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2019年07月17日 19:18:19来源:平安信息

Next time you treat yourself to a sizeable slab of chocolate cake, make sure you enjoy every crumb.下次你要是想吃一大块巧克力蛋糕,那要记住每一口都好好享用哦。Psychologists have discovered those of us who see it as something to celebrate are much more likely to stay slim. But if you are racked with guilt afterwards, the chances are you will pile on the pounds.心理学家发现,能高兴地享用美食的人更能保持苗条的身材。倒是那些吃东西还有负罪感的人,反而更容易长胖。The latest research, by experts at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, suggests the effect on human behaviour is also crucial.由新西兰坎特布里大学的专家主持的最新研究发现,人类行为对于体重有很大的影响。Researchers wanted to test whether guilt from scoffing chocolate cake acted as an incentive to improve weight control, or undermined dieters’ determination to succeed.研究者想测试,大快朵颐享用巧克力蛋糕是会作为控制体重的激励呢,还是被当做了减肥成功的拦路虎呢。They recruited almost 300 volunteers, aged from 18 to 86, and quizzed them on their eating habits and whether they were trying to lose weight.研究者招募了约300名志愿者,年龄从18到86岁不等,并研究了她们的饮食习惯,以及她们是否正在减肥。They also asked them if eating chocolate cake made them feel happy or guilty.研究者还询问了志愿者,吃巧克力蛋糕会让她们感到快乐还是内疚。The results showed 27 per cent associated it with guilt and 73 per cent with celebration.When the researchers looked at weight control 18 months later, they found those riddled with guilt had gained significantly more.结果发现,27%的人觉得吃了巧克力蛋糕会内疚,另外73%的人则是以愉悦的心情享用美味。研究者再看18个月后志愿者的体重控制情况,发现那些会觉得内疚的人体重增加得尤其明显。The study found guilt made people feel they had lost control of their eating because they indulged in cake. As a result, they were more inclined to abandon weight loss plans.研究发现,内疚感会让人觉得自己暴饮暴食是缺乏对体重的控制。结果就是她们会更容易放弃减肥计划。The researchers added: ‘Enjoyment of food is essential to people’s well-being. This study shows those who consume a ‘forbidden food’ with celebration and view it as a treat do better in terms of weight management.研究者还表示,;享受食物对身体有益;。研究显示,把吃“禁吃食物”当做是一种奖励的人在体重控制方面做得更好。 /201312/266880。

  • A secret Santa brought an early Christmas gift to cash-strapped shoppers by spending ,000 paying off their outstanding bills.一个神秘的圣诞老人为囊中羞涩的人们提早送出了圣诞礼品——他用2万美元为他们买了单。Staff at Walmart were stunned when Greg Parady asked if he could contribute towards customer#39;s Christmas layaway bills.当格雷格·帕拉第询问他是否能帮购物的人们付清圣诞购物的货款时,沃尔玛的工作人员感到十分吃惊。After overhearing another shopper say she may not be able to afford her outstanding bill, Mr Parady wandered over to the layaway department to see what he could do to help.在偶然听到一个购物者说她可能没办法付掉未付账单时,帕拉第先生走进分期付款商品保留部,他想知道自己是否能帮上一点忙。After asking the manager to tally up all the outstanding balances, Mr Parady was shocked to hear that ,000 worth of gifts hadn#39;t been paid for, and saddened by how many families were struggling to put presents under their tree.帕拉第先生请经理结算了所有的未清商品余额,当他得知这些圣诞礼物总共还欠款8.9万美元时,帕拉第先生感到很震惊,却也很伤心,因为居然有这么多家庭为了圣诞树下的礼物而如此艰难。The 40-year-old made a significant dent in the debt however, after swiping a variety of personal credit cards through the machine.刷了好大一笔钱之后,这位40多岁的大善人当然也为了这次的大开销担上了债务。