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爱美很正常,但也很狭隘!

发布者: 五毒 | 发布时间: 2022-5-11 07:30| 查看数: 114| 评论数: 0|



It's 1878. Sir Francis Galton gives a remarkable talk. He's speaking to the anthropologic institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Known for his pioneering work in human intelligence, Galton is a brilliant polymath. He's an explorer, an anthropologist, a sociologist, a psychologist and a statistician. He's also a eugenist.

那是在1878年,弗朗西斯·盖尔顿先生在英国和爱尔兰皇家人类学研究所做了一个震惊四座的演讲。他因在人类智慧方面的开创性工作而闻名,盖尔顿是一个杰出的博学家。他是个开拓者,人类学家,社会学家,心理学家和统计学家。同时他也是一位优生学家。

In this talk, he presents a new technique by which he can combine photographs and produce composite portraits. This technique could be used to characterize different types of people.Galton thinks that if he combines photographs of violent criminals, he will discover the face of criminality. But to his surprise, the composite portrait that he produces is beautiful.

在这个演讲当中,他展示了一个可以结合照片来生成组合肖像的新技术。这项技术可以被用来区分不同人种。盖尔顿认为,如果让他对凶犯的照片进行组合,他就会揭开犯罪的真面目。但令他吃惊的是,组合出来的肖像面容十分俊朗。

Galton's surprising finding raises deep questions: What is beauty? Why do certain configurations of line and color and form excite us so? For most of human history, these questions have been approached using logic and speculation. But in the last few decades, scientists have addressed the question of beauty using ideas from evolutionary psychology and tools of neuroscience.

盖尔顿惊人的发现产生了一个令人回味的问题:什么是美?为什么一些独特线条,颜色和形状的组合激发了我们的兴趣?在茫茫的人类历史中,人们尝试着用逻辑和猜测来解答这些问题。但在过去的几十年里,科学家们利用进化心理学和神经科学作为工具,解答了“美”的问题。

We're beginning to glimpse the why and the how of beauty, at least in terms of what it means for the human face and form. And in the process, we're stumbling upon some surprises.

我们开始窥探美丽背后的原因,至少是在人类的脸部和体型的范畴内。在这个过程之中,一些发现让我们感到很惊喜。

When it comes to seeing beauty in each other, while this decision is certainly subjective for the individual, it's sculpted by factors that contribute to the survival of the group. Many experiments have shown that a few basic parameters contribute to what makes a face attractive. These include averaging, symmetry and the effects of hormones. Let's take each one of these in turn.

谈到发现彼此的美时,这样的决定对所有人而言都是主观的,是由有助于群体生存的因素塑造而成的。很多研究都显示了存在一些基本常数,使得一张脸具有吸引力。其中包括均衡,对称和荷尔蒙的效应。让我们来分别说说每个因素。

Galton's finding that composite or average faces are typically more attractive than each individual face that contributes to the average has been replicated many times. This laboratory finding fits with many people's intuitions.

盖尔顿发现组合的或者均衡过的面孔,一般会比单一的面孔更加吸引人,因为它们被复制了许多次。这项实验的发现印证了许多人的直觉。

Average faces represent the central tendencies of a group. People with mixed features represent different populations, and presumably harbor greater genetic diversity and adaptability to the environment. Many people find mixed-race individuals attractive and inbred families less so.

平均化的脸代表了一个群体的中心倾向。有混合特征的人代表着不同种类的人群,可能拥有了更大的遗传多样性,也能更好的适应环境。很多人发现混血的人更加具有吸引力,而近交系家庭则反之。

The second factor that contributes to beauty is symmetry. People generally find symmetric faces more attractive than asymmetric ones. Developmental abnormalities are often associated with asymmetries. And in plants, animals and humans, asymmetries often arise from parasitic infections.Symmetry, it turns out, is also an indicator of health.

第二个促成美的因素是对称性。人们通常发现对称的脸要比非对称的好看。异常的发育经常会与非对称有关。在植物,动物和人类身上,非对称性一般来自于寄生虫感染。事实证明,对称也是一种健康的标志。

In the 1930s, a man named Maksymilian Faktorowicz recognized the importance of symmetry for beauty when he designed the beauty micrometer. With this device, he could measure minor asymmetric flaws which he could then make up for with products he sold from his company, named brilliantly after himself, Max Factor, which, as you know, is one of the world's most famous brands for "make up."

