Directions: In this section, you will hear two passages. At the end of each passage, you will hear three or four questions. Both the passage and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.
Whether it's in the hands of animated polar bears or Santa Claus, there's one thing you'll find in nearly all ads for Coca-Cola:［9］the characteristic glass bottle.
Most Americans don't drink soda out of the glass bottles seen in Coke's ads anymore. But this week, the company is celebrating a century of the bottle that's been sold in more than 200 countries. Flash back to 1915, when a bottle of Coca-Cola cost just a nickel.［10］As the soft drink gained in popularity, it faced a growing number of competitors—counterfeits even trying to copy Coke's logo. So according to Coca-Cola historian Ted Ryan, the company decided to come up with packaging that couldn't be duplicated. A product request was sent to eight different glass makers. Workers at the Root Glass Company got the request and began flipping through the encyclopedia at the local library, landing on cocoa seed.
Though cocoa seed is not an ingredient of the soda,［11］they designed their bottle based on the seed's shape and large middle. It won over Coke executives in Atlanta and would go on to receive its own trademark, spur collections and earn Coca-Cola an iconic image that made it part of American culture for a century.
It was 100 years ago this week that the bottle earned a patent. By World War II, Coke bottle sales had ballooned into billions. Americans mostly consume Coke out of aluminum or plastic today, but the glass bottle remains a symbol of America that's readily recognized around the world.
Questions 9 to 11 are based on the passage you have just heard.
［12］Research shows that a few moments of conversation with a stranger create a measurable improvement in mood. But most of us are reluctant to start these conversations because we presume the opposite. In an experiment, commuters who talked to nearby strangers found their commute more enjoyable than those who didn't. They were asked to predict whether they'd enjoy the commute more if they conversed with other people. Intriguingly, most expected the more solitary experience to be more pleasurable. Why is this?［13］Social anxiety appears to be the problem. People's reluctance to start conversations with nearby strangers comes partly from underestimating others' interest in connecting.
The sad thing is that people presume that a nearby stranger doesn't want to converse and don't start a conversation. Only those who forced themselves to chat because it was required by the experiment found out what a pleasant experience it could be. Human beings are social animals. Those who misunderstand the impact of social interactions may not, in some contexts, be social enough for their own well-being. You should be chatting with the strangers you encounter.［14］You may occasionally have a negative encounter that might stick in your memory. This is because the human brain is biased to dwell on negative events. But starting conversations with strangers is still well worth the risk of rejection.
It may surprise you that conversing with strangers will make them happier too.［15］The pleasure of connection seems contagious. People who were talked to had equally positive experiences as those who initiate a conversation.
Questions 12 to 15 are based on the passage you have just heard.