ielts reading test 267
Density and Crowding
A Of the great myriad of problems which man and the world face today, there are three significant fiends which stand above all others in importance: the uprecedented population growth throughout the world a net increase of 1,400,000 people per week and all of its associations and consequences; the increasing urbanization of these people, so that more and more of them are rushing into cities and urban areas of the world; and the tremendous explosion of communication and social contact throughout the world, so that every part of the world is now aware of every other part. All of these fiends are producing increased crowding and the perception of crowding.
B It is important to emphasize at the outset that crowding and density are not necessarily the same. Density is the number of individuals per unit area or unit space. It is a simple physical measurement. Crowding is a product of density, communication, contact, and activity. It implies a pressure, a force, and a psychological reaction. It may occur at widely different densities.
The frontiersman may have felt crowded when someone built a homestead a mile away. The suburbanite may feel relatively uncrowded in a small house on a half-acre lot if it is surrounded by trees, bushes, and a hedgerow, even though he lives under much higher physical density than did the frontiersman. Hence, crowding is very much a psychological and ecological phenomenon, and not just a physical condition.
C A classic crowding study was done by Calhoun (1962), who put rats into a physical environment designed to accommodate 50 rats and provided enough food, water, and nesting materials for the number of rats in the environment. The rat population peaked at 80, providing a look at ramped living conditions. Although the rats experienced no resource limitations other than space restriction, a number of negative conditions developed: the two most dominant males took harems of several female rats and occupied more than their share of space, leaving other rats even more crowded; many females stopped building nests and abandoned their infant rats; the pregnancy rate declined; infant and adult mortality rates increased; more aggressive and physical attacks occurred; sexual variation increased, including hypersexuality, inhibited sexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality.
D Calhoun’s results have led to other research on crowding’s effects on human beings, and these research findings have suggested that high density is not the single cause of negative effects on humans. When crowding is defined only in terms of spatial density (the amount of space per person), the effects of crowding are variable. However, if crowding is defined in terms of social density, or the number of people who must interact, then crowding better predicts negative psychological and physical effects.
E There are several reasons why crowding makes US feel uncomfortable. One reason is related to stimulus overload there are just too many stimuli competing for our attention. We cannot notice or respond to all of them. This feeling is typical of the harried mother, who has several children competing for her attention, while she is on the phone and the doorbell is ringing. This leaves her feeling confused, fatigued and yearning to withdraw from the situation. There are strong feelings of a lack of privacy – being unable to pay attention to what you want without being repeatedly interrupted or observed by others.
F Field studies done in a variety of settings illustrate that social density is associated with negative effects on human beings. In prison studies, males generally became more aggressive with increases in density. In male prison, inmate; living in conditions of higher densities were more likely to suffer from fight. Males rated themselves as more aggressive in small rooms (a situation of high spatial density), whilst the females rated themselves as more aggressive in large rooms (Stokols et al., 1973). These differences relate to the different personal space requirements of the genders.
Besides, Baum and Greenberg found that high density leads to decreased attraction, both physical attraction and liking towards others and it appears to have gender differences in the impact that density has on attraction levels, with males experiencing a more extreme reaction. Also, the greater the density is, the less the helping behavior. One reason why the level of helping behavior may be reduced in crowded situations links to the concept of diffusion of responsibility. The more people that are present in a situation that requires help, the less often help is given. This may be due to the fact that people diffuse responsibility among themselves with no-one feeling that they ought to be the one to help.
G Facing all these problems, what are we going to do with them? The more control a person has over the crowded environment the less negatively they experience it, thus the perceived crowding is less (Schmidt and Keating). The ability to cope with crowding is also influenced by the relationship the individual has with the other people in the situation. The high density will be interpreted less negatively if the individual experiences it with people he likes. One of the main coping strategies employed to limit the impact of high density is social withdrawal. This includes behaviors such as averting the gaze and using negative body language to attempt to block any potential intrusions.
Reading passage 1 has seven paragraphs, A-G. Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A -G from the list of headings below.
