CAT 2019 - Slot 1 - Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension - Para Summary & Odd Man Out

Q. 1: The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
A distinguishing feature of language is our ability to refer to absent things, known as displaced reference. A speaker can bring distant referents to mind in the absence of any obvious stimuli. Thoughts, not limited to the here and now, can pop into our heads for unfathomable reasons. This ability to think about distant things necessarily precedes the ability to talk about them. Thought precedes meaningful referential communication. A prerequisite for the emergence of human-like meaningful symbols is that the mental categories they relate to can be invoked even in the absence of immediate stimuli. 

1. Thoughts precede all speech acts and these thoughts pop up in our heads even in the absence of any stimulus.
2. Displaced reference is particular to humans and thoughts pop into our heads for no real reason.
3. Thoughts are essential to communication and only humans have the ability to think about objects not present in their surroundings.
4. The ability to think about objects not present in our environment precedes the development of human communication

 

1. A summary of the passage would read like the following:

Displaced reference is the propensity to have thoughts about distant things without the absence of any obvious stimulus. Displaced reference or thoughts precede language or communication.

Option 1 distorts the meaning of the paragraph by stating that thoughts precede all speech acts. This implies that we think of a particular subject before speaking about it. The passage mentions that thoughts occurred before communication or language in humans. The two interpretations are not compatible. Secondly, “all” speech acts is too strong an assumption to make. Therefore, option 1 is eliminated. The paragraph does not mention that displaced reference is unique to humans. Eliminate option 2.

The paragraph does not mention that the ability to have thoughts not present in our surroundings is unique only to humans. Eliminate option 3. 

Option 4 summarizes the paragraph correctly. The ability to think precedes human communication (as mentioned at the top of the solution). Hence, the correct answer is option 4.

 

 
Q. 2: The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
Physics is a pure science that seeks to understand the behaviour of matter without regard to whether it will afford any practical benefit. Engineering is the correlative applied science in which physical theories are put to some specific use, such as building a bridge or a nuclear reactor. Engineers obviously rely heavily on the discoveries of physicists, but an engineer’s knowledge of the world is not the same as the physicist’s knowledge. In fact, an engineer’s know-how will often depend on physical theories that, from the point of view of pure physics, are false. There are some reasons for this. First, theories that are false in the purest and strictest sense are still sometimes very good approximations to the true ones, and often have the added virtue of being much easier to work with. Second, sometimes the true theories apply only under highly idealized conditions which can only be created under controlled experimental situations. The engineer finds that in the real world, theories rejected by physicists yield more accurate predictions than the ones that they accept.  
1. The relationship between pure and applied science is strictly linear, with the pure science directing applied science, and never the other way round.
2. Though engineering draws heavily from pure science, it contributes to knowledge, by incorporating the constraints and conditions in the real world.
3. The unique task of the engineer is to identify, understand, and interpret the design constraints to produce a successful result.
4. Engineering and physics fundamentally differ on matters like building a bridge or a nuclear reactor.

2. Let us sum up the passage. The passage states that physics seeks to understand the behavior of matter without regard to whether it will afford any practical benefit while engineering uses the theories of physics for some specific use. Secondly, in real world situations, engineers often use theories from physics that have been rejected under controlled experimental situations.

Option 1 is an assumption that is not borne out by the passage. The passage does state that theories of physics or pure sciences do direct applied sciences such as engineering but we do not know whether or not the reverse is true. Thus, option 1 is eliminated.

Option 2 summarizes the paragraph succinctly. It restates the meanings given in summing up the passage. Though engineering uses a lot of theories of physics it also accepts a lot of theories rejected by physicists that have been created in controlled experimental situations because they happen to work in real world situations.

Option 3 erroneously refers to “design constraints” instead of the “acceptance and rejections of theories of pure science.” The paragraph does not mention “design constraints” at all but the fact that engineers frequently use theories of physics that have been rejected in controlled experimental situations. Thus, option 3 is eliminated.

Option 4 distorts the meaning of the paragraph. Engineering and physics do not fundamentally differ on matters like building a bridge or a nuclear reactor. The paragraph states in sentence 2 that engineers use the theories of physics to build bridges and nuclear reactors. It is just that some theories of physics which have been rejected in controlled experimental situations are put into use by engineers in real world situations but fundamentally engineers use the theories of physics and do not differ from them.

Hence, the correct answer is option 2.

 

Q. 3: The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.

Vance Packard’s The Hidden Persuaders alerted the public to the psychoanalytical techniques used by the advertising industry. Its premise was that advertising agencies were using depth interviews to identify hidden consumer motivations, which were then used to entice consumers to buy goods. Critics and reporters often wrongly assumed that Packard was writing mainly about subliminal advertising. Packard never mentioned the word subliminal, however, and devoted very little space to discussions of “subthreshold” effects. Instead, his views largely aligned with the notion that individuals do not always have access to their conscious thoughts and can be persuaded by supraliminal messages without their knowledge.

1. Packard held that advertising as a ‘hidden persuasion’ builds on peoples’ conscious thoughts and awareness, by understanding the hidden motivations of consumers and works at the subliminal level. 
2. Packard argued that advertising as a ‘hidden persuasion’ works at the supraliminal level, wherein the people targeted are aware of being persuaded, after understanding the hidden motivations of consumers and works. 
3. Packard argued that advertising as a ‘hidden persuasion’ understands the hidden motivations of consumers and works at the subliminal level, on the subconscious level of the awareness of the people targeted. 
4. Packard held that advertising as a ‘hidden persuasion’ understands the hidden motivations of consumers and works at the supraliminal level, though the people targeted have no awareness of being persuaded.

