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想要技高一筹 天赋可能比汗水更重要

2019年10月25日 英语美文 暂无评论
摘要:

一个8岁的孩子在颠球,一个48岁的女子在一边慢跑,一边戴着耳机听日语课。他们两人有一个根本的共同之处:在一定程度上,

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The 8-year-old juggling a soccer ball and the 48-year-old jogging by, with Japanese lessons ringing from her earbuds, have something fundamental in common: At some level, both are wondering whether their investment of time and effort is worth it.
一个8岁的孩子在颠球,一个48岁的女子在一边慢跑,一边戴着耳机听日语课。他们两人有一个根本的共同之处:在一定程度上,两人都想知道,自己投入的时间和精力是否值得。
How good can I get? How much time will it take? Is it possible I’m a natural at this (for once)? What’s the percentage in this, exactly?
我能达到多好的水平?那要花多长的时间?有没有可能我在这方面有天赋(哪怕就这一次)?这种可能性具体有多大?

本文来自美文网

copyright verywen.com

Scientists have long argued over the relative contributions of practice and native talent to the development of elite performance. This debate swings back and forth every century, it seems, but a paper in the current issue of the journal Psychological Science illustrates where the discussion now stands and hints — more tantalizingly, for people who just want to do their best — at where the research will go next.
关于练习和天赋对优异表现的形成的相对影响,科学家的争论由来已久。这个争论似乎每个世纪都会出现反复,最近的一期《心理科学》(Psychological Science)上的一篇论文,介绍了这场争论的现状。对那些只想全力以赴的人来说,更吸引人的是,文章暗示了未来的研究方向。
The value-of-practice debate has reached a stalemate. In a landmark 1993 study of musicians, a research team led by K. Anders Ericsson, a psychologist now at Florida State University, found that practice time explained almost all the difference (about 80 percent) between elite performers and committed amateurs. The finding rippled quickly through the popular culture, perhaps most visibly as the apparent inspiration for the “10,000-hour rule” in Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling “Outliers” — a rough average of the amount of practice time required for expert performance.
练习的价值之争已经陷入了僵局。1993年,目前任职于佛罗里达州立大学(Florida State University)的心理学家K·安德斯·埃里克森(K. Anders Ericsson)率领一个研究小组,对音乐家进行了一项里程碑式的研究。研究发现,练习时间几乎解释了专业演奏者和执着的业余人士之间的全部差异(大约80%)。这一发现很快便通过流行文化传播开来,最显而易见的或许就是,马尔科姆·格拉德威尔(Malcolm Gladwell)在畅销书《异类》(Outliers)中提出的“一万小时定律”,似乎是受了它的启发。1万小时是达到专业表现大致所需的平均时间。
The new paper, the most comprehensive review of relevant research to date, comes to a different conclusion. Compiling results from 88 studies across a wide range of skills, it estimates that practice time explains about 20 percent to 25 percent of the difference in performance in music, sports and games like chess. In academics, the number is much lower — 4 percent — in part because it’s hard to assess the effect of previous knowledge, the authors wrote.
新发表的这篇论文对相关研究进行了迄今为止最全面的回顾,并得出了一个截然不同的结论。文章纳入了88项研究的结果,涉及一系列技能,并且估计,在音乐、体育和国际象棋等竞赛领域,练习时间能解释20%到25%的表现差异。在学术领域,这一比例则低很多,仅为4%。作者写道,这在一定程度上是因为,难以评估已有知识的影响。
“We found that, yes, practice is important, and of course it’s absolutely necessary to achieve expertise,” said Zach Hambrick, a psychologist at Michigan State University and a co-author of the paper, with Brooke Macnamara, now at Case Western Reserve University, and Frederick Oswald of Rice University. “But it’s not as important as many people have been saying” compared to inborn gifts.
“我们发现,练习的确重要,当然绝对是达到专业表现所必需的,”密歇根州立大学(Michigan State University)心理学家、上述论文的一位作者扎克·汉布里克(Zach Hambrick)说。但和天赋相比,“练习并没有人们说的那么重要。”文章的另外两名作者分别是凯斯西储大学(Case Western Reserve University)的布鲁克·麦克纳马拉(Brooke Macnamara),和莱斯大学(Rice University)的弗雷德里克·奥斯瓦尔德(Frederick Oswald)。
One of those people, Dr. Ericsson, had by last week already written his critique of the new review. He points out that the paper uses a definition of practice that includes a variety of related activities, including playing music or sports for fun or playing in a group.
近期,埃里克森博士已就这篇新作写了一篇评论文章。他指出,论文中采用的对练习的定义,涵盖了各种相关的活动,包括因为觉得有趣而演奏音乐或进行运动,或是参加团体活动。
But his own studies focused on what he calls deliberate practice: one-on-one lessons in which an instructor pushes a student continually, gives immediate feedback and focuses on weak spots.
但他自己的研究,关注的则是他定义的“专项练习”:一对一授课。授课期间,老师不断督促学生,及时给出反馈并注重学生的薄弱之处。
“If you throw all these kinds of practice into one big soup, of course you are going to reduce the effect of deliberate practice,” he said in a telephone interview.
“如果把所有这些练习都放在一起,当然会降低专项练习的效果,”他在接受电话采访时说。
