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特朗普像个4岁小孩?这对孩子不公平

更新时间:2017-5-22 18:34:12 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

4-Year-Olds Don’t Act Like Trump
特朗普像个4岁小孩?这对孩子不公平

The analogy is pervasive among his critics: Donald Trump is like a child. Making him the president was like making a 4-year-old the leader of the free world.

他的批评者普遍使用这种类比:唐纳德·特朗普就像一个小孩。让他做总统就好像让一个四岁的小孩当自由世界的领导人。

But the analogy is profoundly wrong, and it’s unfair to children. The scientific developmental research of the past 30 years shows that Mr. Trump is utterly unlike a 4-year-old.

但这个类比是极其错误的,因为它对小孩不公平。依据过去30年的科学发展研究看,特朗普完全不像一个四岁的孩子。

Four-year-olds care deeply about the truth. They constantly try to seek out information and to figure out how the world works. Of course, 4-year-olds, as well as adults, occasionally lie. But Mr. Trump doesn’t just lie; he seems not even to care whether his statements are true.

四岁的孩子极其关心事实。他们会不停努力寻求信息,以便搞清楚这个世界是如何运转的。当然,就像大人一样,四岁的孩子偶尔也会撒谎。但特朗普不止是撒谎;他似乎压根不在乎自己的话是不是真的。

Four-year-olds are insatiably curious. One study found that the average preschooler asks hundreds of questions per day. Just watch a toddler “getting into everything” — endangering his own safety to investigate interesting new objects like knives and toasters. Mr. Trump refuses to read and is bored by anything that doesn’t involve him personally.

四岁的孩子有无穷的好奇心。一项研究发现,每个学龄前儿童平均每天会问数百个问题。只要看看一个幼童如何“深入一切”就知道了——不顾自己的安危,用心研究刀和烤面包片机等有趣的新东西。特朗普拒绝阅读,对任何不涉及他本人的事物都感到厌倦。

Four-year-olds can pay attention. They do have difficulty changing the focus of their attention in response to arbitrary commands. But recent studies show that even babies systematically direct their focus to the events and objects that will teach them the most. They pay special attention to events that contradict what they already believe. Mr. Trump refuses to pay attention to anything that clashes with his preconceptions.

四岁的孩子可以集中注意力。他们的确比较难按照专横的命令去改变自己关注的焦点。但最近的研究显示,哪怕是婴儿也能有计划有步骤地将注意力直接转移到可以让他们学到最多东西的事件或物体上。他们尤其关注与自己已有的认知相悖的事物。特朗普则拒绝关注任何与他的先见相冲突的事物。

Four-year-olds understand the difference between fantasy and reality. They certainly enjoy pretend play, imagining that the world is full of villains and that they are all-powerful heroes. But studies show that they know they are pretending and understand that their imaginary companions are just that: imaginary. Mr. Trump seems to have no sense of the boundary between his self-aggrandizing fantasies and reality.

四岁的孩子明白幻想与现实的差别。他们显然喜欢玩假装游戏,想象这个世界充满了坏蛋,而他们是全能的英雄。但研究显示,他们知道自己在扮演,也明白他们假象的同伴只是虚构的。而特朗普似乎搞不清他自我吹嘘的幻想与现实的边界。

Four-year-olds have a “theory of mind,” an understanding of their own minds and those of others. In my lab we have found that 4-year-olds recognize that their own past beliefs might have been wrong. Mr. Trump contradicts himself without hesitation and doesn’t seem to recognize any conflict between his past and present beliefs.

四岁的孩子有一种“心灵理论”,即对自己和他人的想法有所了解。我们在实验室里发现,四岁的孩子能认识到自己过去的想法有可能是错误的。特朗普则毫不犹豫地自相矛盾,似乎意识不到自己过去和现在的想法存在冲突。

Four-year-olds, contrary to popular belief, are not egocentric or self-centered. They understand and care about how other people feel and think, and recognize that other people can feel and think differently from them. In my lab, which studies the cognitive development of children, we have found that even 1½-year-olds can understand that someone else might want something different from what they want. They understand that someone else might like broccoli, even though they themselves prefer crackers, and they will help that person get what he wants.

与大家普遍的观念相反,四岁的孩子并非以自我为中心或利己的。他们明白并在意其他人的感觉和想法,也意识到其他人的感觉和想法有可能与自己的不同。在我领导的研究儿童认知能力发展的实验室里,我们发现哪怕是一岁半的幼儿也能明白其他人可能跟自己的想法不一样。尽管自己更偏好薄脆饼干,但他们明白其他人或许喜欢西兰花,而且会帮那个人达成所愿。

In fact, children as young as 1½ demonstrate both empathy and altruism: They will rush to comfort someone who is hurt, and they will spontaneously go out of their way to help someone. In one study, if 1-year-olds saw a stranger drop a pen and strain to reach for it, they would crawl over obstacles to find the pen and give it to him. Mr. Trump displays neither empathy nor altruism, and his egocentrism is staggering.

事实上,只有一岁半的孩子也会同时展示出同理心与利他的品质:他们会急着去安慰受伤的人,会自发地想尽办法帮助别人。在一项研究中,如果一岁的孩子看到一个陌生人掉了一支笔,便会竭力伸手去够,他们会爬过障碍物,找到那支笔,交还给他。特朗普则既没有表现出同理心,也没有利他的品质,他自我中心到令人难以置信的程度。

Four-year-olds have a strong moral sense. Children as young as 2½ say that hurting another child is always wrong, even if an authority figure were to say otherwise. Babies will avoid a puppet that has been mean to another puppet. Mr. Trump admires authoritarian leaders who have no compunctions about harming their own people.

四岁的孩子有很强的道德感。只有两岁半的孩子也会说伤害其他孩子永远是不对的,哪怕有一个权威人物会讲相反的话。婴儿会避开对另一个玩偶不友好的玩偶。特朗普却欣赏对伤害自己的民众丝毫不感觉内疚的独裁领导人。

Four-year-olds are sensitive to social norms and think that they and other people should obey them. In one recent study, seeing a puppet play a game involving particular rules led children to follow the rules themselves and to expect other people to do so. Even 2- and 3-year-olds protested when they saw someone break the rules. Mr. Trump has time and again shown his contempt for norms of behavior in every community he has belonged to.

四岁的孩子对社会准则十分敏感,认为自己和其他人都应遵守这些规则。在最近的一项研究中,孩子们看一个玩偶展示了一个涉及某些规则的游戏后,便开始遵守这些规则,并期待其他人也这么做。即便是两三岁的孩子,在看到有人违反这些规则时,也会表示抗议。特朗普却一次次地显示出,他对自己所属的各个社区的行为准则不屑一顾。

Now, all this is not to say that a 4-year-old would make a good chief executive. Being president is certainly a grown-up job. Still, most adults, even most presidents, and certainly the best presidents, manage to retain some of their childlike traits — curiosity, openness to experience, intuitive sensitivity to others.

然后,所有这些并不是说四岁的孩子就能做一个不错的总统。当总统显然是一项成人的工作。但大多数成年人——甚至大多数总统,而且明显是最优秀的那些——都保留了一些孩子般的特征,那就是好奇心、对新体验的开放心态,以及对他人直觉性的敏感。

We’d all be better off if Mr. Trump were more like that.

如果特朗普能更接近这些特征倒也好了。

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