Reading Comprehension_social Science Passage

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Reading Comprehension_social Science Passage - Quiz

Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Directions (Q. 1 – 4): The passage given below is followed by a set of four questions. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question. The lithosphere, or outer shell, of the earth is made up of about a dozen rigid plates that move with respect to one  another. New lithosphere is created at mid-ocean ridges by the upwelling and cooling of magma from the earth’s interior. Since new lithosphere is continuously being created and the earth is not expanding to any appreciable extent, the question arises: what happens to the “old” lithosphere? The answer came in the late 1960s as the last major link in the theory of sea floor spreading and plate tectonics that has revolutionized our understanding of tectonic processes, or structural deformation, in the earth and has provided a unifying theme for many diverse observations of the earth sciences. The old lithosphere is subducted, or pushed down, into the earth’s mantle (the thick shell of red-hot rock beneath the earth’s thin, cooler crust and above its metallic, partly melted core). As the formerly rigid plate descends it slowly heats up, and over a period of millions of years it is absorbed into the general circulation of the earth’s mantle. The subduction of the lithosphere is perhaps the most significant phenomenon in global tectonics. Subduction not only explains what happens to old lithosphere but also accounts for many of the geologic processes that shape the earth surface. Most of the world’s volcanoes and earthquakes are associated with descending lithosphere plates. The prominent island arcs and chains of islands such as the Aleutians, the Kuriles, the Marianas, and the islands of Japan are surface expressions of the subduction process. The deepest trenches of the world’s oceans, including the Java and Tonga trenches and all others associated with island arcs, mark the seaward boundary of subduction zones. Major mountain belts, such as the Andes and the Himalayas, have resulted from the convergence and subduction of lithosphere plates. To understand the subduction process it is necessary to look at the thermal regime of the earth. The temperatures within the earth at first increase rapidly with depth, reaching about 1,200 degrees Celsius at a depth of 100 kilometers. Then they increase more gradually, approaching 2,000 degrees C at about 500 kilometers. The minerals in peridotite, the major constituent of the upper mantle, start to melt at about-1200 C, or typically at a depth of l00 kilometers. Under the ocean the upper mantle is fairly soft and may contain some molten material at depths as shallow as 80 kilometers. The soft region of the mantle, over which the rigid lithosphere plate normally moves, is the asthenosphere. It appears that in certain areas convection currents in the asthenosphere may drive the plates, and that in other regions the plate motions may drive the convection currents. Several factors contribute to the heating of the lithosphere as it descends into the mantle. First, heat simply flows into the cooler lithosphere from the surrounding warmer mantle. Since the conductivity of the rock increases with temperature, the conductive heating becomes more efficient with increasing depth. Second, as the lithosphere slab descends it is subjected to increased pressure,which introduces heat of compression. Third, the slab is heated by the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and potassium, which are present in the earth’s crust and add heat at a constant rate to the descending material. Fourth, heat is provided by the energy released when the minerals in the lithosphere change to denser phases, or more compact crystal structures, as they are subjected to higher pressures during descent. Finally, heat is generated by friction, shear stresses and the dissipation of viscous motions at the boundaries between the moving lithosphere plate and the surrounding mantle. Among all these sources the first and fourth contribute the most toward the heating of the descending lithosphere. Question: According to the passage, which of the following statements is/are true of the earth’s mantle? I. It is in a state of flux II. It’s temperature far exceeds that of the lithosphere.     III. It eventually incorporates the subducted lithosphere
    • A. 

      I only

    • B. 

      I and III only

    • C. 

      II only

    • D. 