#39;I came back here and just saw him swiping and swiping,#39; said his businesspartner, Cindy Nazzaro, who accompanied him on the visit.“我到这儿就为了看他不停地刷卡”,和帕拉第一同前来的合伙人辛迪·纳扎罗说道。He paid the bills of six shoppers who were in the store at the time, as well as paying off half of every bill over 0.他为当时在商场的6个购物者买了单,也付了每笔超过200美元的账单的一半款项。Staff at the store recalled how the holiday hero swiped his card for customers who approached the till to cancel their orders, simply saying #39;Merry Christmas#39; afterwards.商场的工作人员回忆这位“节日英雄”为那些在收银台准备取消账单的购物者们刷卡买单的情形,每次刷完卡他就会说一句“圣诞快乐”。#39;They didn#39;t know what was happening at first,#39; said Wal-Mart operations manager Deb Davis.“一开始他们还不知道发生了什么事”,沃尔玛的运营经理德布·戴维斯说道。#39;This one girl in particular, she goes, ;What do I owe?; My associate goes, #39;That gentlemen right there just paid for you.;#39;“有个女孩子问道,‘我还欠多少?’”,我的同事说,“那位先生已经为你买好单了。”Overwhelmed, the woman, began to cry and had to sit down on a bench.这个女生感动得泣不成声,不得不坐在长凳上缓缓情绪。His spending was so unexpected, Mr Parady#39;s banks began to decline transactions in the fear his credit cards had been stolen.由于帕拉第先生的开销如此反常,他的担心他的信用卡被盗,开始拒绝处理这张卡的交易行为。The man used three different cards, took up two cashiers, and also made payments over the phone during the hours-long spree which employees described as the most generous they had ever seen.在这个长达好几个小时的狂欢购物中,帕拉第先生付款时用了3张信用卡,2台收银机,同时也通过电话进行付,工作人员表示这是他们见到过的最慷慨的行为了。#39;I didn#39;t intend for the attention but I hope it motivates other people,#39; he said.“我并不想哗众取宠,我只是想通过这种方式来鼓励大家多做善事”,他如是说。#39;I hope everyone will use it as a tool to give in their own way. It doesn#39;t have to be money, it can be time, or just something kind.#39;“我希望大家把它当做一个例子来举一反三。做好事不一定用钱,也可以是时间,或者一些好的东西。”The so-called #39;layaway Santas#39; have been popping up across the US since 2011.从2011年起,所谓的“帮你买单的圣诞老人”已经在美国各地不断出现。Walmart alone has noted 1,000 cases where a stranger has paid off another#39;s bill this year, while KMart said over .5million had been spent by well-wishers in years past.沃尔玛称今年已有1000件陌生人为购物者们买单的事情发生,同时凯马特称过去几年中“祝福者”付的账款超过了150万美元。 /201312/270371。
  • How much stuff is in your wallet, right now?现在你的钱包里装有多少东西呢?Is it bulging at the seams? Do you even know what is in there?看起来鼓鼓的吗?你知道都装了些什么东西吗?Make today the day you empty out that overstuffed wallet once and for all.今天就把你钱包里那些没用的东西清理掉吧。What#39;s in Your Wallet (Or Purse)?你的钱包里都装了哪些东西?Recently, I got back from business trip and noticed that my wallet was a little heavier than it should be.最近,我出差回来才发现我的钱包比以前重了不少。In fact, I was having trouble fitting it in my pocket.事实上,我很难将那些东西装到其他的口袋里。When we are on the go, we tend to cram all kinds of things into our wallets and purses.在路上的时候,我们总是爱把东西装到钱包里。Don#39;t let yours become a mobile pile of disorganization.不要把你的钱包搞得一团糟。I was guilty of stuffing all kind of things in there from hotel keys, to receipts, to business cards.看到我把旅店钥匙,收据,名片都装到了钱包里就觉得很内疚。 /201308/253835。
