ACT reading practice test 22

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 entry "Happiness" from The Psychologist's Scientific Encyclopedia (© 2004 by The Scientific Press of Illinois).

1. The passage's focus is primarily on the:

A. search for the specific genes known to cause hedonic adaptation.
B. scientific studies investigating various influences on happiness.
C. attempts by experimental psychologists to develop cures for depression.
D. conflicting opinions of psychologists regarding the influence of genes on happiness.

2. Based on the passage, the subjects in the studies by Tellegen and Lykken and the subjects in studies by Lyubomirsky and Sheldon were similar in that both groups were:

F. part of large groups studied over an extended time.
G. intentionally engaged in acts of kindness.
H. asked to describe their own subjective well-being.
J. either identical or fraternal twins.

3. Which of the following questions is NOT answered by the passage?

A. To what extent is a person's level of happiness determined by his or her circumstances?
B. According to Lyubomirsky and Sheldon's studies, what are some specific things people can do to improve their subjective well-being?
C. Does the choice of specific life goals affect happiness over a lifetime?
D. According to Tellegen and Lykken, were twins who were raised together happier than twins who were raised apart?

4. The passage most strongly suggests that the primary goal of Lyubomirsky and Sheldon's research is to:

F. discover the specific mechanisms that may help people overcome the level of happiness determined by their genetic set point.
G. contradict Tellegen and Lykken's findings that genes are the primary determinant in a person's overall level of happiness.
H. find out whether keeping a gratitude journal or engaging in kind acts is more effective at improving happiness.
J. determine which behaviors most completely eliminate hedonic adaptation.

5. Which of the following statements best summarizes the findings of the University of Chicago surveys on happiness?

A. Earlier psychologists were mistaken to believe people are generally depressed and experience low levels of happiness.
B. Depression and other destructive mood disorders are uncommon in America.
C. People are happier if they do not try to improve their subjective well-being by writing in a gratitude journal.
D. Most people report a level of happiness higher than was traditionally expected by psychologists and researchers.

6. According to the passage, all of the following are true of the Lykken and Tellegen study EXCEPT:

F. The subjects were paired groups of twins.
G. Subjects rated their happiness.
H. The twins studied were all raised together.
J. The study found happiness is genetic.

7. According to the passage, "hedonic adaptation" (lines 24-25) is a useful trait because it can help people to:

A. restore levels of happiness that have been interrupted or altered by tragic events.
B. forget that they have suffered a permanent disability or loss of income.
C. adjust quickly to positive circumstances like winning the lottery and become happier.
D. identify with immediate family members who share their genes and choose those who are more inclined to be happy.

8. If the author were to delete the first paragraph, the passage would primarily lose:

F. the idea that events people experience are not the least important factor influencing their subjective well-being.
G. a useful illustration of the idea that there may be little relationship between a person's circumstances and his or her level of happiness.
H. a clear and complete articulation of the essay's main point regarding hedonic adaptation.
J. all examples of adverse conditions people may overcome because of their genetic predisposition to happiness.

9. The main purpose of the final paragraph is to:

A. conclude that psychological researchers make many errors and tend to focus on the negative.
B. disprove the idea suggested by Ross's anecdote by showing that Americans are also happy.
C. cite a specific study that gives a positive view of people's overall levels of happiness.
D. undermine Lyubomirsky and Sheldon's studies indicating that people need to apply effort in order to become happier.

10. According to the passage, which of the following researchers have an ongoing collaboration?

F. Tellegen and Lykken
G. Sheldon and Schkade
H. Sheldon and Lyubomirsky
J. Schkade and Lykken