CAT Exam  >  CAT Tests  >  CAT Mock Test Series 2024  >  CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - CAT MCQ

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - CAT MCQ


Test Description

66 Questions MCQ Test CAT Mock Test Series 2024 - CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper for CAT 2024 is part of CAT Mock Test Series 2024 preparation. The CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper questions and answers have been prepared according to the CAT exam syllabus.The CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper MCQs are made for CAT 2024 Exam. Find important definitions, questions, notes, meanings, examples, exercises, MCQs and online tests for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper below.
Solutions of CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper questions in English are available as part of our CAT Mock Test Series 2024 for CAT & CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper solutions in Hindi for CAT Mock Test Series 2024 course. Download more important topics, notes, lectures and mock test series for CAT Exam by signing up for free. Attempt CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper | 66 questions in 120 minutes | Mock test for CAT preparation | Free important questions MCQ to study CAT Mock Test Series 2024 for CAT Exam | Download free PDF with solutions
CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 1

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
We cannot travel outside our neighbourhood without passports. We must wear the same plain clothes. We must exchange our houses every ten years. We cannot avoid labour. We all go to bed at the same time . . . We have religious freedom, but we cannot deny that the soul dies with the body, since ‘but for the fear of punishment, they would have nothing but contempt for the laws and customs of society'. . . . In More’s time, for much of the population, given the plenty and security on offer, such restraints would not have seemed overly unreasonable. For modern readers, however, Utopia appears to rely upon relentless transparency, the repression of variety, and the curtailment of privacy. Utopia provides security: but at what price? In both its external and internal relations, indeed, it seems perilously dystopian.
Such a conclusion might be fortified by examining selectively the tradition which follows More on these points. This often portrays societies where . . . 'it would be almost impossible for man to be depraved, or wicked'. . . . This is achieved both through institutions and mores, which underpin the common life. . . . The passions are regulated and inequalities of wealth and distinction are minimized. Needs, vanity, and emulation are restrained, often by prizing equality and holding riches in contempt. The desire for public power is curbed.
Marriage and sexual intercourse are often controlled: in Tommaso Campanella’s The City of the Sun (1623), the first great literary utopia after More’s, relations are forbidden to men before the age of twenty-one and women before nineteen. Communal child-rearing is normal; for Campanella, this commences at age two. Greater simplicity of life, ‘living according to nature’, is often a result: the desire for simplicity and purity are closely related. People become more alike in appearance, opinion, and outlook than they often have been. Unity, order, and homogeneity thus prevail at the cost of individuality and diversity. This model, as J. C. Davis demonstrates, dominated early modern utopianism. . . . And utopian homogeneity remains a familiar theme well into the twentieth century.
Given these considerations, it is not unreasonable to take as our starting point here the hypothesis that utopia and dystopia evidently share more in common than is often supposed. Indeed, they might be twins, the progeny of the same parents. Insofar as this proves to be the case, my linkage of both here will be uncomfortably close for some readers. Yet we should not mistake this argument for the assertion that all utopias are, or tend to produce, dystopias. Those who defend this proposition will find that their association here is not nearly close enough. For we have only to acknowledge the existence of thousands of successful intentional communities in which a cooperative ethos predominates and where harmony without coercion is the rule to set aside such an assertion. Here the individual’s submersion in the group is consensual (though this concept is not unproblematic). It results not in enslavement but voluntary submission to group norms. Harmony is achieved without . . . harming others.

Q. Following from the passage, which one of the following may be seen as a characteristic of a utopian society?

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 1

Option A: The author does not discuss a utopian narrative that involves a society without laws or social structure. Instead, he talks about regulations that curb individuality and promote homogeneity. Hence, we can eliminate Option A as a potential choice.
Option B: The second paragraph relays the following idea: " The passions are regulated, and inequalities of wealth and distinction are minimized. Needs, vanity, and emulation are restrained, often by prizing equality and holding riches in contempt. The desire for public power is curbed " Given that public power is not looked at favourably, the entire debate on the mechanism to attain this facet (public power) becomes irrelevant. Thus, we can eliminate Option B.
Option C: "Such a conclusion might be fortified by examining selectively the tradition which follows More on these points. This often portrays societies where . . . 'it would be almost impossible for man to be depraved, or wicked'. . . . This is achieved both through institutions and mores, which underpin the common life " From the above excerpt, it is clarified that the utopian doctrines are enforced by institutions present in the society; additionally, the author mentions in the preceding paragraph that security in a utopian setting is attained through the curtailment of privacy. Hence, Option C is likely to be the correct choice.
Option D: There is no mention of regulating homogeneity through promoting competitive heterogeneity. We can, therefore, eliminate this choice.
Hence, Option C is the correct choice.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 2

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
We cannot travel outside our neighbourhood without passports. We must wear the same plain clothes. We must exchange our houses every ten years. We cannot avoid labour. We all go to bed at the same time . . . We have religious freedom, but we cannot deny that the soul dies with the body, since ‘but for the fear of punishment, they would have nothing but contempt for the laws and customs of society'. . . . In More’s time, for much of the population, given the plenty and security on offer, such restraints would not have seemed overly unreasonable. For modern readers, however, Utopia appears to rely upon relentless transparency, the repression of variety, and the curtailment of privacy. Utopia provides security: but at what price? In both its external and internal relations, indeed, it seems perilously dystopian.
Such a conclusion might be fortified by examining selectively the tradition which follows More on these points. This often portrays societies where . . . 'it would be almost impossible for man to be depraved, or wicked'. . . . This is achieved both through institutions and mores, which underpin the common life. . . . The passions are regulated and inequalities of wealth and distinction are minimized. Needs, vanity, and emulation are restrained, often by prizing equality and holding riches in contempt. The desire for public power is curbed.
Marriage and sexual intercourse are often controlled: in Tommaso Campanella’s The City of the Sun (1623), the first great literary utopia after More’s, relations are forbidden to men before the age of twenty-one and women before nineteen. Communal child-rearing is normal; for Campanella, this commences at age two. Greater simplicity of life, ‘living according to nature’, is often a result: the desire for simplicity and purity are closely related. People become more alike in appearance, opinion, and outlook than they often have been. Unity, order, and homogeneity thus prevail at the cost of individuality and diversity. This model, as J. C. Davis demonstrates, dominated early modern utopianism. . . . And utopian homogeneity remains a familiar theme well into the twentieth century.
Given these considerations, it is not unreasonable to take as our starting point here the hypothesis that utopia and dystopia evidently share more in common than is often supposed. Indeed, they might be twins, the progeny of the same parents. Insofar as this proves to be the case, my linkage of both here will be uncomfortably close for some readers. Yet we should not mistake this argument for the assertion that all utopias are, or tend to produce, dystopias. Those who defend this proposition will find that their association here is not nearly close enough. For we have only to acknowledge the existence of thousands of successful intentional communities in which a cooperative ethos predominates and where harmony without coercion is the rule to set aside such an assertion. Here the individual’s submersion in the group is consensual (though this concept is not unproblematic). It results not in enslavement but voluntary submission to group norms. Harmony is achieved without . . . harming others.