  • Who is smarter: a person or an ape? Well, it depends on the task. Consider Ayumu, a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University who, in a 2007 study, put human memory to shame. Trained on a touch screen, Ayumu could recall a random series of nine numbers, from 1 to 9, and tap them in the right order, even though the numbers had been displayed for just a fraction of a second and then replaced with white squares.人猿相比,谁更聪明?这个问题取决于比较的是什么方面。比如说在日本京都大学(Kyoto University)2007年的一项研究中,一只名为“步”(Ayumu)的雄性小黑猩猩的就让人类自愧不如。步通过一块触摸屏接受训练,它能够记得由一到九任意组合而成的一组共九个数字,并能以正确的顺序在屏幕上把它们点出来,尽管这些数字只显示了短短一瞬间便被白色的方格所取代。I tried the task myself and could not keep track of more than five numbers -- and I was given much more time than the brainy ape. In the study, Ayumu outperformed a group of university students by a wide margin. The next year, he took on the British memory champion Ben Pridmore and emerged the #39;chimpion.#39;我自己也尝试了这项测试,但我能回忆起的数字不超过五个──尽管我获得的时间比那只聪明的黑猩猩要长得多。在这项研究中,步的表现也比一群京都大学的学生好出一大截。它在第二年还战胜了来自英国的记忆测试冠军──本?普里德莫尔(Ben Pridmore),一举成为“猩猩冠军”。How do you give a chimp -- or an elephant or an octopus or a horse -- an IQ test? It may sound like the setup to a joke, but it is actually one of the thorniest questions facing science today. Over the past decade, researchers on animal cognition have come up with some ingenious solutions to the testing problem. Their findings have started to upend a view of humankind#39;s unique place in the universe that dates back at least to ancient Greece.你会如何对黑猩猩、大象、章鱼、马进行智商测试?这听起来可能像是故意开玩笑,其实它是科学界当下面临的最棘手的难题之一。过去十年间,研究动物认知能力的科研人员想出了一些有独创性的解决方法。他们的发现开始逆转至少可追溯至古希腊时期的有关人类在宇宙中的独特位置的看法。Aristotle#39;s idea of the scala naturae, the ladder of nature, put all life-forms in rank order, from low to high, with humans closest to the angels. During the Enlightenment, the French philosopher Rene Descartes, a founder of modern science, declared that animals were soulless automatons. In the 20th century, the American psychologist B.F. Skinner and his followers took up the same theme, painting animals as little more than stimulus-response machines. Animals might be capable of learning, they argued, but surely not of thinking and feeling. The term#39;animal cognition#39; remained an oxymoron.亚里士多德(Aristotle)的“自然阶梯”(scalanaturae)理念将所有生命形式按从低到高的顺序进行排列,其中人类的排序最接近天神。在启蒙运动时期,作为现代科学鼻祖之一的法国哲学家勒奈?笛卡尔(Rene Descartes)声称动物是没有灵魂的机械物。到了20世纪,美国心理学家B.F.斯金纳(B.F. Skinner)及其追随者也是同样的论调,将动物描绘得只比会应激做出反应的机器稍好一些。他们认为动物或许具有学习能力,但是肯定不具备思考和感觉的能力。如此一来,“动物认知”一词一直是个存有矛盾的词。A growing body of evidence shows, however, that we have grossly underestimated both the scope and the scale of animal intelligence. Can an octopus use tools? Do chimpanzees have a sense of fairness? Can birds guess what others know? Do rats feel empathy for their friends? Just a few decades ago we would have answered #39;no#39; to all such questions. Now we#39;re not so sure.然而,越来越多的据表明我们严重低估了动物智能的广度和程度。章鱼会运用工具吗?黑猩猩具有公平感吗?鸟儿能够猜到其他鸟儿知道的事情吗?老鼠对同类有同情心吗?就在几十年前,我们对所有这些问题的回答可能都是否定的,现在我们则没有那么确定了。