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BBC随身英语 第338讲 Chin Up! 乐观使人受益 本站原创 更新时间: 2011-10-19         

Ever won the lottery? No? But did that stop you buying another lottery ticket?

If the answer is another 'no', you might call yourself an optimist.

But then, according to researchers at University College London, human beings are naturally sanguine creatures.

It is all in the brain, they say. A study suggests it is very efficient at processing good news: about 80% of people have a tendency to see the glass as half-full, not half-empty, even if they don't consider themselves to be optimists.

The good news is that this brings a health benefit. Being upbeat and having a positive outlook on life reduces anxiety. A study of nearly 100,000 women showed a lower risk of death from heart disease amongst optimists.

But there are pitfalls to always having an upbeat attitude. The authors of the study point out the 2008 financial crisis may have been caused by analysts overestimating their assets' performance even in the face of clear evidence to the contrary.

There are personal health risks too. Dr Tali Sharot, lead researcher, said: "'Smoking Kills' messages don't work as people think their chances of cancer are low. There's a very fundamental bias in the brain."

But, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. Even if seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses poses a risk to our health, it's not something that is likely to cause us to lose sleep.

Let's just keep our chins up and keep smiling!

Quiz 小测验

1. What thing does the article mention as something an optimist would do?
To keep buying lottery tickets in spite of not winning.

2. Why do scientists say that having a tendency to be an upbeat individual is in the brain?
They found out that the brain is very efficient at processing good news.

3. What could be an advantage of being naturally sanguine?
It could reduce anxiety and be good for a person's health.

4. Why don't people stop smoking as soon as they learn that the habit can kill?
Because they are optimists by nature they think that the chances of them getting cancer are low.

5. What two everyday objects feature in phrases used to describe optimism?
A glass (to see the glass as half-full, not half-empty) and glasses (seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses).

Glossary 词汇表

optimism 乐观主义
sanguine (正式用语)满怀希望的
to see the glass as half-full, not half-empty 表示同样半杯水,乐观的人觉得杯子是半满, 悲观的人觉得杯子是半空的。
upbeat 乐观的,欢快的
to have a positive outlook on life 有一个积极的人生观
upbeat attitude 乐观的态度
to overestimate 过高估计
in the face of 纵然,面对,即使
bias 偏见
every cloud has a silver lining (喻)黑暗中总有一丝光明(原意:乌云也有银边)
to see the world through rose-tinted glasses (喻)把世界看得过于美好(原意:透过玫瑰色眼镜看世界)
to keep your chin up (喻)勇敢面对困难(原意:抬起下巴,仰起头)