在20世纪30年代,一个叫做马思琦米兰·法克罗奇司的人(MaksymilianFaktorowicz)在设计美容千分尺时发现了对称美的重要性。利用这种设备,他可以检测到一些较小的非对称瑕疵,然后使用他自己公司的产品弥补这些瑕疵,这家以他的名字命名的公司,就是现今世界上最有名的美妆品牌之一“蜜丝佛陀(MaxFactor)”。

The third factor that contributes to facial attractiveness is the effect of hormones. And here, I need to apologize for confining my comments to heterosexual norms. But estrogen and testosterone play important roles in shaping features that we find attractive. Estrogen produces features that signal fertility.

第三个使脸部有吸引力的因素是荷尔蒙的效果。在这个演讲中,评论只局限于异性恋,对此我表示歉意。但是雌性激素和睾丸酮确实在塑造我们认为有吸引力的特征方面发挥了重要作用。雌性激素促成了与生育力有关的特质。

Men typically find women attractive who have elements of both youth and maturity. A face that's too baby-like might mean that the girl is not yet fertile, so men find women attractive who have large eyes, full lips and narrow chins as indicators of youth, and high cheekbones as an indicator of maturity.

男性通常会觉得年轻且成熟的女性更有吸引力。一个长着娃娃脸的女孩可能意味着生育力不强,所以男性会觉得大眼睛,厚嘴唇和尖下巴像是年轻的迹象,这样的女性会更有吸引力,同时,高颧骨也象征着成熟。

Testosterone produces features that we regard as typically masculine. These include heavier brows,thinner cheeks and bigger, squared-off jaws. But here's a fascinating irony. In many species, if anything, testosterone suppresses the immune system.

睾丸酮则产生了男性化的特质。这包括更重的眉毛,更尖的脸颊,更大的,方形的下巴。但是这里存在一个有趣的讽刺。在许多的物种当中,恰恰相反,睾丸酮会抑制免疫系统。

So the idea that testosterone-infused features are a fitness indicator doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. Here, the logic is turned on its head.Instead of a fitness indicator, scientists invoke a handicap principle.

所以关于睾丸酮旺盛是一种健康迹象的说法在总体上就没有什么意义了。在这一点上,逻辑开始发挥作用了。科学家利用障碍性原则,取代了健康的迹象。

The most commonly cited example of a handicap is the peacock's tail. This beautiful but cumbersome tail doesn't exactly help the peacock avoid predators and approach peahens. Why should such an extravagant appendage evolve?

最常被引用的障碍性的例子,是雄孔雀的尾巴。这个既美丽又笨重的尾巴并不会帮助孔雀躲避天敌,或者去接近雌孔雀。为什么孔雀会进化出如此奢侈的附肢出来呢?

Even Charles Darwin, in an 1860 letter to Asa Gray wrote that the sight of the peacock's tail made him physically ill. He couldn't explain it with his theory of natural selection, and out of this frustration, he developed the theory of sexual selection.

就连查尔斯·达尔文都在1860年写给阿萨·格雷的信中提到,一见孔雀尾巴就让他开始抱恙。他不能用自然选择的理论去解释,在沮丧之外,他还创建了一种理论,叫做性别选择。

On this account, the display of the peacock's tail is about sexual enticement, and this enticement means it's more likely the peacock will mate and have offspring. Now, the modern twist on this display argument is that the peacock is also advertising its health to the peahen.

在这个基础上来理解,孔雀展示它们的尾巴是一种性诱惑,这种诱惑的手段会使雄孔雀有更高的几率去交配,然后拥有后代。目前,有新的研究显示,雄孔雀是在对雌孔雀展示自己的健康状况。

Only especially fit organisms can afford to divert resources to maintaining such an extravagant appendage. Only especially fit men can afford the price that testosterone levies on their immune system. And by analogy, think of the factthat only very rich men can afford to pay more than $10,000 for a watch as a display of their financial fitness.