Experiments with animals have long been handicapped by our anthropocentric attitude: We often test them in ways that work fine with humans but not so well with other species. Scientists are now finally meeting animals on their own terms instead of treating them like furry (or feathery) humans, and this shift is fundamentally reshaping our understanding.长期以来,动物实验都受到我们以人类为中心的态度的阻碍。我们常常以非常适合人类但不是那么适合其他物种的方法对它们进行测试。现在,科学家们终于根据动物自身的情况来对待它们,不再把它们当作毛茸茸(或是长着羽毛)的人类,这个转变从根本上重塑了我们对动物的看法。Elephants are a perfect example. For years, scientists believed them incapable of using tools. At most, an elephant might pick up a stick to scratch its itchy behind. In earlier studies, the pachyderms were offered a long stick while food was placed outside their reach to see if they would use the stick to retrieve it. This setup worked well with primates, but elephants left the stick alone. From this, researchers concluded that the elephants didn#39;t understand the problem. It occurred to no one that perhaps we, the investigators, didn#39;t understand the elephants.大象就是一个绝佳的例子。多年来,科学家们认为大象不能使用工具,它可能最多只会捡起根棍子挠挠发痒的后背。在早前的研究中,研究人员将食物放在大象够不着的地方,然后给它们一根长棍子,看它们是否会用它取到食物。这个实验的设计非常适合灵长类动物,但是大象却无视棍子的存在。于是乎,研究人员由此得出结论称大象不理解问题的要领。然而,没有人意识到可能是我们这些科研人员不了解大象。Think about the test from the animal#39;s perspective. Unlike the primate hand, the elephant#39;s grasping organ is also its nose. Elephants use their trunks not only to reach food but also to sniff and touch it. With their unparalleled sense of smell, the animals know exactly what they are going for. Vision is secondary.从大象的角度想想这个实验吧。与用手的灵长类动物不同,大象抓取物体的器官也是它的鼻子。它们不仅用鼻子抓取食物,也用它来闻嗅和触碰食物。凭借其无与伦比的嗅觉,大象确知自己拿的是什么,视觉对它们来说是次要的。But as soon as an elephant picks up a stick, its nasal passages are blocked. Even when the stick is close to the food, it impedes feeling and smelling. It is like sending a blindfolded child on an Easter egg hunt.一旦捡起棍子,大象的鼻腔通道马上就会被堵塞,所以即便棍子就在食物近旁,它也会阻碍大象的感觉和嗅觉。这就像蒙住小孩的眼睛让他去找复活节蛋一样。What sort of experiment, then, would do justice to the animal#39;s special anatomy and abilities?那么,什么类型的实验对大象的特殊身体构造和能力来说是公平的呢?On a recent visit to the National Zoo in Washington, I met with Preston Foerder and Diana Reiss of Hunter College, who showed me what Kandula, a young elephant bull, can do if the problem is presented differently. The scientists hung fruit high up above the enclosure, just out of Kandula#39;s reach. The elephant was given several sticks and a sturdy square box.在最近一次造访位于华盛顿的国家动物园时,笔者与亨特学院(Hunter College)的普雷斯顿?福尔德(Preston Foerder)和黛安娜?瑞斯(Diana Reiss)见了面。他们向我展示,如果用不同的方式提出问题,一头名为“坎杜拉”(Kandula)的小公象都会做些什么。他们将水果高高地挂在坎杜拉刚好够不着的象舍的上方,然后给了它几根棍子和一个坚固的方形箱子。Kandula ignored the sticks but, after a while, began kicking the box with his foot. He kicked it many times in a straight line until it was right underneath the branch. He then stood on the box with his front legs, which enabled him to reach the food with his trunk. An elephant, it turns out, can use tools -- if they are the right ones.坎杜拉没有碰那些棍子,过了一会儿之后,它开始用脚踢箱子。它沿着直线方向踢了很多次箱子,直到把箱子踢到树枝的正下方为止,然后便把前腿搭在了箱子上,这样一来它就能用鼻子够着那些水果了。事实明,大象也会使用工具──只要它们是适当的工具。