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为家务争吵不休?不如花点钱拯救你的婚姻

更新时间:2018-4-20 22:12:12 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Fighting Over Chores? Spend Some Money, Save the Marriage
为家务争吵不休?不如花点钱拯救你的婚姻

Many of us are busy at work, but even at home, there is a lot of work to do. Meal preparation, cleaning, yard work, home maintenance and child care consume considerable time for the typical American.

我们很多人工作时很忙,就算回到家里,也有很多活儿要干。做饭、打扫、整理庭院、家居维护和照顾孩子都会占去普通美国人很多时间。

Much of it isn’t fun, contributing to friction in relationships and taking time away from more pleasant activities that increase happiness. Instead of bickering over who will do the vacuuming, would family life be better if we just outsourced the job?

很多活儿并不有趣,会造成夫妻矛盾,占用更令人愉快且能增加幸福感的活动时间。如果把家务活外包出去,就不必为谁来打扫房间而吵嘴了,家庭生活会因此变得更好吗?

One survey found that 25 percent of people who were divorced named “disagreements about housework” as the top reason for getting a divorce.

一项调查发现,25%的离婚人士表示,“对家务分配的分歧”是离婚的首要原因。

In a working paper that cited that survey, scholars at the Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia examined whether buying timesaving services could improve relationships. The study, which involved over 3,000 people in committed relationships across a variety of tests, revealed that those who spent more money on timesaving services were more satisfied with their relationships, in part because they spent more quality time with their partners.

在提到这项调查的论文底稿中,哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)和不列颠哥伦比亚大学(University of British Columbia)的学者们研究了购买省时服务能否改善夫妻关系。这项研究进行了多种测试,涉及3000多名认真投入伴侣关系的人结果显示,那些在可节省时间的服务上花费更多金钱的人对伴侣关系更满意,原因之一是他们可以跟伴侣度过更多开心的时光。

This is, admittedly, a first-world issue. Some don’t have the luxury of paying others to cook for them (eating at a restaurant counts here), tend to their yards or clean their homes. But sharing apps like TaskRabbit are making it easier for more people to find less expensive help for routine chores.

诚然,这是第一世界的问题。有些人没钱雇别人给自己做饭(包括在餐馆用餐)、整理庭院或打扫房间。但TaskRabbit等共享应用程序正让更多的人更容易找到更便宜的分担日常家务服务。

Perhaps this could do wonders for some relationships.

也许这会对某些夫妻关系产生奇效。

According to the working paper, timesaving purchases help protect couples from the negative impact of typical and uncontrollable relationship stressors, like unexpected pressure at work.

据那篇论文底稿称,购买省时服务有助于令伴侣不受关系中那些常见、不可控的压力的负面影响,比如工作中的意外压力。

Results like these may be unsurprising. Time-related stress — having too little time to relax — is associated with reduced feelings of well-being and increased depression. Stress doesn’t just affect our mood; it can also harm our health.

这样的结果可能并不令人惊讶。与时间有关的压力——比如,没时间放松——与幸福感的减少和抑郁的增加有关。压力不仅影响情绪,还会损害健康。

Using some of our income to buy more time for leisure can improve well-being, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Outsourcing at least a few tasks each month — about $100 to $200 worth — can increase life satisfaction.

根据发表在《美国国家科学院学报》(Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)上的一项研究,用部分收入换取更多的休闲时间可以提升幸福感。每个月至少外包几项家务活——大约花费100到200美元——可以提高生活满意度。

That finding came from surveys of over 6,000 people in the United States, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands. Among American workers, half had spent money to buy time, largely by relieving themselves of cooking, shopping and home maintenance tasks.

这项发现来自对美国、加拿大、丹麦和荷兰的6000多人的调查。有半数美国工人花钱换取时间,主要是让自己不必承担做饭、购物和家居维护等家务。

The results held even after controlling for income, so it doesn’t seem as if buying time is merely an indicator of being wealthier, which may also increase satisfaction. In fact, the researchers found a stronger relationship between satisfaction and buying time among lower-income groups.

