双语阅读 | 人的性格会随着年龄增长而改变吗?

双语阅读 | 人的性格会随着年龄增长而改变吗?
困难 1220

Do People's Personalities Change with Age?

人的性格会随着年龄增长而改变吗?

Do People’s Personalities Change with Age?

 

林晓洁 供稿

 

People go through a host of changes in their life — jobs, haircuts and relationships that come and go. But as people grow older, do their personalities change?


人的一生会经历许多改变——工作、发型和人际关系的更替但人的性格也会随着年龄增长而改变吗?

 

Personality is the pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviors unique to a person. People tend to think of personality as fixed. But according to psychologists, that's not how it works. "Personality is a developmental phenomenon. It's not just a static thing that you're stuck with and can't get over," said Brent Roberts, a psychologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


性格是一个人特有的思维、感觉和行为模式。人们往往认为性格是固定不变的,但心理学家表示事实并非如此。来自伊利诺伊大学香槟分校的心理学家布伦特·罗伯茨说:“性格一种发展的现象。它不是你无法改变或摆脱的静态事物。”

 

But in the short term, change can be nearly imperceptible. Longitudinal studies, in which researchers survey the personalities of participants regularly over many years, suggest that our personality is actually stable on shorter time scales.


但从短期来看,性格的改变几乎是察觉不到的。在多年的纵向研究中,研究人员对参与者的性格进行了定期调查。结果显示,人的性格在较短时间内确实是稳定的。

 

Earlier temperament seems to affect later life experience. For example, one 1995 study published in the journal Child Development followed children from the age of 3 until the age of 18. The researchers found, for instance, that children who were shyer and more withdrawn tended to grow into unhappier teenagers.


早年的性情似乎会对以后的生活经历造成影响。举例来说,1995年一项发表在《儿童发展》期刊上的研究对3-18岁的儿童进行了跟踪调查。研究人员发现,比较害羞内向的孩子到了青少年时期通常更不快乐。

 

But those decades add up. Throughout all those years, our personality is changing, but slowly, Roberts said. "It's something that's subtle," he added. You don't notice it on that five-to-10-year time scale, but in the long term, it becomes pronounced. In 1960, psychologists surveyed over 440,000 high school students. The students answered questions about everything from how they reacted to emotional situations to how efficiently they got work done. Fifty years later, researchers tracked down 1,952 of these former students and gave them the same survey. The results, published in 2018 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that in their 60s, participants scored much higher than they had as teenagers on questions measuring calmness, self-confidence, leadership and social sensitivity.


但是一个又一个10年会对性格产生影响。罗伯茨称,我们的性格会随时间改变,不过这种改变的过程是缓慢的。他补充道:“这变化很微妙。”510年内你察觉不到,但是长期来看,变化很明显。1960年,心理学家对逾44万名高中生进行了调查。这些学生回答了涉及对情绪状况的反应完成工作的效率在内的各种问题。50年后,研究人员跟踪调查了1952名当年的学生,并对他们进行了同样的调查。调查结果发表于2018性格与社会心理学杂志》上。结果表明,这些年逾60岁的参与者在评估冷静、自信、领导力和社会敏感性的问卷中得分比他们青少年时的得分要高得多。

 

Again and again, longitudinal studies have found similar results. Personality tends to get "better" over time. Psychologists call it "the maturity principle." People become more extroverted, emotionally stable, agreeable and conscientious as they grow older. Over the long haul, these changes are often pronounced.


各种纵向研究一次又一次地得出了相似的结果。随着时间的流逝,人们的性格通常会“变好”。心理学家将其称之为“成熟法则”。随着年龄增长,人们变得更外向,情绪更稳定,更随和,也更有责任心。长期来看,这些改变往往很明显。

 

Some individuals might change less than others, but in general, the maturity principle applies to everyone. There's good evidence that the average self-control of a 30-year-old is higher than a 20-year-old. At the same time, people who are relatively self-controlled at 18 also tend to be relatively self-controlled at age 30.


一些人可能改变得比其他人少,但总体来看,成熟法则适用于每个人。有充分证据表明,30岁的人平均自制力高于20岁的人。与此同时,18岁时自制力相对较强的人往往到了30岁自制力也相对较强。

 

So why do our personalities change so much? Evidence suggests it's not because of dramatic life events, such as marriage, the birth of a child or loss of a loved one. Some psychologists suggest these events reinforce people’s personalities as people bring their characteristics with them to that particular situation.


那么为什么人的性格会改变这么多?证据显示,性格改变不是因为人生大事,比如结婚、孩子出生或失去所爱之人。一些心理学家指出,这些大事会强化性格,因为人们会将自己的性格带入到那个特定的情境中。

 

Instead, changing expectations placed on us — as we adjust to university, the work force, starting a family — slowly wears us in, almost like a pair of shoes, Roberts said. "Over time you are asked in many contexts across life to do things a bit differently," he said. "There's not a user manual for how to act, but there's very clear implicit norms for how we should behave in these situations. So we adapt."


罗伯茨指出,在我们适应大学、职场和成家时,外界对我们期望值的改变在慢慢地打磨我们,就像打磨一双鞋一样。他说:“随着时间的流逝,人生的许多境遇都会要求你用与以往不同的方式去做事。没有用户手册来指导你如何行动,但是有非常清楚的不成文规范告诉你在这些情况下应该如何表现。于是我们就改变自己去适应。”

 

VOCABULARY

 

1. static adj. 静态的

2. imperceptible adj. 察觉不到的

3. longitudinal adj. 纵向的

4. temperament n. 性情

5. pronounced adj. 明显的

6. reinforce v. 强化

 

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  • 来源:林晓洁 2021-03-12