While Kandula munched his reward, the investigators explained how they had varied the setup, making life more difficult for the elephant. They had put the box in a different section of the yard, out of view, so that when Kandula looked up at the tempting food he would need to recall the solution and walk away from his goal to fetch the tool. Apart from a few large-brained species, such as humans, apes and dolphins, not many animals will do this, but Kandula did it without hesitation, fetching the box from great distances.在坎杜拉大声咀嚼战利品的同时,研究人员说他们曾改变实验的设计,加大了坎杜拉获得食物的难度。他们把箱子放在院子中一个不在坎杜拉视线范围内的区域,这样一来当它看着充满诱惑的食物时,它需要回忆起解决办法,然后离开目标去取工具。除了人类、猿类和海豚等脑袋较大的物种之外,能够做到这一点的动物并不多,但是坎杜拉毫不犹豫地采取行动,从很远的距离取来了箱子。Another failed experiment with elephants involved the mirror test -- a classic evaluation of whether an animal recognizes its own reflection. In the early going, scientists placed a mirror on the ground outside the elephant#39;s cage, but the mirror was (unsurprisingly) much smaller than the largest of land animals. All that the elephant could possibly see was four legs behind two layers of bars (since the mirror doubled them). When the animal received a mark on its body visible only with the assistance of the mirror, it failed to notice or touch the mark. The verdict was that the species lacked self-awareness.另一个与大象有关的失败实验是镜像测试,这个经典的测试可评判动物是否认得出自己在镜子中的形象。在早期的实验中,科研人员在象笼外的地面上放了一面镜子,但是这面镜子(毫不意外地)比这个陆地上的最大动物要小得多。大象有可能看到的所有东西只是两层栏杆(因为镜子的反射使栏杆变成了两层)后的自己的四条腿。当它的身体被做上只能借助镜子才能看到的记号时,它没能注意到或是触碰那个记号,于是研究人员下结论称大象缺乏自我意识。But Joshua Plotnik of the Think Elephant International Foundation modified the test. He gave the elephants access to an 8-by-8-foot mirror and allowed them to feel it, smell it and look behind it. With this larger mirror, they fared much better. One Asian elephant recognized herself. Standing in front of the mirror, she repeatedly rubbed a white cross on her forehead, an action that she could only have performed by connecting her reflected image with her own body.不过,非盈利组织Think Elephant International Foundation的乔舒亚?普罗特尼克(Joshua Plotnik)修正了这个实验。他给大象提供的是一面长宽均为八英尺(约合2.4米)的镜子,允许它们去触摸它、用鼻子闻它、从镜子后看它。有了这面更大的镜子,大象们的表现要好了很多。有一只母亚洲象认出了自己,它站在镜子前,不停地擦着额头上一个白色的十字架记号,她只有把自己在镜子中的形象与自己的身体联系起来才可能做出这一举动。A similar experimental problem was behind the mistaken belief, prevalent until two decades ago, that our species has a unique system of facial recognition, since we are so much better at identifying faces than any other primate. Other primates had been tested, but they had been tested on human faces -- based on the assumption that ours are the easiest to tell apart.这个认为我们人类具有一个独特的面部识别体系(因为我们在面部识别方面比其他灵长类动物的表现要好得多)、直到20年前还很盛行的错误理念的背后也存在一个相同的实验设计问题。尽管其他灵长类动物也接受了测试,但是它们的对象是人脸──这一设计的假设是我们人脸是最容易识别的。When Lisa Parr, one of my co-workers at Emory University, tested chimpanzees on portraits of their own species, they excelled at it. Selecting portraits on a computer screen, they could even tell which juveniles were born to which females. Having been trained to detect similarities among images, the apes were shown a female#39;s portrait and then given a choice between two other faces, one of which showed her offspring. They preferred the latter based purely on family resemblance since they did not know any of the depicted apes.