BEST IELTS General Reading Test 416

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 416


IELTS General Reading Test
IELTS General Reading Test



Colour on the Brain

A. scientific study reveals the different effects that colours have on the brain. A Paint your room red if you want attention to detail and paint it blue to prompt creative thinking. This is the conclusion of a study into how colour is likely to affect the human mind. Scientists who monitored the performance of more than 600 people as they underwent a series of psychological tests found that red stimulated a person’s attentiveness whereas blue stimulated the imagination and inspired more of a risk-taking attitude.

B. The researchers found that the volunteers were unaware of the effect that colour had on their thinking and suggest that the findings could be used for anything from choosing the interior decoration of a school or university to the marketing of products and services.

IELTS General Reading Test

Previous research produced contradictory conclusions in terms of the benefit or otherwise of exposing people to a background colour of red or blue while asking them to carry out a thinking task, according to Juliet Zhu of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, who carried out the study published in the journal Science. ‘Prior research found conflicting results in terms of which colour – red or blue – leads to better performance’, said Dr Zhu. ‘We show that if the task requires detailed attention, red will help more, but if the task is creative in nature, blue will be more beneficial. It really depends on the nature of the task’.

C. Humans, like other primates, have trichromatic, three colour vision, which evolutionists believe came about as a result of the need to distinguish easily between ripe and unripe fruit in a forest. But the influence of red and blue on our modern way of thinking is probably a learnt behaviour rather than being innate, Dr Zhu said. We think the difference between red and blue is due to learnt associations, she said.

IELTS General Reading Test

That’s why I expect that if in another culture red is often associated with other meanings, we might not be able to replicate the results of this study. Thanks to stop signs, emergency vehicles and teacher’s red pens, we associate red with danger, mistakes and caution. The avoidance motivation, or heightened state, that red activates makes us vigilant and so helps us to perform tasks where careful attention is required to produce a right or wrong answer.

D. Blue meanwhile, is associated with a clear sky or an open ocean, and as such it is the colour that encourages us to think ‘outside the box’ and to be creative. It is also the colour of calmness and tranquillity. Dr Zhu explained, ‘Through associations with the sky, the ocean and water, most people associate blue with openness, peace and tranquillity. The benign cues make people feel safe without being creative and exploratory – not surprisingly, it is people’s favourite colour.

IELTS General Reading Test

Six different psychological tests were carried out on the volunteers. One involved a memory task; recalling 36 words within a two; minute period. People did better when the background colour on the computer screen was red, whereas blue led to more false recalls. Another challenged people to think of as many different uses for a pile of bricks as they could. Red or blue did not affect the total number of ideas, but blue did result in a significantly higher score in terms of the creative content of the idea.

E. Several of the tests investigated how colour affects a person’s attitude to an advertising campaign. A red background stimulated a person’s attention to the detailed technological capabilities of a camera, whereas a blue background was more likely to stimulate ideas about what the camera could be used for. Similarly, an advertisement for a fictional brand of toothpaste was found to have a greater impact for a negative message, such as ‘cavity prevention,’ if red was used as the background colour.

IELTS General Reading Test

But blue had a greater impact for a positive message, such as ‘tooth whitening’. Dr Zhu said that the background colour used in advertisements could have subtly different effects on a potential consumer. When the background co lour of ads was red, people formed more favourable evaluations of products featuring specific product details as opposed to evocative or creative messaging.

F. However, blue produced the opposite effect. Dr Zhu said, ‘If we are setting up educational facilities that intend to enhance performance on detail; oriented tasks, such as memory and proofreading, or if we want people to remember important side; effects of medications, then the colour red should be more appropriate. However, if we want to set up a brainstorming session for a new product; development process or coming up with innovative ideas, then go with blue’. ‘Blue if you want to be creative, red if you want to be diligent’.

IELTS General Reading Test

Questions 14-21

Complete the summary using the list of words, A-L, below. Write the correct letter, A-Lin boxes 14-21 on your answer sheet.

A recent study has found that the colour red can encourage people to produce 14 ………. work and blue can make people 15 ………. to take risks. Researchers conducted tests on volunteers to find out whether cognitive performance 16 ……… . when people saw red or blue. The volunteers performed a series of tasks with words or images displayed against red or blue backgrounds on computer screens. Red groups were 17 ………. in tests of memory. They performed 18 ………. on tests which required more creative responses, such as inventing different uses for a pile of bricks. Blue groups produced 19 ………. ideas. The study also tested responses to advertising and found that advertisements which listed product details were 20 ………. with the volunteers when displayed on red backgrounds. Advertisements which used imaginative designs were 21 ………. than those displayed on blue backgrounds.

IELTS General Reading Test

A. more successful

B. more detailed

C. less well

D. actually increased

E. more effective

F. more appropriate

G. more popular

H. varied

I. more likely

J. more original

K. less appealing

IELTS General Reading Test

Questions 22-26

Classify the fallowing statements as ref erring to A. red B. blue Write the correct letter A or Bin boxes 22-26 on your answer sheet.

  1. It may help People recall information more easily.
  2. It may encourage people to experiment with ideas.
  3. It may enable people to avoid dangerous situations.
  4. It may make people less wary about taking risks.
  5. It may enable people to concentrate more easily

IELTS General Reading Test


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 416

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IELTS General Reading Test


  1. B
  2. J
  3. I
  4. A
  5. C
  6. K
  7. H
  8. L
  9. A
  10. B
  11. A
  12. B
  13. A

IELTS General Reading Test

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