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[翻译]新闻传真 - 自我感觉如何影响工作

来源:慢速英语   时间:2014-03-03 10:18:38

Hello and welcome back to As It Is. I’m Jim Tedder in Washington, with a program designed to help you learn and improve your American English.  Today we are going inside the human brain to see how and what people think.  Some researchers say there is a connection between how you feel about yourself, and how you do your job.

Then we will hear about children and music.  Young people who study music and play instruments are smarter than those who do not.  Right?  Some folks at Harvard University say, “Hold on.”

We are very happy to have your brains thinking about what we are sending your way today on As It Is.

A new study says people who feel they lack social power find it harder to perform physical work.  The researchers say their study is the first to show that people who believe they lack influence in society feel the weight of the world.

Eun Hee Lee is a candidate for a doctoral degree in the psychology department at Britain’s University of Cambridge.  She says the people in the study were not suffering from the continuing deep sadness known as clinical depression.

Instead, Ms. Lee said, the study was based on how the participants saw themselves.  They rated themselves on what level they thought they held in the social order.  They compared themselves to people they thought of as powerful and in control.  She described what the study team meant by “powerful.”

“We defined being powerful as the one who has control over their own and others’ resources; whereas being powerless as being the ones who [don’t] have their control over theirs and others' resources, and also have to [be] dependent to gain the resources that they need.”

She said powerless people continually feel unsure. Researchers in the study examined participants to learn their feelings about their status, or level, in society.  They presented them with a statement such as, “I can get people to listen to what I say.”

The participants were asked to lift a number of boxes and guess their weight.  The more powerless the people, the higher they estimated the weight of the containers.

In a second test the researchers asked participants to sit in ways that seemed powerful.  In one example they sat with one elbow on the arm of a chair.  That position is domineering, or commanding.  Or, they sat with their hands under their thighs, a restrictive position.  People in the restrictive positions thought the boxes weighed more than they really did.  Those who sat in the more powerful way made better estimates of the boxes’ weight.

Finally, a number of participants were asked to remember a time in which they felt powerful or powerless.  Those who thought of a powerful time gave the best answers for the weight of several boxes.  Those who remembered moments of powerlessness repeatedly said the boxes were heavier than they were.

Ms. Lee believes feelings of lack of power in humans might have developed from prehistoric times.  She says it might have been a way to keep early man from using up limited resources.  But she says that today, these feelings might not be good for people at work.

“It might mean we are kind of preventing ourselves automatically putting 100 percent effort into the work without us realizing [it], which could be damaging.”

The Journal of Experimental Biology published the study.

Are Children Who Learn Music Smarter?

Many people believe that teaching children music makes them smarter – better able to learn new things.  But the organizers of a new study say there is no scientific evidence that early musical training affects the intelligence of young people.  Jery Watson joins us with details.

An estimated 80 percent of American adults think music classes improve children’s ability to learn or their performance in school.  They say that the satisfaction from learning to play a new song helps a child express creativity.

Researchers at Harvard University, however, have found that there is one thing musical training does not do.  They say it does not make children more intelligent.

Samuel Mehr is a graduate student at Harvard’s School of Education.  He says it is wrong to think that learning to play a musical instrument improves a child’s intellectual development.

He says the evidence comes from studies that measured the mental ability of two groups of four-year-olds and their parents.  One group attended music class.  The other went to a class that places importance on the visual arts – arts that can be seen.

“The answer there is ‘no.’  We found no evidence for any advantage on any of these tests for the kids who were participating in music classes.”

Samuel Mehr says researchers have carried out many studies in an effort to learn whether musical training can make children smarter.  He says the results have been mixed.  He says only one study seemed to show a small percentage increase in IQ – intelligence scores – among students after one year of music lessons.

He does not believe that IQ is a good measure of a child’s intelligence.  He says researchers in his study compared how well children in the music training group did on mental processing tasks, or projects.  Then the results were compared to those of children who did not take lessons.

There was no evidence that the musical training group did much better on the mental tasks than the other group.  The researchers confirmed their results with a larger group of children and their parents.

Mr. Mehr says music lessons may not offer children a fast, easy way to gain entry to the best schools later on in life.  But he says the training is still important for cultural reasons.  In his words, “We teach music because music is important for us.”  He notes that the works of writer William Shakespeare are not taught so that children will do better in physics.  He says Shakespeare is taught because it is important.

“And I don’t think music needs to be any different than that.”

A report on the benefits of music training in children was published in the journal PLOS ONE. I’m Jery Watson.

And I’m Jim Tedder in Washington.  Speaking of music, today is the birth date of a very famous American.  Three years before the turn of the century, in 1897, Marion Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She became one of America’s greatest opera singers.  Because she was an African American, she was not allowed to sing at Constitution Hall here in Washington.  So she performed before 75,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  She later became the first black woman to sing with the New York Metropolitan Opera.  Marion Anderson died in 1993.

And that is all for this edition of As It Is.  But don’t go away.  There are more Learning English programs just seconds away.  And world news follows at the beginning of the hour on VOA.




Eun Hee Lee 是英国剑桥大学心理学系的博士研究生。她说,受试者并不存在长期内心压抑,也就是临床抑郁症。

Lee 说,相反,该研究是基于参与者如何看待自己的。他们对自己在社会秩序中的地位进行自我评价。他们将自己与那些他们认为有权力的人进行比较。她描述了研究团队对“有权力”一词的定义。






Lee 认为,人类的缺乏权力之感来源于以往。她说,可能是早期制止某人用光有限资源的行为。她说,而现在这些感受会对工作不利。

“这可能意味着我们会在无意识中避免自己主动为工作付出 100%的努力,而这是有害的。”



据估计, 80%美国成年人认为音乐课程有可以提高孩子的学习能力或在校成绩。他们说,学会演奏一首新歌的满足感会帮助孩子体现创造力。


Samuel Mehr 是哈佛大学教育学院的研究生。他说,认为学习乐器能够提高孩子智力发育是错误的。

他说,证据来自于测试两组 4 岁儿童及其父母心智能力的研究。一组参加音乐课程,另一组参加以视觉艺术(可以看见的艺术)为主的课程。


Samuel Mehr 说,研究人员就音乐训练能否使孩子更聪明进行了大量研究。他说,各种结果都有。他指出,只有一项研究似乎表明学习一年音乐课程的学生在智商(IQ)方面有小幅提高。

他不认为 IQ 是孩子智力的最好体现。他说,他们的研究人员对比了音乐训练组孩子在心智类任务中的表现。然后,这些结果与没有上课的孩子进行了对比。


Mehr 说,音乐课程不会为孩子在今后进入好学校提供更快、更轻松的道路。但是,他认为从文化角度来看这种训练仍然很重要。用他的话说,“我们教音乐是因为音乐对我们很重要”。他提出,教威廉•莎士比亚的作品不是为了让孩子的物理更好。他说,学习莎士比亚是因为这很重要。



说到音乐,今天是一位著名美国人的诞辰。在 19、20 世纪之交的 1897 年,玛丽安•安德森出生在宾夕法尼亚州的费城。她成为了美国最伟大的歌剧演唱家。因为她是非裔美国人,她无法在华盛顿的宪政厅演唱。因此,她在林肯纪念堂的阶梯上面对 7.5 万人进行演出。她后来成为了第一位与纽约大都会歌剧院合作演唱的黑人女性。玛丽安•安德森去世于 1993 年。