List of headings
i Other experiments following Calhoun’s experiment offering a clearer indication
ii The effects of crowding on people in the social scope
iii Psychological reaction to crowding
iv Problems that result in crowding
v Responsibility does not work
vi What cause the upset feel of crowding
vii Definitions of crowding and density
viii Advice for crowded work environment
ix Difference between male and females’ attractiveness in a crowd
x Nature and results of Calboun’s experiment
1. Paragraph A
2. Paragraph B
3. Paragraph C
4. Paragraph D
5. Paragraph E
6. Paragraph F
7. Paragraph G
Complete the sentences below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Being disturbed repeatedly, the harried mother feels frustrated for the lack of (8)……………… Inmates in high density settings were more aggressive in (9)………………. The different result between male and female is associated with the varying need of (10)……………….. Especially for male, Baum and Greenberg found that (11)……………….. declined with high density. The idea of responsibility diffusion may explain a person’s reluctant to (12)…………………. Schmidt and Keating suggest that if more (13)………………… was present there would be a reduction in crowding stress.
Video Games’ Unexpected Benefit to Human Brain
James Paul Gee, professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, played his first video game years ago when his six-year-old son Sam was playing Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It’s Dark Outside. He wanted to play the game so he could support Sam’s problem solving. Though Pajama Sam is not an “educational game”, it is replete with the types of problems psychologists study when they study thinking and learning. When he saw how well the game held Sam’s attention, he wondered what sort of beast a more mature video game might be.
Video and computer games, like many other popular, entertaining and addicting kid’s activities, are looked down upon by many parents as time-wasters, and worse, parents think that these games rot the brain. Violent video games are readily blamed by the media and some experts as the reason why some youth become violent or commit extreme anti-social behavior. Recent content analyses of video games show that as many as 89% of games contain some violent content, but there is no form of aggressive content for 70% of popular games. Many scientists and psychologists, like James Paul Gee, find that video games actually have many benefits – the main one being making kids smart. Video games may actually teach kids high-level thinking skills that they will need in the future.
“Video games change your brain,” according to University of Wisconsin psychologist Shawn Green. Video games change the brain’s physical structure the same way as do learning to read, playing the piano, or navigating using a map. Much like exercise can build muscle, the powerful combination of concentration and rewarding surges of neurotransmitters like dopamine, which strengthens neural circuits, can build the player’s brain.
Video games give your child’s brain a real workout. In many video games, the skills required to win involve abstract and high level thinking. These skills are not even taught at school. Some of the mental skills trained by video games include: following instructions, problem solving, logic, hand-eye coordination, fine motor and spatial skills. Research also suggests that people can learn iconic, spatial, and visual attention skills from video games. There have been even studies with adults showing that experience with video games is related to better surgical skills. Jacob Benjamin, doctor from Beth Israel Medical Center NY, found a direct link between skill at video gaming and skill at keyhole or laparoscopic surgery. Also, a reason given by experts as to why fighter pilots of today are more skillful is that this generation’s pilots are being weaned on video games.
The players learn to manage resources that are limited, and decide the best use of resources, the same way as in real life. In strategy games, for instance, while developing a city, an unexpected surprise like an enemy might emerge. This forces the player to be flexible and quickly change tactics. Sometimes the player does this almost every second of the game giving the brain a real workout. According to researchers at the University of Rochester, led by Daphne Bavelier, a cognitive scientist, games simulating stressful events such as those found in battle or action games could be a training tool for real-world situations. The study suggests that playing action video games primes the brain to make quick decisions. Video games can be used to train soldiers and surgeons, according to the study. Steven n, author of Everything Bad is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture, says gamers must deal with immediate problems while keeping their long-term goals on their horizon. Young gamers force themselves to read to get instructions, follow storylines of games, and get information from the game texts.
James Paul Gee, professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says that playing a video game is similar to working through a science problem Like students in a laboratory, gamers must come up with a hypothesis. For example, players in some games constantly try out combinations of weapons and powers to use to defeat an enemy. If one does not work, they change hypothesis and try the next one. Video games are goal-ven experiences, says Gee, which are fundamental to learning. Also, using math skills is important to win in many games that involve quantitative analysis like managing resources. In higher levels of a game, players usually fail the first time around, but they keep on trying until they succeed and move on to the next level.
Many games are yed online and involve cooperation with other online players in order to win. Video and computer games also help children gain self-confidence and many games are based on history, city building, and governance and so on. Such games indirectly teach children about aspects of life on earth.
