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研究:消极词语真的会让你的人生变糟

来源:沪江网  日期:2017-02-21 10:23  阅读 487 次  作者:   划词  进入论坛  投稿

Past studies have found that people have a tendency to use more positive-inflected words than negative ones ― "fantastic" rather than "awful," for example ― a trend that linguists refer to as "positive linguistic bias." Does our proportion of optimistic versus pessimistic verbiage actually change as our circumstances change, or are we set in our ways?

研究:消极词语真的会让你的人生变糟

以往的研究表明,相比消极性的词汇,人们倾向于使用更具积极意味的词汇。比如,更喜欢用“美妙的(fantastic)”而非“糟糕的(awful)”。语言学家将这种倾向称作“积极语言偏向(positive linguistic bias)”。那么,在周遭环境改变时,我们的“乐观用语”和“悲观用语”所占比例是否真的会发生变化呢?还是说,我们的措词风格是一成不变的呢?

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that awful circumstances arising may lead people to use more negative words than before.

《美国国家科学院院刊》上发表了一篇新研究,暗示当环境变糟时,人们会比从前使用更多消极性词汇。

The study found that throughout the time span covered by the study, positive linguistic bias showed fluctuations "predicted by changes in objective environment, i.e., war and economic hardships, and by changes in national subjective happiness."

该研究发现,在他们涉及到的整个时间跨度内,“积极语言偏向”出现了一些波动,“正巧对应于客观环境的变化,比如战争和经济困难时期,以及全国人民主观幸福感的变化”。

To measure this phenomenon over time, the study’s authors examined the text of the New York Times and Google Books over the past 200 years. In addition to shifts in the predominance of optimistic language that correlate to times of national suffering or lower happiness levels, the study also found an overall decrease in positive words over the two centuries covered by the study. However, the latter conclusion should be taken with a few grains of salt for now, other researchers argue. Linguist Mark Liberman pointed out to the Times that tracking the tone of word choice over such a large period risks confounding overall changes in language with a decrease in positive word choice.

为了检测这种现象随时间的变化情况,研究者们统计了过去200多年的《纽约时报》和《谷歌图书》文本。除了发现在国难中或者幸福感较低的年代里“乐观语言”的主宰地位会发生动摇之外,研究人员还发现在他们涉足的两个多世纪里积极性词汇的使用率整体呈下降趋势。然而,其他一些研究者辩解说,第二项结论目前尚不足以令人信服。语言学家马克•利伯曼向《纽约时报》指出,在这么长的时间段里追踪措词的感情色彩,如果语言本身整体在改变,能选择的积极性词汇本来就在减少,那么研究结果就可能受到影响。

As with any single study, questions remain. The study’s authors suggested the need for more research into whether "objective circumstances and subjective mood have independent roles" in affecting positivity in language. The study found that "in the years when the level of national subjective happiness in the United States was lower, [linguistic positivity bias] tended to be lower also."

和其它任何研究一样,该研究还存在一些问题。研究者们暗示说,还需要做更多的研究,进一步调查是不是“客观环境和主观情感能独立地”影响语言的“积极性”。研究发现,“在全美国主观幸福感较低的年代,【积极语言偏向】现象也相应较弱”。

Unlike war and famine, however, it’s conceivable that national subjective happiness could be influenced by the tenor of national media ― or social media. During the past election cycle, a Vox Twitter analysis showed the new president-elect, Donald Trump, used significantly more negative words ("bad," "crooked," "dumb," "worst") than his opponent, Hillary Clinton, did. Was he more successfully tapping into a national mood of misery, or was this campaign language fostering a sense of despair and outrage? Or was it, perhaps, a little bit of both?

但是,可想而知,国家的主观幸福感与战争和饥荒不同,前者会受到国家主流媒体基调或者说社会化媒体的影响。在刚刚过去的总统大选中,VOX公司所作的一篇推文分析表明,新总统当选人唐纳德•特朗普使用的消极性词汇(“坏的”、“不正当的”、“愚蠢的”、“更糟的”)明显多于对手希拉里•克林顿。是他更成功地响应了举国上下的悲凄情绪吗,还是说他的竞选语言助长了人们的绝望和愤怒?或者,有可能,两者都沾边儿?

转贴于:24EN.COM

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