我在埃默里大学(Emory University)的同事丽莎?帕尔(Lisa Parr)测试了黑猩猩对其同类的肖像的识别能力。它们在电脑屏幕上选择肖像时甚至还能分辨出哪些小黑猩猩是哪些母猩猩的孩子。研究人员对这些黑猩猩进行了识别肖像相似处的训练,然后向它们展示一幅母猩猩的肖像,随后又让它们在另外两幅脸部肖像(其中一幅肖像中的猩猩为母猩猩的孩子)之间做出选择。它们是完全根据家族相似性选出母猩猩孩子的那幅像的,因为它们并不认识画像中的那几只猩猩。We also may need to rethink the physiology of intelligence. Take the octopus. In captivity, these animals recognize their caretakers and learn to open pill bottles protected by childproof caps -- a task with which many humans struggle. Their brains are indeed the largest among invertebrates, but the explanation for their extraordinary skills may lie elsewhere. It seems that these animals think, literally, outside the box of the brain.我们或许还需重新思考有关智力的生理因素。以章鱼为例,它们在被人工饲养时认得饲养它们的人,并学会了打开带防止儿童开启的安全瓶盖的药瓶,这件事情很多人都难以办到。章鱼的脑袋在无脊椎动物中确实是最大的,但是能够解释它们这些非凡能力的或许另有原因。这种动物似乎的的确确是不经大脑思考的。Octopuses have hundreds of suckers, each one equipped with its own ganglion with thousands of neurons. These #39;mini-brains#39; are interconnected, making for a widely distributed nervous system. That is why a severed octopus arm may crawl on its own and even pick up food.章鱼有几百个吸盘,每个吸盘都各有含数千条神经的神经节。这些“迷你大脑”互相连通,构成了一个分布广泛的神经系统,这也是章鱼一条被砍断的腕足可能会独自爬行甚至是捡取食物的原因所在。Similarly, when an octopus changes skin color in self-defense, such as by mimicking a poisonous sea snake, the decision may come not from central command but from the skin itself. A 2010 study found gene sequences in the skin of cuttlefish similar to those in the eye#39;s retina. Could it be: an organism with a seeing skin and eight thinking arms?同样地,当章鱼变化肤色进行自我防卫,比如拟态成有毒的海蛇时,这个决定或许并不是来自作为指挥中心的大脑,而是来自皮肤本身。2010年的一项研究在乌贼的皮肤中发现了类似眼睛视网膜的基因序列。那么章鱼是否是一种皮肤具有视觉能力、八条腕足具有思维能力的生物体呢?A note of caution, however: At times we also have overestimated the capacities of animals. About a century ago, a German horse named #39;Kluger Hans#39; (Clever Hans) was thought to be capable of addition and subtraction. His owner would ask him the product of multiplying four by three, and Hans would happily tap his hoof 12 times. People were flabbergasted, and Hans became an international sensation.不过,这里还是要提醒一句,有时候我们也会高估动物的能力。大约在一个世纪前,德国一匹名为“聪明汉斯”(Kluger Hans)的马儿被人认为能够进行加减运算。其主人问它四乘以三等于多少时,它会欢快地轻踏12下蹄子。大家对此大吃一惊,而汉斯也成为了引起世界性轰动的明星。That is, until Oskar Pfungst, a psychologist, investigated the horse#39;s abilities. Pfungst found that Hans was only successful if his owner knew the answer to the question and was visible to the horse. Apparently, the owner subtly shifted his position or straightened his back when Hans reached the correct number of taps. (The owner did so unknowingly, so there was no fraud involved.)这种情况直到心理学家奥斯卡?芬斯特(Oskar Pfungst)对汉斯的智能进行调查之后才发生改变。芬斯特发现,只有在其主人知道问题的并且在其可见范围之内时,汉斯才能答对题目。显然,当汉斯轻踏蹄子的次数达到正确数字时,主人就会微微地改变姿势或是直起背来。(其主人是在不知情的情况下这么做的,因此也不涉及到欺诈。)