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拜金颜控闪开,真爱还是要靠日久生情

更新时间:2015-7-26 10:36:30 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

For Couples, Time Can Upend the Laws of Attraction
拜金颜控闪开,真爱还是要靠日久生情

After decades of studying the concept of “mate value,” social scientists finally have the data necessary to explain the romantic choices in “Knocked Up” and “Pride and Prejudice.”

对“伴侣值”这一概念研究了数十年之后,社会科学家们终于获取了一些必要的数据,得以解释《好孕临门》(Knocked Up)和《傲慢与偏见》(Pride and Prejudice)当中的爱情选择。

The flabby, unkempt Seth Rogen is no one’s dream date, especially when he’s playing the unemployed guy in “Knocked Up” who spends his days smoking pot and ogling naked celebrities. He has none of the obvious qualities that make a mate valuable: good looks, money, social status.

那位又胖又邋遢的塞思·罗根(Seth Rogen)肯定不会是谁的梦中情人,更何况他在《好孕临门》中扮演的是一名失业者,整天都沉溺于抽大麻和浏览明星裸照。他没有任何优质伴侣所应具备的明显特质:帅气,多金,有地位。

Yet somehow this slacker eventually winds up with a successful television journalist, played by the gorgeous Katherine Heigl. You could dismiss this as a pathetically absurd fantasy by male screenwriters, but the film is plausible enough to audiences to have grossed over $200 million.

然而这个懒汉竟然莫名其妙地圈住了一位事业有成的电视记者,其扮演者是美丽动人的凯瑟琳·海格尔(Katherine Heigl)。你可能会不以为意,觉得这是一些男编剧可怜兮兮的荒诞幻想,但在观众看来这部电影似乎合情合理,因此赚了2亿美元(约合人民币12亿元)的票房收入。

The schlub-gets-babe is a reliable formula at the box office — Adam Sandler has made a career of it. And the mismatched couple isn’t just a male dream.

“傻人有傻福”的故事情节一直是有票房保证的电影公式——亚当·桑德勒(Adam Sandler)由此开创了自己的事业。然而,将错就错的伴侣并不只是男性才有的梦想。

There are hundreds of romance novels in a category that some have named “Plain Jane and Hot Stud,” a theme that was equally popular when Jane Austen wrote “Pride and Prejudice.” Tall and good-looking, endowed with a “noble mien,” Mr. Darcy initially denigrates Elizabeth Bennet’s appearance: “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me.” He notes “more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form.”

有无数的爱情小说都可以被归类为“灰姑娘与王子”,这样的主题在简·奥斯汀写《傲慢与偏见》的时候同样流行。那位高大帅气、风度翩翩的达西先生最初对伊丽莎白·班内特(Elizabeth Bennet)的外表多有轻慢之词:“她长得不算难看,但还没有漂亮到足以吸引我。”他还提到“她的形体不止一处有失完美的对称”。

Even worse for the rich Mr. Darcy, her family’s social status is “so decidedly beneath my own.”

对于这位富有的达西先生而言,更糟糕的是,她的家庭所处的社会地位“远在我之下”。

His initial reactions make perfect sense to evolutionary psychologists, because these preferences can improve the odds of passing on one’s genes. Beauty and physical symmetry are markers of a mate’s health and genetic fitness; status and wealth make it more likely that children will survive to adulthood.

他最初的这些反应在进化心理学家看来是完全合理的,因为这样的选择倾向可以提高一个人基因传递的几率。容貌美丽与形体对称证明了伴侣的身体健康与基因完好;而地位与财富会让孩子们更有可能生存下来,长大成人。

It seems logical for people with high mate value to insist on comparable partners, and there’s some evidence that they do. By observing singles pursuing one another at online dating sites and in speed-dating experiments, researchers have found that people tend to end up with those of similar mate value.

所以伴侣值高的人坚持要找一个对等的伴侣似乎是理所当然的,而且有证据表明他们也的确在这样做。通过在婚恋网站与速配实验中观察人们追求彼此的行为,研究者们已经发现,人们往往会跟与他们有相似伴侣值的人结合。

That pattern also occurs in married couples: Attractive, well-educated, high-earning people tend to marry people like themselves. In fact, economists say that this growing trend of “assortative mating” is a major cause of income inequality, because a household with two high earners makes so much more money than a household with two low earners (or only one earner).