Q. All of the following arguments are made in the passage EXCEPT that:

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 2

Option A: The statement here appears to be a distortion. The author says: " In More’s time, for much of the population, given the plenty and security on offer, such restraints would not have seemed overly unreasonable. " It is being conveyed that the form of restrictions discussed at the beginning of the passage would not seem unreasonable to the citizens/members of More's utopia. However, the author feels that the opinions of modern readers would be drastically different.
Option B: "For we have only to acknowledge the existence of thousands of successful intentional communities in which a cooperative ethos predominates and where harmony without coercion is the rule to set aside such an assertion. Here the individual’s submersion in the group is consensual (though this concept is not unproblematic). It results not in enslavement but voluntary submission to group norms. Harmony is achieved without . . . harming others. " Towards the end of the discussion, the author indicates that homogeneity and stability (that often constitute a utopian universe) need not be achieved via coercion. Members of many communities voluntarily concede to the group's norms at the cost of their individuality.
Option C: The statement here correlates to the assertion made by the author in the second paragraph: " Such a conclusion might be fortified by examining selectively the tradition which follows More on these points. This often portrays societies where . . . 'it would be almost impossible for man to be depraved, or wicked'. . . . This is achieved both through institutions and mores, which underpin the common life. "
Option D: The introductory segment of the discussion highlights the restraints placed on individual freedom in a utopian society.
Furthermore, the author mentions that many most utopian narratives in literary history are built on a premise devoid of individuality or diversity, as stated in the following excerpt: "People become more alike in appearance, opinion, and outlook than they often have been.
Unity, order, and homogeneity thus prevail at the cost of individuality and diversity. This model, as J. C. Davis demonstrates, dominated early modern utopianism. . . . And utopian homogeneity remains a familiar theme well into the twentieth century. "
Hence, Option A is the correct choice.

1 Crore+ students have signed up on EduRev. Have you? Download the App
CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 3

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
We cannot travel outside our neighbourhood without passports. We must wear the same plain clothes. We must exchange our houses every ten years. We cannot avoid labour. We all go to bed at the same time . . . We have religious freedom, but we cannot deny that the soul dies with the body, since ‘but for the fear of punishment, they would have nothing but contempt for the laws and customs of society'. . . . In More’s time, for much of the population, given the plenty and security on offer, such restraints would not have seemed overly unreasonable. For modern readers, however, Utopia appears to rely upon relentless transparency, the repression of variety, and the curtailment of privacy. Utopia provides security: but at what price? In both its external and internal relations, indeed, it seems perilously dystopian.
Such a conclusion might be fortified by examining selectively the tradition which follows More on these points. This often portrays societies where . . . 'it would be almost impossible for man to be depraved, or wicked'. . . . This is achieved both through institutions and mores, which underpin the common life. . . . The passions are regulated and inequalities of wealth and distinction are minimized. Needs, vanity, and emulation are restrained, often by prizing equality and holding riches in contempt. The desire for public power is curbed.
Marriage and sexual intercourse are often controlled: in Tommaso Campanella’s The City of the Sun (1623), the first great literary utopia after More’s, relations are forbidden to men before the age of twenty-one and women before nineteen. Communal child-rearing is normal; for Campanella, this commences at age two. Greater simplicity of life, ‘living according to nature’, is often a result: the desire for simplicity and purity are closely related. People become more alike in appearance, opinion, and outlook than they often have been. Unity, order, and homogeneity thus prevail at the cost of individuality and diversity. This model, as J. C. Davis demonstrates, dominated early modern utopianism. . . . And utopian homogeneity remains a familiar theme well into the twentieth century.
Given these considerations, it is not unreasonable to take as our starting point here the hypothesis that utopia and dystopia evidently share more in common than is often supposed. Indeed, they might be twins, the progeny of the same parents. Insofar as this proves to be the case, my linkage of both here will be uncomfortably close for some readers. Yet we should not mistake this argument for the assertion that all utopias are, or tend to produce, dystopias. Those who defend this proposition will find that their association here is not nearly close enough. For we have only to acknowledge the existence of thousands of successful intentional communities in which a cooperative ethos predominates and where harmony without coercion is the rule to set aside such an assertion. Here the individual’s submersion in the group is consensual (though this concept is not unproblematic). It results not in enslavement but voluntary submission to group norms. Harmony is achieved without . . . harming others.

Q. Which sequence of words below best captures the narrative of the passage?

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 3

The passage begins by portraying a utopian society. The author then discusses the difference in perspective concerning the underlying elements of such a society. A disagreement originates about the perception of security - while the people part of the utopia might find the shackles on their freedom to be reasonable, modern readers perceive this as suppression of heterogeneity and violation of privacy. This is presented with the intention to direct attention towards the tradeoff that exists between security and certain other essential variables. It additionally puts the spotlight on the thin line that exists between a utopia and a dystopia. The author then cites other works in literary history that depict a utopian setting along with certain key attributes that one might stumble upon in such narratives. Homogeneity comes across as a prominent idea (a set of beliefs are considered acceptable, and the masses are expected to conform to the same).
Towards the end of the discussion, the author reiterates the thin film that separates a utopia from a dystopia. He adds that while many individuals might be tempted to use these two ideas interchangeably, this shouldn't be the case. According to the author, the assertion that "all utopias are, or tend to produce, dystopias" is fallacious. He presents justification concerning the same: there are many utopian settings wherein conformity to doctrines or sacrifice of individuality is intentional - the person voluntarily submits to the group's norms for the greater good. This resonates with the term intentional community stated in the options. Option A aptly captures these principal themes.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 4

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
We cannot travel outside our neighbourhood without passports. We must wear the same plain clothes. We must exchange our houses every ten years. We cannot avoid labour. We all go to bed at the same time . . . We have religious freedom, but we cannot deny that the soul dies with the body, since ‘but for the fear of punishment, they would have nothing but contempt for the laws and customs of society'. . . . In More’s time, for much of the population, given the plenty and security on offer, such restraints would not have seemed overly unreasonable. For modern readers, however, Utopia appears to rely upon relentless transparency, the repression of variety, and the curtailment of privacy. Utopia provides security: but at what price? In both its external and internal relations, indeed, it seems perilously dystopian.
Such a conclusion might be fortified by examining selectively the tradition which follows More on these points. This often portrays societies where . . . 'it would be almost impossible for man to be depraved, or wicked'. . . . This is achieved both through institutions and mores, which underpin the common life. . . . The passions are regulated and inequalities of wealth and distinction are minimized. Needs, vanity, and emulation are restrained, often by prizing equality and holding riches in contempt. The desire for public power is curbed.
Marriage and sexual intercourse are often controlled: in Tommaso Campanella’s The City of the Sun (1623), the first great literary utopia after More’s, relations are forbidden to men before the age of twenty-one and women before nineteen. Communal child-rearing is normal; for Campanella, this commences at age two. Greater simplicity of life, ‘living according to nature’, is often a result: the desire for simplicity and purity are closely related. People become more alike in appearance, opinion, and outlook than they often have been. Unity, order, and homogeneity thus prevail at the cost of individuality and diversity. This model, as J. C. Davis demonstrates, dominated early modern utopianism. . . . And utopian homogeneity remains a familiar theme well into the twentieth century.
Given these considerations, it is not unreasonable to take as our starting point here the hypothesis that utopia and dystopia evidently share more in common than is often supposed. Indeed, they might be twins, the progeny of the same parents. Insofar as this proves to be the case, my linkage of both here will be uncomfortably close for some readers. Yet we should not mistake this argument for the assertion that all utopias are, or tend to produce, dystopias. Those who defend this proposition will find that their association here is not nearly close enough. For we have only to acknowledge the existence of thousands of successful intentional communities in which a cooperative ethos predominates and where harmony without coercion is the rule to set aside such an assertion. Here the individual’s submersion in the group is consensual (though this concept is not unproblematic). It results not in enslavement but voluntary submission to group norms. Harmony is achieved without . . . harming others.

