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    研究:音樂和象棋是否真的能提高認知能力?

    2017-11-13 11:28

    來源:sychologytoday

    作者:

      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.

      很多家長希望孩子挖掘學術潛力,他們愿意花費巨大的努力和巨額的學費去幫孩子們實現這一目標。近年,大量研究表明 ,這參與這兩項運動(下棋和學樂器)能夠顯著提高孩子的認知能力。然而,在送你的孩子去象棋俱樂部和樂隊營之前,請先看看這篇文章。

      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.

      科學家明白,很難單獨評估一項獨立研究的意義。因此在承認研究中所報告的效應的確有效之前,他們更樂于等其他研究人員先重復進行實驗。當然了,科學家也是人,他們自然也想宣揚自己偏愛的理論。但是科學家們齊心協力,試著去約束各人懷有的偏見。

      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.

      而與此相反,記者并不太關心科學的客觀性,他們只想搶先報道熱門新聞。表明兒童可以通過學習象棋或樂器來促進認知能力的研究就是一份不錯的稿件。所以,那些從主流媒體獲取最新關于撫養孩子研究的信息的家長,很容易受到偽科學的蒙蔽。

      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.

      英國心理學家喬瓦尼.薩拉和費南德.戈貝特在最近的一篇文章中報告了他們最近進行的兩項元分析。(元分析是比較和對比大量研究數據的統計程序)。這些研究人員評估了現有的關于下棋或音樂是否能提高兒童認知能力或學習成績的證據。

      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.

      通常當研究人員開始探索一個新的領域時,一些研究能夠得到預期的效果,其他研究卻不會?;蛘?,一些研究可以得到大的效應,而另外一些研究只能得到較小的效應。元分析可以發現大量數據的整體趨勢,還可以確定每項研究是否可能產生可靠的結果。

      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.

      研究已經確定地表明,下象棋或演奏樂器的孩子在智力測驗上得分高于那些不會下象棋或者演奏樂器的孩子。所以,也許有充分的理由認為這些活動是認知推進器。但是我們必須記住這些研究是相關研究,相關性并不意味著因果關系。也有可能是聰明的孩子被像象棋和音樂這些智力要求較高的任務所吸引。

      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.

      下象棋或演奏樂器可以提高一般智力或學習成績的想法是基于一個被稱為學習遷移的概念。這個概念表明:在一個領域學習到的技能可以自動的轉移到另一個領域。例如,教育工作者長期以來認為,學習拉丁語會對學生學習數學課程有幫助。 1901年,著名的心理學家愛德華.桑代克和羅伯特.伍德沃斯進行了一系列關于學習遷移的實驗,揭示了這種錯誤的觀念。

      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.

      桑代克和伍德沃斯發現,如果兩個任務相似,一些能力可以從一個任務遷移到另一個任務。他們把這種能力稱為近遷移。所以,如果你已經學會了拉丁語,那么學習意大利語會更容易,因為這兩種語言是相關的。但是兩個不相關領域之間的遠遷移則不會發生。例如,學習拉丁文并不能幫助你理解代數或幾何。

      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為他們已經消除了對差別性遷移的誤解。然而,希望生生不息?!按嬖谝环N任務能夠全面提高大腦的智能”,這一想法如此誘人,實在是難以舍棄。因此,Sala 與Gobet才開展了薈萃分析,他們想查明桑代克和伍德沃斯是否過早地否認了差異性遷移這一觀點。

      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.

      第一個元分析研究了一系列關于音樂教學是否會影響整體學業成績的研究報告。薩拉和戈貝特發現,隨著實驗控制變得更加嚴格,效果的大小下降了。換句話說,使用簡易方法的被試通常在學習成績上有很大提高,而那些使用嚴格程序的學生在學習樂器方面沒有什么學術優勢。對研究象棋和學習表現的第二個元分析得到了類似的結果。

      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.

      薩拉和戈貝特認為,正如科學家們經常聲稱的那樣,無論是國際象棋還是音樂,都不是一種認知助推器。他們還引用了其他一些玩游戲同樣對增加一般認知能力無效的研究,盡管最近的媒體報道與此完全相反。

      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.

      盡管桑代克和伍德沃斯在學習遷移方面的報告已經發表一個多世紀了,大腦助推器的主張仍然比比皆是。然而,最近對這些數據的分析僅僅證實了心理學家已經知道了一個多世紀的事情,即遠遷移根本不會發生。玩視頻游戲不會增加游戲以外的記憶和注意力。讓孩子下國際象棋或學音樂也并不會讓他們更聰明。

      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.

      如果你家孩子表現出對象棋、音樂、足球、電腦或任何對認知能力有一定要求的興趣,請一定要大力支持。畢竟這些全都是極有吸引力的活動,本身就值得去追求嘗試。但是切勿強迫他們做這些“腦力促進”活動。如若強迫,反而更有可能令孩子產生一種普遍的厭學情緒,從某種意義上來講,會妨害大腦發展而非促進成長。

    (編輯:何瑩瑩)

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