Book Review - IELTS Reading Answers

Book Review - IELTS Reading Answers

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PI - Prepare IELTS

2024-03-05

Book Review

Overview

The "Book Review" passage of the IELTS reading section includes a reading passage related to task 2 with three distinct question types, appropriate answers, and explanations. By utilising this practice exam, you can evaluate your performance, correct your mistakes, and devise a plan to complete the reading test in the allocated time. So, let’s begin with the blog!

Book Review - IELTS Reading Passage

The reading test has 60 minutes to finish. To complete the 1–14 questions in this section, allow yourself 20 minutes. Before answering the questions, thoroughly read the passage. Book Review IELTS reading answers are provided for you to compare with your responses and assess your performance.

Book Review

The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being By William Davies

  1. Richard Layard, an economist and advocate of "positive psychology," has summarised the ideologies and faith of various people nowadays in his proclamation that "happiness is the ultimate goal because it is self-evidently good. If we are asked why happiness matters, we can give no further external reason. It is just evident that it matters." For Layard and others like him, the goal of government is to foster an environment of shared prosperity. The only issue is how to attain it, and here positive psychology—a purported science that not only detects what makes individuals happy but also lets their happiness be quantified - may indicate the way. With the guidance of this study, governments, as per theorists, are currently more capable than ever before of ensuring harmony in society.

  2. It is an incredibly primitive and simplistic style of thinking, yet it is rising in popularity due to this. The huge philosophical literature that has studied and challenged the meaning and worth of happiness is neglected by those who embrace this mind-set, and they write as if no significant ideas had been studied on the subject prior to their realisation. The emergence of this method of thinking was due in large part to the work of philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832). For Bentham, it was apparent that happiness and the lack of misery constitute the human good. In the 4th century BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle connected happiness with self-realisation, and scholars throughout the years attempted to combine the goal of happiness with other human virtues, although all of this was just metaphysics or fiction to Bentham. Modern proponents of positive psychology follow in his footsteps, condemning as obsolete and unnecessary almost the entire ethical reflection on human pleasure to date, despite knowing nothing about him or the school of moral theory he founded—as they are ignorant in the history of ideas due to education and philosophical conviction. 

  3. However, as William Davies points out in his new book, The Happiness Industry, assuming that happiness is the prime self-evident good restricts moral analysis. This rich, clear, and compelling book's ability to contextualise the modern cult of happiness inside a precisely defined historical context is one of its many merits. Davies was correct in his assessment of Bentham, recognising that he was significantly more than just a philosopher. According to Davies, Bentham engaged in activities that modern-day management consultants serving the public sector may partake in. In the 1790s, he addressed letters to the Bank of England with a model for a printing machine that could generate unforgeable banknotes and to the Home Office with a suggestion that the government's various departments be interlinked by a system of "conversation tubes." To preserve food like meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables, he designed a "frigidarium." His renowned plan for a jail known as a "Panopticon," in which inmates would be confined in solitary while always being monitored by the guards, came extremely close to being implemented. (Interestingly, Davies does not address the fact that Bentham envisioned his Panopticon to serve as a model for both a jail and a control mechanism that could be utilised in both schools and factories.)

Also read: What is the IELTS Vocabulary?

  1. Bentham also established the "science of happiness." If happiness is to be considered a science, then it must be quantified. Bentham presented two methods for measuring happiness. He proposed that pleasure might be measured by taking the average heart rate of a person and seeing happiness as a complex of pleasant emotions. As an alternative, the value of money might be used as the criterion for quantification: if the cost of two distinct products is the same, it can be stated that both give the customer the same amount of happiness. The latter attribute grabbed Bentham's eye more. According to Davies, Bentham "established the foundation for the combination of psychological study and capitalism, which would influence the activities of the twentieth century," by associating money so intimately with inner experience.

