ESL EFL Readings 75

Short Reading Comprehension Practice - Witness Testimonies Evidence

The answers are given at the bottom of the page

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Answer the questions according to the reading

Witness Testimonies Reliability

All of us rely on what we see. Can we really trust the evidence of our eyes? Take competitive sports. Fans who see the same game will not agree with each other and will disagree with the referee. It is the same story in the courtroom. Trial procedure depends on witnesses giving sworn testimony. But just how reliable is the testimony of a person who reports what he has seen? In a recent study, ten thousand witnesses were asked to describe the man they saw commit a crime. The study reveals that, on the average, the witnesses overestimated the man's height by five inches, his age by eight years, and gave the wrong hair color in 83 percent of the cases. What can we do to keep error to minimum? First of all, don't see something because you want to see it. Secondly, try to stay relaxed. If you are tense, you are liable to see red when the color is blue.

1. One can infer from the passage that ----.

A) eyewitness testimony is the most trustworthy element in a criminal case
B) very few people rely on what they see
C) we can't completely trust the evidence of our eyes
D) the sworn testimony given by the witnesses is always reliable
E) fans never give accurate descriptions of what they see

2. According to the passage, statistical studies show that ----.

A) fans at sports events make notes of what they see
B) witnesses feel comfortable when they are describing a crime to a jury
C) very few people are willing to report what they see
D) most fans believe referees' decisions are influenced by crowds
E) eyewitnesses can make significant identification errors

3. We understand from the passage that eyewitnesses ----.

A) usually try to keep visual error to a minimum
B) are sometimes forced to lie about what they see
C) shouldn't let their emotions interfere with their vision
D) have no respect for the truth
E) generally stay calm when they are reporting an event

Score =
Correct answers:


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