17th March, Best IELTS Reading Test – Passage 1

17th March, IELTS Reading Test – Passage 1

Reading Passage 1:-

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13.

The Secret Schizoid

It is psychiatrist Ralph Klein who was credited with first coining the phrase ‘secret schizoid’. Unlike the overtly schizoid or schizotypal individual who is characterized by aloofness, coldness and indifference, the secret schizoid may present himself as an engaging and interactive individual according to Klein. Thus, Klein argues, there are not one but two distinct schizoid personality types: the overt schizoid and the covert schizoid.

The covert schizoids are difficult, on first glance, to identify. They have erected a convincing defensive barrier of social assuredness engaging with the external reality, superficially at least. This engagement might, to the casual onlooker, appear quite normal. However, if quizzed about their behavior, the covert schizoids will probably reveal that they are still, on a deeper level, withdrawn from the real world. Their outward persona should be viewed, therefore, as little more than an act; the actual personality only being revealed in a safe place within the confines of the schizoid’s own mind; in other words, only ever known to the schizoid themselves.

The covert schizoid, as Fairbairn identified as long ago as 1940, is capable of ‘schizoid exhibitionism’; the schizoids can appear to express a lot of feeling and make impressive social contacts without revealing anything of great significance about themselves. In effect, they disown the ‘character’ they play in public – the very credible front they put up – preserving their real personality intact. What the schizoids fear most is the consequences of emotional intimacy, so by erecting an invisible barrier between their public persona and their real self, the schizoids can avoid ever having to confront this fear and yet lead a relatively active and inclusive lifestyle.

Is the secret schizoid schizophrenic?

Certainly not. Though the two fall within the realms of the same family of illness, the schizophrenic personality disorder is far more destructive, whereas schizoids can depending on the severity of their affliction, function fairly normally and even from relationships with others (based on intellectual, physical, families, occupational or recreational, but most certainly not emotional, activities), and have a relatively fair grasp of reality. Schizophrenics are plagued by hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thinking, all of which is likely to affect their functional capacity in a very negative way. It is true, however, that a family background of schizophrenia leaves one more vulnerable to or likely to develop a schizoid or schizotypal personality.

 The causes of schizoid personality disorder are not clear, but it is theorized that an absence of parental affection and attention during early childhood may encourage the defensive tendencies and fear of intimacy that schizoid’s exhibit. It is also hypothesized that so called secret schizoids are highly intelligent and have learned to develop their act as an effective coping mechanism which allows them to have the superficial relationships they so often crave without compromising that which they hold most valuable – their privacy.

One of the most damaging aspects of life as a secret schizoid can be what is termed ‘depersonalization’; namely, the loss of one’s sense of identity and individuality. Without the feedback which may be gleaned from real interpersonal relationships, the schizoid’s perception of self-perception. Effectively, this leaves the individual feeling a deep sense of emptiness. Their emotional needs continue to go unfulfilled despite the fact that, on the face of it, the secret schizoid is leading an active and engaging lifestyle. The schizoids begin to question who or what they are and, tragically, yearn for the emotional attachment needed to confirm or reaffirm their perceptions of self – an emotional attachment that they are incapable of seeking.

The public perception of the schizoid is misinformed at best. Just because they are outwardly aloof and cold does not mean the secret schizoids are apathetic, dispassionate or indifferent. In actual fact, the schizoid can experience very strong emotions, but does so in both the comfort and discomfort of their own mind; the comfort of not feeling emotionally violated and the discomfort of not being able to share one’s inner fears with another person in order to alleviate them. Schizoids are often extremely sensitive people and their defensive front exists for the sole purpose of protecting themselves from criticism with which they are incapable of coping.

Questions 1-7

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

  1. Whereas a typical schizoid might behave in an aloof or indifferent manner, the secret schizoid ends to appear, superficially at least, a very …………………………………………… person, and one who is capable of interacting very successfully with those around him.
  2. The secret schizoid appears socially assured, but this is only a very good ……………………………………., put up make it seem as if he is in tune with what is going on n the real world, whilst at the same time protecting him from it.
  3. The way the secret schizoid behaves in public is only ……………………………………………, the outside world never gets a glimpse of his real self, which remains hidden.
  4. As they are unwilling to try to overcome their innate fear of emotional intimacy, schizoids who wish to lead a full and inclusive barrier between this and their private self.
  5. Schizoids differ from schizophrenics in that they have fairly decent understanding ……………………………………… and are not inclined to suffer from the same incapacitating symptoms, like hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thinking.
  6. A history of schizophrenia in the family leaves a person more ………………………………. To developing schizoid tendencies.
  7. Although it is not known what causes schizoid personality disorders, some suggest a lack of ………………………………………. During the first few years of life is partly to blame.

Questions 8-13

Do the following statements agree with the information given:-

Write

YES                                if the statement agrees with the information

NO                                 if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN                  if there is no information on this

8. People with schizoid personality disorder seem to be much more ‘normal’ than they actually are.    ……………………………………………………..

9. Often, emotional attachment to another person is exactly what schizoids need to help them from a better picture of who they are; unfortunately, they are not capable of developing this. ……………………………………………………

10. The way schizoids are popularly perceived is fairly accurate. ………………………………………………..

11. Most secret schizoids tend to be cold and unemotional people behind their public persona. …………………………………….

12. Schizoids often put up a front as they are very sensitive and easily hurt. ………………………………..

13. Schizoids in general have a higher than average level of intelligence. ……………………………………..

Answers are below >>>>>

17th March, Important IELTS Writing & Speaking Tasks
17th March, Best IELTS Reading Test - Passage 1
17th March, Best IELTS Reading Test - Passage 1

Answers:-

  1. Engaging
  2. Defensive barrier
  3. An act
  4. Public persona
  5. Of reality
  6. Vulnerable
  7. Parental affection/parental attention
  8. YES
  9. YES
  10. NO
  11. NO
  12. YES
  13. NOT GIVEN

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