      I, II and III

  • 2. 
    Passage: The lithosphere, or outer shell, of the earth is made up of about a dozen rigid plates that move with respect to one  another. New lithosphere is created at mid-ocean ridges by the upwelling and cooling of magma from the earth’s interior. Since new lithosphere is continuously being created and the earth is not expanding to any appreciable extent, the question arises: what happens to the “old” lithosphere? The answer came in the late 1960s as the last major link in the theory of sea floor spreading and plate tectonics that has revolutionized our understanding of tectonic processes, or structural deformation, in the earth and has provided a unifying theme for many diverse observations of the earth sciences. The old lithosphere is subducted, or pushed down, into the earth’s mantle (the thick shell of red-hot rock beneath the earth’s thin, cooler crust and above its metallic, partly melted core). As the formerly rigid plate descends it slowly heats up, and over a period of millions of years it is absorbed into the general circulation of the earth’s mantle. The subduction of the lithosphere is perhaps the most significant phenomenon in global tectonics. Subduction not only explains what happens to old lithosphere but also accounts for many of the geologic processes that shape the earth surface. Most of the world’s volcanoes and earthquakes are associated with descending lithosphere plates. The prominent island arcs and chains of islands such as the Aleutians, the Kuriles, the Marianas, and the islands of Japan are surface expressions of the subduction process. The deepest trenches of the world’s oceans, including the Java and Tonga trenches and all others associated with island arcs, mark the seaward boundary of subduction zones. Major mountain belts, such as the Andes and the Himalayas, have resulted from the convergence and subduction of lithosphere plates. To understand the subduction process it is necessary to look at the thermal regime of the earth. The temperatures within the earth at first increase rapidly with depth, reaching about 1,200 degrees Celsius at a depth of 100 kilometers. Then they increase more gradually, approaching 2,000 degrees C at about 500 kilometers. The minerals in peridotite, the major constituent of the upper mantle, start to melt at about-1200 C, or typically at a depth of l00 kilometers. Under the ocean the upper mantle is fairly soft and may contain some molten material at depths as shallow as 80 kilometers. The soft region of the mantle, over which the rigid lithosphere plate normally moves, is the asthenosphere. It appears that in certain areas convection currents in the asthenosphere may drive the plates, and that in other regions the plate motions may drive the convection currents. Several factors contribute to the heating of the lithosphere as it descends into the mantle. First, heat simply flows into the cooler lithosphere from the surrounding warmer mantle. Since the conductivity of the rock increases with temperature, the conductive heating becomes more efficient with increasing depth. Second, as the lithosphere slab descends it is subjected to increased pressure,which introduces heat of compression. Third, the slab is heated by the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and potassium, which are present in the earth’s crust and add heat at a constant rate to the descending material. Fourth, heat is provided by the energy released when the minerals in the lithosphere change to denser phases, or more compact crystal structures, as they are subjected to higher pressures during descent. Finally, heat is generated by friction, shear stresses and the dissipation of viscous motions at the boundaries between the moving lithosphere plate and the surrounding mantle. Among all these sources the first and fourth contribute the most toward the heating of the descending lithosphere. Question: It can be inferred from the passage that the author regards current knowledge about the relationship between lithosphere plate motions and the convection currents in the asthenosphere as:
    • A. 

      Obsolete

    • B. 

      Derivative

    • C. 

      Unfounded

    • D. 

      Tentative

  • 3. 
    Passage: The lithosphere, or outer shell, of the earth is made up of about a dozen rigid plates that move with respect to one  another. New lithosphere is created at mid-ocean ridges by the upwelling and cooling of magma from the earth’s interior. Since new lithosphere is continuously being created and the earth is not expanding to any appreciable extent, the question arises: what happens to the “old” lithosphere? The answer came in the late 1960s as the last major link in the theory of sea floor spreading and plate tectonics that has revolutionized our understanding of tectonic processes, or structural deformation, in the earth and has provided a unifying theme for many diverse observations of the earth sciences. The old lithosphere is subducted, or pushed down, into the earth’s mantle (the thick shell of red-hot rock beneath the earth’s thin, cooler crust and above its metallic, partly melted core). As the formerly rigid plate descends it slowly heats up, and over a period of millions of years it is absorbed into the general circulation of the earth’s mantle. The subduction of the lithosphere is perhaps the most significant phenomenon in global tectonics. Subduction not only explains what happens to old lithosphere but also accounts for many of the geologic processes that shape the earth surface. Most of the world’s volcanoes and earthquakes are associated with descending lithosphere plates. The prominent island arcs and chains of islands such as the Aleutians, the Kuriles, the Marianas, and the islands of Japan are surface expressions of the subduction process. The deepest trenches of the world’s oceans, including the Java and Tonga trenches and all others associated with island arcs, mark the seaward boundary of subduction zones. Major mountain belts, such as the Andes and the Himalayas, have resulted from the convergence and subduction of lithosphere plates. To understand the subduction process it is necessary to look at the thermal regime of the earth. The temperatures within the earth at first increase rapidly with depth, reaching about 1,200 degrees Celsius at a depth of 100 kilometers. Then they increase more gradually, approaching 2,000 degrees C at about 500 kilometers. The minerals in peridotite, the major constituent of the upper mantle, start to melt at about-1200 C, or typically at a depth of l00 kilometers. Under the ocean the upper mantle is fairly soft and may contain some molten material at depths as shallow as 80 kilometers. The soft region of the mantle, over which the rigid lithosphere plate normally moves, is the asthenosphere. It appears that in certain areas convection currents in the asthenosphere may drive the plates, and that in other regions the plate motions may drive the convection currents. Several factors contribute to the heating of the lithosphere as it descends into the mantle. First, heat simply flows into the cooler lithosphere from the surrounding warmer mantle. Since the conductivity of the rock increases with temperature, the conductive heating becomes more efficient with increasing depth. Second, as the lithosphere slab descends it is subjected to increased pressure,which introduces heat of compression. Third, the slab is heated by the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and potassium, which are present in the earth’s crust and add heat at a constant rate to the descending material. Fourth, heat is provided by the energy released when the minerals in the lithosphere change to denser phases, or more compact crystal structures, as they are subjected to higher pressures during descent. Finally, heat is generated by friction, shear stresses and the dissipation of viscous motions at the boundaries between the moving lithosphere plate and the surrounding mantle. Among all these sources the first and fourth contribute the most toward the heating of the descending lithosphere. Question: The author is most probably addressing which of the following audiences?
    • A. 