 

3.  What does the passage state? Vance Packard’s argument is clear. Advertising agencies use supraliminal messages, which individuals are not conscious of, to entice them to buy goods. Furthermore, individuals have no knowledge or awareness that supraliminal messages are being used to entice them.

Now let us examine each option:

Option 1 clearly contradicts Packard’s assertion by stating that advertising or the ‘hidden persuasion’ builds on peoples’ conscious thoughts and awareness. The passage clearly states that advertisers use supraliminal messages which people are not conscious of. Secondly, option 1 states that advertising works at the subliminal level. Packard was clear that the hidden persuasion works at the supraliminal level. Therefore, option 1 can be eliminated.

Option 2 is incorrect. While it is true that Packard was of the opinion that advertising works at the supraliminal level, option 2 states that people targeted are aware they are being persuaded. Actually, they are not aware that they are being persuaded. Therefore, option 2 can also be eliminated.

Option 3 is also incorrect as the option states that advertising works at the subliminal level while Packard was of the view that it works at the supraliminal level. Therefore, option 3 can also be eliminated.

Option 4 summarises the passage correctly and succinctly by stating the crux of the passage. Advertising understands the hidden motivations of consumers and works at the supraliminal level in which the consumers have no idea that they are being persuaded.

Hence, the correct answer is option 4.

 

Q. 4: Five sentences related to a topic are given below. Four of them can be put together to form a meaningful and coherent short paragraph. Identify the odd one out. Choose its number as your answer and key it in.

1. His idea to use sign language was not a completely new idea as Native Americans used hand gestures to communicate with other tribes.
2. Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, for example, observed that men who are deaf are incapable of speech.
3. People who were born deaf were denied the right to sign a will as they were “presumed to understand nothing; because it is not possible that they have been able to learn to read or write.”
4. Pushback against this prejudice began in the 16th century when Pedro Ponce de León created a formal sign language for the hearing impaired.
5. For millennia, people with hearing impairments encountered marginalization because it was believed that language could only be learned by hearing the spoken word.

 

4. Let us solve this question by linking the sentences logically into a coherent paragraph.

The paragraph is about the prejudices that deaf people encountered in the past before Pedro Ponce de Leon created a formal sign language for the hearing impaired in the 16th century.

Sentence 5 would be the first sentence of the paragraph. It mentions the marginalization that the hearing impaired encountered for millennia and the reason for that marginalization or prejudice – it was believed that language could only be learned by hearing the spoken word.

Sentence 3 extends the thought of prejudice by citing one instance of this prejudice; deaf people were not permitted the right to sign wills.

Sentence 4 with the thought reversal “Pushback against this prejudice” will follow sentence 3 with the mention of a formal sign language created by Pedro Ponce Leon.

Sentence 1 closes the paragraph by stating that Pedro’s idea (of using sign language) was not new. Native Americans used hand gestures as well to communicate with other tribes.

We are left with sentence 2 which does not appear to fit anywhere in the paragraph. It states that the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, observed that deaf people were incapable of speech. This sentence clearly is the odd one out since the paragraph is about the prejudices that the deaf people faced and the attempt to redress this prejudice by the creation of a sign language by Pedro Ponce. The fact that the deaf were also incapable of speech is not of any importance or relevance to the paragraph.

Hence, the correct answer is option 2.

 

Q. 5: Five sentences related to a topic are given below in a jumbled order. Four of them form a coherent and unified paragraph. Identify the odd sentence that does not go with the four. Key in the number of the option that you choose.

1. ‘Stat’ signaled something measurable, while ‘matic’ advertised free labour; but ‘tron’, above all, indicated control.
2. It was a totem of high modernism, the intellectual and cultural mode that decreed no process or phenomenon was too complex to be grasped, managed and optimized.
3. Like the heraldic shields of ancient knights, these morphemes were painted onto the names of scientific technologies to proclaim one’s history and achievements to friends and enemies alike.
4. The historian Robert Proctor at Stanford University calls the suffix ‘-tron’, along with ‘-matic’ and ‘-stat’, embodied symbols. 
5. To gain the suffix was to acquire a proud and optimistic emblem of the electronic and atomic age

 

5.  It is clear that the passage is about the three morphemes, ‘stat,’ ‘matic’ and ‘tron’, their meanings and importance in the electronic and atomic age.

Let us link the sentences logically and try and find the sentence which does not link logically with the other sentences. ‘Stat’, ‘matic’ and ‘tron’ are suffixes as first mentioned in sentence 4. Therefore, sentence 4 will begin the paragraph. Sentence 1 follows sentence 4 by giving the meanings of the three suffixes.

Sentence 3 follows sentence 1 by stating that these morphemes (Stat, matic and tron) have been linked to scientific technologies to proclaim one’s history and achievements, similar to knights in ancient times wearing shields with emblems to proclaim their warrior statuses.

Sentence 5 extends this thought further by stating that to gain these suffixes (signifying different professions) was a mark of prestige in the modern era.

It is clear that sentence 2 is the odd sentence out of the paragraph. We are not sure as to what the pronoun “it” is referring to.

Secondly, it mentions that the modern age is characterized by the fact that no process or phenomenon is too complex to be understood or deciphered. Sentence 2 is completely at variance with the other sentences in the paragraph since it does not mention anything about the three suffixes (stat, matic and tron) discussed in the other sentences.

Hence, the correct answer is option 2.

 

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