Reading Comprehension Practice 24


ESL Reading Comprehension 24 - Active & Passive Smoking / Nicotine

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Active Passive Smoking

Answer the questions according to the reading passage.

Psychologist George Spilich at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, decided to find out whether, as many smokers say, smoking helps them to think and concentrate. He put non-smokers, active smokers and smokers deprived of cigarettes through a series of tests. In the first test, each subject sat before a computer screen and pressed a key as soon as he or she recognized a target letter. In this simple test, smokers, deprived smokers and non-smokers performed equally well. The next test was more complex. Non-smokers were faster, but under the stimulation of nicotine, active smokers were faster than deprived smokers. In the third test of short-term memory, non-smokers made the fewest errors, but deprived smokers committed fewer errors than active smokers. In the fourth test, non-smokers were the best and deprived smokers bested those who had smoked a cigarette just before testing. As the tests became more complex, non-smokers performed better than smokers by wider and wider margins.

1. It is pointed out in the passage that the purpose of George Spilich's experiments is ----.

A) to test whether smoking has a positive effect on the mental capacity
        of smokers
B) to show how smoking damages people's mental capacity
C) to prove that smoking affects people's regular performance
D) to show that non-smokers are less productive at work than smokers
E) to prove that nicotine helps people's short term memory


2. We understand from the passage that ----.

A) active smokers in general performed better than deprived smokers
B) active smokers responded more quickly than the other subjects in all
        tests
C) the other subjects were not better than nonsmokers in the simplest
        test
D) deprived smokers gave the slowest responses to the various tasks
E) non-smokers committed more errors than deprived smokers in most of
        the tests


3. George Spilich's experiment was conducted in such a way as to ----.

A) check the effectiveness of nicotine on nonsmokers
B) put the subjects through increasingly complex tests
C) finish the tests as quickly as possible
D) force the subjects to recall the words they learned
E) compel the subjects to respond as fast as possible

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