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[翻译]新闻传真 - 研究显示穷人更难做出决断

来源:慢速英语   时间:2013-10-02 09:46:09

From VOA Learning English this is As It Is.

Welcome back! I’m Caty Weaver. Today, we talk about two studies. One provides interesting findings about how poverty affects reasoning. The other shows the growing importance of technology in connecting young adults and their parents.

今天,我们讲述两项研究。一个提供了贫困如何影响理性能力的有趣成果。另一个表明科技在年轻人与父母沟通中的作用越来越重要。

Poverty Stress Weakens Brain Power

贫困压力削弱大脑能力

New research finds a link between poverty and poor decision making. The findings were reported in the journal Science. They may help explain why poor people sometimes make bad choices that prolong their economic hardship. Jim Tedder reports.

新的研究发现了贫困和决断力低下之间的联系。这些成果见于《科学》杂志。它们能够解释为什么穷人有时候会做出不好的决定,延续他们在经济上的困难。

Earlier studies have found that poor people are less likely to take care of their health. Studies have shown they also do worse with their finances, and pay less attention to their children than do richer people. All of these actions make the poor less likely to escape poverty, research suggests.

较早的研究发现,穷人比较不会照顾自己的健康。研究表明,他们还会做不利于自己经济状况的事情,并且对自己孩子的关注也少于富裕的人。研究指出,所有这些行为使得穷人摆脱贫困的可能性更小。

But there has been little research on why the poor make decisions that make their lives harder. Until recently, it was economists who studied poverty, not psychologists. Eldar Shafir is a psychologist with Princeton University in New Jersey. He says now scientists from both fields work together.

但很少有研究说明为什么穷人要做出那些使自己生活更艰难的决定。直到最近,才由研究贫困问题的经济学家进行了研究,而不是心理学家。Eldar Shafir 是新泽西普林斯顿大学的心理学家。他说,现在这两个领域的科学家展开了合作。

“And in the last few years the two disciplines sort of combined forces. And we just became interested in cognitive function and its impact when people struggle with not having enough.”

“最近几年,这两个学科有点结合起来了。我们也刚开始对人们在苦于缺乏某样东西时的认知功能及其影响产生兴趣。”

Mr. Shafir and his team did two experiments. One took place at a shopping center in New Jersey. Another was carried out among sugar cane farmers in rural India.

Shafir 先生和他的团队做了两个实验。一个发生在新泽西的购物中心。另一个是在印度农村种甘蔗的农户中进行的。

The New Jersey experiment involved individuals with low paying jobs and others said to belong to the middle class. All the volunteers were asked what they would do if their cars needed repairs. The researchers then performed tests for reason, such as choosing which shape fits in a pattern of shapes.

新泽西的试验涉及到一些薪水很低的个体和其他中产阶级。所有志愿者都被问及如果他们的车需要维修时他们会怎么做。研究人员接下来进行了理性测试,比如选择一种与样品形状吻合的形状。

The volunteers were given two possible imaginary situations. In the first, the car repairs cost $150. In the second, the repairs cost $1,500.

志愿者会收到两个有可能的假想情景。第一个,汽车修理需要 150 美元。第二个,汽车修理需要 1500 美元。

“And what we found is, when we looked at the cases where the financial scenario in the background was not too challenging, the poor and the rich performed equally well on all the cognitive tests.”

“而我们发现的是,当我们所研究那些题设背景的经济场景不是很有挑战性时,穷人和富人在所有认知测试中的表现是相同的。”

Not so when the researchers raised the repair costs to $1,500.

但当研究人员将维修费用提高到 1500 美元时就不是这样了。

“Once we tickled their minds with financially more challenging problems, now the poor performed significantly worse.”

“一旦我们使用经济上更有挑战性的问题来试探他们的想法,穷人们的表现就明显更差了。”

The study showed the poorer individuals lost about 13 intelligent quotient, IQ, points on average. This is about the loss experienced when a person has not slept for one night.

这项研究表明,穷人智商(IQ)的平均损失有 13 点。这相当于一个人一夜未眠的智商损失。

The scientists then wondered if they would see the same result outside the controlled environment of a New Jersey shopping mall. And they wanted to know if the same person reacted differently when he was rich and when he was poor.

科学家不确定他们是否可以在新泽西购物中心受控制的环境以外得到同样的结果。他们想要知道同一个人在富裕和贫穷的时候是否会有不同的反应。

That is where the Indian sugar cane farmers came in. They earn most of their money once a year, when the harvest comes in. But the money often does not last through the year.

这正是要用到印度甘蔗农户的地方。他们挣的钱大多数是在每年丰收时一次完成的,但这些钱通常不会整年都有。
 
“So they find themselves basically rich after the harvest when the income comes in and poor just before the harvest.”