  2. In the book The Happiness Industry, it is explained how the pursuit of a science of pleasure has merged with business. We learn a lot of interesting information on the redefining and treatment of economic concerns as psychological conditions. Additionally, Davies demonstrates how management studies and advertising have been influenced by the idea that inner joy and dissatisfaction can be assessed objectively. The inclination of philosophers like J. B. Watson, the pioneer of behaviourism*, was that managers and politicians could mould or influence people. Watson's theories on human nature were not backed by any facts. He had only conducted studies on white rats when he was appointed president of the American Psychological Association in 1915. He had "never really examined a fellow human being." The government in Britain has founded a "Behaviour Insights Team" to research how individuals might be motivated to live in ways that are thought to be socially desirable while incurring the lowest expenses to the public purse. However, Watson's reductive model has already been extensively adopted.

  3. To keep people motivated in their work, modern industrial nations seem to require the potential for ever-increasing happiness. But regardless of its conceptual heritage, the theory that authorities ought to be in charge of fostering happiness is always hazardous to people's freedom.

* behaviourism: a field of psychology in which focus is on observable behaviour

Also checkout: 15 Best IELTS Preparation books in 2024

Book Review - Question and Answers

Questions 1-3

Choose the correct letter, A,B,C or D.

Write the correct letter in the boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet.

1. The critic mentions the Greek philosopher Aristotle, to state that happiness ______.

  1. Is not something that should be fought for.

  2. May not be just pleasure and the absence of pain.

  3. Is not just an abstract concept.

  4. Should not be the main goal of humans.

2. In Davies' opinion, the suggestion that was given by Bentham’s to link the prices to happiness was remarkable because _____.

  • It established a connection between work and psychology.

  • It involved consideration of the rights of consumers.

  • It was the first successful way of assessing happiness.

  • It was the first successful example of psychological research.

3. What is the reviewer’s opinion on the proponents of positive psychology?

  1. They have a fresh new approach to ideas on human happiness.

  2. They are wrong to reject the ideas of Bentham.

  3. They are ignorant about the ideas they should be considering.

  4. They are over-influenced by their study of Bentham’s theories.

Answer 1: B

Explanation 1: According to the 2nd paragraph, 6th line, For Bentham, it was apparent that happiness and the lack of misery constitute the human good. In the 4th century BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle connected happiness……….. This was just metaphysics or fiction to Bentham. These lines discuss Bentham's belief that happiness is solely about pleasure and lacks pain. On the other hand, Aristotle held the opposite view, contending that happiness is more complex than mere contentment and absence of suffering. Thus, the correct option is B.

Answer 2: A

Explanation 2: In the 5th line of the 4th paragraph, the beliefs put forward by Jeremy Bentham are described by author Davies. There was also a link made between the costs and happiness. He clarifies Bentham's theory, according to which "the joy received from both of them would be equal if the price of two items is the same." He says that Bentham was the first to establish the link between psychology and business. Thus, the response is yes. 

Answer 3: C

Explanation 3: In the 1st line of the 2nd paragraph, they have clarified that this specific concept of happiness was quite well-known despite being incredibly basic and impolite. It is further said that these proponents frequently exhibit obliviousness, which is the tendency to reject the research's explanation of the literal meaning and worth of happiness before they even acknowledge the concept.

Also read: Preface to how the other half thinks - IELTS Reading Answers

 

Questions 4-8

Complete the summary using the list of words A-G below.

Write the correct letter, A-G, in the boxes 4-8 on your answer sheet.

Jeremy Bentham

Jeremy Bentham was active in other areas besides philosophy. In the 1970s he suggested a type of technology to improve 4…………. for different Government departments. He developed a new way of printing banknotes to increase 5…………. and also designed a method for the 6……….. of food. He also drew up plans for a prison which allowed the 7…………. of prisoners at all times, and believed the same design could be used for other institutions as well. When researching happiness, he investigated possibilities for its 8………… and suggested some methods of doing this.

  1. profits

  2. communication

  3. security

  4. preservation

  5. implementation

  6. measurement

  7. observation

Answer 4: B

Explanation 4: In the 8th line of the 3rd paragraph, in the 1790s, he addressed letters to the Bank of England with a model for a printing machine that could generate unforgeable banknotes and to the Home Office with a suggestion that the government's various departments be interlinked by a system of "conversation tubes." 

