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双语:多看优质电视剧 能成就优质的你

2015-10-12    来源:英语点津    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

双语:多看优质电视剧 能成就优质的你

If you ever feel vaguely guilty about the vast amounts of television you watch, might I suggest you cling to the findings of this study, published last week in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. In it, the authors claim that watching high-quality television dramas — things like Mad Men or The West Wing — can increase your emotional intelligence. That is, watching good TV makes you more empathetic.
如果你曾因看太多电视,心中隐隐感到愧疚,我建议你看完以下研究结果。这是上周发表于《审美、创造及艺术心理学》上的。其中,研究作者称,观看高质量的电视剧——如《广告狂人》或《白宫风云》——可提高你的情商。也就是说,看优质电视节目让你更能体察他人。

In the paper, the authors describe two experiments that led them to their pro-TV conclusion. In one, they asked about 100 people to first watch either a television drama (Mad Men or The West Wing) or a nonfiction program (How the Universe Works or Shark Week: Jaws Strikes Back). Afterward, all of the participants took a test psychologists often use to measure emotional intelligence: They're shown 36 pairs of eyes and are told to judge the emotion each pair is displaying. The results showed that the people who'd watched the fictionalized shows did better on this test than those who watched the nonfiction ones.
报告中,研究作者描述了两个让他们提出这一结论的实验。其中一个实验中,他们先让100个人观看电视剧(《广告狂人》和《白宫风云》)或非虚构类节目(《宇宙解码》和《鲨鱼周:大白鲨的反击》。然后,全部参与者接受一项心理学家常用于测量情商的测试:研究人员向他们展示36双眼睛,并被要求判断每双眼睛表达的感情。结果显示,在测试中,观看了虚构类节目的人,比看非虚构类节目的人表现更好。

They tried this again, only switching up the programs (The Good Wife and Lost versus Nova and Through the Wormhole) and adding a control group, too: people who took the eye-reading test without watching any television first. Again, their results showed that the fiction viewers' empathy scores were superior, though the nonfiction viewers' scored higher on average than those who hadn't watched anything beforehand.
他们又试了一次,只播放《傲骨贤妻》、《迷失与新星》和《穿越虫洞》这几部电视剧,并加入控制组。控制组的参与者直接参加眼睛判断测试,不看任何电视节目。他们的结果再次显示,看虚构类节目的参与者情商分更高,而看非虚构类节目的参与者,得分也比不看电视的人高。


It's a similar finding to a widely reported 2013 study that claimed that reading literary fiction is linked to better scores on this empathy-measuring test. The authors of that study and this new one argue that a complex fictional narrative forces the reader or viewer to consider a problem from multiple perspectives; further, since not every character's emotion is explicitly spelled out, the audience must do some mental work to fill in those gaps, making a guess at the inner lives of the character.
这与2013年一项被广泛报道的研究结果相似:阅读文学小说与在情商测试中得高分相关。那项研究的作者和此项新研究的作者都认为,复杂的小说叙事,迫使读者或者观众从多方面思考问题;另外,因为不是每个角色的情绪都明确地表达出来,观众必须通过一些脑力工作来弥补这些空白,揣测角色的内心活动。

That literary fiction study, however, was also widely critiqued for its methods. Specifically, the fiction the researchers chose for their study was by authors like Louise Erdrich or Anton Chekhov; the nonfiction, on the other hand, was one of three Smithsonian articles, with titles like "How the Potato Changed the World." I mention this not to speak ill of delicious tubers (I would never do that), but to point out that the nonfiction samples they chose weren't about people. No wonder the study subjects were better at reading human emotions when they'd just spent some time reading about human emotions. And this new study falls short in a similar manner: Is it really that surprising that people might be in a more empathetic state of mind after trying to figure out what is going on in Don Draper's head than they would be after watching a Shark Week show? What does that really tell us?
然而那项对文学小说的研究,也因其研究方法而广受批评。尤其是,研究者为他们的研究所选的小说,是由像路易丝•厄德里奇和契诃夫这样的现实主义作家所写的。而他们所选的非虚构文学作品,是史密森杂志的三篇文章之一,题为《土豆是如何改变世界的》。我提这点不是在说土豆坏话(我永远不会这么做的),而是为了指出,这些非虚构类文学作品不是关于人的。这也就难怪实验者在读完关于人情的作品后,能更好地理解人的感情了。这项新研究也有着相似的局限:人们在揣摩唐•德雷珀(《广告狂人》主角)的脑子里想什么之后,比看完《鲨鱼周》之后变得更能理解他人,这真的令人惊讶吗?这到底告诉了我们什么?

Maybe not much, but if you're looking for an excuse to buckle down with some binge-watching now that the weather's turned, do what you will with this new research.
也许并没有告诉我们什么。但如果你想趁现在天气不太好,为全心投入某部电视剧找借口,那么你看完这个新研究之后知道该怎么做了吧。


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