即使在对照了收入因素后,结果依然如此,因此,购买时间似乎并不只是更富有的一个标志,它也能提升满足感。事实上,研究人员发现,在低收入人群中,满意度与购买时间之间的关系更为密切。

But just to be sure that buying time tends to cause greater life satisfaction, the researchers conducted a randomized experiment. Participants in the trial were given $40 on each of two consecutive weekends. On one of those weekends, they were randomly assigned to spend the money on something that would save them time (like going out to eat instead of cooking). On the other weekend, they could make only a material purchase that would not save time (like buying a new shirt).

但为了确定购买时间的确能提高生活满意度,研究人员进行了一项随机试验。试验参与者每周末可获得40美元,持续两个周末。在其中一个周末,他们被随机分配把钱花到一项能节省时间的服务上(比如,出去吃饭,而不是做饭)。在另一个周末,他们只能花钱购买并不能节省时间的实体商品(比如新衬衫)。

“When people spent the $40 to save time, they reported being in a more positive mood and feeling less stressed,” said Ashley Whillans, lead author of both the National Academy of Sciences study and the working paper about couples, and an assistant professor at Harvard Business School. “But it is important to note that even if spending a little to buy time increases well-being, spending a lot may not.”

“当人们把那40美元花在可节省时间的服务上时,他们报告称,他们的情绪更积极,压力也更小,”《美国国家科学院学报》上的那项研究以及关于夫妻关系的那篇论文底稿的主要作者、哈佛商学院助理教授阿什莉·惠兰斯(Ashley Whillans)说。“不过,必须指出的是,尽管花点钱购买时间能增加幸福感,花很多钱却未必如此。”

In other words, you can also overdo it. Ms. Whillans and colleagues found that spending $100 to $200 per month on timesaving services maximized satisfaction, but spending more started to reduce it.

换句话说,你也可能做得过火。惠兰斯和同事们发现,每个月在节省时间的服务上花费100到200美元能最大程度地提升满足感,而更多的支出则会导致满足感降低。

This could be because outsourcing may cause you to feel as if you can’t do anything yourself. Or perhaps it’s because of the challenges of managing others. Or maybe when you buy so many services, you’re bound to feel some aren’t done well and regret having not saved the money.

这可能是因为外包会让你觉得自己好像什么都干不了。也可能是因为它导致你在应对其他方面的支出时捉襟见肘。也可能是因为购买了这么多服务后,你肯定会觉得有些服务不够好,后悔自己没把这些钱省下来。

In a finding from other work by Ms. Whillans, outsourcing unpleasant tasks may also cause some people to feel guilty, because they’re transferring the unpleasantness to someone else.

惠兰斯的其他研究还发现,把令人不快的家务外包出去也可能会让某些人感到内疚,因为他们把这种不快转移到了别人那里。

Research on this topic may also be useful to companies. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Stanford University School of Medicine offered timesaving vouchers to doctors as rewards for certain types of work.

关于这个问题的研究对公司可能也有用。在2013至2014学术年中,斯坦福大学医学院(Stanford University School of Medicine)向医生提供省时票券,作为对某些类型的工作的奖励。

Doctors who filled in for colleagues, engaged in mentorship and served on committees earned vouchers that could be redeemed for home services (like housecleaning or laundry) or work tasks (like manuscript editing or website design). A recently published study of the program found that it increased perceptions of wellness and satisfaction, and increased productivity.

那些替同事代班、参与辅导工作、在委员会任职的医生会获得票券,用以兑换家庭服务(比如打扫房间或洗衣)或工作任务(比如手稿编辑或网站设计)。前不久发表的对该项目的研究发现,它提高了人们的身心健康感和满足感,提高了工作效率。

Stanford could have rewarded employees with cash bonuses instead of timesaving vouchers. But as Ms. Whillans’s study suggests, people may actually be happier by saving more time. In addition, employees who feel more supported by their employers perform better and quit less.

斯坦福大学本可以用现金、而非省时票券来奖励员工。但正如惠兰斯的研究表明的,实际上,节省更多的时间可能会让人更快乐。此外,觉得雇主更支持自己的员工会表现得更好,辞职的也更少。

This means that small contributions to this trade-off — saving time over money — may have benefits for employers as well as individuals. It may even save some marriages.

这意味着,这种交换(用钱换时间)的小小益处可能对雇主和个人都有好处。它也许甚至可以挽救一些婚姻。

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