在已婚夫妇之间,这样的模式也存在:那些高颜值、高学历、高收入的人倾向于和他们的同类结婚。但实际上,经济学家们说,这种日益增长的“般配”趋势是导致人们收入不平等的一个主要原因,因为两个高收入者的家庭比两个低收入者(或仅有一个收入者)的家庭赚的钱要多得多。

But just how ruthlessly superficial are people in assessing the value of potential mates? To investigate, psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin asked students to rate the romantic appeal of their opposite-sex classmates.

但人们在评估其潜在伴侣价值的过程中,究竟冷血无情地肤浅到了什么程度呢?为了进行调查,德州大学奥斯汀分校(University of Texas at Austin)的心理学家们要求学生们给自己的异性同学评出恋爱吸引力等级。

At the start of the semester, the students pretty much agreed on who in their class was most desirable. But when they were asked again three months later, after spending a semester in a small class together, their judgments varied widely on who was hot and who was not.

在学期刚开始的时候,学生们对谁是班上最有吸引力的人意见基本一致。但是三个月之后,大家已经在小班共处了一个学期,这时候如果再问同样的问题,他们对于谁性感谁不性感所做的判断就大不相同了。

“Perceptions of mate value change the more time that people spend together,” said Lucy Hunt, a graduate student who published the study last year with Paul Eastwick, an assistant professor of human development and family sciences.

去年,研究生露西·亨特(Lucy Hunt)和人类发展与家庭科学专业的一位助理教授保罗·伊斯特威克(Paul Eastwick)共同发表了这项研究,她说,“人们对伴侣值的看法会随着相处时间变长而发生改变。”

“Sometimes you get that Seth Rogen happy story, where an unattractive person comes to seem more attractive to one person in particular,” Ms. Hunt said. “But the opposite is just as likely to happen, too. Someone can become less attractive.”

“有时候你会遇上塞思·罗根那样的开心故事,在这个故事里,一个毫无魅力的人逐渐在另一个人的眼里变得更有魅力了,”亨特说。“但相反的情形也会发生。有的人也会变得不那么有魅力了。”

These changes in attitudes, Dr. Eastwick noted, should mean that there are fewer losers in the mating game, because everyone isn’t vying for the same Mr. or Ms. Right. “As the consensus about who is attractive declines, competition should decline, because the person I think is especially desirable might not be the person you think is especially desirable,” he said.

伊斯特威克博士指出,这些变化应该意味着在这场配对游戏中,不会有太多的失败者,因为每个人争取的并不是同一个理想对象。“随着人们对个人魅力的共识逐步降低,爱情当中的竞争应该也在降低,因为我觉得特别喜欢的人,可能并不是你觉得特别喜欢的人,”他说。

To test this effect, the Texas researchers joined with Eli Finkel, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, in a study of couples that was published online this month in Psychological Science.

为了验证这个效果,这些得州大学的研究者们联合了西北大学的一名心理学教授艾丽·芬克尔(Eli Finkel),他们对情侣所进行的研究已于本月刊登在《心理科学》(Psychological Science)杂志上。

Some of the couples had been married for five decades; others had been dating for just a few months. Some had known one another for a while before starting a romantic relationship; others had started dating as soon as they met. After being videotaped talking about their relationships, all were rated for physical attractiveness by a group of judges who viewed each partner separately.

他们研究的这些情侣有的已结婚五十年;有的才刚刚开始约会几个月。有些人彼此认识了一段时间之后才开始建立恋爱关系;有些人一邂逅就开始恋爱了。在录制了他们谈论彼此关系的视频之后,所有人都由一组裁判来评出其外在吸引力的等级,这群裁判分别看过每一位伴侣。

When the ratings for partners were compared, there was a clear pattern based on how long the people had known one another before they had begun dating.

