ACT reading practice test 18

DIRECTIONS: Each passage is followed by several questions. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. You may refer to the passages as often as necessary.


SOCIAL SCIENCE: This passage is adapted from the article "Let Me Think About It: Plants and Consciousness" by Andres C. Tejada (? 2010 by Andres Tejada).

1. The passage most strongly suggests that the current debate over research into plant consciousness was triggered by which of the following?

A. The invention of polygraph technology
B. An observed reaction of a plant to a spider in distress
C. Techniques introduced by the Boston Botanical Gardens
D. Experiments conducted by Buckner in the late 1960s

2. Clive Buckner's observation of his plant as mentioned in the fourth paragraph would most likely be described by Betty Wilkinson and Steve Karnell as which of the following?

F. Evidence that plants possess a sense of memory
G. A subtle connection between plant and caretaker
H. Something that other researchers may have trouble duplicating
J. An example of a plant's ability to perceive distress

3. The last paragraph primarily functions to:

A. provide specific examples of the body of evidence Clive Buckner would point to in defense of his theory.
B. suggest that Clive Buckner does not agree that one criticism offered by Steve Karnell is a legitimate one.
C. illustrate the complete indifference that Clive Buckner feels towards Steve Karnell's scientific concerns.
D. imply that Clive Buckner could counsel other experimenters on how to be better caretakers of plants in order to better replicate certain results.

4. According to the passage, lie-detectors are:

F. electric train trigger switches.
G. mechanisms of social reinforcement.
H. measurable distress signals.
J. polygraph galvanometer equipment.

5. The passage most strongly suggests that the social reinforcement required of Sheila Jennings at her job is designed primarily to do which of the following?

A. Condition the plants to be undisturbed by the sounds of visitors to the Botanical Gardens
B. Keep the employees alert during their monotonous work routines
C. Replicate the sounds of wildlife that the plants would hear in their natural habitats
D. Potentially lead to better plant growth than could be achieved without it

6. The main point of Steve Karnell's quotation in the ninth paragraph (lines 83-91) is that:

F. there are elements of how research is conducted that can make its findings less trustworthy.
G. some experimenters do not understand the function of control groups in the scientific method.
H. a blind study would have convincingly proven the existence of plant consciousness.
J. researchers working with plants are more likely to commit the error of confirmation bias.

7. The research examples provided in the fourth paragraph (lines 25-40) would potentially most undermine the position of:

A. Max Crusella.
B. the author of the passage.
C. Steve Karnell.
D. Clive Buckner.

8. According to the passage, the desire to affirm one's preconceived notions about an experimental observation is called which one of the following by scientists?

F. Control groups
G. Subtle yet meaningful connection
H. Confirmation bias
J. Self-deception

9. According to the passage, Clive Buckner believes that the potential outcome of an experiment measuring plant consciousness is:

A. highly unorthodox.
B. unfairly biased.
C. sometimes inconsistent.
D. scientifically sound.

10. The passage indicates that researchers in "this emerging field of research" (line 73) would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements?

F. The responsiveness of plants to their environment currently lacks an adequate traditional scientific explanation.
G. The results of many experiments have been tainted by self-deception on the part of the researchers.
H. There is currently some evidence to support plant consciousness but much more that contradicts it.
J. There are traditional scientific explanations that best account for the observations recorded in most of these experiments.