“因此他们发现,自己基本上是丰收后有了收入就富裕,而在丰收之前就贫穷。”

The researchers gave them tests similar to the ones taken by the people in New Jersey. They tested the Indian farmers before the harvest and after.

研究人员对他们进行了类似新泽西那些人的测试。他们在丰收前后测试了这些印度的农民。

And the results were much the same as with the mall shoppers.

而结果和那些购物者非常一致。

“They performed much more slowly and with many more errors when they were poorer than when they were richer.”

“他们在贫困时表现的比富裕时要迟缓的多,错误也更多。”

Mr. Shafir says the results support 50 years of research that shows all humans have a limited amount of mental power to deal with the business of life.

Shafir 先生说,这些结果支持了 50 年来的研究结果,就是所有人的心智力量在应对生活中的事情时是有限度的。

For example, an earlier study tested people with chocolate. It found that individuals who resisted the desire for chocolate were not as strong afterward. They had more difficulty controlling their emotions or performing difficult mental tasks than people who had not resisted.

比如,一项较早的研究测试了吃巧克力的人。它发现,能够抵抗吃巧克力愿望的人后来就没有这么强大了。相比于没有做出抵抗的人,他们更难控制自己的情绪,或者更难完成脑力任务。

And struggling to pay the bills has a similar effect, Mr. Shafir says.

Shafir 先生说,为了付账单苦苦挣扎也有类似的效果。

“And so the insight here is that, experiencing scarcity, having not enough of something in a way that weighs on your mind leaves less for everything else.”

“因此我们发现的是,经历过对于某样事物的匮乏,在你的意识中形成压力,留给其他事物的空间就很少了。”

I'm Jim Tedder.

You are listening to As It Is from VOA Learning English.

Adult Children Reach Out to Their Parents More Than Ever

成年子女和他们父母的联系比以往任何时候都多

In the United States, more parents and their grown adult children are in daily contact by telephone or text messages than ever before. The findings are part of a large study of emerging adulthood by Clark University in Massachusetts.

在美国,如今通过手机或短信进行日常联系的父母和成年子女比以往任何时候都要多。这些发现是马萨诸塞州克拉克大学一个大型初始成年期研究的一部分。

University researchers studied 1,000 people, all between the ages of 18 and 29 years. They found that 55 percent of parents and their adult children are in daily contact, or almost daily contact, either by telephone or texting. Only three percent reported less than monthly contact with a parent.
James Arnett is a psychology professor at Clark.

大学研究人员研究了 1000 个人,都在 28~29 岁之间。他们发现,有 55%的父母和他们的成年子女每天都通过手机或短信联系,或者基本上每天联系。只有 3% 的人与父母的联系少于每月一次。James Arnett 是克拉克大学的一位心理学教授。

“That’s remarkable. I think compared to when you and I were kids, I think that’s just a revolution.”

“这很值得注意。我认为比起我们是孩子的时候,这是一大进步。”

Mr. Arnett led the study last year. It included parents and young people from all social, economic and ethnic groups. He says growing up in the current environment and economic climate creates all kinds of emotional difficulties as children enter adulthood. And this, he says, makes it more difficult for parents to give up control. They see their children moving forward in life more slowly.

Arnett 先生去年领导了这项研究。它涉及来自所有社会、经济、种族群体的父母和年轻人。他说,在当前的环境和经济条件下成长起来,使得孩子在长大成人时产生了各种情感困扰。他说,而这使得父母更难放弃对他们的控制。他们看着自己孩子的生活前进得越来越慢。

“They are sort of evaluating their own kids on the basis of the timetable they followed when they were young, and often it doesn’t match up.  Their kids generally take longer to complete their education, longer to find a stable job, longer to marry, longer to have their first child.  And so to parents, operating on the old timetable seems delayed when it’s really not by contemporary standards.”

“他们评估他们的孩子时,有点基于自己年轻时所遵循的时间表,而通常这并不匹配。他们的孩子一般会花更长的时间来完成学业,花更长的时间来找到稳定的工作,更长的时间来结婚,更长的时间拥有他们第一个孩子。对于父母,这种旧的时间表的确不是当代的标准,按它进行的操作就会看起来有所延迟。”

James Arnett says technology has made daily communication between parents and adult children much easier. Billions of people around the world now own and use cellular telephones, making it possible to talk or text more often. He says most young people want continued parental guidance and support as they move toward adulthood.

James Arnett 说,科技使得父母与成年子女之间的日常交流变得更容易了。现在,全世界数十亿的人拥有和使用便携式移动电话,这也让更经常地通话或发短信成为可能。他说,大多数年轻人在成为成年人之后还想继续得到父母的指导和支持。

And that’s AS IT IS for today. I’m Caty Weaver.

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