Q. All of the following statements can be inferred from the passage EXCEPT that:

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 4

Option A: Indeed, they might be twins, the progeny of the same parents. Insofar as this proves to be the case, my linkage of both here will be uncomfortably close for some readers.
The above excerpt implies that utopia and dystopia might be twins. The level of certainty is not absolute. However, Option A goes one step further to assert that they are twins and the progeny of the same parents. Hence, A cannot be inferred and is the answer. 'Insofar as this proves to be the case ' can cause confusion while answering. But note that the case the author is talking about is the level of similarity between the two. Hence, what is being proven is that the two are quite similar to each other, and hence some would presume that they are twins. The excerpt, however, does not support that they actually are.
Option B: The whole passage supports the inference that utopias can be perceived as dystopias by different people. E.g. The author mentions that where some people push for relentless transparency so that they are secure, some people would perceive this as a breach of their privacy. Hence, a utopia for the former would be a dystopia for the latter.
Option C: People become more alike in appearance, opinion, and outlook than they often have been. Unity, order, and homogeneity thus prevail at the cost of individuality and diversity. This model, as J. C. Davis demonstrates, dominated early modern utopianism. . . . And utopian homogeneity remains a familiar theme well into the twentieth century.
Option C is a direct inference from the above excerpt. It has been mentioned that this theme of homogeneity and uniformity dominated early modern utopianism.
Option D: Throughout the passage, the author deals with conceptions of utopian societies as dealt with in literary works. We can infer that utopian societies do exist in literature where the characters practice traditions that the author made up to portray a utopian society.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 5

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
For the Maya of the Classic period, who lived in Southern Mexico and Central America between 250 and 900 CE, the category of ‘persons’ was not coincident with human beings, as it is for us. That is, human beings were persons - but other, nonhuman entities could be persons, too. . . . In order to explore the slippage of categories between ‘humans’ and ‘persons’, I examined a very specific category of ancient Maya images, found painted in scenes on ceramic vessels. I sought out instances in which faces (some combination of eyes, nose, and mouth) are shown on inanimate objects. . . . Consider my iPhone, which needs to be fed with electricity every night, swaddled in a protective bumper, and enjoys communicating with other fellow-phone-beings. Does it have personhood (if at all) because it is connected to me, drawing this resource from me as an owner or source? For the Maya (who did have plenty of other communicating objects, if not smartphones), the answer was no. Nonhuman persons were not tethered to specific humans, and they did not derive their personhood from a connection with a human. . . . It’s a profoundly democratising way of understanding the world. Humans are not more important persons - we are just one of many kinds of persons who inhabit this world. . . .
The Maya saw personhood as ‘activated’ by experiencing certain bodily needs and through participation in certain social activities. For example, among the faced objects that I examined, persons are marked by personal requirements (such as hunger, tiredness, physical closeness), and by community obligations (communication, interaction, ritual observance). In the images I examined, we see, for instance, faced objects being cradled in humans’ arms; we also see them speaking to humans. These core elements of personhood are both turned inward, what the body or self of a person requires, and outward, what a community expects of the persons who are a part of it, underlining the reciprocal nature of community membership. .
Personhood was a nonbinary proposition for the Maya. Entities were able to be persons while also being something else. The faced objects I looked at indicate that they continue to be functional, doing what objects do (a stone implement continues to chop, an incense burner continues to do its smoky work). Furthermore, the Maya visually depicted many objects in ways that indicated the material category to which they belonged - drawings of the stone implement show that a person-tool is still made of stone. One additional complexity: the incense burner (which would have been made of clay, and decorated with spiky appliques representing the sacred ceiba tree found in this region) is categorised as a person - but also as a tree. With these Maya examples, we are challenged to discard the person/nonperson binary that constitutes our basic ontological outlook. . . . The porousness of boundaries that we have seen in the Maya world points towards the possibility of living with a certain uncategorisability of the world.

Q. Which one of the following, if true about the Classic Maya, would invalidate the purpose of the iPhone example in the passage?

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 5

The author supplements the example of the i-phone with a pertinent question: " Does it have personhood (if at all) because it is connected to me, drawing this resource from me as an owner or source? " He proceeds to then highlight the key takeaway from the example: " For the Maya (who did have plenty of other communicating objects, if not smartphones), the answer was no. Nonhuman persons were not tethered to specific humans, and they did not derive their personhood from a connection with a human." The end idea: the personhood of an object is not a function of its utility or attachment to humans {an object can be categorised as a person based on certain distinct variables aside from its relation to a human}. The only relevant information invalidating this portrayal is in Option D: if the personhood of the incense burner or stone chopper is dependent on their usefulness to humans, the purpose of presenting the example and the associated idea is undermined.
It is unclear how Options A and B invalidate the purpose of the example. Option C aligns with the author's assertions and does not touch upon the idea emphasised by the example.
Hence, Option D is the correct choice.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 6

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
For the Maya of the Classic period, who lived in Southern Mexico and Central America between 250 and 900 CE, the category of ‘persons’ was not coincident with human beings, as it is for us. That is, human beings were persons - but other, nonhuman entities could be persons, too. . . . In order to explore the slippage of categories between ‘humans’ and ‘persons’, I examined a very specific category of ancient Maya images, found painted in scenes on ceramic vessels. I sought out instances in which faces (some combination of eyes, nose, and mouth) are shown on inanimate objects. . . . Consider my iPhone, which needs to be fed with electricity every night, swaddled in a protective bumper, and enjoys communicating with other fellow-phone-beings. Does it have personhood (if at all) because it is connected to me, drawing this resource from me as an owner or source? For the Maya (who did have plenty of other communicating objects, if not smartphones), the answer was no. Nonhuman persons were not tethered to specific humans, and they did not derive their personhood from a connection with a human. . . . It’s a profoundly democratising way of understanding the world. Humans are not more important persons - we are just one of many kinds of persons who inhabit this world. . . .
The Maya saw personhood as ‘activated’ by experiencing certain bodily needs and through participation in certain social activities. For example, among the faced objects that I examined, persons are marked by personal requirements (such as hunger, tiredness, physical closeness), and by community obligations (communication, interaction, ritual observance). In the images I examined, we see, for instance, faced objects being cradled in humans’ arms; we also see them speaking to humans. These core elements of personhood are both turned inward, what the body or self of a person requires, and outward, what a community expects of the persons who are a part of it, underlining the reciprocal nature of community membership. .
Personhood was a nonbinary proposition for the Maya. Entities were able to be persons while also being something else. The faced objects I looked at indicate that they continue to be functional, doing what objects do (a stone implement continues to chop, an incense burner continues to do its smoky work). Furthermore, the Maya visually depicted many objects in ways that indicated the material category to which they belonged - drawings of the stone implement show that a person-tool is still made of stone. One additional complexity: the incense burner (which would have been made of clay, and decorated with spiky appliques representing the sacred ceiba tree found in this region) is categorised as a person - but also as a tree. With these Maya examples, we are challenged to discard the person/nonperson binary that constitutes our basic ontological outlook. . . . The porousness of boundaries that we have seen in the Maya world points towards the possibility of living with a certain uncategorisability of the world.

Q. Which one of the following best explains the “additional complexity” that the example of the incense burner illustrates regarding personhood for the Classic Maya?

