Reading Comprehension – Multitasking has been found to increase the production

XAT 2021 Exam Paper – Reading Comprehension – Multitasking has been found to increase the production

Read the following passage and answer the three questions that follow.

Multitasking has been found to increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, which can overstimulate your brain and cause mental fog or scrambled thinking. Multitasking creates a dopamine addiction feedback loop, effectively rewarding the brain for losing focus and for constantly searching for external stimulation. To make matters worse, the prefrontal cortex has a novelty bias, meaning that its attention can be easily hijacked by something new—the proverbial shiny objects we use to entice infants, puppies, and kittens. The irony here for those of us who are trying to focus amid competing activities is clear: The very brain region we need to rely on for staying on task is easily distracted. We answer the phone, look up something on the Internet, check our email, send an SMS, and each of these things tweaks the novelty-seeking, reward-seeking centers of the brain, causing a burst of endogenous opioids (no wonder it feels so good!), all to the detriment of our staying on task. It is the ultimate empty-caloried brain candy. Instead of reaping the big rewards that come from sustained, focused effort, we instead reap empty rewards from completing a thousand little sugarcoated tasks.

In the old days, if the phone rang and we were busy, we either didn’t answer or we turned the ringer off. When all phones were wired to a wall, there was no expectation of being able to reach us at all times—one might have gone out for a walk or be between places, and so if someone couldn’t reach you (or you didn’t feel like being reached), that was considered normal. Now more people have cell phones than have toilets. This has created an implicit expectation that you should be able to reach someone when it is convenient for you, regardless of whether it is convenient for them. This expectation is so ingrained that people in meetings routinely answer their cell phones to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t talk now, I’m in a meeting.” Just a decade or two ago, those same people would have let a landline on their desk go unanswered during a meeting, so different were the expectations for reachability.

Q.1 According to the passage, why do people in meetings routinely answer their cell phones to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t talk now, I’m in a meeting.”?

A. Because, it is convenient for people to send a message.
B. Because, if you carry a cell phone, you have to reply.
C. Because, it conveys that the receiver is a busy person.
D. Because, people don’t mind if somebody takes a brief phone call.
E. Because, in meetings, cell phones allow people to multitask.

Q.2 What does the author BEST intend to convey when he says, “Now more people have cell phones than have toilets?”

A. The need to be connected is more pronounced now.
B. The number of cell phone users has increased over time.
C. Cell phones have become a bigger necessity.
D. The usage of toilets is limited, while cell phones are used all the time.
E. Everybody wants to stay connected, using cell phones.

Q.3 Which of the following can be BEST inferred from the passage?

A. Multitasking gives you happiness, single-tasking gives you satisfaction.
B. Multitasking gives you a feeling of achieving many things, single-tasking enables actually achieving something.
C. Multitasking helps you move towards different goals, single-tasking helps you achieve the one.
D. Multitasking helps you complete thousands of tasks, single-tasking makes you do one.
E. Multitasking takes you all over, single-tasking helps you achieve some goals.

Q.1 B
Q.2 E
Q.3 B

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