Free Reading Comprehension Set II - 09 Practice Test - CAT
In the context of science, according to the passage, the interaction of dogmatic beliefs and critical attitude can be best described as:
Solution : C
If we look at the idea conveyed by the author in the third paragraph, he says that the critical attitude is not so much opposed to the dogmatic attitude as super-imposed upon it. A critical attitude needs for its raw material, as it were, theories or beliefs which are held more or less dogmatically. Option (c) very well conveys this idea by talking of feedstock in a fertilizer industry which serves as raw material and gets transformed into fertilizers.
· Our propensities to look out for regularities, and to impose laws upon nature, leads to the psychological phenomenon of dogmatic thinking.
· Events which do not yield to these attempts, we are inclined to treat as kind of 'background noise'.
· This dogmatism is to some extent necessary.
· It allows us to approach a good theory in stages, by way of approximations.
· Dogmatic behavior is indicative of strong belief.
· Critical attitude is indicative of a weak belief.
· Hume's theory: strength of a belief should be a product of repetition; thus always grow with experience and always be greater in less primitive persons.
· But dogmatic thinking sometimes creates an attitude of caution and criticism rather than that of dogmatism.
· Distinction between dogmatic and critical thinking brings us right back to the central problem.
· Dogmatic attitude: related to tendency to verify our laws and schemata by seeking to apply them and confirm them, even to the point of neglecting refutations.
· Critical attitude: readiness to change them-to test them; to refute them; to falsify them if possible.
· Critical attitude: can be called the scientific attitude
· Dogmatic attitude: can be called the pseudo-scientific/pre-scientific attitude
· This primitivity also has its logical aspect.
· Critical attitude can be super-imposed on the dogmatic attitude because it needs for its raw material, as it were, theories or beliefs which are held more or less dogmatically.
· Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.
· Scientific tradition can be distinguished from pre-scientific tradition in having two layers.
o It passes on its theories, but also passes on a critical attitude towards them.
o Theories passed on, not as dogmas but rather with the challenge to discuss them and improve upon them.
· Critical attitude is the attitude of reasonableness, of rationality.
· Before a theory has refuted, we can never know in what way it may have to be modified.
According to the passage, the role of a dogmatic attitude or dogmatic behavior in the development of science is (2006)
Solution : A
The third and fourth paragraphs of the passage talk about the importance of dogmatic attitude or dogmatic behavior in the development of science. It is evident from the idea conveyed by these two paragraphs that dogmatic attitude is the raw material or the basis for starting scientific research. Options (c) and (d) are neglected because they do not support this statement made by the author. Even option (e) is incorrect because dogmatic attitude cannot be declared inferior to critical attitude as critical attitude is reached at through dogmatic beliefs. Amongst answer choices (a) and (b), option (a) seems to be more appropriate because it is not necessary that all conjectures arising out of our dogmatic attitude become science, whereas, it is true that through criticism of dogmatic attitudes, the initial hypothesis are made.
Dogmatic behavior, in this passage, has been associated with primitives and children. Which of the following best describes the reason why the author compares primitives with children?
Solution : C
The author has talked of primitives and children and their comparison in the second paragraph of the passage. The comparison between the primitives and children has been done in the context of dogmatic behavior which, in turn, is related to critical attitude and not education, innocence, evolution or civilization. Dogmatic attitude precedes critical attitude i.e. in absence of critical attitude, we are certain to find dogmatic attitude. Thus, the most appropriate reason for comparison between a child and primitives is lack of critical attitude in both. Thus option (c) is the correct answer choice.
Which of the following statements best supports the argument in the passage that a critical attitude leads to a weaker belief than a dogmatic attitude does? (2006)
Solution : D
If we look at the second paragraph of the passage, it clarifies that dogmatic attitude leads to a stronger belief as compared to critical attitude. Critical attitude 'admits doubt and demands tests' and therefore lacks the conviction one can find in dogmatic attitude and which is important for strong belief. Options (d) and (e) both appear as possible answers but (d) is a more appropriate explanation as it supports the statement in the question.
According to the passage, which of the following statements best describes the difference between science and pseudo-science?
Solution : C
In the third paragraph of the passage, the author clearly mentions that "dogmatic attitude is related to the tendency to verify our laws and schemata by seeking to apply them and confirm them, whereas "critical attitude is one of readiness to change them, to refute them. Further, in the paragraph critical attitude has been called scientific and dogmatic attitude has been called pseudo-scientific. Thus it is evident that the real difference between scientific and pseudo-scientific as mentioned by the author is best stated by option (c).
Which, according to the author, would qualify as interesting psychology?
Solution : B
In the last two lines of the fourth paragraph, the author mentions that 'chess may be psychologically interesting but only to the extent that it is played not quite rationally'. Answer choice (b) talks of exactly one such incident wherein one of the players plays irrationally thus making it the correct answer choice.
· Game of strategy: situation in which 2 or more players make choices among available alternatives.
· Totality of choices determines the outcome of the game, and it is assumed that the rank order of preferences for the outcomes is different for different players.
· "Interests" of players are generally in conflict.
· Whether these interests are diametrically opposed or only partially opposed depends on the type of the game.
· Most interesting situations arise when the interests of the players are partly co-incident and partly opposed.
· Each is torn between a tendency to co-operate, so as to promote the common interests, and a tendency to compete, so as to enhance his own individual interests.
· Inner conflict is also held to be an important component of serious literature as distinguished from less serious genres.
· Classical tragedy and serious novels: talk of inner conflict.
· Superficial adventure story: talks of external conflict.
· On the most primitive level, this sort of external conflict is psychologically empty.
· A great deal of interest in the plots of these stories is sustained by withholding the unraveling of a solution to a problem.
· The effort of solving the problem is in itself not a conflict if the adversary remains passive.
· If the adversary actively puts obstacles in the path towards the solution, there is conflict.
· Conflict is psychologically interesting only to the extent that it contains irrational components.
· Conflicts conducted in a perfectly rational manner are psychologically no more interesting.
· A pure conflict of interest although it offers a wealth of interesting problems, is not interesting psychologically, except to the extent that its conduct departs from rational norms.
The problem solving process of a scientist is different from that of a detective because:
Solution : C
If we look at the third line of the fourth paragraph, the author has clearly stated that 'the effort of solving a problem is in itself not a conflict if the adversary remains passive, like Nature, whose secrets the scientist supposedly unravels by deduction. However, if the adversary actively puts obstacles in the detective's path towards the solution, there is genuine conflict. From these statements made by the author, it is evident that option (c) is the correct answer choice.
According to the passage, internal conflicts are psychologically more interesting than external conflicts because: (2005)
Solution : C
As stated by the author in the 3rd paragraph of the passage, internal conflicts involve psychological dilemma and thus, are more interesting. Option (c) talks about this dilemma and hence is the most appropriate answer choice.
According to the passage, which of the following options about the application of game theory to a conflict-of-interest situation is true?
Solution : D
The first paragraph of the passage talks about all the three points. So the correct answer choice is option (d).