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做了坏事儿就忘记的叫做不道德健忘症
寰宇雅思  2016/5/24 21:28:56

‘Unethical Amnesia’ Explains Why People Conveniently Forget Their Awful Behavior
“不道德的健忘症”解释了为什么人们很快地忘记他们可怕的行为

 

 

It feels bad to be reminded of unsavory actions — accidentally insulting a colleague, forgetting your sibling’s birthday, acting a fool at your best friend’s wedding. So you conveniently forget about it.
想起那些让人讨厌的行为的感觉很糟糕-不小心侮辱了同事,忘记自己兄弟姐妹的生日,又或者在朋友的婚礼上像个傻瓜一样。所以你很快就忘记了这些。

 

 

According to a new study, there’s a name for that:unethical amnesia.
一项新的研究将这种行为命名为 “不道德的健忘症” 。

As author Maryam tells Science of Us, she and her co-author Francesca Gino wanted to examine why people repeatedly do bad things. What the organizational psychologists, of Northwestern University and Harvard Business School, respectively, found is that recalling unsavory actions causes “psychological discomfort,” so people have fuzzier memories of the bad things they’ve done. It has to do with the concept of self: Evidently, it’s natural to discard evidence that you’re not an ethically pure person.
作者玛利亚姆告诉我们说,她和她的合著者法兰西丝卡.吉诺想调查清楚为什么人们重复得做糟糕的事情。西北大学和哈佛商学院的工业组织心理学家分别发现回忆那些令人讨厌的行为会引起心理上的不适,因此人们对于他们所做的那些糟糕的事情的记忆比较模糊。这与自我观念有关:显而易见,抛弃那些证明你不是一个道德纯粹的人的证据会很自然。

To ferret out this cognitive mechanism, the researchers did nine experiments with a total of 2,100 participants.
为了确认这一认知机制,研究者们在2100个参与者中做了9个试验。

In two of those experiments, participants were asked to write about ethical or unethical actions from their personal histories. Fitting the hypothesis, unsavory memories were less vivid than the positive ones. And, intriguingly enough, memories of others’ actions didn’t differ in clarity depending on whether they were good or bad.
在其中的两个试验中,参与者们要求根据自己的过去写下一些道德或者不道德的行为。符合预期的设想,对于不道德的行为的记忆比道德行为的记忆要模糊很多。而且更加有趣的是,关于其他事情,无论好坏,记忆的清晰度都没太大差别。

In another study, participants completed a coin-toss task where they could lie to get more money. Two weeks later, the researchers measured their memory of playing the game and other episodes from that time, like eating dinner. Similarly, the people who cheated in the coin tossing had worse recall than the people who didn’t.
在另一个研究里,参与试验的人通过投掷硬币来完成一个可以用说谎来赚钱的任务。两周后,研究者测试了他们对此次任务的记忆以及期间的其他事情,比如说吃完饭之类的。同样的,在投掷硬币中撒了谎的人的记忆比那些没撒谎的人的记忆差很多。

But it’s not just from direct experience. In another experiment, participants were asked to read a story about cheating or not cheating on an exam, from either a first-person or third-person perspective. Again, the participants who read the story about cheating from the first-person perspective had worse recall, and the third-person readers had no difference.
但是,这不是直接的经验。在另外一个试验中,参与者要求以第一人称或者第三人称的视角读一篇关于考试作弊和未作弊的故事。再次,以第一人称视角阅读考试作弊的参与者的人的记忆很差,而以第三人称阅读的参与者的记忆则没有太大的差别。

As an assistant professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg Business School, explains, the amnesia has a protective quality. We hold ourselves to be moral agents in the world, so evidence of wrongdoing creates all sorts of dissonance between our ideas about ourselves and our actual behavior. The unethical amnesia acts like an “adaptive defensive behavior,” helping our egos sidestep unpleasant truths.
西北大学凯洛格商学院的副教授解释道,健忘症有一种保护的特质。在这个世界上,我们一直持道德标准自居,因此那些糟糕行为的证据会在我们的思想和实际行为之间产生不和谐。不道德的健忘症就像是自我适应的防卫行为一样,帮助自我避讳不愉快的真相。
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