A friend of mine told me recently about a test designed to determine if a child is going to be successful in the adult world. I’m not sure how scientific the test was intended to be or if my friend remembered the details accurately, but here goes.
A four-year-old child is in the psychologist’s office. There is a delicious-looking chocolate on the table. The chocolate is easy for the child to see and is perfectly accessible. The psychologist engages the child in conversation for a few minutes and then pretends that she has to leave the office.
“If the chocolate is still there when I come back,” she says, “I’ll give it to you and another one. But if you eat that chocolate before I get back, there won’t be another!”
Well, most of the children apparently took a ‘bird-in-the-hand’ view and ate the chocolate while the psychologist was away. A few, however, exercised self-control and left it well alone. Ten years later, it seems, the children who didn’t eat the chocolate were showing more signs of success in their studies. Why? The idea, it seems, is that instead of being subject to their immediate impulses, they are capable of sacrifice in the short term in order to gain in the long term.
(Adapted from an original text by Jim Lawley.)
Question 1: [2.5 POINTS] Indicate whether the following statements are true or false and write down which part of the text justifies your answer.
a. The writer is a bit suspicious about the psychological test.
b. It was hard for the child to reach the chocolate.
c. The psychologist talked to the child for a while.
d. Some children did not trust the psychologist’s promise.
e. Self-control seems to lead to academic success.
Question 2: [1.5 POINTS] Find words or phrases in the text that correspond to the words and definitions given.
a. Without any mistakes. (paragraph 1)
b. To act as if something is true when it is not true. (paragraph 2)
c. To return. (paragraph 3)
d. Sudden strong desires to do something. (paragraph 4)
e. The choice of giving up something of value. (paragraph 4)
Question 3: [2 POINTS] Choose the most suitable answer (a, b or c) according to the text.
1. The test was designed…
a) for successful children.
b) to decide if children are successful.
c) to find out whether children will be successful when they grow up.
2. The four-year-old child…
a) can both see and reach the chocolate easily.
b) finds eating chocolate easy.
c) does not have access to the table.
3. The psychologist promised…
a) to give the children another chocolate if they ate the one on the table.
b) to give the children another chocolate if they did not eat the one on the table.
c) to give the children another chocolate before she got back.
4. Nearly all the children…
a) refrained from eating the chocolate while the psychologist was away.
b) exhibited self-control and left the chocolate on the table while she was away.
c) ate the chocolate while she was away.
Question 4: [4 POINTS] Write a short essay (about 120-150 words) on the following topic:
Do you think a psychological test is a good way to study personality?
from Maria Bolado
a) True. “I’m not sure how scientific the test was intended to be or if my friend remembered the details accurately.”
b) False. “The chocolate is easy for the child to see and is perfectly accessible.”
c) True. “The psychologist engages the child in conversation for a few minutes.”
d) False. “most of the children apparently took a ‘bird-in-the-hand’ view and ate the chocolate.”
e) True. “A few, however, exercised self-control and left it well alone. Ten years later, it seems, the children who didn’t eat the chocolate were showing more signs of success in their studies.”
b) To pretend / pretends.
c) To get back.