只有特别健康的生物才有能力去维持如此夸张的附肢。在免疫系统当中,只有非常健康的男性才能维持睾丸酮的水准。做个比喻,想想一下只有非常富有的男性才可以买得起超过一万美金一块的手表来展现他们在经济上的富有。

Now, many people hear these kinds of evolutionary claims and think they mean that we somehow are unconsciously seeking mates who are healthy. And I think this idea is probably not right. Teenagers and young adults are not exactly known for making decisions that are predicated on health concerns.But they don't have to be, and let me explain why.

许多人听说了这种进化观点,认为我们其实是在通过潜意识寻找健康的伴侣。但是我觉得这个观点也许并不正确。年轻人择偶时并不知道如何对健康做出判断。但是他们并不需要那么做,让我解释一下为什么。

Imagine a population in which people have three different kinds of preferences: for green, for orange and for red. From their point of view, these preferences have nothing to do with health; they just like what they like. But if it were also the case that these preferences are associated with the different likelihood of producing offspring --

想象有一群人,他们有三种不同的偏好:绿色,橙色和红色。在他们的观点里,这些偏好跟健康没有一点关联;他们只是喜欢他们所喜欢的。不过如果这些偏好跟繁衍的后代有关

let's say in a ratio of 3:2:1 -- then in the first generation, there would be 3 greens to 2 oranges to 1 red, and in each subsequent generation, the proportion of greens increase, so that in 10 generations, 98 percent of this population has a green preference.

比如在一个3:2:1的比例中——在第一代里,会有三个喜欢绿色,两个喜欢橙色,一个喜欢红色,在后续的每一代当中,绿色的比例在不断上升,到了第十代,百分之九十八的人会更喜欢绿色。

Now, a scientist coming in and sampling this population discovers that green preferences are universal. So the point about this little abstract example is that while preferences for specific physical features can be arbitrary for the individual, if those features are heritable and they are associated with a reproductive advantage, over time, they become universal for the group.

现在,一个科学家对这些人进行抽样调查,发现对绿色的偏爱已经非常普遍了。所以从这个有点抽象的例子我们可以发现,对于某种物理特征的偏好如果具有遗传性,那就会被传递到个人身上,并且它们跟生殖优势有关。随着时间的推移,这些特征就会成为某一群体的共性。

So what happens in the brain when we see beautiful people? Attractive faces activate parts of our visual cortex in the back of the brain, an area called the fusiform gyrus, that is especially tuned to processing faces, and an adjacent area called the lateral occipital complex, that is especially attuned to processing objects.

所以,当我们看到高颜值的人时,我们的大脑里发生了什么?有吸引力的脸会刺激大脑后部一部分视觉皮质中一个叫梭状回的区域,主要是用来审示面容的,相邻的区域称为侧枕叶,是用来审阅目标的。

In addition, attractive faces activate parts of our reward and pleasure centers in the front and deep in the brain, and these include areas that have complicated names, like the ventral striatum, the orbitofrontal cortex and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Our visual brain that is tuned to processing faces interacts with our pleasure centers to underpin the experience of beauty.

此外,吸引人的脸庞激活了我们大脑前部深处的奖赏和娱乐中心部位,其中包括一些复杂的区域名称,比如腹侧纹状体,眶额叶皮层,和腹内侧前额叶皮层。我们的视觉大脑在审阅脸部时与监管愉悦的中枢相呼应,从而加强了对美的感受。

Amazingly, while we all engage with beauty, without our knowledge, beauty also engages us. Our brains respond to attractive faces even when we're not thinking about beauty.

令人惊讶的是,当我们在与美进行交流时,在毫无意识的情况下,美也在与我们进行互动。即便我们没有注意,我们的大脑会也会对有吸引力的脸部产生反应。

We conducted an experiment in which people saw a series of faces, and in one condition, they had to decide if a pair of faces were the same or a different person. Even in this condition, attractive faces drove neural activity robustly in their visual cortex, despite the fact that they were thinking about a person's identity and not their beauty.

