理智与情感的战争

Nowadays people tend to use ‘I think’ and ‘I feel’ interchangeably. For some this is a linguistic faux pas, but what about psychologically? Does it make any difference whether what you say is couched in ‘thinking’ or ‘feeling’ terms?

现如今的人习惯把“我认为”跟“我觉得”混着用,这或许不过是语言学上的小纰漏,但如果从心理学的层面探讨,说“认为”或“觉得”是不是会有些隐含的分别呢?

On the surface the difference seems very slight. “I feel economic recovery is just around the corner,” and “I think economic recovery is just around the corner,” send much the same message.

从表面看,区别很小。“我认为经济复苏指日可待”跟“我觉得经济复苏指日可待”基本表达的是同一个意思,差别微乎其微。

Nevertheless a new study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletinfinds this tiny difference can influence the power of a persuasive message (Mayer & Tormala, 2010).

然而,根据《个性与社会心理学通报》发表的一项最新研究表明,这细微的一丝区别却能够影响说服力的强弱。

Persuasive thoughts and feelings

具有说服力的想法及感觉

Nicole Mayer and Zakary Tormala first assessed the natural tendencies of 65 participants to think either cognitively or affectively. Did they tend to describe the world with reference to feelings (e.g. unpleasant or pleasant; scary or comforting) or in terms of thoughts (e.g. useless or useful; harmful or beneficial).

Nicole Mayer和Zakary Tormala首先测试了65位被试者,有哪些人为认知取向,哪些为情感取向。也就是说,有些人更愿意用感觉方面的词语来传递情感(比如愉快或不愉快;吓人的或舒适的),有些人则更习惯用认知方面的词语来描述事物(比如有用的或无用的;有害的或有益的)。

Then they were given a persuasive message to read about donating blood which contained exactly the same arguments, except where one used the word ‘think’, the other used ‘feel’. Afterwards each person was asked how likely they were to donate blood in the future.

然后给被试们每人一份关于献血的材料,所有内容都一模一样,除了有的材料中用到“觉得”,另外的用到“认为”。之后,逐一询问被试是否会去献血。

People who thought about the world in cognitive terms were more persuaded to give blood when the message was framed in terms of ‘thinking’. On the other hand the group that used emotional words was more persuaded when ‘feel’ was used.

那些思维趋向认知模式的人如果是读到含有“认为”的说服材料,他们就更愿意献血;同样,趋向情感模式的人如果是读到含有“觉得”的材料,他们也更容易被说服献血。

This suggests that if you want to persuade someone, then it’s useful to know whether they are a thinker or a feeler and target your message accordingly. If you don’t already know then the easiest way to find out is listen for whether they describe the world cognitively or affectively.

这个结果表明,如果你想更好地说服别人,最好先弄清楚对方是个什么类型的人,是更偏向思考还是更偏向感觉,这样你就能对症下葯地组织好你的说服方法。如果你还不知道对方的类型,最简单的方法就是倾听,他的言语中更多的是客观描述还是情感表达。

Going in cold

对付那些闷罐子

But what if you are trying to persuade someone cold, without knowing whether they are a thinker or a feeler? Then you’ll have to rely on short-cuts, and one of the most obvious short-cuts is gender because women have a tendency to give greater weight to emotionally-framed arguments, while men give greater weight to cognitively-framed arguments.

如果你想说服的人恰好是个闷罐子,你怎么去弄清楚他的思维类型呢?这时候你只能依靠一些小窍门。最显而易见的窍门就是性别。因为女人更容易被充满情感的元素所吸引,而男人却更喜欢那些认知味道浓重的元素。

To check this theory out Mayer and Tormala gave men and women adverts for a new movie. Tormala explains the results:”…we found that women were more persuaded by an ad for a new movie when it quoted reviews beginning with ‘I feel.’ Men, however, were more persuaded by the same basic ad when it quoted reviews beginning with ‘I think.'”

