CAE Reading and Use of English Part 8
You are going to read an article about risk taking. For questions 47-56, choose from the sections of the article (A-D). The sections may be chosen more than once. When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order.
In which section of the article is the following mentioned?
47 the use of car imagery to help explain neural activity?
48 mention of one person’s interest in the history of risk taking?
49 details of the process used to investigate the brain’s mechanics?
50 a chemical-based explanation as to why people have such varied attitudes towards risk taking?
51 a well-known theory that explains why people take risks during everyday activities?
52 specific examples of what a person could lose if risk taking goes wrong?
53 mention of a common confusion about the chemical causes of risky behaviour?
54 a judgement of another person’s stated belief about risk taking?
55 a reference to the fact that some people become addicted to the chemical reaction experienced in risk taking?
56 a description of a biological process initiated by fear in humans?
The Mystery of Risk
Jodie O’Rourke reviews current thinking about what lies behind risk taking
Exploration of all sorts is rooted in the notion of taking risks. Risk underlies any journey into the unknown, whether it is a ship captain’s voyage into uncharted seas, a scientist’s research on dangerous diseases, or an entrepreneur’s investment in a new venture. Some of the motivations for taking risks are obvious – financial reward, fame, political gain, saving lives. But as the danger increases, the number of people willing to go forward shrinks, until the only ones who remain are the extreme risk takers. This is the mystery of risk: what makes some humans willing to jeopardize their reputation, fortune, and life and to continue to do so, even in the face of dire consequences? Scientists have now begun to open up the neurological black box containing the mechanisms for risk taking and tease out the biological factors that may prompt someone to become an explorer. Their research has centred on neurotransmitters, the chemicals that control communication in the brain.
One neurotransmitter that is crucial to the risk taking equation is dopamine, which helps control motor skills but also helps drive us to seek out and learn new things as well as process emotions such as anxiety and fear. Robust dopamine production holds one of the keys to understanding risk taking, says Larry Zweifel, a neurobiologist at the University of Washington. ‘When you’re talking about someone who takes risks to accomplish something, that’s driven by motivation, and motivation is driven by the dopamine system. This is what compels humans to move forward.’ Dopamine helps elicit a sense of satisfaction when we accomplish tasks: the riskier the task, the larger the hit of dopamine. Part of the reason we don’t all climb mountains is that we don’t all have the same amount of dopamine. Molecules on the surface of nerve cells called autoreceptors control how much dopamine we make and use, essentially controlling our appetite for risk.
In a study conducted at Vanderbilt University, participants underwent scans allowing scientists to observe the autoreceptors in the part of the brain circuitry associated with reward, addiction, and movement. People who had fewer autoreceptors – that is, who had freer flowing dopamine – were more likely to engage in novelty-seeking behaviour, such as exploration. ‘Think of dopamine like gasoline,’ says neuropsychologist David Zald, the study’s lead author. ‘You combine that with a brain equipped with a lesser ability to put on the brakes than normal, and you get people who push limits.’ This is where the discussion often mixes up risk takers with thrill seekers or adrenaline junkies. The hormone adrenaline is designed to help us escape from danger. It works like this: When the brain perceives a threat, it triggers the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream, which in turn stimulates the heart, lungs, muscles, and other parts of the body to help us flee or fight in a life-threatening situation. This release generates a feeling of exhilaration that continues after the threat has passed, as the adrenaline clears from the system. For some people, that adrenaline rush can become a reward the brain seeks. They are prompted to induce it by going to scary movies or engaging in extreme sports.
Acclimating to risk is something we all do in our daily lives. A good example of this occurs when learning to drive a car. At first, a new driver may fear traveling on freeways, but over time that same driver with more experience will merge casually into speeding traffic with little consideration for the significant potential dangers. What is commonly referred to as the ‘familiarity principle’ can also be applied to help explain the lack of fear associated with high-risk situations. By practising an activity, humans can become used to the risk and manage the fear that arises in those situations. The notion that we are all descended from risk takers fascinates writer Paul Salopek. ‘Early humans leaving the Great Rift Valley in Africa thousands of years ago were the first great explorers,’ he reasons. ‘At our innermost core we are all risk takers. And this shared willingness to explore our planet has bound our species from the very beginning.’ It’s a noble idea, albeit a dopamine-based one!
1 C — as a result. The phrase conveys the idea of cause and effect: it became famous because of its elegant design.
2 A — boosted. To boost popularity is the accepted collocation here.
3 A — went ahead. The idea is that the projected continued to develop.
4 B — challenge. ‘Quite a challenge’ is another collocation here.
5 C — sway. ‘To sway’ means ‘to move slowly from one side to another’. ‘To wobble’ would imply that the bridge has poor balance. ‘To shake’ can’t really be applied to something as massive as bridge (under normal conditions).
6 B — enchanting. The second part of the sentence helps us here – the mention of mist implies mystery and romance surrounding the bridge.
7 D — disappearing. Towers are so high that their tops cannot be seen in the dark – they dissapear.
8 B— lost. ‘To lose a record’ is the collocation that implies leadership in something you no longer have.
9 rather. It used to contrast – doodling should be seen as something good rather than frowned upon.
10 how. The study determined the amount of understood information, or how well people understand it.
