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睾丸素改变了男性的思维方式

Emma Young/BPS 2017-9-28
陈明 译
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How short-term increases in testosterone change men’s thinking style
睾丸素的短期增加如何改变了男性的思维方式
Emma Young/BPS
翻译 陈明

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Competitive situations or the presence of attractive potential mates can lead to the short-term testosterone increases that were the focus of the new research

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这项新研究关注的重点是, 竞争的情景,或者有吸引力的潜在伴侣的在场时,可能会导致短期睾丸素的增加。

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The hot-headed “macho man”, who acts first and thinks later, has long been popular in movies. Now there’s psychological evidence to support it. A new study in the Psychological Science finds that a short-term rise in testosterone – as might occur when in the presence of an attractive potential mate, or during competition – shifts the way men think, encouraging them to rely on quick, intuitive, and generally less accurate, judgements, rather than engaging in careful, more deliberate thought.心理学空间 IT*`n u4H-jB

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长期以来,电影中的那些“纯爷们”备受欢迎,这些容易头脑发热的人,在作出思考之前就已经行动了。现在,心理学的证据也支持了这样的现象。发表在《心理科学》的一项新研究发现, 如果一个有吸引力的潜在配偶在场,或者是在竞争的时候,就可能会引发睾丸素的短期升高,进而改变人们的思维方式,怂恿他们依靠快速的、直观的、通常而言不是那么精确的判断行事,而不是小心地,更加深思熟虑地考虑问题。

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In the biggest investigation of the effects of testosterone on human behaviour to date, a team from Caltech, the University of Pennsylvania, Western University and the ZRT Laboratory in Oregon, recruited 243 men, mostly college students. The men rubbed a gel that they were told either contained testosterone or was a placebo over their shoulders, upper arms and chest. Four-and-a-half hours later – enough time for their testosterone levels to peak – they embarked on a series of tests (saliva samples taken from the men through the study confirmed that testosterone levels were indeed higher in the group that applied the gel that contained testosterone).心理学空间n+E)qvn%D^9N

*a_3ITC0迄今为止,在关于睾丸素对人类行为影响的最大调查中,来自加州理工学院、宾夕法尼亚大学、西安大略大学和俄勒冈ZRT实验室(美国最专业的荷尔蒙检测实验室)的一个团队,招募了243人,他们大部分都是大学生。这些男人都擦了一种凝胶,他们被告知这些擦在肩膀、上臂或胸部的凝胶要么含有睾丸素,要么是安慰剂。四个半小时之后——足以让睾丸素的吸收达到峰值水平的时间——让他们进行一系列试验(从这些人唾液中提取的样本证实,在含有睾丸素凝胶小组男性的睾丸素水平确实更高)。心理学空间5{!D+Tt ?N{_P

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The most critical test, in terms of the study aims, was the three-item Cognitive Reflection Test, which evaluates a person’s ability to override quick and intuitive, but likely incorrect, judgements through deliberate, careful thought. The volunteers were told that they’d be paid $1 for each correct answer, with a bonus of $2 for three correct answers, and they could take as long as they liked.

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*WZ U:d;^2@^0研究针对的最重要的测试目标是三项认知反射测试,这些测试用于评估一个人通过深思熟虑和仔细思考来推翻快速直观而又不可能是正确判断的能力。志愿者被告知,他们每做对一道题会得到1美元,做对3道题会获得2美元的奖金,而且答题时间不受限制。

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D\dq w`1{/FuWf0An example from the test: A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?心理学空间L1V#?;Y$m4Cik }gV

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测试中的一个例子是:垒球棒和垒球总计1.10美元。垒球棒比垒球贵1.00美元。那么,垒球多少钱?心理学空间&nBQ*u5e;Aq!{

!l1n'].h(V{R'Z@0Earlier work has found that, when presented with this question, most people go with their first thought, and answer, incorrectly, 10 cents – even though it is straightforward to check the answer, which would show that 10 cents is wrong. With a little deliberation, it’s not too difficult for most people to work out the right answer*.