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 6

One additional complexity: the incense burner (which would have been made of clay, and decorated with spiky appliques representing the sacred ceiba tree found in this region) is categorised as a person - but also as a tree.
The additional complexity that the author talks about here is the addition of another layer in the non-binary understanding of personhood.
The incense burner was already classified as a person, but now it has also been classified as a tree. Hence, we have Options A and C.
Note that the third category, that is tree, has a relation with the previous two categories. The boundary separating tree and person is porous. And since the incense burner has been categorized as a tree too, the relationship between them is porous too. Hence, we can infer that the third category shares a similar relationship with the previous two categories, and A is the correct answer.
The author is not exemplifying an exception but citing an additional complexity that is present in the definition. Hence, B can be eliminated.
The author does not establish the porosity of the divine and the profane. Hence, Option D is out of the scope of the passage.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 7

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
For the Maya of the Classic period, who lived in Southern Mexico and Central America between 250 and 900 CE, the category of ‘persons’ was not coincident with human beings, as it is for us. That is, human beings were persons - but other, nonhuman entities could be persons, too. . . . In order to explore the slippage of categories between ‘humans’ and ‘persons’, I examined a very specific category of ancient Maya images, found painted in scenes on ceramic vessels. I sought out instances in which faces (some combination of eyes, nose, and mouth) are shown on inanimate objects. . . . Consider my iPhone, which needs to be fed with electricity every night, swaddled in a protective bumper, and enjoys communicating with other fellow-phone-beings. Does it have personhood (if at all) because it is connected to me, drawing this resource from me as an owner or source? For the Maya (who did have plenty of other communicating objects, if not smartphones), the answer was no. Nonhuman persons were not tethered to specific humans, and they did not derive their personhood from a connection with a human. . . . It’s a profoundly democratising way of understanding the world. Humans are not more important persons - we are just one of many kinds of persons who inhabit this world. . . .
The Maya saw personhood as ‘activated’ by experiencing certain bodily needs and through participation in certain social activities. For example, among the faced objects that I examined, persons are marked by personal requirements (such as hunger, tiredness, physical closeness), and by community obligations (communication, interaction, ritual observance). In the images I examined, we see, for instance, faced objects being cradled in humans’ arms; we also see them speaking to humans. These core elements of personhood are both turned inward, what the body or self of a person requires, and outward, what a community expects of the persons who are a part of it, underlining the reciprocal nature of community membership. .
Personhood was a nonbinary proposition for the Maya. Entities were able to be persons while also being something else. The faced objects I looked at indicate that they continue to be functional, doing what objects do (a stone implement continues to chop, an incense burner continues to do its smoky work). Furthermore, the Maya visually depicted many objects in ways that indicated the material category to which they belonged - drawings of the stone implement show that a person-tool is still made of stone. One additional complexity: the incense burner (which would have been made of clay, and decorated with spiky appliques representing the sacred ceiba tree found in this region) is categorised as a person - but also as a tree. With these Maya examples, we are challenged to discard the person/nonperson binary that constitutes our basic ontological outlook. . . . The porousness of boundaries that we have seen in the Maya world points towards the possibility of living with a certain uncategorisability of the world.

Q. On the basis of the passage, which one of the following worldviews can be inferred to be closest to that of the Classic Maya?

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 7

The author highlights multiple elements that constitute the Classic Mayan worldview pertaining to personhood:
"Nonhuman persons were not tethered to specific humans, and they did not derive their personhood from a connection with a human. " "The Maya saw personhood as ‘activated’ by experiencing certain bodily needs and through participation in certain social activities. For example, among the faced objects that I examined, persons are marked by personal requirements (such as hunger, tiredness, physical closeness), and by community obligations (communication, interaction, ritual observance) " "Personhood was a nonbinary proposition for the Maya. Entities were able to be persons while also being something else...With these Maya examples, we are challenged to discard the person/nonperson binary that constitutes our basic ontological outlook "
Inspecting the options using the above ideas as filters, we notice that Option B is closest to the Classic Mayan worldview. A tribe that "perceives plants as person-plants because they form an ecosystem and are marked by needs of nutrition" acknowledges the two elementary variables for defining personhood - personal requirements and community obligations .
Options A and C tether the personhood of the objects to their utility to humans - this does not coincide with the Classic Mayan belief.
Although Option D mentions bodily needs, the interpretation of the term 'functionality' remains unclear. Hence, we can eliminate Option D.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 8

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
For the Maya of the Classic period, who lived in Southern Mexico and Central America between 250 and 900 CE, the category of ‘persons’ was not coincident with human beings, as it is for us. That is, human beings were persons - but other, nonhuman entities could be persons, too. . . . In order to explore the slippage of categories between ‘humans’ and ‘persons’, I examined a very specific category of ancient Maya images, found painted in scenes on ceramic vessels. I sought out instances in which faces (some combination of eyes, nose, and mouth) are shown on inanimate objects. . . . Consider my iPhone, which needs to be fed with electricity every night, swaddled in a protective bumper, and enjoys communicating with other fellow-phone-beings. Does it have personhood (if at all) because it is connected to me, drawing this resource from me as an owner or source? For the Maya (who did have plenty of other communicating objects, if not smartphones), the answer was no. Nonhuman persons were not tethered to specific humans, and they did not derive their personhood from a connection with a human. . . . It’s a profoundly democratising way of understanding the world. Humans are not more important persons - we are just one of many kinds of persons who inhabit this world. . . .
The Maya saw personhood as ‘activated’ by experiencing certain bodily needs and through participation in certain social activities. For example, among the faced objects that I examined, persons are marked by personal requirements (such as hunger, tiredness, physical closeness), and by community obligations (communication, interaction, ritual observance). In the images I examined, we see, for instance, faced objects being cradled in humans’ arms; we also see them speaking to humans. These core elements of personhood are both turned inward, what the body or self of a person requires, and outward, what a community expects of the persons who are a part of it, underlining the reciprocal nature of community membership. .
Personhood was a nonbinary proposition for the Maya. Entities were able to be persons while also being something else. The faced objects I looked at indicate that they continue to be functional, doing what objects do (a stone implement continues to chop, an incense burner continues to do its smoky work). Furthermore, the Maya visually depicted many objects in ways that indicated the material category to which they belonged - drawings of the stone implement show that a person-tool is still made of stone. One additional complexity: the incense burner (which would have been made of clay, and decorated with spiky appliques representing the sacred ceiba tree found in this region) is categorised as a person - but also as a tree. With these Maya examples, we are challenged to discard the person/nonperson binary that constitutes our basic ontological outlook. . . . The porousness of boundaries that we have seen in the Maya world points towards the possibility of living with a certain uncategorisability of the world.

Q. Which one of the following, if true, would not undermine the democratising potential of the Classic Maya worldview?

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 8

The idea concerning the democratising potential can be retraced to the first paragraph wherein the author states: "
Nonhuman persons were not tethered to specific humans, and they did not derive their personhood from a connection with a human. . . . It’s a profoundly democratising way of understanding the world. Humans are not more important persons - we are just one of many kinds of persons who inhabit this world "
Option A: Considering proximity as an idea would undermine the portrayal of the Classic Mayan worldview. The author presents the example of the I-phone to convey how the personhood of an object is not a function of its utility or attachment to humans. If true, the statement in A would counter the premise of this example. Hence, we can eliminate this choice.
Option B: the assessment here is quite similar to Option A; if we create distinctions within the realm of inanimate objects, this will weaken the Mayan worldview. It would diminish the democratising potential of such a viewpoint by introducing specific barriers or criteria for the classification of personhood.
Option C: The claim here runs against the Mayan idea of personhood being nonbinary. Thus, we can eliminate it since it undermines the democratising potential of the Classic Mayan worldview.
Hence, Option D is the correct choice.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 9