Some look at this historic revelation as a downgrading of Hans#39;s intelligence, but I would argue that the horse was in fact very smart. His abilities at arithmetic may have been flawed, but his understanding of human body language was remarkable. And isn#39;t that the skill a horse needs most?有些人认为,这个有历史意义的真相的暴露表明汉斯的智力不是那么高,不过笔者倒是认为这匹马实际上非常聪明。它的算数能力或许不尽如人意,但是它对人类身体语言的理解是非同寻常的。这难道不正是一匹马最需要具备的能力吗?Awareness of the #39;Clever Hans Effect, #39; as it is now known, has greatly improved animal experimentation. Unfortunately, it is often ignored in comparable research with humans. Whereas every dog lab now tests the cognition of its animals while their human owners are blindfolded or asked to face away, young children are still presented with cognitive tasks while sitting on their mothers#39; laps. The assumption is that mothers are like furniture, but every mother wants her child to succeed, and nothing guarantees that her sighs, head turns and subtle changes in position don#39;t serve as cues for the child.对现今被人称为“聪明的汉斯效应”的意识促使动物实验得到了极大改进。遗憾的是,这一点在类似的人类实验中常常遭到忽视。现如今,尽管每个动物实验室在测试动物的认知能力时都要把它们主人的眼睛蒙上或是要求他们把脸转向别处,在对人类儿童进行认知测试时,儿童却是坐在母亲的腿上接受测试的。这一举措的假设是母亲所起的作用就像家具,但是每位母亲都希望自己的孩子成功,没法保她的叹息、转头动作或是细微的姿势变化不会成为对孩子的暗示。This is especially relevant when we try to establish how smart apes are relative to children. To see how their cognitive skills compare, scientists present both species with identical problems, treating them exactly the same. At least this is the idea. But the children are held by their parents and talked to (#39;Watch this!#39; #39;Where is the bunny?#39;), and they are dealing with members of their own kind. The apes, by contrast, sit behind bars, don#39;t benefit from language or a nearby parent who knows the answers, and are facing members of a different species. The odds are massively stacked against the apes, but if they fail to perform like the children, the invariable conclusion is that they lack the mental capacities under investigation.当我们尝试去确认聪明的猿类与人类儿童相比有多聪明时,这一点就更是关系重大。为了了解这二者的认知能力相比如何,科研人员以完全平等的方式对待他们,向他们提出一模一样的问题──至少在科研人员看来是如此。然而,儿童往往有父母抱着或是有人对他们说话(比如说“看这个!”“小兔子在哪里呢?”),而且他们与之打交道的是自己的同类。相比之下,猿类往往坐在栏杆后,没有任何语言上的帮助,身旁也没有知道的父母可提供帮助,而且它们面对的是另一个物种。因此,取胜形势对猿类来说是极其不利的,但是如果它们未能像人类儿童表现的那么好,结论始终都是它们缺乏研究人员所调查的心智能力。A recent study, tracking the pupil movements of chimpanzees, found that they followed the gaze of members of their own species far better than that of humans. This simple finding has huge implications for tests in which chimpanzees need to pay attention to human experimenters. The species barrier they face may fully explain the difference in performance compared with children.近期一项跟踪黑猩猩瞳孔转动的研究发现,黑猩猩对同类目光的追随要比对人类目光的追随好得多。这个简单的发现对黑猩猩需要注意人类实验人员的测试具有巨大的影响。它们所面临的物种壁垒或许能够完全解释它们与人类儿童相比时表现的差距。Underlying many of our mistaken beliefs about animal intelligence is the problem of negative evidence. If I walk through a forest in Georgia, where I live, and fail to see or hear the pileated woodpecker, am I permitted to conclude that the bird is absent? Of course not. We know how easily these splendid woodpeckers hop around tree trunks to stay out of sight. All I can say is that I lack evidence.