Section II Reading Comprehension
We’re fairly good at judging people based on first impressions, thin slices of experience ranging from a glimpse of a photo to a five-minute interaction, and deliberation can be not only extraneous but intrusive. In one study of the ability she dubbed “thin slicing,” the late psychologist Nalini Ambady asked participants to watch silent 10-second video clips of professors and to rate the instructor’s overall effectiveness. Their ratings correlated strongly with students’ end-of-semester ratings. Another set of participants had to count backward from 1,000 by nines as they watched the clips, occupying their conscious working memory. Their ratings were just as accurate, demonstrating the intuitive nature of the social processing.
Critically, another group was asked to spend a minute writing down reasons for their judgment, before giving the rating. Accuracy dropped dramatically. Ambady suspected that deliberation focused them on vivid but misleading cues, such as certain gestures or utterances, rather than letting the complex interplay of subtle signals form a holistic impression. She found similar interference when participants watched 15-second clips of pairs of people and judged whether they were strangers, friends, or dating partners.
Other research shows we’re better at detecting deception and sexual orientation from thin slices when we rely on intuition instead of reflection. “It’s as if you’re driving a stick shift,” says Judith Hall, a psychologist at Northeastern University, “and if you start thinking about it too much, you can’t remember what you’re doing. But if you go on automatic pilot, you’re fine. Much of our social life is like that.”
Thinking too much can also harm our ability to form preferences. College students’ ratings of strawberry jams and college courses aligned better with experts’ opinions when the students weren’t asked to analyze their rationale. And people made car-buying decisions that were both objectively better and more personally satisfying when asked to focus on their feelings rather than on details, but only if the decision was complex—when they had a lot of information to process.
Intuition’s special powers are unleashed only in certain circumstances. In one study, participants completed a battery of eight tasks, including four that tapped reflective thinking (discerning rules, comprehending vocabulary) and four that tapped intuition and creativity (generating new products or figures of speech). Then they rated the degree to which they had used intuition (“gut feelings,” “hunches,” “my heart”). Use of their gut hurt their performance on the first four tasks, as expected, and helped them on the rest. Sometimes the heart is smarter than the head.
36. Nalini Ambady’s study deals with .
A. instructor student interaction
B. the power of people’s memory
C. the reliability of first impressions
D. people’s ability to influence others
37. In Ambady’s study, rating accuracy dropped when participants .
A. gave the rating in limited time
B. focused on specific details
C. watched shorter video clips
D. discussed with one another
38. Judith Hall mentions driving to show that .
A. memory can be selective
B. reflection can be distracting
C. social skills must be cultivated
D. deception is difficult to detect
39. When you are making complex decisions, it is advisable to .
A. follow your feelings
B. list your preferences
C. seek expert advice
D. collect enough data
40. What can we learn from the last paragraph?
A. Generating new products takes time.
B. Intuition may affect reflective tasks.
C. Vocabulary comprehension needs creativity.
D. Objective thinking may boost intuitiveness.
36.【答案】C(the reliability of first impressions)
【解析】本题为细节题。根据题干关键词Nalini Ambady可定位到第一段②句，②句In one study of the ability she dubbed “thin slicing,” the late psychologist Nalini Ambady asked participants to watch silent 10-second video clips of professors ...(已故心理学家纳利尼·安巴迪(Nalini Ambady)在一项名为“薄片撷取”(thin slicing)的能力研究中，要求参与者观看教授们10秒钟的无声视频片段……)介绍了该研究的内容。根据“薄片撷取”(thin slicing)和“10秒视频”(10-second video clips)可以得出，②句作为一个科学实验，针对的是第一段①句We’re fairly good at judging people based on first impressions, thin slices of experience ...(我们很擅长根据第一印象、薄片式经验来判断一个人……)。C项the reliability of first impressions(第一印象的可靠程度)是对该实验目的的准确概括。所以本题选C。
37.【答案】B(focused on specific details)
【解析】本题为细节题。根据题干关键词accuracy dropped和Ambady可定位到第二段②③句，③句是②句现象出现的原因。根据③句中deliberation focused them on vivid but misleading cues ... rather than letting the complex interplay of subtle signals form a holistic impression(深思熟虑使他们专注于生动但具有误导性的线索，……而不是让微妙信号的复杂相互作用形成整体印象)，B项focused on specific details(关注于具体的细节)是对③句的总结概括。所以本题选B。
38.【答案】B(reflection can be distracting)
【解析】本题为例证题。根据题干关键词Judith Hall定位到第三段②句。例证题的解题思路是首先考虑在例子上文寻找观点，找到第三段①句Other research shows we’re better at detecting deception and sexual orientation from thin slices when we rely on intuition instead of reflection(另一项研究表明，当我们依靠直觉而不是反思时，更能从薄片式信息中检测出欺骗和性取向)，②句的例子本身是“如果你在开手动挡，当你开始想太多时，你就不记得自己在做什么了”，B项reflection can be distracting(反思会分散注意力)是对①句观点的提炼总结。所以本题选B。
39.【答案】A(follow your feelings)
【解析】本题为细节题。根据题干关键词complex decisions可定位到第四段③句，其中And people made car-buying decisions that were both objectively better and more personally satisfying when asked to focus on their feelings rather than on details(当人们被要求把注意力集中在他们的感觉而不是细节上时，他们做出的买车决定在客观上更好也更能满足个人需求……)，focus on their feelings的同义表达是A项follow your feelings。所以本题选A。
40.【答案】B(Intuition may affect reflective tasks.)
【解析】本题为推断题。根据题干关键词the last paragraph定位到第五段，该段指出直觉的特殊力量只有在特定的情况下才会释放，如预期那样，仅凭直觉会影响他们在前四项任务中的表现，而在其他任务中则会有所帮助(Use of their gut hurt their performance or the first four tasks, as expected, and helped them on the rest)，“gut”指代“intuition”，“the first four tasks”指代利用反思性思维(reflective thinking)的任务，即参与者在完成利用反思性思维(reflective thinking)的任务时会受到直觉的影响。因此，B项Intuition may affect reflective tasks(直觉或许会影响利用反思性思维的任务)总结概括了本段观点。所以本题选B。