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
The sleights of hand that conflate consumption with virtue are a central theme in A Thirst for Empire, a sweeping and richly detailed history of tea by the historian Erika Rappaport. How did tea evolve from an obscure “China drink” to a universal beverage imbued with civilising properties? The answer, in brief, revolves around this conflation, not only by profit-motivated marketers but by a wide variety of interest groups. While abundant historical records have allowed the study of how tea itself moved from east to west, Rappaport is focused on the movement of the idea of tea to suit particular purposes.
Beginning in the 1700s, the temperance movement advocated for tea as a pleasure that cheered but did not inebriate, and industrialists soon borrowed this moral argument in advancing their case for free trade in tea (and hence more open markets for their textiles). Factory owners joined in, compelled by the cause of a sober workforce, while Christian missionaries discovered that tea “would soothe any colonial encounter”. During the Second World War, tea service was presented as a social and patriotic activity that uplifted soldiers and calmed refugees.
But it was tea’s consumer-directed marketing by importers and retailers - and later by brands - that most closely portends current trade debates. An early version of the “farm to table” movement was sparked by anti-Chinese sentiment and concerns over trade deficits, as well as by the reality and threat of adulterated tea containing dirt and hedge clippings. Lipton was soon advertising “from the Garden to Tea Cup” supply chains originating in British India and supervised by “educated Englishmen”. While tea marketing always presented direct consumer benefits (health, energy, relaxation), tea drinkers were also assured that they were participating in a larger noble project that advanced the causes of family, nation and civilization. . . .
Rappaport’s treatment of her subject is refreshingly apolitical. Indeed, it is a virtue that readers will be unable to guess her political orientation: both the miracle of markets and capitalism’s dark underbelly are evident in tea’s complex story, as are the complicated effects of British colonialism. . . . Commodity histories are now themselves commodities: recent works investigate cotton, salt, cod, sugar, chocolate, paper and milk. And morality marketing is now a commodity as well, applied to food, “fair trade” apparel and ecotourism. Yet tea is, Rappaport makes clear, a world apart - an astonishing success story in which tea marketers not only succeeded in conveying a sense of moral elevation to the consumer but also arguably did advance the cause of civilisation and community.
I have been offered tea at a British garden party, a Bedouin campfire, a Turkish carpet shop and a Japanese chashitsu, to name a few settings. In each case the offering was more an idea - friendship, community, respect - than a drink, and in each case the idea then created a reality. It is not a stretch to say that tea marketers have advanced the particularly noble cause of human dialogue and friendship.

Q. Today, “conflat[ing] consumption with virtue” can be seen in the marketing of:

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 9

Although mildly subjective, the question tests our understanding of the central idea. Across the passage, we notice the 'conflation' of tea consumption with particular virtues: it was not merely limited to benefits to the consumer but served a greater purpose. The narrative was that by drinking tea, people were/are advancing the cause of civilisation and community {thereby, imparting a sense of moral elevation}. Thus, the welfare highlighted is two-fold: both the consumer and society is benefitted. Towards the end, the author supports the narrative as follows: "It is not a stretch to say that tea marketers have advanced the particularly noble cause of human dialogue and friendship. " Any choice showcasing this dual benefit might be the potential answer.
Option A presents sustainably farmed foods; it is easy to identify that any associated marketing mechanics will emphasise the benefit of such food to both people and the environment. Thus, advertisers will make a case for how sustainably farmed food is beneficial not just to the consumer but also to the world at large. This will be equivalent to the 'conflation' that we came across in the passage.
Option B mentions natural health supplements; although we can discern the benefit to the consumer, the benefits to society is hard to perceive. Similarly, Options C and D appear irrelevant; it is difficult to identify what virtues we are conflating here with the subject.
Hence, of the given choices, Option A appears most appropriate.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 10

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
The sleights of hand that conflate consumption with virtue are a central theme in A Thirst for Empire, a sweeping and richly detailed history of tea by the historian Erika Rappaport. How did tea evolve from an obscure “China drink” to a universal beverage imbued with civilising properties? The answer, in brief, revolves around this conflation, not only by profit-motivated marketers but by a wide variety of interest groups. While abundant historical records have allowed the study of how tea itself moved from east to west, Rappaport is focused on the movement of the idea of tea to suit particular purposes.
Beginning in the 1700s, the temperance movement advocated for tea as a pleasure that cheered but did not inebriate, and industrialists soon borrowed this moral argument in advancing their case for free trade in tea (and hence more open markets for their textiles). Factory owners joined in, compelled by the cause of a sober workforce, while Christian missionaries discovered that tea “would soothe any colonial encounter”. During the Second World War, tea service was presented as a social and patriotic activity that uplifted soldiers and calmed refugees.
But it was tea’s consumer-directed marketing by importers and retailers - and later by brands - that most closely portends current trade debates. An early version of the “farm to table” movement was sparked by anti-Chinese sentiment and concerns over trade deficits, as well as by the reality and threat of adulterated tea containing dirt and hedge clippings. Lipton was soon advertising “from the Garden to Tea Cup” supply chains originating in British India and supervised by “educated Englishmen”. While tea marketing always presented direct consumer benefits (health, energy, relaxation), tea drinkers were also assured that they were participating in a larger noble project that advanced the causes of family, nation and civilization. . . .
Rappaport’s treatment of her subject is refreshingly apolitical. Indeed, it is a virtue that readers will be unable to guess her political orientation: both the miracle of markets and capitalism’s dark underbelly are evident in tea’s complex story, as are the complicated effects of British colonialism. . . . Commodity histories are now themselves commodities: recent works investigate cotton, salt, cod, sugar, chocolate, paper and milk. And morality marketing is now a commodity as well, applied to food, “fair trade” apparel and ecotourism. Yet tea is, Rappaport makes clear, a world apart - an astonishing success story in which tea marketers not only succeeded in conveying a sense of moral elevation to the consumer but also arguably did advance the cause of civilisation and community.
I have been offered tea at a British garden party, a Bedouin campfire, a Turkish carpet shop and a Japanese chashitsu, to name a few settings. In each case the offering was more an idea - friendship, community, respect - than a drink, and in each case the idea then created a reality. It is not a stretch to say that tea marketers have advanced the particularly noble cause of human dialogue and friendship.

Q. The author of this book review is LEAST likely to support the view that:

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 10

{During the Second World War, tea service was presented as a social and patriotic activity that uplifted soldiers and calmed refugees. }
{I have been offered tea at a British garden party, a Bedouin campfire, a Turkish carpet shop and a Japanese chashitsu, to name a few settings. In each case the offering was more an idea - friendship, community, respect - than a drink, and in each case the idea then created a reality. It is not a stretch to say that tea marketers have advanced the particularly noble cause of human dialogue and friendship.}
Options A, B and D have been implied in the above excerpts - we can safely assume that the author will agree to the claims made in these options. Option C, however, has not been stated in the passage. There is no information to deduce that the author will agree with the assertions that tea became the leading drink in Britain in the nineteenth century. Thus, Option C is the correct choice.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 11

