IELTS Academic Reading Practice 3

 
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This reading practice simulates one part of the IELTS Academic Reading test. You should spend about twenty minutes on it. Read the passage and answer questions 29-40.

Questions 29-36

Look at the following Descriptions (Questions 29-36) and List of psychologists below.

Match each description with the correct psychologist.

Write the correct number A-D in boxes Questions 29-36 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

List of psychologists
  1. Clark Hull
  2. Howard and Tracy Kendler
  3. Michael Cole and colleagues
  4. Simon Hewson

29. is cited as having demonstrated that earlier experiments into children's ability to reason deductively may have led to the wrong conclusions.
30. experimented with things that the subjects might have been expected to encounter in everyday life, rather than with a machine.
31. appears to have proved that a change in the apparatus dramatically improves the performance of children of certain ages.
32. is cited as famous in the field of psychology.
33. demonstrated that the two-stage experiment involving button-pressing and inserting a marble into a hole poses problems for certain adults as well as children.
34. trained children separately in the two stages of their experiments with the use of marbles.
35. devised an experiment that investigated deductive reasoning without the use of any marbles.
36. used a machine to measure inductive reasoning that replaced button-pressing with drawer-opening.
Questions 37-40

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage? In boxes 37-40 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

37. Howard and Tracy Kendler devised a two-stage experiment involving button-pressing.
38. Michael Cole and his colleagues demonstrated that children performance on deductive reasoning tasks depends on features of the apparatus and procedure.
39. All Hewson's experiments used marbles of the same size.
40. Hewson's modifications resulted in a higher success rate for children of all ages.

Answer Sheet
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
N/A
14
N/A
15
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16
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17
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18
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19
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20
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21
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22
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23
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24
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25
N/A
26
N/A
27
N/A
28
N/A
29
N/A
30
N/A
31
N/A
32
N/A
33
N/A
34
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35
N/A
36
N/A
37
N/A
38
N/A
39
N/A
40
N/A


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Discoveries on the Basis of Deductive Reasoning

Could it be that the very essence of reasoning itself is found in the way we behave? Clark Hull, an acclaimed American psychologist, theorized that it was, describing that reasoning is achieved by the way two “behavior segments” are combined in new ways to achieve goals. Howard and Tracey Kendler, who were two of Hull’s followers, used Hull’s principle ideas to design a reasoning test for children. In this test, children needed to learn how to use a machine in a two-step process. The children learned each of the two steps individually, with the first being to correctly choose and press one of two buttons, and the second to place a marble into a small opening. If both steps were completed successfully, a toy would be released as rewards to the children.

From this test, the Kendlers learned that although the children were able to learn each step, they were not able to “integrate” the two tasks without intervention. In other words, the children could not successfully perform the first step, pushing the button, and then proceed to the second step, inserting the marble into the hole, by themselves. This failure to  independently integrate the steps led the Kendlers to believe that children of this age were not able to use deductive reasoning.

According the the work of psychologist and professor Michael Cole and his associates, some adults from specific African tribes are also unable to successfully complete the Kendlers' two-step test of deductive reasoning. However, this finding remains questionable in light of the findings of a similar test to the Kenders’, which revealed that the African tribespeople were, in fact, able to complete the test.

In this test, Cole substituted a locked box for the machine with the buttons, and then used two matchboxes of different colors. One of the matchboxes held a key for the locked box. Just like with the Kendlers’ test, Cole’s test also involved two behavior segments, these being to first open the right match-box to get the key, and second to use the key to open the box. However, Cole’s test differs quite a bit psychologically. Instead of subjects being presented with a strange machine, they are given familiar objects in a simpler context. Cole found the difficulty of 'integration' was greatly reduced here.

It seems that the same truth which Cole discovered can be extended to explain the deductive reasoning skills of young children. Psychologist Simon Hewson believes that perhaps the task’s difficulty is not in inferential processes themselves, but is instead tied to confusing features of the test apparatus, such as the button machine, as well as the context of the procedure being tested. When these factors are adjusted in order to prevent the inferential nature of the problem being affected, five-year-old children are able to successfully complete these tests as well as college students did in the Kendlers' test.

Hewson made two essential changes to the test in order to build on this idea. First, he replaced the button-pressing mechanism with drawers that a child could slide open and shut. This removed confusion on what to do with the original button apparatus from the first stage of training. Secondly, Hewson made sure that children understood that there was nothing special or magical about the marble which was used to successfully complete the second step of the task and get the reward.

