2018-06-27 10:29来源:互联网作者:上海管理员

摘要:剑桥雅思13Test1阅读passage2真题+翻译,Why being bored is stimulating 一 and useful, too.为何厌倦有刺激性和功能性?



You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on Reading Passage 2 on pages 21 and 22. 

Why being bored is stimulating 一 and useful, too



This most common of emotions is turning out to be more interesting than we thought



We all know how it feels 一 it's impossible to keep your mind on anything, time stretches out, and all the things you could do seem equally unlikely to make you feel better. But defining boredom so that it can be studied in the lab has proved difficult. For a start, it can include a lot of other mental states, such as frustration, apathy, depression and indifference. There isn't even agreement over whether boredom is always a low-energy, flat kind of emotion or whether feeling agitated and restless counts as boredom, too. In his book, Boredom: A Lively History, Peter Toohey at the University of Calgary, Canada, compares it to disgust - an emotion that motivates us to stay away from certain situations. ‘If disgust protects humans from infection, boredom may protect them from “infectious” social situations,’ he suggests.

我们都熟悉这种情绪-精力无法集中,度日如年,事事都无法让你打起精神。但事实证明,我们很难定义厌倦情绪,以便在实验室中进行深入研究。首先,厌倦可能包含大量其他心理状态,如挫败感、淡漠、抑郁和无所谓。厌倦是否总是无精打采、枯燥的,或者焦躁不安、不耐烦是否可以称得上厌倦,这些都尚未有定论。在《厌倦:一段鲜活历史》一书中,来自加拿大卡尔加里大学的作者Peter Toohey将厌倦与嫌恶(一种激发我们避免陷入某特定状况的情绪)进行了对比。“如果嫌恶保护人类免受真菌疾病的感染,那么厌倦则能够保护人类免受‘传染性’社交状况的感染”,作者这样写道。


By asking people about their experiences of boredom, Thomas Goetz and his team at the University of Konstanz in Germany have recently identified five distinct types: indifferent, calibrating, searching, reactant and apathetic. These can be plotted on two axes - one running left to right, which measures low to high arousal, and the other from top to bottom, which measures how positive or negative the feeling is. Intriguingly, Goetz has found that while people experience all kinds of boredom, they tend to specialise in one. Of the five types, the most damaging is 'reactant, boredom with its explosive combination of high arousal and negative emotion. The most useful is what Goetz calls ‘indifferent’ boredom: someone isn’t engaged in anything satisfying but still feels relaxed and calm. However, it remains to be seen whether there are any character traits that predict the kind of boredom each of us might be prone to.

德国康斯坦茨大学的Thomas Goetz及其团队通过询问人们对于厌倦的体验,将这种情绪分成了5个迥异的类别:全无所谓,游移不定,有所期待,反应过激,无动于衷。这5个类别可以标绘在坐标轴里:横轴由左至右,代表从低祷告的情绪唤醒程度,纵轴从上到下,代表从积极到消极的程度。有趣的是,Goetz发现虽然人们会经历各种类别的厌倦情绪,但每个人分别倾向于发展某一种类别。在这5种类别中,最有破坏性的是“反应过激”类厌倦情绪,它有着爆发性的高唤醒度和负面情绪。而最有用的类别是被Goetz称作“全无所谓”的厌倦:此时人们并没做什么有满足感的事情,却依然放松而平静。尽管如此,个人的性格特质是否能决定我们每个人可能容易出现的厌倦类别,依然有待考证。


Psychologist Sandi Mann at the University of Central Lancashire, UK, goes further. ‘All emotions are there for a reason, including boredom,’ she says. Mann has found that being bored makes us more creative. ‘We’re all afraid of being bored but in actual fact it can lead to all kinds of amazing things,,she says. In experiments published last year, Mann found that people who had been made to feel bored by copying numbers out of the phone book for 15 minutes came up with more creative ideas about how to use a polystyrene cup than a control group. Mann concluded that a passive, boring activity is best for creativity because it allows the mind to wander. In fact, she goes so far as to suggest that we should seek out more boredom in our lives.

