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2009年考研英语时文阅读及翻译之孩子与音乐

黄涛   2008-11-25 11:06 【 】【我要纠错
孩子与音乐
英语的消亡
   

  The phrase Mozart Effect conjures an image of a pregnant woman who, putting headphones conspicuously over her belly, is convinced that playing classical music to her unborn child will improve the kids' intelligence. But is there science to back up this idea, which has brought about a cottage industry of books, CDs and videos?

  A short paper published in Nature in 1993 unwittingly introduced the supposed Mozart effect to the masses. Psychologist Frances Rauscher's study involved 36 college kids who listened to either 10 minutes of a Mozart sonata, a relaxation track or silence before performing several spatial reasoning tasks. In one test——determining what a paper folded several times over and then cut might look like when unfolded——students who listened to Mozart seemed to show significant improvement in their performance (by about eight to nine spatial IQ points).

  In addition to a flood of commercial products in the wake of the finding, in 1998 then——Georgia governor Zell Miller mandated that mothers of newborns in the state be given classical music CDs. And in Florida, day care centers were required to broadcast symphonies through their sound systems.

  Earlier this year, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany published a second review study from a cross-disciplinary team of musically inclined scientists who declared the phenomenon nonexistent. I would simply say that there is no compelling evidence that children who listen to classical music are going to have any improvement in cognitive abilities, adds Rauscher, now an associate professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. It's really a myth, in my humble opinion.

  Rather than passively listening to music, Rauscher advocates putting an instrument into the hands of a youngster to raise intelligence. She cites a 1997 University of California, Los Angels, study that found that, among 25,000 students, those who had spent time involved in a musical pursuit tested higher on SATs and reading proficiency exams than those with no instruction in music.

  Despite its rejection by the scientific community, companies like Baby Genius continue to peddle classical music to parents of children who can supposedly listen their way to greater smarts.

  Chabris says the real danger isn't in this questionable marketing, but in parents shirking roles they are evolutionarily meant to serve. It takes away from other kinds of interaction that might be beneficial for children, such as playing with them and keeping them engaged via social activity. That is the key to a truly intelligent child, not the symphonies of a long-dead Austrian composer.——《Times》

  “莫扎特效应”这个词让人想到这样的画面:一位孕妇把耳机显眼地放在肚子上,深信给未出世的孩子播放古典音乐会提高宝宝的智力。这个观点催生了一大批粗制滥造的书籍、CD和视频节目,但它是否有科学依据呢?

  1993年发表于《自然》杂志的一篇简短的论文无意中把所谓的莫扎特效应介绍给了大众。心理学家费朗西丝劳舍尔的这项研究是让36名大学生在10分钟内,或听一段令人放松的莫扎特奏鸣曲,或呆在静默环境里,之后再去完成几道空间推理作业题。在一项测试中——判断一张折叠多次再剪过的纸张在展开时会变成什么样子——听过莫扎特音乐学生的成绩似乎有显著提高(空间IQ得分提高了8到9分)。

  这一研究成果不仅带来了大量的相关产品,1998年,当时的佐治亚州州长Zell Miller还下令给本州的新生儿妈妈派发古音乐CD,而佛里里达州则要求托儿所利用它们的音响系统播放交响乐。

  今年早些时候,德国联邦教育与研究部发表了一份由懂音乐的科学家组成的跨学科小组完成的复审报告,声明这样的观点并不存在。“我只想说,没有令人信服的证据证明听古典音乐的孩子在认知能力方面会有什么提高,”现任威斯康星大学奥什科什分校心理学副教授的劳舍尔补充说,“依拙见,这纯属虚构。”

  劳舍尔主张让孩子亲手演奏乐器来提高智力,而不是被动地听音乐。她引用了1997年在洛杉矶的加州大学进行的一项研究来作为例证。该研究发现,在2万5千名学生中,与没有学习过演奏乐器的学生相比,那些付出时间学习演奏一种乐器的人在学业能力倾向测试和阅读能力测试中取得了更好的成绩。

  尽管受到科学界的否定,像“神童”这样的公司仍继续向家长们兜售古典乐,宣称孩子听了古典音乐就能增长聪明才智。

  查伯里斯说,真正的危险不在于这种令人置疑的营销活动,而在于父母亲逃避天职。“这贬低了对孩子可能有利的其它互动形式,”如陪孩子一起玩耍和让他们参与社交活动。对一个真正聪明的孩子来说,这才是关键,而不是一位早已作古的奥地利作曲家的交响乐。——《时代》

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