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之前的研究已经发现,在提出这个问题后,大多数人都会用他们的第一个想法做答,错误地回答为10美分,尽管正确的答案很简单,但是10美分是错误的。对大多数人来说, 稍微考虑之后,作出正确答案并不困难。心理学空间(F:?JA }i

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The researchers found that the men who’d received testosterone performed significantly worse on this test. Overall, they came up with 20 per cent fewer correct answers than the men who’d received the placebo. What’s more, when volunteers who’d received testosterone gave correct answers, they tended to do this more slowly than the volunteers who’d got the placebo. While the team didn’t measure individual volunteers’ testosterone levels, based on previous work on the dose used (100 mg of topical 1 per cent testosterone), they were probably at around the level that young men experience during real-world competition, the researchers say.心理学空间X2A:\I1|7f

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研究人员发现,接受睾丸素的男性在这项测试中的表现明显较差。总的来说,他们的正确答案比例与安慰剂组少了将近20%。而且,当接受睾丸素的志愿者给出了正确的答案时,他们的答题速度往往比那些接受安慰剂的志愿者更慢。研究人员说,虽然研究小组没有对志愿者的睾丸素水平进行测量,但基于先前对剂量的研究(外用的100毫克1%睾丸素),这些剂量接近于年轻人在真实世界竞争中的睾丸素增加水平。心理学空间'AX#eVIP

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The tasks also included an arithmetic test, and those who’d got the testosterone did as well as the others. The researchers take this to show that it was the men’s ability to reflect on their first impulses that was affected by the testosterone dose, rather than their level of engagement in the study, their motivation or their arithmetic skills.心理学空间k#NQ7dT#x#H%Y{

*H*|3|B7C M/V0测试任务还包括了算术测试,在算术测试中,接受睾丸素的人和其他人一样好。研究者们认为,这是因为男性有能力反思他们的第一个冲动,而这些冲动受睾丸素剂量的影响,而不是受他们在研究中的参与程度、动机或算术能力的影响。

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^"y B,a;|/E:Zs8L0“Our results demonstrate a clear and robust causal effect of testosterone on human cognition and decision making,” the researchers write. “The influence of testosterone on the Cognitive Reflection Test, alongside its lack of effect on the arithmetic control task, suggests that testosterone decreases … the probability of engaging in slow and effortful cognitive processes but keeps the capacity to perform them intact.”

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#p }&G-f%y#o\5Y0研究人员写道:“我们的研究结果显示了睾丸素对人类认知和决策明显的和强有力的因果效应。……睾丸素除了对算术控制任务缺乏影响,除此之外,对认知反射测试的影响显示出,在从事缓慢但不断付出努力的认知过程中又要保持执行正确能力时,睾丸素的水平是下降的”。心理学空间6oSs3DW@

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The context will determine whether this is bad news or not. Rapid intuitive responses could be beneficial for increasing the chance of having sex or succeeding at a physical challenge, the researchers observe. But they could be detrimental in the workplace – or an exam room. Is this an argument, then, for gender separation in classrooms?心理学空间j2n:]'[ Ssb

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具体的情景决定了这是好消息还是坏消息。研究人员观察到,快速直观的反应可能有助于增加性生活的机会或者身体竞技挑战成功的机会。但是,这在工作场所或考场上是有害的。 那么,是否将男女学生分成不同的班级?就是一个有争论的问题了。

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7O-yi'Q/_0The volunteers were all male, so the study tells us nothing about the effects of testosterone on thinking in women (who also produce the hormone, but at lower levels). And the study doesn’t identify what might mediate the greater reliance on intuitive decision-making with raised testosterone – over-confidence, perhaps?心理学空间0_ P^ J bV,tA

#roF0kE$l&pL0这项实验的志愿者都是男性,所以,这项研究并没有告诉我们睾丸素对女性思维的影响(她们也产生荷尔蒙,但水平较低)。这项研究并没有发现什么可以调节睾酮素引起的更大直觉决策依赖——也许是过于自信了吧?

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 “Western society has been experiencing an exogenous testosterone ‘shock’ over the past decade from a rapidly growing testosterone-replacement-therapy industry,” the researchers write, in a final note. “The possibility that this widely prescribed treatment has unknown deleterious influences on specific aspects of decision making should be investigated further and taken into account by users, physicians and policymakers.”心理学空间!~,l"aQ:d4M

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男性睾丸素的水平随着年龄的增长而逐渐下降,一些老年男性使用睾丸素凝胶补充剂,剂量通常与本研究相等,或者注射等量的激素。“在过去十年中,西方社会一直在经历一种来自睾丸素快速替代疗法行业的外源性睾丸素冲击。”研究人员在最后的一篇文章中写道,“很可能这种广泛性的处方治疗对特定的认知决策有着未知的有害影响,应当进一步对这种影响进行调查,并且要考虑到用户、医生和决策者。”心理学空间d`Yf'VJr

P[;J?7Cd0More work is now needed to explore the effects of testosterone supplements in older men (whose levels are lower to start with), as well as to better understand how testosterone levels fluctuate naturally in day to day life – and so the likely effects on cognition.

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lO.W ]dG0现在需要做更多的工作来探索睾丸素补充剂对老年男性(其水平较低)的影响,以及更好地了解睾丸素在日常生活中自然波动的情况——以及可能对认知产生的影响。心理学空间 H1r%o"qs fMM,d!V


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