Answer 5:

Explanation 5: According to the 8th line of the 3rd paragraph, he suggested the Bank of England develop a printing press that could create unforgeable banknotes. In other words, since the notes wouldn't be copied, the security will be enhanced. Security is the solution as a result.

Answer 6:

Explanation 6: In the 12th line of the 3rd paragraph, “To preserve food like meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables, he designed a "frigidarium." This statement suggests that he had prepared strategies and techniques for preserving perishable foods. Thus, option D—preservation—is the correct response.

Answer 7: G

Explanation 7: According to the 13th line of the 3rd paragraph, This line describes how Bentham designed a prison called ‘Panopticon’, a celebrated design. He had built it so the jailer could see the inmates from every angle when confined in a cell. Thus, option G, observation, is the correct response.

Answer 8: F

Explanation 8: In the 1st line, 4th paragraph, “Bentham also established the "science of happiness." If happiness is to be considered a science, then it must be quantified.” the author claims to be the father of the science of happiness and holds the view that anything that might be deemed scientific could potentially be measured. Therefore, F is the correct option.

Also read: Is passing the IELTS reading test too tough?

 

Questions 9-14

Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in the Reading Passage?

In the boxes 9-14 on your answer sheet, write

YES if the statement agrees the claims of the writer

NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer

NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the write thinks about this

9. Industrialisation is connected to the requirement of happiness.

10. Prior to 1915, Watson conducted study on people that supported his theories of behaviourism.

11. Government’s main objective should be to increase the population’s happiness.

12. The Happiness Industry’s strength is the discussion of the connection between psychology and commerce.

13. The theories by Watson had immense influence on the governments outside America.

14. Certain emotions are more challenging to measure than others.

Answer 9: Yes

Explanation 9: According to the 1st line, 6th paragraph, “To keep people motivated in their work, modern industrial nations seem to require the potential for ever-increasing happiness.” It is said that happiness is necessary to inspire employees, and it is related to the business sector. The answer is true since the statement and the passage's line are consistent.

Answer 10: No

Explanation 10: According to the 5th paragraph, 8th line, “Watson's theories on human nature were not backed by any facts. He had only conducted studies on white rats when he was appointed president of the American Psychological Association in 1915.” All of the rats he experimented on were white. As a result, the assertion does not agree. So, the answer is no. 

Answer 11: No

Explanation 11: According to the 2nd line of the 6th paragraph, “But regardless of its conceptual heritage, the theory that authorities ought to be in charge of fostering happiness is always hazardous to people's freedom.” The author believes that people's freedom is in jeopardy if the government decides to enhance individuals' happiness. He disagrees with the notion that it should be the goal of the state.

Answer 12: Yes

Explanation 12: In the 1st line of the 5th paragraph, “In the book The Happiness Industry, it is explained how the pursuit of a science of pleasure has merged with business. We learn a lot of interesting information on the redefining and treatment of economic concerns as psychological conditions.” The assertion is consistent with the scripture. Therefore, the answer is yes. 

Answer 13: Not Given

Explanation 13:  The passage's 5th paragraph explains how the governments adopted many of Watson's concepts in an effort to effect "behaviour change." It does not mention their influence or that only governments outside of America have accepted it, though.

Answer 14: Not Given 

Explanation 14: In Paragraph 5th, the topic of measuring emotions is brought up, but no details are given about how or even where different emotions should be measured. As a result, no response is provided.

Also Check: What's the right study plan for IELTS preparation?

Conclusion

In conclusion, we would like to say that consistent practice with various reading passage types can improve your comprehension of the text's actual content and quicken your reading pace, which will improve your exam results.

If you want to get further details on how to prepare for IELTS or, particularly, the IELTS Reading section, you can contact the Prepare IELTS exam (PI) expert counsellors for additional guidance. Our team of education experts is dedicated to providing you with the best test material and guidance to ace the IELTS exam. You can get a one-on-one counselling session and an IELTS online practice test via our platform. Contact us at info@prepareieltsexam.com or call us at +91 9773398388 for further queries.

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