In an upcoming study in the journal Current Biology, authors Daphne Bavelier, Alexandre Pouget, and C. Shawn Green report that video games could provide a potent training regimen for speeding up reactions in many types of real-life situations. The researchers tested dozens of 18- to 25-year-olds who were not ordinarily video game players. They split the subjects into two groups. One group played 50 hours of the fast-paced action video games “Call of Duty 2” and “Unreal Tournament,” and the other group played 50 hours of the slow-moving strategy game “The Sims 2.” After this training period, all of the subjects were asked to make quick decisions in several tasks designed by the researchers. The action game players were up to 25 percent faster at coming to a conclusion and answered just as many questions correctly as their strategy game playing peers.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
14. What is the main purpose of paragraph one
A Introduction of professor James Paul Gee.
B Introduction of the video game: Pajamas Sam.
C Introduction of types of video games.
D Introduction of the background of this passage.
15. What does the author want to express in the second paragraph
A Video games are widely considered harmful for children’s brain.
B Most violent video games are the direct reason of juvenile delinquency.
C Even there is a certain proportion of violence in most video games; scientists and psychologists see its benefits of children’s intellectual abilities.
D Many parents regard video games as time-wasters, which rot children’s brain.
16. What is correctly mentioned in paragraph four
A Some schools use video games to teach students abstract and high level thinking.
B Video games improves the brain ability in various aspects.
C Some surgeons have better skills because they play more video games.
D Skillful fighter pilots in this generation love to play video games.
17. What is the expectation of the experiment the three researchers did
A Gamers have to make the best use of the limited resource.
B Gamers with better math skills will win in the end.
C Strategy game players have better ability to make quick decisions.
D Video games help increase the speed of players’ reaction effectively.
Do the following statement with the information given in reading passage? In boxes 18-21 on your 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
18. Most video games are popular because of their violent content.
19. The action game players minimized the percentage of making mistakes in the experiment.
20. It would be a good idea for schools to apply video games in their classrooms.
21. Those People who are addicted to video games have lots of dopamine in their brains.
Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-F) with opinions or deeds below.
A The writer’s opinion
B James Paul Gee
C Shawn Green
D Daphne Bavelier
E Steven Johnson
F Jacob Benjamin
22. Video games as other daily life skills alter the brain’s physical structure.
23. Brain is ready to make decisions without hesitation when players are immersed in playing stressful games.
24. The purpose-motivated experience that video games offer plays an essential role in studying.
25. Players are good at tackling prompt issues with future intensions.
26. It helps children broaden their horizon in many aspects and gain self-confidence.
Inspired by Mimicking Mother Nature
A Researchers and designers around the globe endeavor to create new technologies that, by honoring the tenets of life, are both highly efficient and often environmentally friendly. And while biomimicry is not a new concept (Leonardo da Vinci looked to nature to design his flying machines, for example, and pharmaceutical companies have long been miming plant organisms in synthetic drugs), there is a greater need for products and manufacturing processes that use a minimum of energy, materials, and toxins. What’s more, due to technological advancements and a newfound spirit of innovation among designers, there are now myriad ways to mimic Mother Nature’s best assets.
B “We have a perfect storm happening right now,” says Jay Harman, an inventor and CEO of PAX Scientific, which designs fans, mixers, and pumps to achieve maximum efficiency by imitating the natural flow of fluids. “Shapes in nature are extremely simple once you understand them, but to understand what geometries are at play, and to adapt them, is a very complex process. We only just recently have had the computer power and manufacturing capability to produce these types of shapes.” “If we could capture nature’s efficiencies across the board, we could decrease dependency on fuel by at least 50 percent,” Harman says. “What we’re finding already with the tools and methodology we have right now is that we can reduce energy consumption by between 30 and 40 percent.”
C It’s only recently that mainstream companies have begun to equate biomimicry with the bottom line. DaimlerChrysler, for example, introduced a prototype car modeled on a coral reef fish. Despite its boxy, cube-shaped body, which defies a long-held aerodynamic standard in automotive design (the raindrop shape), the streamlined boxfish proved to be aerodynamically ideal and the unique construction of its skin—numerous hexagonal, bony plates—a perfect recipe for designing a car of maximum strength with minimal weight.
D Companies and communities are flocking to Janine Benyus, author of the landmark book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature (Perennial, 2002) and cofounder of the Biomimicry Guild, which seats biologists at the table with researchers and designers at companies such as Nike, Interface carpets, Novell, and Procter & Gamble. Their objective is to marry industrial problems with natural solutions.