      Geothermal researchers investigating the asthenosphere as a potential energy source

    • B. 

      College undergraduates enrolled in an introductory course on geology

    • C. 

      Historians of science studying the origins of plate tectonic theory

    • D. 

      Graduate students engaged in analyzing the rate of sea-floor spreading

  • 4. 
    Passage: The lithosphere, or outer shell, of the earth is made up of about a dozen rigid plates that move with respect to one  another. New lithosphere is created at mid-ocean ridges by the upwelling and cooling of magma from the earth’s interior. Since new lithosphere is continuously being created and the earth is not expanding to any appreciable extent, the question arises: what happens to the “old” lithosphere? The answer came in the late 1960s as the last major link in the theory of sea floor spreading and plate tectonics that has revolutionized our understanding of tectonic processes, or structural deformation, in the earth and has provided a unifying theme for many diverse observations of the earth sciences. The old lithosphere is subducted, or pushed down, into the earth’s mantle (the thick shell of red-hot rock beneath the earth’s thin, cooler crust and above its metallic, partly melted core). As the formerly rigid plate descends it slowly heats up, and over a period of millions of years it is absorbed into the general circulation of the earth’s mantle. The subduction of the lithosphere is perhaps the most significant phenomenon in global tectonics. Subduction not only explains what happens to old lithosphere but also accounts for many of the geologic processes that shape the earth surface. Most of the world’s volcanoes and earthquakes are associated with descending lithosphere plates. The prominent island arcs and chains of islands such as the Aleutians, the Kuriles, the Marianas, and the islands of Japan are surface expressions of the subduction process. The deepest trenches of the world’s oceans, including the Java and Tonga trenches and all others associated with island arcs, mark the seaward boundary of subduction zones. Major mountain belts, such as the Andes and the Himalayas, have resulted from the convergence and subduction of lithosphere plates. To understand the subduction process it is necessary to look at the thermal regime of the earth. The temperatures within the earth at first increase rapidly with depth, reaching about 1,200 degrees Celsius at a depth of 100 kilometers. Then they increase more gradually, approaching 2,000 degrees C at about 500 kilometers. The minerals in peridotite, the major constituent of the upper mantle, start to melt at about-1200 C, or typically at a depth of l00 kilometers. Under the ocean the upper mantle is fairly soft and may contain some molten material at depths as shallow as 80 kilometers. The soft region of the mantle, over which the rigid lithosphere plate normally moves, is the asthenosphere. It appears that in certain areas convection currents in the asthenosphere may drive the plates, and that in other regions the plate motions may drive the convection currents. Several factors contribute to the heating of the lithosphere as it descends into the mantle. First, heat simply flows into the cooler lithosphere from the surrounding warmer mantle. Since the conductivity of the rock increases with temperature, the conductive heating becomes more efficient with increasing depth. Second, as the lithosphere slab descends it is subjected to increased pressure,which introduces heat of compression. Third, the slab is heated by the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and potassium, which are present in the earth’s crust and add heat at a constant rate to the descending material. Fourth, heat is provided by the energy released when the minerals in the lithosphere change to denser phases, or more compact crystal structures, as they are subjected to higher pressures during descent. Finally, heat is generated by friction, shear stresses and the dissipation of viscous motions at the boundaries between the moving lithosphere plate and the surrounding mantle. Among all these sources the first and fourth contribute the most toward the heating of the descending lithosphere. Question: Which of the following is not true of the heating of the lithosphere as it is described in the passage?
    • A. 

      The temperature gradient between the lithosphere and the surrounding mantle enables heat to be transferred from the latter to the former

    • B. 

      The more the temperature of the lithosphere slab increases, the more conductive the rock itself becomes

    • C. 

