consumers buy wines on the basis of their familiarity with a grape variety’s name

b) Even ordinary customers now have more access to technical knowledge about wine

c) Consumers are able to appreciate better quality wines

d) Some non-English speaking countries like Brazil indicate grape variety names on their labels.


13) What according to the author should the French do to avoid becoming a producer of merely old fashioned wines?

a) Follow the labelling strategy of the English-speaking countries

b) Give their wines English names

c) Introduce fruity wines as Brazil has done.

d) Produce the wines that have become popular in the English-speaking world.


14) Which one of the following, if true, would provide the most support for Dr. Renaud’s findings of the effect of tannins?

a) A survey showed that film celebrities based in France have a low incidence of coronary heart disease.

b) Measurements carried out in southern France showed red wine drinkers had significantly higher levels of coronary heart incidence than white wine drinkers did.

c) Data showed a positive association between sales of red wine and the incidence of coronary heart disease.

d) Long-term surveys in southern France showed that the incidence of coronary heart disease was significantly lower in red wine drinkers than in those who did not drink red wine


15) The development which has created fear among winemakers in the wine heartlands of France is the

a) tendency not to name wines after the grape varieties that are used in the wines.

b) ‘education’ that consumers have derived from wine labels from English-speaking countries

c) new generation of local winegrowers who use labels that show names of grape varieties.

d) ability of consumers to understand a wine’s qualities when confronted with “Brazilian.