英国中央兰开夏郡大学的心理学家Sandi Mann将这一理论进一步延伸。她说:所有情绪的存在都是有原因的,包括厌倦”。Mann发现厌倦让我们更富创造力。“我们都害怕厌倦,但事实上,它能引领我们做很了不起的事情”,她说。在去年发表的实验报告中,她发现相比对照组,那些由于抄了15分钟的电话簿而倍感无聊的活动最能激发创造力,因为这会让人的神志游离。事实上,她甚至认为我们应当在生活中主动寻找让人厌倦无聊的事物。


Psychologist John Eastwood at York University in Toronto, Canada, isn’t convinced. ‘If you are in a state of mind-wandering you are not bored,’ he says. ‘In my view, by definition boredom is an undesirable state.’ That doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t adaptive, he adds. ‘Pain is adaptive 一 if we didn’t have physical pain, bad things would happen to us. Does that mean that we should actively cause pain? No. But even if boredom has evolved to help us survive, it can still be toxic if allowed to fester.’ For Eastwood, the central feature of boredom is a failure to put our ‘attention system’ into gear. This causes an inability to focus on anything, which makes time seem to go painfully slowly. What’s more, your efforts to improve the situation can end up making you feel worse. ‘People try to connect with the world and if they are not successful there’s that frustration and irritability,' he says. Perhaps most worryingly, says Eastwood, repeatedly failing to engage attention can lead to a state where we don’t know what to do any more, and no longer care.

加拿大多伦多约克大学的心理学教授John Eastwood不同意她的理论,“如果你的神志在突发奇想的游离状态,那你就不是无聊厌倦的。”他说,“在我的概念里,厌倦是一种不受欢迎的情绪。”当然这也不一定意味着它是非适应进化的,他补充道。“疼痛是适应进化的--如果没有生理痛感,我们可能会陷入麻烦。但这是要我们主动去触发疼痛吗?不是。但尽管厌倦情绪进化出来是为了帮助我们生存下去,若是由着它恶化,它一样是有害的。”在Easiwood的概念里,厌惓情绪最核心的特质是阻止我们的“注意力系统”正常运转。这导致我们无法集中精力做任何事,而时间 流逝也因此缓慢得令人难以忍受。更严重的是,你若试图改变现状,最终会让情况变得更糟。“人们尝试着去和这个 世界建立联系,如果他们失敗了,等待他们的是挫敗感和暴怒,”他说。而令人担忧的可能是,Eastwood说,试图集中精神却总是徒劳,会导致我们走到—个不知何以为继的状态,并且也毫不在意了 。


Eastwood's team is now trying to explore why the attention system fails. It’s early days but they think that at least some of it comes down to personality. Boredom proneness has been linked with a variety of traits. People who are motivated by pleasure seem to suffer particularly badly. Other personality traits, such as curiosity, are associated with a high boredom threshold. More evidence that boredom has detrimental effects comes from studies of people who are more or less prone to boredom. It seems those who bore easily face poorer prospects in education, their career and even life in general. But of course, boredom itself cannot kill - it’s the things we do to deal with it that may put us in danger. What can we do to alleviate it before it comes to that? Goetz’s group has one suggestion. Working with teenagers, they found that those who ‘approach’ a boring situation - in other words, see that it’s boring and get stuck in anyway - report less boredom than those who try to avoid it by using snacks, TV or social media for distraction.



Psychologist Francoise Wemelsfelder speculates that our over-connected lifestyles might even be a new source of boredom. ‘In modern human society there is a lot of overstimulation but still a lot of problems finding meaning,,she says. So instead of seeking yet more mental stimulation, perhaps we should leave our phones alone, and use boredom to motivate us to engage with the world in a more meaningful way.

心理学家Francoise Wemelsfelder猜测,交互过密的生活方式可能是厌倦感的新源头。“当今社会有越来越多的过度刺激,也导致了越来越多的问题。”她说。所以,比起寻找更多的精神刺激,或许我们应当把手机放一边,用厌倦来驱使我们用更有意义的方式参与到世界中来。











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