E Benyus, who hopes companies will ultimately transcend mere product design to embrace nature on a more holistic level, breaks biomimicry into three tiers. On a basic (albeit complicated) level, industry will mimic nature’s precise and efficient shapes, structures, and geometries. The microstructure of the lotus leaf, for example, causes raindrops to bead and run off immediately, while self-cleaning and drying its surface—a discovery that the British paint company Sto has exploited in a line of building paints. The layered structure of a butterfly wing or a peacock plume, which creates iridescent color by refracting light, is being mimicked by cosmetics giant L’Oreal in a soon-to-be-released line of eye shadow, lipstick, and nail varnish.
F The next level of biomimicry involves imitating natural processes and biochemical “recipes”: Engineers and scientists are now looking at the nasal glands of seabirds to solve the problem of desalination; the abalone’s ability to self-assemble its incredibly durable shell in water, using local ingredients, has inspired an alternative to the conventional, and often toxic, “heat, beat, and treat” manufacturing method. How other organisms deal with harmful bacteria can also be instructive: Researchers for the Australian company Biosignal, for instance, observed a seaweed that lives in an environment teeming with microbes to figure out how it kept free of the same sorts of bacterial colonies, called biofilms, that cause plaque on your teeth and clog up your bathroom drain. They determined that the seaweed uses natural chemicals, called furanones, that jam the cell-to-cell signaling systems that allow bacteria to communicate and gather.
G Ultimately, the most sophisticated application of biomimicry, according to Benyus, is when a company starts seeing itself as an organism in an economic ecosystem that must make thrifty use of limited resources and creates symbiotic relationships with other organisms. A boardroom approach at this level begins with imagining any given company, or collection of industries, as a forest, prairie, or coral reef, with its own “food web”(manufacturing inputs and outputs) and asking whether waste products from one manufacturing process can be used, or perhaps sold, as an ingredient for another industrial activity. For instance, Geoffrey Coates, a chemist at Cornell, has developed a biodegradable plastic synthesized from carbon dioxide and limonene (a major component in the oil extracted from citrus rind) and is working with a cement factory to trap their waste CO2 and use it as an ingredient.
H Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives (ZERI), a global network of scientists, entrepreneurs, and educators, has initiated eco industrial projects that attempt to find ways to reuse all wastes as raw materials for other processes. Storm Brewing in Newfoundland, Canada—in one of a growing number of projects around the world applying ZERI principles—is using spent grains, a by-product of the beer-making process, to make bread and grow mushrooms.
As industries continue to adopt nature’s models, entire manufacturing processes could operate locally, with local ingredients like the factories that use liquefied beach sand to make windshields. As more scientists and engineers begin to embrace biomimicry, natural organisms will come to be regarded as mentors, their processes deemed masterful.
Look at the following descriptions mentioned in the reading passage. Match the three kinds of levels (A-C) listed below the descriptions. Write the appropriate letters, A-C, in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.
A First level: mimic nature’s precise and efficient shapes, structures, and geometries
B Second level: imitating natural processes and biochemical ‘recipes’
C Third level: creates symbiotic relationships with other like organisms
27. Synthesized Plastic, developed together with cement factory, can recycle waste gas.
28. Cosmetics companies produce a series of shine cosmetics colours
29. People are inspired how to remove excess salt inspired by nature.
30. Daimler Chrysler introduced a fish-shaped car.
31. Marine plan company integrated itself into a part in economic ecosystem
32. Natural chemicals developed based on seaweed known to kill bacteria
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage? In boxes 33-40 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement agrees with the views of the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the views of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
33. Biomimicry is a totally new concept that has been unveiled recently.
34. Leonardo da Vinci has been the first designer to mimic nature
35. Scientists believe it involves more than mimicking the shape to capture the design in nature
36. We can save the utilisation of energy by up to 40% if we take advantage of the current findings.
37. Daimler Chrysler’s prototype car modelled on a coral reef fish is a best-seller.
38. Some great companies and communities themselves are seeking solutions beyond their own industrial scope
39. The British paint company Sto did not make the microstructure of the lotus leaf,applicable
40. a Canadian beer Company increased the production the by applying ZERI principles