原文地址:https://www.psychologytoday.com

原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.com 翻译:yzy86


0

正文翻译:

“I love deadlines,” English author Douglas Adams once wrote. “I lovethe whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

“我爱最后期限”,英国作家道格拉斯•亚当斯曾这样写道。“我爱它们流逝时发出的嗖嗖声。”

We’ve all had the experience of wanting toget a project done but putting it off for later. Sometimes we wait because wejust don’t care enough about the project, but other times we care a lot – andstill end up doing something else. I, for one, end up cleaning my house when Ihave a lot of papers to grade, even though I know I need to grade them.

我们都有过这样的经验,想要把一个计划完成却推延到更晚的时候再做。有时候我们耽搁事情只是因为我们对计划不够在乎,但另一些时候我们是非常在乎的,却以仍然干着别的事告终。我也是其中一个,当有一堆论文等着我评分时,我却最终去打扫了屋子,哪怕知道我必须去给它们打分。

(译注:道格拉斯•亚当斯((Douglas Adams ,1952 – 2001),创作了《银河系漫游指南》《神秘博士》等)

So why do we procrastinate? Are we built tooperate this way at some times? Or is there something wrong with the way we’reapproaching work?

那么为什么我们会拖延呢?我们是生来就会在某些时候如此行事吗?还是我们处理工作的方式出了问题?

These questions are central to my researchon goal pursuit, which could offer some clues from neuroscience about why weprocrastinate – and how to overcome this tendency.

这些问题对于我在目标追求方面的研究是居于核心的,该研究能为我们为什么拖延以及如何克服这种脾性提供一些神经学方面的线索。

To do, or not to do

做,还是不做

It all starts with a simple choice betweenworking now on a given project and doing anything else: working on a differentproject, doing something fun or doing nothing at all.

这都是从一个简单的选择开始的,是现在就去完成一个给定的计划还是做点别的事,比如另一个计划,什么好玩的事或者什么也不干。

The decision to work on something is drivenby how much we value accomplishing the project in that moment – whatpsychologists call its subjective value. And procrastination, in psychologicalterms, is what happens when the value of doing something else outweighs thue of working now.

去做某件事这个决定,是被我们在那一刻完成计划的估值

驱动的,心理学家称其为某件事的“主观价值”。而拖延症

从心理学的角度讲,就是当做别的事情的价值超过即刻就工作的价值时发生的情况。

This way of thinking suggests a simpletrick to defeat procrastination: find a way to boost the subjective value ofworking now, relative to the value of other things. You could increase thue of the project, decrease the value of the distraction, or somecombination of the two.

这种(内在的)思维方式暗示了一种战胜拖延症的简单手法:找个法子,相对于干其他事增加即刻工作的主观价值。你可以增大计划的价值,降低那些让你分心之事的价值,或者双管齐下。

For example, instead of cleaning my house,I might try to focus on why grading is personally important to me. Or I couldthink about how unpleasant cleaning can actually be – especially when sharing ahouse with a toddler.

举例来说,我可以想方设法聚焦在为什么评分就个人而言对我很重要,而不是聚焦在打扫屋子。或者我可以想着打扫实际上会有多让人烦躁,尤其是当和一个学步幼儿共享房子。

It’s simple advice, but adhering to thisstrategy can be quite difficult, mainly because there are so many forces thatdiminish the value of working in the present.

这是很简单的建议,但遵循这种策略可能会非常困难,主要是因为有太多外力会消减即刻工作的价值。

The distant deadline

遥远的最后期限

People are not entirely rational in the waythey value things. For example, a dollar bill is worth exactly the same todayas it is a week from now, but its subjective value – roughly how good it wouldfeel to own a dollar – depends on other factors besides its face value, such aswhen we receive it.

人们给事物估值的方式并不完全是理性的。举例来说,一张一美元美钞在一周之前和今天的价值是完全一样的,但它的主观价值,大致上即是挣到1美金感觉有多好,是取决于和它票面价值无关的其他因素,比如我们是在什么时候得到它的。

The tendency for people to due moneyand other goods based on time is called delay discounting. For example, onestudy showed that, on average, receiving $100 three months from now is worththe same to people as receiving $83 right now. People would rather lose $17than wait a few months to get a larger reward.

人们基于时间流逝对钱和其他货品价值贬抑的趋势称为“延迟折扣”。比如一项研究显示,平均来说在3个月后得到100美元的价值和立刻得到83美元是一样的。人们宁可损失17美元也不想在等待几个月后得到一笔数目更大的奖赏。

Other factors also influence subjectivue, such as how much money someone has recently gained or lost. The keypoint is that there is not a perfect match between objective value andsubjective value.

还有其他因素影响着主观价值,比如某人在最近得到或损失了多少钱。这里的关键是客观价值和主观价值之间无法完美地匹配。

Delay discounting is a factor inprocrastination because the completion of the project happens in the future.Getting something done is a delayed reward, so its value in the present isreduced: the further away the deadline is, the less attractive it seems to workon the project right now.

“延迟折扣”便是造成拖延症的一个因素,因为计划的完成是发生在未来的。完成某件事是一种延迟的奖赏,所以它在当下的价值就被削减了:最后期限离现在越遥远,立刻开始工作的吸引力看上去就越小。

Studies have repeatedly shown that thetendency to procrastinate closely follows economic models of delay discounting.Furthermore, people who characterize themselves as procrastinators show anexaggerated effect. They discount the value of getting something done ahead oftime even more than other people.