我们关于动物智能的许多错误观念的深层原因在于反这个问题。假如我在我所居住的佐治亚州穿过某个树林时没有看到北美黑啄木鸟或听到它的声音,我是不是就可以说这种鸟不存在呢?当然不能了。我们都知道这些美丽的啄木鸟能够在树干之间轻松地跳来跳去躲开人的视线。我只能够说我缺乏据。It is quite puzzling, therefore, why the field of animal cognition has such a long history of claims about the absence of capacities based on just a few strolls through the forest. Such conclusions contradict the famous dictum of experimental psychology according to which #39;absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.#39;因此,在动物认知领域中,人们仅仅在森林中溜达几步便声称动物缺乏某些能力的历史为何如此之长令人相当费解。此类结论与实验心理学中“找不到据不代表据不存在”的著名格言相悖。Take the question of whether we are the only species to care about the well-being of others. It is well known that apes in the wild offer spontaneous assistance to each other, defending against leopards, say, or consoling distressed companions with tender embraces. But for decades, these observations were ignored, and more attention was paid to experiments according to which the apes were entirely selfish. They had been tested with an apparatus to see if one chimpanzee was willing to push food toward another. But perhaps the apes failed to understand the apparatus. When we instead used a simple choice between tokens they could exchange for food -- one kind of token rewarded only the chooser, the other kind rewarded both apes -- lo and behold, they preferred outcomes that rewarded both of them.以我们人类是否是唯一一个关心别的同类好不好的物种这个问题为例。众所周知,猿类在野外会主动互相帮助,比如说防备豹子或是用温柔的拥抱来安慰情绪低落的同伴。但是,数十年来这些现象都被忽视了,人们更关注的是那些认为猿类完全是自私的实验。研究人员在试验中利用某种器材对黑猩猩进行实验,查看它是否愿意把食物推给另一只黑猩猩。不过,这些黑猩猩不愿这么做也许只是因为它们对那种器材没有概念。当我们转而采用简单的选择,要它们在两个可以用来换取食物的标记中──其中一个标记只奖赏做出选择的猩猩,另一个则同时奖赏两只猩猩──做出选择,你瞧,它们会选择同时奖励它们二者的那个标记。Such generosity, moreover, may not be restricted to apes. In a recent study, rats freed a trapped companion even when a container with chocolate had been put right next to it. Many rats first liberated the other, after which both rodents happily shared the treat.此外,这种大度不仅仅体现在猿类身上。在最近一项研究中,即便身旁放了一个装有巧克力的容器,老鼠还是会去解救受困的同伴。许多老鼠会先解救同伴,在这之后才一同高兴地享用巧克力。The one historical constant in my field is that each time a claim of human uniqueness bites the dust, other claims quickly take its place. Meanwhile, science keeps chipping away at the wall that separates us from the other animals. We have moved from viewing animals as instinct-driven stimulus-response machines to seeing them as sophisticated decision makers.在我的研究领域,一个一成不变的历史现象是,每当有表明人类独特性的言论被推翻,其他相关言论就会迅速取而代之。与此同时,科学在不断地慢慢消除将我们与其他动物隔离的围 。我们已从把动物视为受直觉推动的应激反应机械发展到把它们视为可以做出决策的高级物种。Aristotle#39;s ladder of nature is not just being flattened; it is being transformed into a bush with many branches. This is no insult to human superiority. It is long-overdue recognition that intelligent life is not something for us to seek in the outer reaches of space but is abundant right here on earth, under our noses.亚里士多德的自然阶梯不是被简单地夷平了,而是正在被转变为拥有许许多多分的一丛灌木。这绝非是对人类优越性的亵渎。智能生命并不是需要我们去外太空寻找的东西,它就大量存在于地球之上,存在于我们的眼皮底下,然而这个认识来得太迟了。 /201305/237624。
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