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
The sleights of hand that conflate consumption with virtue are a central theme in A Thirst for Empire, a sweeping and richly detailed history of tea by the historian Erika Rappaport. How did tea evolve from an obscure “China drink” to a universal beverage imbued with civilising properties? The answer, in brief, revolves around this conflation, not only by profit-motivated marketers but by a wide variety of interest groups. While abundant historical records have allowed the study of how tea itself moved from east to west, Rappaport is focused on the movement of the idea of tea to suit particular purposes.
Beginning in the 1700s, the temperance movement advocated for tea as a pleasure that cheered but did not inebriate, and industrialists soon borrowed this moral argument in advancing their case for free trade in tea (and hence more open markets for their textiles). Factory owners joined in, compelled by the cause of a sober workforce, while Christian missionaries discovered that tea “would soothe any colonial encounter”. During the Second World War, tea service was presented as a social and patriotic activity that uplifted soldiers and calmed refugees.
But it was tea’s consumer-directed marketing by importers and retailers - and later by brands - that most closely portends current trade debates. An early version of the “farm to table” movement was sparked by anti-Chinese sentiment and concerns over trade deficits, as well as by the reality and threat of adulterated tea containing dirt and hedge clippings. Lipton was soon advertising “from the Garden to Tea Cup” supply chains originating in British India and supervised by “educated Englishmen”. While tea marketing always presented direct consumer benefits (health, energy, relaxation), tea drinkers were also assured that they were participating in a larger noble project that advanced the causes of family, nation and civilization. . . .
Rappaport’s treatment of her subject is refreshingly apolitical. Indeed, it is a virtue that readers will be unable to guess her political orientation: both the miracle of markets and capitalism’s dark underbelly are evident in tea’s complex story, as are the complicated effects of British colonialism. . . . Commodity histories are now themselves commodities: recent works investigate cotton, salt, cod, sugar, chocolate, paper and milk. And morality marketing is now a commodity as well, applied to food, “fair trade” apparel and ecotourism. Yet tea is, Rappaport makes clear, a world apart - an astonishing success story in which tea marketers not only succeeded in conveying a sense of moral elevation to the consumer but also arguably did advance the cause of civilisation and community.
I have been offered tea at a British garden party, a Bedouin campfire, a Turkish carpet shop and a Japanese chashitsu, to name a few settings. In each case the offering was more an idea - friendship, community, respect - than a drink, and in each case the idea then created a reality. It is not a stretch to say that tea marketers have advanced the particularly noble cause of human dialogue and friendship.

Q. According to this book review, A Thirst for Empire says that, in addition to “profitmotivated marketers”, tea drinking was promoted in Britain by all of the following EXCEPT:

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 11

We can refer to the following excerpt to examine the choices: { Beginning in the 1700s, the temperance movement advocated for tea as a pleasure that cheered but did not inebriate, and industrialists soon borrowed this moral argument in advancing their case for free trade in tea (and hence more open markets for their textiles). Factory owners joined in, compelled by the cause of a sober workforce, while Christian missionaries discovered that tea “would soothe any colonial encounter”. }
Options A, C and D can be directly inferred from the excerpt. The author does not present any information pertaining to tea drinkers lobbying for product diversity - hence, we can identify this as an incorrect reason.
Therefore, Option B is the correct choice.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 12

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
The sleights of hand that conflate consumption with virtue are a central theme in A Thirst for Empire, a sweeping and richly detailed history of tea by the historian Erika Rappaport. How did tea evolve from an obscure “China drink” to a universal beverage imbued with civilising properties? The answer, in brief, revolves around this conflation, not only by profit-motivated marketers but by a wide variety of interest groups. While abundant historical records have allowed the study of how tea itself moved from east to west, Rappaport is focused on the movement of the idea of tea to suit particular purposes.
Beginning in the 1700s, the temperance movement advocated for tea as a pleasure that cheered but did not inebriate, and industrialists soon borrowed this moral argument in advancing their case for free trade in tea (and hence more open markets for their textiles). Factory owners joined in, compelled by the cause of a sober workforce, while Christian missionaries discovered that tea “would soothe any colonial encounter”. During the Second World War, tea service was presented as a social and patriotic activity that uplifted soldiers and calmed refugees.
But it was tea’s consumer-directed marketing by importers and retailers - and later by brands - that most closely portends current trade debates. An early version of the “farm to table” movement was sparked by anti-Chinese sentiment and concerns over trade deficits, as well as by the reality and threat of adulterated tea containing dirt and hedge clippings. Lipton was soon advertising “from the Garden to Tea Cup” supply chains originating in British India and supervised by “educated Englishmen”. While tea marketing always presented direct consumer benefits (health, energy, relaxation), tea drinkers were also assured that they were participating in a larger noble project that advanced the causes of family, nation and civilization. . . .
Rappaport’s treatment of her subject is refreshingly apolitical. Indeed, it is a virtue that readers will be unable to guess her political orientation: both the miracle of markets and capitalism’s dark underbelly are evident in tea’s complex story, as are the complicated effects of British colonialism. . . . Commodity histories are now themselves commodities: recent works investigate cotton, salt, cod, sugar, chocolate, paper and milk. And morality marketing is now a commodity as well, applied to food, “fair trade” apparel and ecotourism. Yet tea is, Rappaport makes clear, a world apart - an astonishing success story in which tea marketers not only succeeded in conveying a sense of moral elevation to the consumer but also arguably did advance the cause of civilisation and community.
I have been offered tea at a British garden party, a Bedouin campfire, a Turkish carpet shop and a Japanese chashitsu, to name a few settings. In each case the offering was more an idea - friendship, community, respect - than a drink, and in each case the idea then created a reality. It is not a stretch to say that tea marketers have advanced the particularly noble cause of human dialogue and friendship.

Q. This book review argues that, according to Rappaport, tea is unlike other “morality” products because it:

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 12

An important clue to analyse the options lies in the following excerpt: { Yet tea is, Rappaport makes clear, a world apart - an astonishing success story in which tea marketers not only succeeded in conveying a sense of moral elevation to the consumer but also arguably did advance the cause of civilisation and community. } It is emphasised that the moral praise that tea received was not mere talk - tea as a 'morality product' did produce desirable outcomes. Option A is closest to conveying this idea. Options B, C and D fail to highlight the attribute that separates tea from 'other morality products' {as per the passage}.
Hence, Option A is the correct choice.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 13

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Cuttlefish are full of personality, as behavioral ecologist Alexandra Schnell found out while researching the cephalopod's potential to display self-control. . . . “Self-control is thought to be the cornerstone of intelligence, as it is an important prerequisite for complex decision-making and planning for the future,” says Schnell . . .
[Schnell's] study used a modified version of the “marshmallow test” . . . During the original marshmallow test, psychologist Walter Mischel presented children between age four and six with one marshmallow. He told them that if they waited 15 minutes and didn’t eat it, he would give them a second marshmallow. A long-term follow-up study showed that the children who waited for the second marshmallow had more success later in life. . . . The cuttlefish version of the experiment looked a lot different. The researchers worked with six cuttlefish under nine months old and presented them with seafood instead of sweets. (Preliminary experiments showed that cuttlefishes’ favorite food is live grass shrimp, while raw prawns are so-so and Asian shore crab is nearly unacceptable.) Since the researchers couldn’t explain to the cuttlefish that they would need to wait for their shrimp, they trained them to recognize certain shapes that indicated when a food item would become available. The symbols were pasted on transparent drawers so that the cuttlefish could see the food that was stored inside. One drawer, labeled with a circle to mean “immediate,” held raw king prawn. Another drawer, labeled with a triangle to mean “delayed,” held live grass shrimp. During a control experiment, square labels meant “never.”
“If their self-control is flexible and I hadn’t just trained them to wait in any context, you would expect the cuttlefish to take the immediate reward [in the control], even if it’s their second preference,” says Schnell . . . and that’s what they did. That showed the researchers that cuttlefish wouldn’t reject the prawns if it was the only food available. In the experimental trials, the cuttlefish didn’t jump on the prawns if the live grass shrimp were labeled with a triangle— many waited for the shrimp drawer to open up. Each time the cuttlefish showed it could wait, the researchers tacked another ten seconds on to the next round of waiting before releasing the shrimp. The longest that a cuttlefish waited was 130 seconds.
Schnell [says] that the cuttlefish usually sat at the bottom of the tank and looked at the two food items while they waited, but sometimes, they would turn away from the king prawn “as if to distract themselves from the temptation of the immediate reward.” In past studies, humans, chimpanzees, parrots and dogs also tried to distract themselves while waiting for a reward.
Not every species can use self-control, but most of the animals that can share another trait in common: long, social lives. Cuttlefish, on the other hand, are solitary creatures that don’t form relationships even with mates or young. . . . “We don’t know if living in a social group is important for complex cognition unless we also show those abilities are lacking in less social species,” says . . . comparative psychologist Jennifer Vonk.

