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2018考研英语双语阅读:音乐和象棋提高认知能力?

2017-11-14 14:46:03 来源:新东方在线考研资料下载

  Music and Chess Do Not Enhance Cognitive Ability

  音乐和象棋是否真的能提高认知能力?

  Most parents want their children to reach their academic potential, and they’re willing to go through great effort and expense to help them achieve that goal. In recent years, a number of researchers have offered evidence suggesting that two activities in particular are especially effective at improving children’s cognitive abilities. These are playing chess and learning a musical instrument. But before sending your kid to chess club or band camp, please read on.

  很多家长希望孩子挖掘学术潜力,他们愿意花费巨大的努力和巨额的学费去帮孩子们实现这一目标。近年,大量研究表明 ,这参与这两项运动(下棋和学乐器)能够显著提高孩子的认知能力。然而,在送你的孩子去象棋俱乐部和乐队营之前,请先看看这篇文章。

  Scientists understand that it can be difficult to assess the significance of a single study in isolation. They prefer waiting for other researchers to replicate experiments before accepting reported effects as valid. Of course, scientists are also human, and naturally they want to promote their pet theories. But collectively, scientists try to keep each other’s biases in check.

  科学家明白,很难单独评估一项独立研究的意义。因此在承认研究中所报告的效应的确有效之前,他们更乐于等其他研究人员先重复进行实验。当然了,科学家也是人,他们自然也想宣扬自己偏爱的理论。但是科学家们齐心协力,试着去约束各人怀有的偏见。

  Journalists, in contrast, have less interest in scientific objectivity. Instead, they want to report on a hot story before they get scooped. And studies that show children getting a cognitive boost from learning chess or a musical instrument make for good copy. So parents, who get their information about the latest research on child-rearing from the mainstream media, can easily be duped by shoddy science.

  而与此相反,记者并不太关心科学的客观性,他们只想抢先报道热门新闻。表明儿童可以通过学习象棋或乐器来促进认知能力的研究就是一份不错的稿件。所以,那些从主流媒体获取最新关于抚养孩子研究的信息的家长,很容易受到伪科学的蒙蔽。

  In a recent article, British psychologists Giovanni Sala and Fernand Gobet report on two meta-analyses they recently performed. (A meta-analysis is a statistical procedure for comparing and contrasting the data from a large number of studies.) These researchers evaluated the existing evidence on whether playing chess or music boosts children’s cognitive abilities or academic performance.

  英国心理学家乔瓦尼.萨拉和费南德.戈贝特在最近的一篇文章中报告了他们最近进行的两项元分析。(元分析是比较和对比大量研究数据的统计程序)。这些研究人员评估了现有的关于下棋或音乐是否能提高儿童认知能力或学习成绩的证据。

  Usually when researchers begin exploring a new topic, some studies will find the proposed effect and others won’t. Or, some studies will find a big effect, while others find only a little one. A meta-analysis can find the overall trends in massive amounts of data, and it can also identify whether each study is likely to have produced reliable results.

  通常当研究人员开始探索一个新的领域时,一些研究能够得到预期的效果,其他研究却不会。或者,一些研究可以得到大的效应,而另外一些研究只能得到较小的效应。元分析可以发现大量数据的整体趋势,还可以确定每项研究是否可能产生可靠的结果。

  Studies have conclusively shown that children who play chess or a musical instrument score higher on intelligence tests than their peers who don’t. So, maybe there’s good reason to think these activities are cognitive boosters. But we have to keep in mind that these studies are correlational, and that correlation does not imply causation. It’s also possible that smart kids are simply attracted to intellectually demanding tasks like chess and music.

  研究已经确定地表明,下象棋或演奏乐器的孩子在智力测验上得分高于那些不会下象棋或者演奏乐器的孩子。所以,也许有充分的理由认为这些活动是认知推进器。但是我们必须记住这些研究是相关研究,相关性并不意味着因果关系。也有可能是聪明的孩子被像象棋和音乐这些智力要求较高的任务所吸引。

  The idea that playing chess or a musical instrument can boost general intelligence or academic performance is based on a concept known as transfer of learning. This is the idea that skills learned in one area automatically carry over to another area. For example, educators long believed that the rigors of learning Latin would help students in their math courses. In 1901, noted psychologists Edward Thorndike and Robert Woodworth conducted a series of experiments on the transfer of learning that exposed this false belief for what it was.