Dr. Hambrick said that using Dr. Ericsson’s definition of practice would not change the results much, if at all, and partisans on both sides have staked out positions. Like most branches of the nature-nurture debate, this one has produced multiple camps, whose estimates of the effects of practice vary by as much as 50 percentage points.
汉布里克博士说,倘若使用埃里克森对练习的定义,即使对结果有影响,也不会太大。双方的支持者均已表明了立场。和先天禀赋与后天培养之争的多数分支一样,练习和天赋之争已经催生了多个阵营,而各阵营对练习的影响的估计,差距最高可达50个百分点。
“This is where we are, with people essentially talking past one another,” said Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania and scientific director of the Imagination Institute, which funds research into creativity. And because truly elite performance takes many years to achieve, he said, the exact contribution of practice may never be known precisely.
“这就是我们目前的情况,研究者基本上是在各执一词,”宾夕法尼亚大学(University of Pennsylvania)的心理学家斯科特·巴里·考夫曼(Scott Barry Kaufman)说。他同时还在想象力研究所(Imagination Institute)担任科学主任,而该机构为创意研究提供资助。他说,除此之外,因为要用多年时间才能达到真正杰出的表现,我们或许永远都无法确切知道练习的具体贡献。
Yet the range of findings and level of disagreement are themselves hints that there are likely to be factors involved in building expertise that are neither genetic nor related to the amount of practice time.
可是,研究结果的差异和分歧的程度本身暗示着,培养专业技能的过程中可能涉及一些和遗传及练习时间都无关的因素。
One is the age at which a person picks up a violin, or a basketball, or a language. People who grow up in bilingual households fully integrate both languages at the same time that language-specialized areas in their brains are developing. The same may be true of many other skills — there may exist a critical window of learning in childhood that primes the brain to pick up skills quickly later on.
其中一个因素,是人们开始学习小提琴、篮球或语言等技能时的年龄。在双语家庭长大的人,能在大脑语言专属区发育的同时,将两种语言完全融为一体。这可能也适用于许多其他技能。童年时期或许存在一个至关重要的学习期,能让大脑为日后快速学会技巧做好最充分的准备。
Other factors are much easier to control. For instance, scientists have shown that performance itself — that is, testing oneself, from memory — is a particularly strong form of practice. One of the studies that the new review paper includes found that chess masters with similar abilities varied widely in the amount of hours they reported practicing, from 3,000 to more than 25,000.
其他因素则容易控制得多。比如,科学家已经证明,表现本身——即根据记忆自我检验——就是一种特别有用的练习形式。新发表的这篇综述性文章收录了多项研究,其中一项研究发现,能力相当的国际象棋高手,汇报的练习小时数从3000至2.5万以上不等,差异很大。
“We may find when looking more closely that playing in tournaments, under pressure, is an important factor,” Dr. Hambrick said.
“通过更细致的观察,我们或许会发现,在压力下巡回参赛是一个重要的因素,”汉布里克说。
The content of isolated practice is another. In dozens of experiments, scientists have shown that mixing related skills in a single practice session — new material and old, scales and improvisation, crawl and backstroke — seems to sharpen each skill more quickly than if practiced repeatedly on its own. Varying the place and timing of practice can help as well, for certain skills, studies suggest.
单独练习的内容是另一重要因素。科学家在数十项实验中证明,相比于重复地练习某种单一技能,将相关的技能——如新内容和老内容、音阶和即兴演奏、自由泳和仰泳——融入同一个练习环节中,似乎能更快地增强其中涉及的各种技能。多项研究表明,变换练习的场所和时间安排也有所帮助。
“The question is: What is the optimal kind of practice in the area you wish to achieve expertise?” Dr. Ericsson said. “These are things we are now beginning to study, in areas like medical training.”
“关键问题是,在你希望达到专业水平的那个领域,最佳训练方式是什么呢?”埃里克森教授说。“我们现在正在着手研究医疗培训等领域的这类问题。”
Practice time is critical indeed, and its contribution to accumulated expertise is likely to vary from one field to the next as the new paper found, experts said. Personality is an enormous variable, too, (although partly genetic). “Things like grit, motivation, and inspiration — that ability to imagine achieving this high level, to fantasize about it,” Dr. Kaufman said. “These are things we don’t know much about yet, and need to study more directly.”
专家称,练习时间的确至关重要,并且正如前述论文所发现的那样,练习时间对通过积累而达到的专业表现的影响,可能会视乎领域而不同。个性也是一个相当大的变量(尽管它在一定程度上是由基因决定的)。“比如毅力、动力以及进取心——就是想象或者是幻想达到这种高度的能力,”考夫曼博士说。“目前我们对这些还知之甚少,需要更直接地进行研究。”
But in the end, the most important factor over which people have control — whether juggling, jogging or memorizing a script — may be not how much they practice, but how effectively they use that time.
不过说到底,不管是颠球、慢跑还是记台词,人们可以控制的因素中,最重要的或许不是练习多长时间,而是如何有效地利用这些时间。 copyright verywen.com

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