Q. All of the following constitute a point of difference between the “original” and “modified” versions of the marshmallow test EXCEPT that:

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 13

Options A, C and D have been explicitly stated in the passage (refer to the second paragraph):
A: "...children between age four and six with one marshmallow. He told them that if they waited 15 minutes and didn’t eat it, he would give them a second marshmallow. .." Thus, children were the subject under observation in the original marshmallow experiment, while cuttlefish were studied in the modified version of the same.
C: "...Since the researchers couldn’t explain to the cuttlefish that they would need to wait for their shrimp, they trained them to recognize certain shapes that indicated when a food item would become available. .." Option C merely rephrase this excerpt.
D: "...A long-term follow-up study showed that the children who waited for the second marshmallow had more success later in life.. ."
Given that the researchers undertook a long term study to map the successes of children showcasing self-control, we can safely conclude that the cuttlefish-version of the experiment was undertaken over a relatively shorter period.
Option B cannot be inferred from the discussion - there is no correlation between selfcontrol and survival advantages. Hence, B is the correct choice.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 14

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Cuttlefish are full of personality, as behavioral ecologist Alexandra Schnell found out while researching the cephalopod's potential to display self-control. . . . “Self-control is thought to be the cornerstone of intelligence, as it is an important prerequisite for complex decision-making and planning for the future,” says Schnell . . .
[Schnell's] study used a modified version of the “marshmallow test” . . . During the original marshmallow test, psychologist Walter Mischel presented children between age four and six with one marshmallow. He told them that if they waited 15 minutes and didn’t eat it, he would give them a second marshmallow. A long-term follow-up study showed that the children who waited for the second marshmallow had more success later in life. . . . The cuttlefish version of the experiment looked a lot different. The researchers worked with six cuttlefish under nine months old and presented them with seafood instead of sweets. (Preliminary experiments showed that cuttlefishes’ favorite food is live grass shrimp, while raw prawns are so-so and Asian shore crab is nearly unacceptable.) Since the researchers couldn’t explain to the cuttlefish that they would need to wait for their shrimp, they trained them to recognize certain shapes that indicated when a food item would become available. The symbols were pasted on transparent drawers so that the cuttlefish could see the food that was stored inside. One drawer, labeled with a circle to mean “immediate,” held raw king prawn. Another drawer, labeled with a triangle to mean “delayed,” held live grass shrimp. During a control experiment, square labels meant “never.”
“If their self-control is flexible and I hadn’t just trained them to wait in any context, you would expect the cuttlefish to take the immediate reward [in the control], even if it’s their second preference,” says Schnell . . . and that’s what they did. That showed the researchers that cuttlefish wouldn’t reject the prawns if it was the only food available. In the experimental trials, the cuttlefish didn’t jump on the prawns if the live grass shrimp were labeled with a triangle— many waited for the shrimp drawer to open up. Each time the cuttlefish showed it could wait, the researchers tacked another ten seconds on to the next round of waiting before releasing the shrimp. The longest that a cuttlefish waited was 130 seconds.
Schnell [says] that the cuttlefish usually sat at the bottom of the tank and looked at the two food items while they waited, but sometimes, they would turn away from the king prawn “as if to distract themselves from the temptation of the immediate reward.” In past studies, humans, chimpanzees, parrots and dogs also tried to distract themselves while waiting for a reward.
Not every species can use self-control, but most of the animals that can share another trait in common: long, social lives. Cuttlefish, on the other hand, are solitary creatures that don’t form relationships even with mates or young. . . . “We don’t know if living in a social group is important for complex cognition unless we also show those abilities are lacking in less social species,” says . . . comparative psychologist Jennifer Vonk.

Q. Which one of the following, if true, would best complement the passage’s findings?

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 14

Option A: If true, this would weaken the findings of the experiments. The methodology used to establish the trait of self-restraint in cuttlefish is based on the premise that cuttlefish prefer one specific kind of food over another. If we demonstrate that cuttlefish are equally fond of live grass shrimp and raw prawn, then the observations made in the study become invalid. Therefore, we can eliminate Option A.
Option B: If true, the finding here would support the comments made in the final paragraph. The author states the following: { Not every species can use self-control, but most of the animals that can share another trait in common: long, social lives. } If it is proved that cuttlefish fulfils this ancillary criterion of sociability, the primary claim made in the passage is strengthened.
Option C: If true, the statement here bears no significance to the passage’s findings. [We already know that "..the longest that a cuttlefish waited was 130 seconds... "] Option D: If true, this would weaken the findings of the experiments. Similar to Option A, the methodology used to establish the trait of self-restraint in cuttlefish is based on the premise that cuttlefish can distinguish between geometrical shapes. If we demonstrate that this information is false, then the observations made in the study become invalid. Therefore, we can eliminate Option D.
Hence, Option B is the correct choice.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 15

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Cuttlefish are full of personality, as behavioral ecologist Alexandra Schnell found out while researching the cephalopod's potential to display self-control. . . . “Self-control is thought to be the cornerstone of intelligence, as it is an important prerequisite for complex decision-making and planning for the future,” says Schnell . . .
[Schnell's] study used a modified version of the “marshmallow test” . . . During the original marshmallow test, psychologist Walter Mischel presented children between age four and six with one marshmallow. He told them that if they waited 15 minutes and didn’t eat it, he would give them a second marshmallow. A long-term follow-up study showed that the children who waited for the second marshmallow had more success later in life. . . . The cuttlefish version of the experiment looked a lot different. The researchers worked with six cuttlefish under nine months old and presented them with seafood instead of sweets. (Preliminary experiments showed that cuttlefishes’ favorite food is live grass shrimp, while raw prawns are so-so and Asian shore crab is nearly unacceptable.) Since the researchers couldn’t explain to the cuttlefish that they would need to wait for their shrimp, they trained them to recognize certain shapes that indicated when a food item would become available. The symbols were pasted on transparent drawers so that the cuttlefish could see the food that was stored inside. One drawer, labeled with a circle to mean “immediate,” held raw king prawn. Another drawer, labeled with a triangle to mean “delayed,” held live grass shrimp. During a control experiment, square labels meant “never.”
“If their self-control is flexible and I hadn’t just trained them to wait in any context, you would expect the cuttlefish to take the immediate reward [in the control], even if it’s their second preference,” says Schnell . . . and that’s what they did. That showed the researchers that cuttlefish wouldn’t reject the prawns if it was the only food available. In the experimental trials, the cuttlefish didn’t jump on the prawns if the live grass shrimp were labeled with a triangle— many waited for the shrimp drawer to open up. Each time the cuttlefish showed it could wait, the researchers tacked another ten seconds on to the next round of waiting before releasing the shrimp. The longest that a cuttlefish waited was 130 seconds.
Schnell [says] that the cuttlefish usually sat at the bottom of the tank and looked at the two food items while they waited, but sometimes, they would turn away from the king prawn “as if to distract themselves from the temptation of the immediate reward.” In past studies, humans, chimpanzees, parrots and dogs also tried to distract themselves while waiting for a reward.
Not every species can use self-control, but most of the animals that can share another trait in common: long, social lives. Cuttlefish, on the other hand, are solitary creatures that don’t form relationships even with mates or young. . . . “We don’t know if living in a social group is important for complex cognition unless we also show those abilities are lacking in less social species,” says . . . comparative psychologist Jennifer Vonk.