我们进行了一个实验,人们观察一系列的脸并遵循一个条件,他们要比较一对面孔,判断是否是同一个人。甚至在这种情况下,迷人的面孔也会使他们的视觉皮层神经活动强烈,尽管他们正在思考一个人的身份,而不是他们的美貌。

Another group similarly found automatic responses to beauty within our pleasure centers.Taken together, these studies suggest that our brain automatically responds to beauty by linking vision and pleasure. These beauty detectors, it seems, ping every time we see beauty, regardless of whatever else we might be thinking.

对另外一组人的测试表明,他们的愉悦中枢同样对美自动产生了反应。综合起来,这些研究表明结合视觉与愉悦,我们的大脑会自动对美作出反应。当我们看见美丽的东西时,这些美的探测器就会发出信号,跟我们在想什么无关。

We also have a "beauty is good" stereotype embedded in the brain. Within the orbitofrontal cortex,there's overlapping neural activity in response to beauty and to goodness, and this happens even when people aren't explicitly thinking about beauty or goodness.

还有一种“美即是好”的传统刻在我们的脑海中。在眼窝前额皮层内,有重叠的神经活动对美丽与善良做出反应,当人们没有明确地思考美丽或善良时,这种反应也会发生。

Our brains seem to reflexively associate beauty and good. And this reflexive association may be the biologic trigger for the many social effects of beauty. Attractive people receive all kinds of advantages in life. They're regarded as more intelligent, more trustworthy, they're given higher pay and lesser punishments, even when such judgments are not warranted.

我们的大脑好像会自动把美与善对应起来。而且这种反射可能是关于对“美”诸多误解的生物触发器。吸引力强的人一生都会受到各种各样的厚待。他们会被认为更加聪明,更加值得信任,甚至会得到更高的工资和更少的惩罚,即使这种判断是毫无根据的。

These kinds of observations reveal beauty's ugly side. In my lab, we recently found that people with minor facial anomalies and disfigurements are regarded as less good, less kind, less intelligent, less competent and less hardworking. Unfortunately, we also have a "disfigured is bad" stereotype.

这些发现揭露了美的丑陋的那一面。我的实验室最近发现了脸部有缺陷的人会被认为没有那么好,那么的善良,没那么聪明和有能力,也没那么努力。不幸的是,我们都有一个“丑即是恶”的刻板印象。

This stereotype is probably exploited and magnified by images in popular media, in which facial disfigurement is often used as a shorthand to depict someone of villainous character. We need to understand these kinds of implicit biases if we are to overcome them and aim for a society in which we treat people fairly, based on their behavior and not on the happenstance of their looks.

由于大众媒体的传播,这个刻板印象可能被利用且放大了,其中面部的丑陋通常被作为一种象征,来刻画反面人物。我们需要去理解这些隐晦的偏见,如果我们想要去克服它们,并致力于发展一个人人平等的社会,以人们的行为为基础,而不是以貌取人。

Let me leave you with one final thought. Beauty is a work in progress. The so-called universal attributes of beauty were selected for during the almost two million years of the Pleistocene. Life was nasty, brutish and a very long time ago. The selection criteria for reproductive success from that timedoesn't really apply today.

我想给大家留下一个最后的思考。美是一种进步的产物。所谓美的普遍特质,是在更新世近二百万年的时期中被选定的。很久之前的生命是肮脏的,野蛮的。当时的生育存活率的选择标准现在已经不再适用了。

For example, death by parasite is not one of the top ways that people die, at least not in the technologically developed world. From antibiotics to surgery, birth control to in vitro fertilization, the filters for reproductive success are being relaxed.

举个例子,死于寄生虫病并不是现在最常见的死因,至少不是在科技发达的国家。从抗生素到手术,计划生育到人工授精,繁殖成效的筛选标准被放宽了。

And under these relaxed conditions, preference and trait combinations are free to drift and become more variable. Even as we are profoundly affecting our environment, modern medicine and technological innovation is profoundly affecting the very essence of what it means to look beautiful. The universal nature of beauty is changing even as we're changing the universe.Thank you.

在放宽的情况之下,偏好与特质的组合可以随意发生转移,更加可变。即使我们在深深地影响我们的环境,现代医药和技术革新在深刻的影响美丽本质的意义。当我们正在改变世界的时候,美的普遍特质也正在改变。谢谢。谢谢。


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