已经有各种研究再三显示出,拖延的倾向紧密遵循着延迟折扣的经济学模型。而且,把自己刻画为拖延症患者的人们(在这方面)显示出一种增大了的效果。他们比别的人更大程度地贬抑了提前完成某事的价值。

One way to increase the value of completinga task is to make the finish line seem closer. For example, vividly imagining afuture reward reduces delay discounting.

提升完成目标的价值有一种方式,就是让终点线看上去更近。比如说,去鲜活地想象在未来发生的奖赏会减少延迟折扣。

No work is ‘effortless’

没有什么工作是不费力气的

Not only can completing a project bedued because it happens in the future, but working on a project can also beunattractive due to the simple fact that work takes effort.

完成一项计划会因为它的完成发生在未来而被贬损价值,实施计划也会因为工作需要付出努力这个简单的事实而失去吸引力。

New research supports the idea that mentaleffort is intrinsically costly; for this reason, people generally choose towork on an easier task rather than a harder task. Furthermore, there aregreater subjective costs for work that feels harder (though these costs can beoffset by experience with the task at hand).

新近的研究支持了脑力劳动带来的内在耗费很大的看法;因为这个原因,人们通常会选择去做更简单的任务而不是更难的任务。而且,感觉上更困难的工作带来更大的主观上的耗费(尽管这些耗费能够在手头任务带来的体验中得到补偿)。

This leads to the interesting predictionthat people would procrastinate more the harder they expect the work to be.That’s because the more effort a task requires, the more someone stands to gainby putting the same amount of effort into something else (a phenomenoneconomists call opportunity costs (link is external)). Opportunity costs makeworking on something that seems hard feels like a loss.

这就引出了这个有意思的预测:对工作困难度的预期越高,人就越会拖延。那是因为一项任务需要花的功夫越多,那么把同样多的功夫拿去做别的事获得的收益一定会更大(这种现象在经济学家那里称为“机会成本”)。“机会成本”使得去做看上去困难的工作感觉起来像是一种损失。

Sure enough, a group of studies shows thatpeople procrastinate more on unpleasant tasks. These results suggest thatreducing the pain of working on a project, for example by breaking it down intomore familiar and manageable pieces, would be an effective way to reduceprocrastination.

果不其然,一组研究显示人们在令人讨厌的差事上更容易拖延。这些结果表明减少做某项工作的痛苦,比如把一项工作拆解成许多熟悉可胜任的部分,会是一种减少拖延的有效方法。

Your work, your identity

你的工作,你的身份

When we write that procrastination is aside effect of the way we value things, it frames task completion as a productof motivation, rather than ability.

当我们写道拖延症是我们对事物估值方式产生的副作用,所表达的是任务的完成是动机的产物,而不是能力的。

In other words, you can be really good atsomething, whether it’s cooking a gourmet meal or writing a story, but if youdon’t possess the motivation, or sense of importance, to complete the task,it’ll likely be put off.

换句话说,你可以非常擅长某件事,不管是烹饪美味佳肴还是编写故事,但如果你缺少完成任务的动机或重要感,它就很有可能被推延。

It was for this reason that the writerRobert Hanks, in a recent essay for the London Review of Books, describedprocrastination as “a failure of appetites.”

正因为这个原因,作家罗伯特·汉克斯才会在一篇给《伦敦书评》的文章中把拖延症描述为“一种倒胃口”。

The source of this “appetite” can be a bittricky. But one could argue that, like our (real) appetite for food, it’ssomething that’s closely intertwined with our daily lives, our culture and oursense of who we are.

这里“胃口”的出处可能有点不好找。但你可以主张说,如同我们对于食物的胃口,它是和我们的日常生活、我们的文化以及我们是谁的感觉紧密纠缠在一起的。

So how does one increase the subjectivue of a project? A powerful way – one that my graduate students and I havewritten about in detail – is to connect the project to your self-concept. Ourhypothesis is that projects seen as important to a person’s self-concept willhold more subjective value for that person.

那么,一个人要如何增加一个计划的主观价值呢?有个强力的方法(我和我的研究生写过具体的),就是把这个计划和你的自我认知联系起来。我们的假设是,被看成和一个人的自我认知同样重要的计划能为那个人保留住更多的主观价值。

It’s for this reason that Hanks also wrotethat procrastination seems to stem from a failure to “identify sufficientlywith your future self” – in other words, the self for whom the goal is mostrelevant.

也是缘于此,汉克斯也写道,拖延症貌似起源于无法“充分认识未来的自我”,换句话说,对自我来说目标是最相关的。

Because people are motivated to maintain apositive self-concept, goals connected closely to one’s sense of self or identitytake on much more value.

因为人们有着去保持一种正面的自我认知的动机,紧密联系着一个人自我感知或自我形象的那些目标具有更多的价值。

Connecting the project to more immediatesources of value, such as life goals or core values, can fill the deficit insubjective value that underlies procrastination.

把计划联系到更即时的价值来源上,比如人生目标或核心价值,就能够填补引起拖延症的主观价值亏空。

发表评论

电子邮件地址不会被公开。 必填项已用*标注