Highs and Lows Reading Ielts Answers and Questions

The Blog post contains the following IELTS Reading Questions:

  • IIELTS Reading Multiple Choice Questions
  • IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given
  • IELTS Reading Matching Sentence Endings

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IELTS Reading Passage – Highs and Lows

Highs and Lows

The weather influences our hormone levels and, consequently, our moods. Depression is caused by gloomy weather conditions; however, it seems that sunshine cheers people up. For example, in Britain, the somber weather of winter decreases the amount of sunlight that is experienced tremendously, and this has a significant impact on a few people. They fall into depression and become lazy, which affects not only their social life but their career too. This syndrome is referred to as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Those suffering from SAD can fight back by increasing their exposure to winter sunshine and spending some time each day under full-spectrum lamps. Compared to standard fluorescent and tungsten lights, these generate more ultraviolet and blue-green light. According to some Russian experts, children who are exposed to ultraviolet rays learn more efficiently. In hot countries, work hours are regularly planned so that employees can take a break or even a nap during the hottest time of the day. Scientists are trying to figure out how the weather affects people’s behavior and performance.

It’s often believed that hot, humid weather causes people to lose their temper. Without a doubt, “crimes against the person” increase in the summer when it becomes hot outside and decrease in the winter when it’s cooler. According to research carried out in the United States, there is a link between temperature and street riots. The occurrence of riots rises as the temperature goes up, reaching a point between 27 and 30 °C. But is this outcome a result of the heat changing our mood? According to some scientists, problems tend to begin more often when it’s hot outside simply because more people are outside.

The impact of cold weather on performance has also been studied by psychologists. Researchers compared divers who worked in water as cold as 5 °C to those who worked in water as warm as 20 °C (about swimming pool temperature). The divers’ performance in simple maths and other mental activities declined as a result of the cold water. However, their performance was considerably hampered as soon as they were immersed in cold water, without their bodies having the chance to cool down. This indicates that the feeling of cold diverted the swimmers from their activities instead of the low temperature, which slows down mental functioning.

Psychologists have done research that suggests that when the weather is sunny, people are less doubtful and more optimistic. Yet, it appears that this is not determined by temperature. An American psychologist analyzed diners in a temperature-controlled environment. While the temperature in the restaurant remained the same, they left big tips when the sun was out and smaller tips when it was not. The fact that there is a link between behavior and the duration of daylight hours makes it more likely that there is a relationship between weather and mood. This in turn may relate to the quantity of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland within the brain. The level of melatonin decreases as contact with sunlight increases. According to research, certain animals’ seasonal behavior is significantly influenced by melatonin. For example, stags’ food consumption increases during the winter and peaks in February and March. It decreases once again, hitting a lower limit in May, then rises to a maximum in September before falling once more, reaching a minimum in November. The fluctuating levels of melatonin appear to be the cause of these changes.

In the laboratory, hamsters gain weight when the nights become short and their melatonin levels drop. But if melatonin injections are given, they will completely stop eating. It appears that the changing durations of day and night serve as time cues, causing changes in animal behavior that are required to adjust to the seasonal cycle. It has been demonstrated that people’s moods also change as a result of the length of daylight. Some skeptics say that individuals are happier when they are exposed to the sun for a longer period because they connect it with happy memories of vacations and freedom from responsibilities. The assumption that rain and gloomy weather make people feel sad, however, is supported by a Belgian study that found a telephone counseling service receives more calls from people with suicidal thoughts when it rains.

Several individuals say that the air seems “heavy” and that they feel angry, irritable, and on edge when a thunderstorm is coming. They could be responding to the fact that air can become moderately positively charged when huge thunderclouds are producing strong electrical fields that trigger lightning flashes. The positive charge raises serotonin levels (a chemical involved in sending signals in the nervous system). Serotonin levels in specific parts of the nervous system are increased, making people more energetic, reactive, and possibly aggressive. Some winds, such as the Fohn in southern Germany and the Mistral in southern France, can influence mood and increase the risk of traffic accidents. The number of positively charged particles in these winds may be higher than usual. Every year, 400,000 ionizers are sold in the United Kingdom. These tiny devices increase the number of negative ions in the air inside a room. Several people claim to be happier when they are in negatively charged air. 

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Recommended Questions:

Renewable Energy IELTS Reading Question with Answer

Highs and Lows IELTS Reading Questions

Questions 1 – 3

Choose the appropriate letters A – D and write them in boxes 1 – 3 on your answer sheet.

1. The irritation among humans may be affected by

  • the number of ions produced by machinery.
  • how anxious and violent people are.
  • people’s attitude toward thunderstorms.
  • response towards certain weather conditions.

2. Why did the divers’ performance decrease in colder situations?

  • their body temperature dropped too fast.
  • the cold had an instant effect on their brain functions.
  • their concentration ability had decreased.
  • they were familiar with the settings of a swimming pool.

3. The number of hours of daylight

  • affects animal eating patterns.
  • prepares people for having more leisure time.
  • increases the activity of animals like hamsters.
  • influences the performance of restaurant employees.

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Questions 4 – 9

Do the following statements agree with the information in Reading Passage? In boxes 4 – 9 on your answer sheet write
TRUE if the statement is true according to the passage
FALSE if the statement is false according to the passage
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in passage

4. ‘Happy associations with weather’ are related to human mood, according to scientific evidence.
5. During certain periods of the year, melatonin levels increase.
6. A connection has been established between depression and the time of the year.
7. Human aggressiveness is fundamentally caused by serotonin.
8. Eating patterns can be influenced by positively charged ions.
9. In Russia, seasonal affective disorder is interfering with children’s education.

Enhance your skills in identifying information as True, False, or Not Given. Click here to discover expert strategies and techniques for mastering this question type in the IELTS Reading section.

Questions 10 – 12

Complete each of the following statements with the best ending from the box below.
Write the appropriate letters A – G in boxes 10 – 12 on your answer sheet.

impaired performance
hot weather
time cues
moderate temperatures
poor coordination

10. According to research, a hamster’s body weight rises in proportion to its exposure to _______.
11. Animals adapt to shifting weather and food availability as they are influenced by ______.
12. It has been proven that social hostilities in the United States increase drastically during _______.

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Questions 13 – 15

According to the text which THREE of the conditions have been scientifically proven to have a psychological effect on humans? Choose THREE letters  A – G and write them in boxes 13 – 15 on your answer sheet.

  • high serotonin levels
  • freedom from worry
  • rainy weather
  • sunny weather
  • food consumption
  • lack of counseling facilities
  • lack of negative ions

Ready to improve your performance in Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)? Click here to access our comprehensive guide on how to tackle MCQs effectively in the IELTS Reading section.

Unlock your full potential in the IELTS Reading section – Visit our IELTS Reading Practice Question Answer page now!

Recommended Questions:

Renewable Energy IELTS Reading Question with Answer

Highs and Lows Reading Answers

1. D
2. C
3. A
4. False
5. True
6. True
7. False
8. Not Given
9. Not Given
10. D
11. E
12. C
13. A 
15. D


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