Reading Comprehension Set 170

Read the passage carefully and answer the following questions:
Economist, ethicists and business experts persuade us that honesty is the best policy, but their evidence is weak. We hoped to find data that would support their theories and thus, perhaps, encourage higher standards of business behaviour. To our surprise, their pet theories failed to stand up. Treachery, we found, can pay. There is no compelling economic reason to tell the truth or keep one’s word. Punishment for the treacherous in the real world is neither swift nor sure.

     Honesty is, in fact, primarily a moral choice. Business people do tell themselves that, in the long run, they will do well by doing good. But there is little factual or logical basis for this conviction. Without values, without a basic preference of right over wrong, trust based on such delusion would crumble in the face of temptation. Most of us choose virtue because we want to believe in ourselves and because others respect and believe us.
     And due to this, we should be happy. We can be proud of a system in which people are honest because they want to be, not because they have to be. Materially, too, trust based on morality provides great advantages. It allows us to join in great and exciting enterprises that we could never undertake if we relied on economic incentives alone.
    Economists tell us that trust is enforced in the market place through retaliation and reputation. If you violate a trust, your victim is apt to seek revenge and others are likely to stop doing business with you, at least under favourable terms. A man or woman with a reputation for fair dealing will prosper. Therefore, profit maximisers are honest. This sounds plausible enough until you look for concrete examples. Cases that apparently demonstrate the awful consequences of trust turn out to be few and weak, while evidence that treachery can pay seems compelling.
Q1. According to the passage, what do economists and ethicists, want us to believe?  
(a) Businessmen should always be honest
(b) Businessmen cannot always be honest
(c) Businessmen turn dishonest at times
(d) Businessmen are honest only at times
(e) Businessmen should always be dishonest
Q2. What did the author find out about the theory that ‘honesty is the best policy’? 
(a) It is correct on many occasions
(b) It is correct for all businesses
(c) It is a useless theory
(d) It is a theory which seems to be correct only occasionally
(e) It is a baseless theory
Q3. Why are businessmen, according to the author, honest in their dealings?  
(a) Businessmen are God-fearing
(b) Businessmen choose to be honest
(c) Businessmen are honest by nature
(d) All businessmen are caught if they are dishonest
(e) Businessmen are careless
Q4. According to the author, which of the following, is the reason for being honest in business?
(a) It gives no immediate benefits
(b) It gives no long-term benefits
(c) It makes a person self-seeking
(d) It is harmful for competitors in long run
(e) None of the above
Q5. Why does the author say that one can be proud of the present situation? 
(a) People are self-respecting
(b) People are respect seekers
(c) People are unselfish
(d) People are honest without compulsion
(e) People are sensitive towards market
Q6. What is the material advantage which the author sees is being honest?  
(a) It permits one to undertake activities which may not be economically attractive
(b) It permits one to be honest for the sake of honesty alone
(c) It permits one to be make a lot of profit in various areas
(d) It permits one to form various trusts to make profits
(e) It permits one to gain value in personal life
Q7. Why do businessmen, according to economists, remain honest? 
(a) Dishonest businessmen can make more money
(b) Dishonest businessmen make money in the long run
(c) Dishonest businessmen cannot stay in business for long
(d) Dishonest businessmen are flogged in the market place
(e) Dishonest businessmen have the decisive power in the market
Q8. Which of the following phrases is most nearly the same in meaning as the word ‘persuade’ as it has been used in the passage? 
(a) Give an assurance
(b) Give an opinion
(c) Try to convince
(d) Cheat
(e) Compel
Q9. Which of the following is false according to the passage?   
(a) Economists believe that all businessmen are dishonest
(b) Generally people are honest so as to earn self-respect
(c) Virtuous behaviour earns the respect of others
(d) All dishonest men are not caught
(e) Honesty is good for business to prosper
Q10. Which of the following best describes what the author is trying to point out through the last sentence of the passage, ‘Cases that…..compelling’?  
(a) The consequences of business
(b) Theories seem ambiguous
(c) Economists predict incorrectly
(d) The contradictions is unreal
(e) The consequences of truth are good and pleasant in most cases and drawbacks are minimum.
Which of the following is synonym/antonym of the given word from the passage?
Q11. Treachery
(a) Treasure
(b) Perfidy
(c) Debit
(d) Failure
(e) Seclusion
Q12. Conviction
(a) Phrase
(b) Standard
(c) Doubt
(d) Place
(e) Happening
Q13. Delusion
(a) Rationality
(b) Modifying
(c) Petrify
(d) Seldom
(e) Majority
Q14. Temptation
(a) Fault
(b) Desire
(c) Engagement
(d) Error
(e) Sadistic
Q15. Revenge
(a) Reprisal
(b) Appraisal
(c) Prosperity
(d) Hope
(e) Success

Answer & Explanation

S1. Ans.(a)
Sol. As an inference from the passage we get to know that the author is stressing on honesty and the economist are trying to persuade us to believe that businessmen should always be honest.
S2. Ans.(b)
Sol. Para 4 provides answer to this question that here honesty is the best policy is correct for all business.
S3. Ans.(b)
Sol. Refer Para 2
S4. Ans.(e)
Sol. None of the given options form (a) to (d) relate with the passage as a possible reason for businessman to choose honesty, thus, none of the above is the appropriate answer.
S5. Ans.(d)
Sol. Refer Para 3 Line 1,2 ‘We can be proud of a system in which people are honest because they want to be, not because they have to be.’
S6. Ans.(c)
Sol. Refer Para 3 Line 3,4 ‘ Materially, too, trust based on morality provides great advantages.’
S7. Ans.(c)
Sol. Refer to the last paragraph of the passage.
S8. Ans.(c)
Sol. Try to convince is most nearly same in the meaning to persuade.
S9. Ans.(a)
Sol. Economist believes that businessmen are Honest. Refer Para 2.
S10. Ans.(e)
Sol. The consequences of truth are good and pleasant in most cases and drawbacks are minimum.
S11. Ans.(b)
Sol. Treachery means betrayal of trust. Perfidy means the state of being deceitful and untrustworthy. They are synonyms.
S12. Ans.(c)
Sol. Conviction means a firmly held belief or opinion. Doubt is its antonym.
S13. Ans.(a)
Sol. Delusion means belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality. Rationality is its antonym.
S14. Ans.(b)
Sol. Temptation and Desire are synonym.
S15. Ans.(a)
Sol. Revenge means the action of hurting or harming someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands. Reprisal is its synonym.

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