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Posts tagged ‘Medium/Hard’


Unit 32 – Social Philosophy

Difficulty: Medium/hard

Time: 1 minute 30 seconds

The comment below was recently made by philosopher, Slavoj Zizek:

“…When you buy an organic apple, you’re doing it for ideological reasons, it makes you feel good: ‘I’m doing something for Mother Earth,’ and so on. But in what sense are we engaged? It’s a false engagement. Paradoxically, we do these things to avoid really doing things. It makes you feel good. You recycle, you send £5 a month to some Somali orphan, and you did your duty.”


1. Which of the following best summarises Zizek’s main point?

  • A      People should send their money to Somalia instead of wasting it on organic apples
  • B      Social consciousness is a myth perpetuated by Western culture
  • C      People have been tricked into operating safety valves that allow the status quo to survive unchallenged
  • D      Vehicles of social change are fuelled primarily by guilt



Unit 27 – The Fascination of What’s Difficult

Difficulty: Medium/Hard

Time: 3 minutes


The Fascination of What’s Difficult
by W. B. Yeats


The fascination of what’s difficult
Has dried the sap out of my veins, and rent
Spontaneous joy and natural content
Out of my heart. There’s something ails our colt
That must, as if it had not holy blood
Nor on Olympus leaped from cloud to cloud,
Shiver under the lash, strain, sweat and jolt
As though it dragged road metal. My curse on plays
That have to be set up in fifty ways,
On the day’s war with every knave and dolt*,
Theatre business, management of men.
I swear before the dawn comes round again
I’ll find the stable and pull out the bolt

*dolt: a stupid person


Unit 23 – Indicator Processes and Fisherian Mating Advantages

Difficulty: medium/hard

Time: 6 minutes

The following passage has been adapted from Essays in Animal Behaviour, by Jeffrey R. Lucas and Leigh W. Simmons

In addition to indicators, Fisher (1915, 1930) suggested another major mechanism of sexual selection by female choice, which is now associated with his name. Males with traits preferred by females will have a mating advantage. This advantage is inherited by sons of females with the preference. As genes for preference and trait become associated in offspring, the male trait favoured by female choice will carry the female preference with it. A self-reinforcing positive feedback loop, Fisher’s “runaway process,” can therefore develop, bringing trait and preference to more extreme values (Lande 1981). Although they have sometimes been treated as incompatible alternatives, Fisherian mating advantages (“sexy sons”) and viability-based indicator processes are likely to occur together.

The usefulness of the distinction between Fisherian (sexy sons) and indicator mechanisms was recently questioned (Kokko 2001, Kokko et al., 2002, 2003). The critics suggested that it is a false dichotomy, and that the two processes are opposite endpoints along a continuum, without any qualitative difference between them. A conceptual distinction is useful if it helps us better understand some interesting aspect of the world that might otherwise go unnoticed, unexplained, or misunderstood. Does the distinction between sexy sons and indicator mechanisms provide such help? I think it does, in several ways. Genetic indicator processes may be driven by advantages derived from overall genetic condition, such as relative freedom from deleterious mutations; that is, by genetic mechanisms that involve other and much larger parts of the genome than do Fisherian mating advantages. The latter can be based on genes that, in essence, influence only mating preferences and preferred traits. Genetic indicator processes on the other hand can work without any sexy sons mating advantage. This has been shown in genetic models by using strict monogamy mating rules (Andersson 1986), and by preventing build-up of gametic disequilibrium between genes for male display and female choice (Houle & Kondrashov 2001), which is a crucial component of the Fisherian runaway process. The two mechanisms are qualitatively different also in that indicator mechanisms can maintain female choice in the face of direct costs of choice, whereas Fisherian mating advantages cannot do so.


Unit 21 – Imports & Exports Data Interpretation

Difficulty: Medium/Hard
Time: 4 minutes 30 seconds


Two companies, A and B, import raw materials and manufacture them into products. These products are then immediately exported to a wholesale distribution company. Below is a graph of the ratio of the value (measured in money) of Exports to Imports.

Graph of Companies A & B, ratio of exports to imports


Unit 1.8 – Marketing Budgets in 2011

Difficulty: Medium/Hard

Time: 3 minutes


During the final quarter of 2010 a number of business owners were surveyed and asked one question: whether or not they anticipated increasing or decreasing their marketing budgets in 2011 for each of a (below) list of marketing activities.


A graph produced by MarketingSherpa indicating projected spending on various marketing tactics by businesses