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Thread: Reading comprehension passage

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    Reading comprehension passage

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    In the summer of 1856, Nathaniel Hawthorne visited a decaying English manor house known as Stanton Harcourt, not far from Oxford. He was struck by the vast kitchen, which occupied the bottom of a 70-foot tower. "Here, no doubt, they were accustomed to roast oxen whole, with as little fuss and ado as a modern cook would roast a fowl," he wrote in an 1863 travelogue, Our Old Home.

    Hawthorne wrote that as he stood in that kitchen, he was seized by an uncanny feeling: "I was haunted and perplexed by an idea that somewhere or other I had seen just this strange spectacle before. The height, the blackness, the dismal void, before my eyes, seemed as familiar as the decorous neatness of my grandmother's kitchen." He was certain that he had never actually seen this room or anything like it. And yet for a moment he was caught in what he described as "that odd state of mind wherein we fitfully and teasingly remember some previous scene or incident, of which the one now passing appears to be but the echo and reduplication."

    When Hawthorne wrote that passage there was no common term for such an experience. But by the end of the 19th century, after discarding "false recognition," "paramnesia," and "promnesia," scholars had settled on a French candidate: "déjà vu," or "already seen."

    The fleeting melancholy and euphoria associated with déjà vu have attracted the interest of poets, novelists, and occultists of many stripes. St. Augustine, Sir Walter Scott, Dickens, and Tolstoy all wrote detailed accounts of such experiences. (We will politely leave aside a certain woozy song by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.)

    Most academic psychologists, however, have ignored the topic since around 1890, when there was a brief flurry of interest. The phenomenon seems at once too rare and too ephemeral to capture in a laboratory. And even if it were as common as sneezing, déjà vu would still be difficult to study because it produces no measurable external behaviors. Researchers must trust their subjects' personal descriptions of what is going on inside their minds, and few people are as eloquent as Hawthorne. Psychology has generally filed déjà vu away in a drawer marked "Interesting but Insoluble."

    During the past two decades, however, a few hardy souls have reopened the scientific study of déjà vu. They hope to nail down a persuasive explanation of the phenomenon, as well as shed light on some fundamental elements of memory and cognition. In the new book The Déjà Vu Experience: Essays in Cognitive Psychology (Psychology Press), Alan S. Brown, a professor of psychology at Southern Methodist University, surveys the fledgling subfield. "What we can try to do is zero in on it from a variety of different angles," he says. "It won't be something like, 'Boom! The explanation is there.' But we can get gradual clarity through some hard work."

    Taken from The Tease of Memory by DAVID GLENN (http://www.aldaily.com/)





    1. The passage is primarily concerned with
    A) Examining a concept which is difficult to define
    B) Detailing the factors that have contributed to the use of a term among scientists and academicians
    C) Evaluating the pro and cons of a new concept
    D) Summarizing an old experience
    E) Detailing a scientific study

    2. Which of the following best describe the organization of the passage
    A) A concept is defined and is followed by details of the concept
    B) A generalization is stated and is then followed by instances that support the generalization
    C) An example of a concept is given and then followed by the explanation of the concept
    D) A theory is proposed and then followed by examples
    E) A paradox is states, discussed and left unresolved



    3. The author implies that which of the following accounts for the reasons why déjà vu was once difficult
    to capture in a laboratory.

    A) The social nature of the term made it uninteresting for academicians and laboratory workers
    B) The subjective nature of déjà vu makes it difficult to measure
    C) The term déjà vu is embedded in Psychology and therefore cannot be studied in the laboratory
    D) The phenomenon seems at once too rare and too ephemeral
    E) The uninteresting nature of the term made it unattractive to academicians


    Which of the following would the author of the passage agree to most
    A} Déjà vu was invented and first used by academic psychologists
    B) The scientific study of déjà vu is now complete with many scientist studying
    C) Déjà vu was embraced by poets, novelists, and occultists of many stripes before academic psychologists
    D) Déjà vu is an exact science
    E) There is not a definite definition of Déjà vu

  2. #2
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Reading comprehension passage

    My picks :

    1) A
    2) C
    3) D
    4) C

    please post the correct answers.

  3. #3
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    Re: Reading comprehension passage

    Spiderman, you are right. you scored 100% on the this.

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    got all wrong then

  5. #5
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    1) B
    2) C
    3) B
    4) C

    OAs please

  6. #6
    Within my grasp! sandeep_chads's Avatar
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    Good post? Yes | No
    I marked A, C, B, C
    but third one is not B because the author in the passage says that even hypothetically, if we capture de davu in lab, we can't measure it. But the question asks why de ja vu can't be captured therefore D should be the right answer
    Hey Harvard, I am right here!!
    rep me if I made some sense

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