  下象棋或演奏乐器可以提高一般智力或学习成绩的想法是基于一个被称为学习迁移的概念。这个概念表明:在一个领域学习到的技能可以自动的转移到另一个领域。例如,教育工作者长期以来认为,学习拉丁语会对学生学习数学课程有帮助。 1901年,著名的心理学家爱德华.桑代克和罗伯特.伍德沃斯进行了一系列关于学习迁移的实验,揭示了这种错误的观念。

  What Thorndike and Woodworth found was that if two tasks are similar, some abilities can transfer from one task to the other. They called this near transfer. So, if you already know Latin, it will make learning Italian much easier, because the two are related languages. But far transfer between two unrelated fields simply doesn’t occur. For example, learning Latin doesn’t help you understand algebra or geometry.

  桑代克和伍德沃斯发现,如果两个任务相似,一些能力可以从一个任务迁移到另一个任务。他们把这种能力称为近迁移。所以,如果你已经学会了拉丁语,那么学习意大利语会更容易,因为这两种语言是相关的。但是两个不相关领域之间的远迁移则不会发生。例如,学习拉丁文并不能帮助你理解代数或几何。

  Thorndike and Woodworth thought they’d laid the mistaken notion of far transfer to rest. But alas, hope springs eternal. The idea that one task can train your brain to make you smarter overall is just too appealing to give up. And so Sala and Gobet conducted their meta-analyses to determine whether Thorndike and Woodworth had dismissed the idea of far transfer too soon.

  桑代克和伍德沃斯原以为他们已经消除了对差别性迁移的误解。然而,希望生生不息。“存在一种任务能够全面提高大脑的智能”,这一想法如此诱人,实在是难以舍弃。因此,Sala 与Gobet才开展了荟萃分析,他们想查明桑代克和伍德沃斯是否过早地否认了差异性迁移这一观点。

  The first meta-analysis examined a wide range of studies reporting on whether music instruction impacts overall academic performance. What Sala and Gobet found was that the size of the effect decreased as the experiment became more tightly controlled. In other words, researchers who used slipshod methods generally found big boosts in academic performance, whereas those who used stringent procedures found little or no academic advantage to learning a musical instrument. A second meta-analysis of studies looking at chess and school performance yielded similar results.

  第一个元分析研究了一系列关于音乐教学是否会影响整体学业成绩的研究报告。萨拉和戈贝特发现,随着实验控制变得更加严格,效果的大小下降了。换句话说,使用简易方法的被试通常在学习成绩上有很大提高,而那些使用严格程序的学生在学习乐器方面没有什么学术优势。对研究象棋和学习表现的第二个元分析得到了类似的结果。

  Sala and Gobet concluded that neither chess nor music is a cognitive booster, as has often been claimed. They also cite other studies that have likewise found no increase in general cognitive abilities for people who play video games, in spite of recent reports in the press to the contrary.

  萨拉和戈贝特认为,正如科学家们经常声称的那样,无论是国际象棋还是音乐,都不是一种认知助推器。他们还引用了其他一些玩游戏同样对增加一般认知能力无效的研究,尽管最近的媒体报道与此完全相反。

  More than a century after Thorndike and Woodworth reported their seminal studies on the transfer of learning, claims of brain boosters still abound. However, this most recent analysis of the data merely confirms what psychologists have already known for more than a century, namely that far transfer simply doesn’t occur. Playing video games doesn’t boost your memory or attention outside of the game. And making children play chess or music doesn’t make them smarter.

  尽管桑代克和伍德沃斯在学习迁移方面的报告已经发表一个多世纪了,大脑助推器的主张仍然比比皆是。然而,最近对这些数据的分析仅仅证实了心理学家已经知道了一个多世纪的事情,即远迁移根本不会发生。玩视频游戏不会增加游戏以外的记忆和注意力。让孩子下国际象棋或学音乐也并不会让他们更聪明。

  If your child shows an interest in chess or music—or soccer or computers or any other cognitively demanding pursuit—by all means encourage it. These are all engaging activities worth pursuing in their own right. But don’t foist these “brain boosting” tasks upon them. If you do, your child is more likely to develop a general dislike for learning, in a sense “busting” their brains instead of “boosting” them.

  如果你家孩子表现出对象棋、音乐、足球、电脑或任何对认知能力有一定要求的兴趣,请一定要大力支持。毕竟这些全都是极有吸引力的活动,本身就值得去追求尝试。但是切勿强迫他们做这些“脑力促进”活动。如若强迫,反而更有可能令孩子产生一种普遍的厌学情绪,从某种意义上来讲,会妨害大脑发展而非促进成长。

  来源:sychologytoday

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