Q. Which one of the following cannot be inferred from Alexandra Schnell’s experiment?

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 15

Option A: {Each time the cuttlefish showed it could wait, the researchers tacked another ten seconds on to the next round of waiting before releasing the shrimp. The longest that a cuttlefish waited was 130 seconds. } The results of Schnell's experiment indicated that cuttlefish exhibit self-restraint. This was shown to be the case with few children in the original marshmallow experiments. Hence, Option A is correct.
Option B: {Not every species can use self-control, but most of the animals that can share another trait in common: long, social lives. } The author does not imply causation between intelligence and sociability. He merely highlights these two attributes: self-control is considered indicative of intelligence, and most such organisms showcase social lives as well. Hence, B is a distortion and cannot be inferred.
Option C: {Preliminary experiments showed that cuttlefishes’ favorite food is live grass shrimp, while raw prawns are so-so and Asian shore crab is nearly unacceptable. } The above lines depict a preference for certain kinds of food; thus, C is true.
Option D: {Schnell [says] that the cuttlefish usually sat at the bottom of the tank and looked at the two food items while they waited, but sometimes, they would turn away from the king prawn “as if to distract themselves from the temptation of the immediate reward. ”} Exerting self-control through distractions has also been presented as a behavioural trait of the cuttlefish.
Hence, Option B is the correct choice.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 16

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Cuttlefish are full of personality, as behavioral ecologist Alexandra Schnell found out while researching the cephalopod's potential to display self-control. . . . “Self-control is thought to be the cornerstone of intelligence, as it is an important prerequisite for complex decision-making and planning for the future,” says Schnell . . .
[Schnell's] study used a modified version of the “marshmallow test” . . . During the original marshmallow test, psychologist Walter Mischel presented children between age four and six with one marshmallow. He told them that if they waited 15 minutes and didn’t eat it, he would give them a second marshmallow. A long-term follow-up study showed that the children who waited for the second marshmallow had more success later in life. . . . The cuttlefish version of the experiment looked a lot different. The researchers worked with six cuttlefish under nine months old and presented them with seafood instead of sweets. (Preliminary experiments showed that cuttlefishes’ favorite food is live grass shrimp, while raw prawns are so-so and Asian shore crab is nearly unacceptable.) Since the researchers couldn’t explain to the cuttlefish that they would need to wait for their shrimp, they trained them to recognize certain shapes that indicated when a food item would become available. The symbols were pasted on transparent drawers so that the cuttlefish could see the food that was stored inside. One drawer, labeled with a circle to mean “immediate,” held raw king prawn. Another drawer, labeled with a triangle to mean “delayed,” held live grass shrimp. During a control experiment, square labels meant “never.”
“If their self-control is flexible and I hadn’t just trained them to wait in any context, you would expect the cuttlefish to take the immediate reward [in the control], even if it’s their second preference,” says Schnell . . . and that’s what they did. That showed the researchers that cuttlefish wouldn’t reject the prawns if it was the only food available. In the experimental trials, the cuttlefish didn’t jump on the prawns if the live grass shrimp were labeled with a triangle— many waited for the shrimp drawer to open up. Each time the cuttlefish showed it could wait, the researchers tacked another ten seconds on to the next round of waiting before releasing the shrimp. The longest that a cuttlefish waited was 130 seconds.
Schnell [says] that the cuttlefish usually sat at the bottom of the tank and looked at the two food items while they waited, but sometimes, they would turn away from the king prawn “as if to distract themselves from the temptation of the immediate reward.” In past studies, humans, chimpanzees, parrots and dogs also tried to distract themselves while waiting for a reward.
Not every species can use self-control, but most of the animals that can share another trait in common: long, social lives. Cuttlefish, on the other hand, are solitary creatures that don’t form relationships even with mates or young. . . . “We don’t know if living in a social group is important for complex cognition unless we also show those abilities are lacking in less social species,” says . . . comparative psychologist Jennifer Vonk.

Q. In which one of the following scenarios would the cuttlefish’s behaviour demonstrate self-control?

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 16

The question tests our understanding of the experiment stated in the second paragraph. The key highlights of the modified cuttlefish experiment are:
(a) Food choice: 1st preference - live grass shrimp; 2nd preference - raw prawns; 3rd preference - Asian shore crab
(b) Symbol based training: Circle - immediate availability; Triangle - delayed availability; Square - never available
(c) Observations: in the absence of 1st preference ---> cuttlefish will go for 2nd preference {applies to all such scenarios involving only one food choice}; in the presence of multiple food choices, cuttlefish will wait ---> if 1st pref is available and associated with either Circle or Triangle
Based on the above, we can filter out the given options:
Option A: We know that raw prawns and Asian shore crab are not the primary preference of the cuttlefish. Additionally, we know that live grass shrimp (1st presence) is available for delayed consumption {associated with a Triangle}. If the cuttlefish waits for one minute to consume live grass shrimp and ignores the other two food choices, this definitively showcases that cuttlefish exert self-control. Hence, Option A is a strong candidate for the correct choice since it supplements the experiment's findings.
Option B: In this case, the cuttlefish will go for the raw prawns since it has been conditioned to understand that the box labelled with Square will never open. This does not contribute to establishing self-control in cuttlefish. Thus, we can reject this choice.
Option C: In this case, the cuttlefish will go for the raw prawns and avoid the Asian shore crab irrespective of the box it is placed in. This is because raw prawns fare more favourably as a food choice than Asian shore crab. {We know from points (a) and (c) that the cuttlefish will go for the 2nd preference over the 3rd} This does not contribute to establishing self-control in cuttlefish. Thus, we can reject this choice.
Option D: In this case, the cuttlefish will go for the live grass shrimp and avoid the raw prawns irrespective of the box it is placed in. This is because live grass shrimp fares more favourably as a food choice than raw prawns. {We know from points (a) and (c) that the cuttlefish will go for the 1st preference over the 2nd} This does not contribute to establishing self-control in cuttlefish. Therefore, we can reject this choice.
Hence, the correct answer is Option A.

CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 17

The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
McGurk and MacDonald (1976) reported a powerful multisensory illusion occurring with audio-visual speech. They recorded a voice articulating a consonant ‘ba-ba-ba’ and dubbed it with a face articulating another consonant ‘ga-ga-ga’. Even though the acoustic speech signal was well recognized alone, it was heard as another consonant after dubbing with incongruent visual speech i.e., ‘da-da-da’. The illusion, termed as the McGurk effect, has been replicated many times, and it has sparked an abundance of research. The reason for the great impact is that this is a striking demonstration of multisensory integration, where that auditory and visual information is merged into a unified, integrated percept.

Detailed Solution for CAT 2021 Slot 1: Past Year Question Paper - Question 17

The main points of the paragraph are:
1. A multisensory illusion, dubbing a different visual cue to audio, makes the subject perceive a different sound. (Important point)
2. This illusion is called McGurk effect. (Important point. Related to 1)
3. An impactful subject of research as it demonstrates multisensory integration. (Secondary point. 1 and 2 can stand without this point)
Option A: Covers 1 and 2. Hence, a plausible option.
Option B: It distorts what the author is trying to say. It draws a conclusion out of the results of the study instead of paraphrasing the passage.
Option C: Option C covers only 3. It does not mention 1 and hence is not a good summary.
Option D: Mentions only 1. Not an apt summary.
Hence, the answer is Option A.