【雅思阅读】2016年雅思考试阅读专题强度练习及答案(8)
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How shops can exploit people’s herd mentality to increase sales 1.A TRIP to the supermarket may not seem like an exercise in psychological warfare—but it is. Shopkeepers know that filling a store with the aroma of freshly baked bread makes people feel hungry and persuades them to buy more food than they had intended. Stocking the most expensive products at eye level makes them sell faster than cheaper but less visible competitors. Now researchers are investigating how “swarm intelligence” (that is, how ants, bees or any social animal, including humans, behave in a crowd) can be used to influence what people buy. 2.At a recent conference on the simulation of adaptive behaviour in Rome, Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani, a computer scientist from the Florida Institute of Technology, described a new way to increase impulse buying using this phenomenon. Supermarkets already encourage shoppers to buy things they did not realise they wanted: for instance, by placing everyday items such as milk and eggs at the back of the store, forcing shoppers to walk past other tempting goods to reach them. Mr Usmani and Ronaldo Menezes, also of the Florida Institute of Technology, set out to enhance this tendency to buy more by playing on the herd instinct. The idea is that, if a certain product is seen to be popular, shoppers are likely to choose it too. The challenge is to keep customers informed about what others are buying. 3.Enter smart-cart technology. In Mr Usmani’s supermarket every product has a radio frequency identification tag, a sort of barcode that uses radio waves to transm itinformation, and every trolley has a scanner that reads this information and relays it to a central computer. As a customer walks past a shelf of goods, a screen on the shelf tells him how many people currently in the shop have chosen that particular product. If the number is high,he is more likely to select it too. 4.Mr Usmani’s “swarm-moves” model appeals to supermarkets because it increases sales without the need to give people discounts. And it gives shoppers the satisfaction of knowing that they bought the “right” product—that is, the one everyone else bought. The model has not yet been tested widely in the real world, mainly because radio frequency identificationtechnology is new and has only been installed experimentally in some supermarkets. But MrUsmani says that both Wal-Mart in America and Tesco in Britain are interested in his work, and testing will get under way in the spring. 5.Another recent study on the power of social influence indicates that sales could, indeed, be boosted in this way. Matthew Salganik of Columbia University in New York and his colleagues have described creating an artificial music market in which some 14,000 people downloaded previously unknown songs. The researchers found that when people could see the songsranked by how many times they had been downloaded, they followed the crowd. When thesongs were not ordered by rank, but the number of times they had been downloaded wasdisplayed, the effect of social influence was still there but was less pronounced. People thusfollow the herd when it is easy for them to do so. 6.In Japan a chain of convenience shops called RanKing RanQueen has been ordering itsproducts according to sales data from department stores and research companies. The shopssell only the most popular items in each product category, and the rankings are updatedweekly. Icosystem, a company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also aims to exploit knowledge ofsocial networking to improve sales. 7.And the psychology that works in physical stores is just as potent on the internet. Onlineretailers such as Amazon are adept at telling shoppers which products are popular with like-minded consumers. Even in the privacy of your home, you can still be part of the swarm.


Questions 1-6 Complete the sentences below with words takenfrom the reading passage. Use NO MORE THANTHREE WORDS for each answer. 1.Shopowners realize that the smell of________can increase sales of foodproducts. 2.In shops, products shelved at a more visible levelsell better even if they are more ________. 3.According to Mr. Usmani, with the use of “swarmintelligence” phenomenon, a new method can be applied to encourage ____. 4.On the way to everyday items at the back of the store, shoppers might be tempted to buy ________.

5.If the number of buyers shown on the ________ is high, other customers tend tofollow them.

6.Using the “swarm-moves” model, shopowners do not have to give customers________ to increase sales. Questions 7-12 Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage? Forquestions 7-12 write YES if the statement agrees with the information NO if the statement contraicts the information NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the passage 7.Radio frequency identification technology has been installed experimentally in bigsupermarkets like Wal-Mart. 8.People tend to download more unknown songs than songs they are familiar with. 9.Songs ranked high by the number of times being downloaded are favored by customers. 10.People follow the others to the same extent whether it is convenient or not. 11.Items sold in some Japanese stores are simply chosen according to the sales data of othershops. 12.Swarm intelligence can also be observed in everyday life.


Answer keys:

  1. 答案:(freshly baked) bread. (第1段第2行:Shoppers know that filling a store with thearoma of freshly baked bread makes people feelhungry and persuades them to buy more food thanthey intended.)
  2. 答案:expensive. (第1段第4行:Stocking the mostexpensive products at eye level makes them sellfaster than cheaper but less visible competitors.)
  3. 答案:impulse buying. (第2段第1句:At a recentconference on the simulation of adaptive behaviour in Rome, Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani, acomputer scientist from the Florida Institute of Technology, described a new way to increaseimpulse buying using this phenomenon.)
  4. 答案:other (tempting) goods/things/products. (第2段第2句:Supermarkets alreadyencourage shoppers to buy things they did not realise they wanted: for instance, by placingeveryday items such as milk and eggs at the back of the store, forcing shoppers to walk pastother tempting goods to reach them.)
  5. 答案:screen. (第3段第4行:As a customer walks past a shelf of goods, a screen on theshelf tells him how many people currently in the shop have chosen that particular product. Ifthe number is high, he is more likely to select it too.)
  6. 答案:discounts. (第4段第第1句:Mr Usmani’s “swarm-moves”model appeals to supermarketsbecause it increases sales without the need to give people discounts.)
  7. 答案:NO. (第4段第3、4句:The model has not yet been tested widely in the real world, mainlybecause radio frequency identification technology is new and has only been installedexperimentally in some supermarkets. But Mr Usmani says that both Wal-Mart in America anTesco in Britain are interestd in his workd, and testing will get under way in the spring. 短语 “getunder way”的意思是“开始进行”,在Wal-Mart的试验要等到春天才开始)
  8. 答案:NOT GIVEN. (在文中没有提及该信息)
  9. 答案:YES.(第5段第3句:The reseachers found that when people could see the songs rankedby how many times they have been downloaded, they followed the crowd.)
  10. 答案:NO.(第5段最后两句:When the songs are not ordered by rank, but the number oftimes they had been downloaded was displayed, the effect of social influence was still there butwas less pronounced. People thus follow the herd when it is easy for them to do so.pronounced的词义是“显著的、明显的”)
  11. 答案:YES.(第6段第1句:In Japan a chain of convenience shops called RanKing RanQueenhas been ordering its products according to sales data from department stores and researchcompanies.)
  12. 答案:YES.(最后一段最后一句:Even in the privacy of your home, you can still be part of theswarm. home应该算是everyday life的一部分)

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