This is important because a child cannot easily comprehend a mechanism in which a marble put into a hole can open a little door. It would then be safe to say that the child will not assume that any marble of similar size could be used the same way. But, to solve the problem, this assumption must be made. Hewson clearly demonstrated the functional equivalence of different marbles to the children by playing a 'swapping game.” Hewsons two modifications to the experiment led to a rise in success rates from 30 percent to 90 percent for five-year old children and from 35 percent to 72.5 per cent for four-year-olds.
Strangely enough for three-year olds, Hewson’s changes did not lead to any improvement, and instead there was a slight drop in performance from the change.

It is possible to conclude that children faced with the Kendler apparatus experienced difficulty not related to reasoning, but to the nature of the tasks themselves, and that difficulty cannot be taken as proof that they are incapable of deductive reasoning.

Reading Passage Vocabulary
Discoveries on the Basis of Deductive Reasoning

Could it be that the very essence of reasoning itself is found in the way we behave? Clark Hull, an acclaimed American psychologist, theorized that it was, describing that reasoning is achieved by the way two “behavior segments” are combined in new ways to achieve goals. Howard and Tracey Kendler, who were two of Hull’s followers, used Hull’s principle ideas to design a reasoning test for children. In this test, children needed to learn how to use a machine in a two-step process. The children learned each of the two steps individually, with the first being to correctly choose and press one of two buttons, and the second to place a marble into a small opening. If both steps were completed successfully, a toy would be released as rewards to the children.

From this test, the Kendlers learned that although the children were able to learn each step, they were not able to “integrate” the two tasks without intervention. In other words, the children could not successfully perform the first step, pushing the button, and then proceed to the second step, inserting the marble into the hole, by themselves. This failure to  independently integrate the steps led the Kendlers to believe that children of this age were not able to use deductive reasoning.

According the the work of psychologist and professor Michael Cole and his associates, some adults from specific African tribes are also unable to successfully complete the Kendlers' two-step test of deductive reasoning. However, this finding remains questionable in light of the findings of a similar test to the Kenders’, which revealed that the African tribespeople were, in fact, able to complete the test.

In this test, Cole substituted a locked box for the machine with the buttons, and then used two matchboxes of different colors. One of the matchboxes held a key for the locked box. Just like with the Kendlers’ test, Cole’s test also involved two behavior segments, these being to first open the right match-box to get the key, and second to use the key to open the box. However, Cole’s test differs quite a bit psychologically. Instead of subjects being presented with a strange machine, they are given familiar objects in a simpler context. Cole found the difficulty of 'integration' was greatly reduced here.

It seems that the same truth which Cole discovered can be extended to explain the deductive reasoning skills of young children. Psychologist Simon Hewson believes that perhaps the task’s difficulty is not in inferential processes themselves, but is instead tied to confusing features of the test apparatus, such as the button machine, as well as the context of the procedure being tested. When these factors are adjusted in order to prevent the inferential nature of the problem being affected, five-year-old children are able to successfully complete these tests as well as college students did in the Kendlers' test.

Hewson made two essential changes to the test in order to build on this idea. First, he replaced the button-pressing mechanism with drawers that a child could slide open and shut. This removed confusion on what to do with the original button apparatus from the first stage of training. Secondly, Hewson made sure that children understood that there was nothing special or magical about the marble which was used to successfully complete the second step of the task and get the reward.

This is important because a child cannot easily comprehend a mechanism in which a marble put into a hole can open a little door. It would then be safe to say that the child will not assume that any marble of similar size could be used the same way. But, to solve the problem, this assumption must be made. Hewson clearly demonstrated the functional equivalence of different marbles to the children by playing a 'swapping game.” Hewsons two modifications to the experiment led to a rise in success rates from 30 percent to 90 percent for five-year old children and from 35 percent to 72.5 per cent for four-year-olds.
Strangely enough for three-year olds, Hewson’s changes did not lead to any improvement, and instead there was a slight drop in performance from the change.

It is possible to conclude that children faced with the Kendler apparatus experienced difficulty not related to reasoning, but to the nature of the tasks themselves, and that difficulty cannot be taken as proof that they are incapable of deductive reasoning.

 
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