比较一下这些伴侣的评分,可以看到一个清晰的模式,该模式基于人们在开始约会之前彼此认识的时间有多长。

If they’d begun going out within a month of meeting, then they tended to be equally attractive physically. But if they’d been acquaintances for a long time, or if they’d been friends before becoming lovers, then someone hot was more liable to end up with someone not so hot.

如果他们认识还不到一个月就开始约会了,那他们往往有同等的外在魅力。但如果他们相识了很长时间,或者变成情侣之前曾经是朋友,那么性感的一方更有可能与不那么性感的一方结合。

This gradual change in feelings seems to occur quite often, said the anthropologist Helen Fisher of the Kinsey Institute, who works with Match.com on its annual survey of a representative sample of single adults in America.

这种情感上的潜移默化似乎常常发生,金赛研究所(Kinsey Institute)的人类学家海伦·费舍尔(Helen Fisher)说,她通过与Match.com网站的合作,每年对美国的单身成年人进行抽样调查。

In the 2012 survey, people were asked a version of the famous question in Christopher Marlowe’s 16th-century poem: “Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?”

在2012年的调查中,他们换了个问法让人们回答克里斯托弗·马洛(Christopher Marlowe)曾经在其十六世纪的诗歌中提出的那个著名的问题:“有谁爱过,而不是一见钟情?”

A great many, it turns out. In the survey, 33 percent of men and 43 percent of women answered yes when asked if they had ever fallen in love with someone they did not initially find attractive. Dr. Fisher terms this process “slow love,” and says it is becoming more common as people take longer to marry.

事实证明,有许多人。在这项调查中,当人们被问到他们是否爱过自己最初觉得不太有吸引力的人时,有33%的男性和43%的女性回答“爱过”。费舍尔博士定义这个过程为“日久生情”,还说随着人们婚前相处的时间越来越长,这种现象也越来越普遍。

“Everyone is terrified that online dating is reducing mate value to just a few superficial things like beauty — whether you swipe left or right on Tinder,” she said in an interview. “But that’s just the start of the process. Once you meet someone and get to know them, their mate value keeps changing.”

“但人们感到害怕的是,在线婚恋正在把伴侣值缩减为区区几个肤浅的因素,比如美貌——无论你在Tinder上是往左刷还是往右刷,”她在一次访谈中说。“但那只是恋爱过程的开始。一旦你认识了其他人,并开始了解他们,他们的伴侣值就会不断变化。”

When the survey respondents were asked what had changed their feelings, the chief reasons they gave were “great conversations,” “common interests,” and “came to appreciate his/her sense of humor.” All of those factors contribute to Mr. Darcy’s change of heart in “Pride and Prejudice.”

当这些参与调查的人被问到是什么原因让他们的感情发生了变化,他们给出的首要原因分别是“畅快的交流”、“共同的兴趣”和“逐渐欣赏他/她的幽默感”。所有这些因素对达西先生在《傲慢与偏见》中的回心转意都功不可没。

As he converses with Elizabeth and enjoys her playful wit, she even starts to look different: “But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she hardly had a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes.” He eventually proclaims her “one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance.”

随着他开始与伊丽莎白交谈,并开始欣赏她的机智与幽默,她甚至看起来都不一样了:“他刚刚对自己和朋友们澄清她长得并不美丽之后,就开始发现她那双深黑色的眼睛里闪现的动人眼神,给她的容貌赋予了一种不凡的智慧。”他最终赞赏她是“我认识的女人当中最有气质的一位”。

Of course, those beautiful eyes can’t change her lowly social status, so Mr. Darcy keeps struggling to resist her. He reminds himself of her family’s “inferiority” and of the “degradation” he would endure in a marriage. But then he gives up and revises his mate value calculations yet again.

当然,那双美丽的眼睛无法改变她低下的社会地位,所以达西先生一直都在努力抗拒着她。他提醒自己她出身“卑微”,提醒自己会在婚姻中“没落”。但后来他还是放弃了挣扎,再次修正了自己的伴侣值计算结果。

“In vain I have struggled,” he tells Elizabeth. “It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

“我在白费力气,”他对伊丽莎白说。“这不起作用。我的感情无法被压抑。所以你必须知道,我有多么仰慕你,多么深爱你。”

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