12 or. A clear comparison of two situations
13 going. ‘Going on’ is a set phrase. We can’t use ‘happening’ here because of the ‘on’ preposition.
14 longer. ‘No longer’ here means ‘not anymore’.
15 only. ‘Not only’ here is used to emphasise the usefulness of doodling.
16 on. ‘To keep on track’ means ‘to keep in control or to maintain the right direction’.
17 unfavourable/unfavorable. Note the use of negative prefix required by context.
18 problematic. An adjective is required here.
19 intensifies. ‘Intensify’ means ‘to make more serious or extreme.
20 instability. Another example where context suggests that a negative prefix is needed here – the problems of harvest are discussed and bad (or unstable) climate can contribute to the issue.
21 effectively. A special breed of rice, that uses nitrogen in an efficient, productive way.
22 performance. The word is used in the meaning of overall productivity or the ability to grow and yield harvest.
23 resistant. ‘Resistant’ means strong, unaffected by something.
24 lessen. To make less.
25 parents were / are unaware of
26 as (it is / it’s) commonly (believed / thought)
27 in the mood (to go / for going)
28 somewhere else to
29 failed to (realise / appreciate / understand) the (significance / importance)
30 there any (improvement in / increase in / increase to)
31 C. Paragraph Two, sentense three: “Indignant at the suggestion that she would willingly share a list of contacts painstakingly built up over many years…”. Answers A and D are not mentioned. Answer B doesn’t fit here – there’s a mention of regretting the tone of the message, not the fact that she refused the applicant.
32 C. Paragraph Two, at the end: “But if the incident makes young people think more carefully about how they use social media in a professional capacity, she may have actually ended up doing them a favour.”. This note helped many young people realise how serious they should approach their search for a job.
33 D. Last but one sentence of Paragraph three mentions how people can pretend to have completely different personalities on the Internet. Answer A is not mentioned (last sentence of the paragraph has a different meaning). Answer B could be used to address sentence two ideas (“When my generation were teenagers… “), however the sentence doesn’t imply converstations with teachers or parents. Answer C is not mentioned either.
34 C. Paragraph Four, second sentence states that people of that generation fail to see the difference between use of social networks for work and for leisure.
35 B. Answer A is not mentioned. Answer C mentions the author’s opinion, that young people can become a valuable part of the workforce. However, no opinion of your people themselves is given. Answer D is not mentioned – it is the older generation who think that young people appear to be arrogant; In the middle of paragraph five: “in many countries we’re increasingly desperate about finding employment…”. Here author speaks for the young people in question.
36 A. Second sentence of the last paragraph gives a clear answer to the question.
37 B. Unlike opinions in other paragraphs, the last sentence of Paragraph B believes that alternative renewable power sources will take over, and the amount of fossil fuels used will inevitably go down.
38 A. Paragraph A believes that the contribution of GHG from the developing countries is not as serious when taken at a per capita amount (“However, the GHG per person of these regions is currently still far below…).
39 B. This paragraph doubts the accuracy of climate change predictions: “even the most expert calculations are no more than speculation… “. Other paragraphs are fairly confident in the ability to foresee climatic shifts.
40 C. One but last sentence of Paragraph C states that the nature will not fail to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions on our planet.
41 F. ‘The men’ at the beginning of paragraph F are the Althouri fishermen mentioned at the end of the first paragraph.
42 B. The man start shouting, and then Paragraph B develops this part: ‘What are they saying?’. Then, Paragraph B is concluded with the author appreciating the landscape, the description of which is continued at the beginning of the following paragraph.
43 D. ‘.. other places we thought would be perfect for visiting by boat..’ is the part of Paragraph D that makes it more fitting that others. Note the description of cliffs in the previous paragraph – they are surrounded by water. Paragraph D expands on this idea. Then in the following paragraph Alex is mentioned jumping off the boat.
44 G. ‘Some defy belief’ in Paragraph G refer to the challenges from the previous paragraph.
45 E. ‘I’d already had a similar moment of awareness’ refers to the author’s imminent realisation of his own age.
46 C. ‘Looking down at the tortuous shoreline…’ helps us to understand that the narrator and his friend have finished their climbing.
47 C. Sentence three and four, beginning with ‘Think of dopamine like gasoline’.
48 D. In the bottom part of Paragraph D Paul Salopek is mentioned being intrigued in other people’s risk taking in the human history, how it propelled men forward to seek and explore.
49 C. In the second part of Paragraph C, beginning with ‘It works like this’ we are given a detailed example of the brain process in question.
50 B. Last but one sentence of Paragraph B goes ‘… we don’t all have the same amount of dopamine’, which explain different attitude towards risk-taking.
51 D. The beginning of the paragraph uses the example of driving a car to illustrate risk-taking in everyday setting and how we get used to such risk.
52 A. The second part of this paragraph gives examples of what a risk-taker could potentially lose, such as life or reputation.
53 C. The example of ‘risk-takers’ and ‘thrill-seekers’ explains the common confusion connected with the reason for various types of people to take risks.
54 D. The very last sentence of the paragraph has the answer. The author judges the idea to be noble, but taking place for a different, dopamine-related reason.
55 C. Last sentence of the paragraph gives the examples how people seek more of the same sensation, becoming addicted to the adrenaline-dopamine reaction.
56 C. In the middle, the chemical reaction associated with adrenaline injection is described.