      Minerals in the lithosphere slab release heat in the course of phase changes that occur during their descent into the mantle

    • D. 

      The further the lithosphere slab descends into the mantle, the faster the radioactive decay of elements within it adds to its heat

  • 5. 
    Directions (Q. 5 – 8): The passage given below is followed by a set of four questions. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question. The view that the social sciences are methodologically distinct from the other sciences has sometimes been fallaciously illustrated by arguments that obscure the distinctions between technique and method and between discovery and validation. For example, the following type of argument is given. Suppose that the first thing a Martian witnesses on earth is a woman voting a straight ticket in an election. Though the Martian might be able to describe the physical characteristics of the event, he could never, it is argued, explain its peculiarly social characteristics, its meaningfulness in a social context. However, no argument about the method of social science should require that techniques of observation and experiment should be used that are proper to the physical sciences. In addition, examples purporting to show that there are greater difficulties in formulating theories or hypotheses in social science have no bearing on the method by which such theories are verified. Question: The primary purpose of the passage is to
    • A. 

      Corroborate a technique of observation

    • B. 

      Criticize a way of arguing

    • C. 

      Analyze a similarity

    • D. 

      Introduce a corollary

  • 6. 
    Passage: The view that the social sciences are methodologically distinct from the other sciences has sometimes been fallaciously illustrated by arguments that obscure the distinctions between technique and method and between discovery and validation. For example, the following type of argument is given. Suppose that the first thing a Martian witnesses on earth is a woman voting a straight ticket in an election. Though the Martian might be able to describe the physical characteristics of the event, he could never, it is argued, explain its peculiarly social characteristics, its meaningfulness in a social context. However, no argument about the method of social science should require that techniques of observation and experiment should be used that are proper to the physical sciences. In addition, examples purporting to show that there are greater difficulties in formulating theories or hypotheses in social science have no bearing on the method by which such theories are verified. Question: It can be inferred that the author believes which of the following about theories in the social sciences?
    • A. 

      They are not reliable in their descriptions and illustrations of complex cultural behavior

    • B. 

      They are not concerned with any social behaviors other than those verifiable by direct observation

    • C. 

      They are not appropriately substantiated by the same kinds of experiments that are used in the physical sciences

    • D. 

      They are not distinguishable among themselves on a theoretical basis, though they are distinguishable from physical theories on a technical basis

  • 7. 
    Passage: The view that the social sciences are methodologically distinct from the other sciences has sometimes been fallaciously illustrated by arguments that obscure the distinctions between technique and method and between discovery and validation. For example, the following type of argument is given. Suppose that the first thing a Martian witnesses on earth is a woman voting a straight ticket in an election. Though the Martian might be able to describe the physical characteristics of the event, he could never, it is argued, explain its peculiarly social characteristics, its meaningfulness in a social context. However, no argument about the method of social science should require that techniques of observation and experiment should be used that are proper to the physical sciences. In addition, examples purporting to show that there are greater difficulties in formulating theories or hypotheses in social science have no bearing on the method by which such theories are verified. Question: It can be inferred from the passage that those who put forward the Martian argument believe that
    • A. 

      People with the same backgrounds have the same understanding of the social phenomena of their culture

    • B. 

      People with different backgrounds are unable to comprehend each other’s social behavior

    • C. 

      The description of the physical characteristics of a phenomenon is the first step toward reaching an understanding of the phenomenon

    • D. 

      The meaning of a social phenomenon cannot be determined by simply viewing the phenomenon

  • 8. 
    Passage: The view that the social sciences are methodologically distinct from the other sciences has sometimes been fallaciously illustrated by arguments that obscure the distinctions between technique and method and between discovery and validation. For example, the following type of argument is given. Suppose that the first thing a Martian witnesses on earth is a woman voting a straight ticket in an election. Though the Martian might be able to describe the physical characteristics of the event, he could never, it is argued, explain its peculiarly social characteristics, its meaningfulness in a social context. However, no argument about the method of social science should require that techniques of observation and experiment should be used that are proper to the physical sciences. In addition, examples purporting to show that there are greater difficulties in formulating theories or hypotheses in social science have no bearing on the method by which such theories are verified. Question: The author of the passage is concerned with asserting that
    • A. 

      The procedures used in validating a hypothesis are not the same as the procedures used in originating the hypothesis

    • B. 

      The differences between the methods of the physical sciences and those of the social sciences should be ignored.

    • C. 

      The discovery of a hypothesis that might explain a social phenomenon must be preceded by the detailed observation of cultural habits

    • D. 

      Differences in perception yield different conclusions about social phenomena

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