为了验证这个理论,Mayer和Tormala分别给男性和女性被试一则电影广告。Tormala这样解释结果:“我们发现当广告以我感到开头时女性更愿意观看,而以我认为开头时男性更愿意观看”。

A vital caveat to this research, particularly relevant because of the gender difference, is that it is not assessing whether messages should persuade rationally or emotionally at a deep level (I’ll come on to that). This study is all about framing: the terms in which a message is couched.

这项研究的要旨——尤其是当性别不同时——并不是要确定某个信息从本质上是侧重于认知还是情感表达才更有说服力,而是要搞清信息所表现出的思维取向。

Emotional messages can be couched in emotional language, but they can also be couched in cognitive language. I can say “I feel happy,” or “I’m thinking happy thoughts.” Both messages contain emotional content but people respond to them in different ways.

感情充沛的信息可以用情感性的词汇表达出来,但也可以用认知性的词语来表达。我可以说“我感到很快乐”,也可以说“我在思考着些快乐的事情”。两种表达都包含着情感因素,但人们对它们的反映却截然不同。

So this study is less about the content and more about the surface appearance. If youappear to be referring more to either emotions or thoughts then people who think in those terms are more persuaded.

所以这项研究更多的是关注显露在外的表象而非内在包含的因素。只要你”表现”出情感或是认知取向,那么有对应思维模式的人就更容易被说服。

Studies have looked beyond the mere surface of persuasive messages at whether truly affective or cognitive messages are more persuasive. These generally find messages are more persuasive if they match the attitude’s encoding. In other words if people tend to think cognitively about, say, economic policy, then the most persuasive arguments are likely to be those that are deeply cognitive. But if attitudes are more affectively tinged, an emotional argument is likely to trump the cognitive.

除此之外,还有的研究透过表象致力于发现本质上偏向情感或认知的信息哪个更有说服力。结果发现那些符合于态度倾向类型的信息说服力更强。也就是说,如果人们倾向于对某事物——比方经济政策——采取认知性的态度,那么最有说服力的就是认知描述型的信息。但要是人们的态度倾向于情感性,那么感情表达便更有说服力。

Rational emotions

理性的情感

Looking closer at these findings, there are also reliable differences between people. We vary individually in our desire for both the cognitive and affective components of messages. In an experimental test of this, Haddock et al. (2008) found that people’s ‘need for cognition’ and ‘need for affect’ was central to how persuasive messages were processed. And just like Mayer and Tormala, Haddock and colleagues found that persuasion was boosted if the message matched those individual preferences.

再仔细推敲这些结论,它们其实也会针对不同的人而表现出差异。我们每个人都会有一种认同的需求,即对一段信息中包含的情感或认知因素产生认同,并且这种需求是依据具体情况而变化的。Haddock曾对此进行过试验。他发现人们对“认知的需要”及“对情感的需要”取决于信息传达的过程。同Mayer和Tormala一样,结论也是当信息与个人的需要对应时,说服力最强。

In practical terms, though, Mayer and Tormala win out because in their experiment the deep meaning of a message doesn’t need to be changed, it only needs to appear to have changed. There are likely to be some losses in persuasive power, but for a manipulation that is so simple to implement, it’s a neat way of boosting persuasive power. The only challenge is picking the audience as either a thinker or a feeler. Once past that, your message is easily tailored.

但是Mayer和Tormala的研究结果更具有实际操作性。你不用改变信息的深层含义,而只用让它看起来具有某种倾向性就行了。这样做可能会让说服力打折扣,但这种方法更简单且容易掌握和实行。具有超强说服力是多诱人的特质啊。唯一考验你的是识辨能力,判定对方属于哪种思维类型,一旦过了这一关,量体裁衣就容易多了。

In the grand arena of ideas, we have tended to see emotion as the poorer cousin to thought, especially in the context of persuasion. We have this idea that using an emotional argument, or being swayed by one, somehow denotes lesser intelligence. But attitudes towards emotional arguments are warming as psychologists have uncovered the vital role emotions play in our thinking.

从广泛意义上讲,我们倾向于把情感当成是思想的软弱的小跟班,特别是当我们处于说服的环境中。当我们运用情感力量来说服别人或是被别人说服时,我们常常会这么想,因此不会多花什么脑力在这上面。但随着心理学家们渐渐为情感“正名”,人们也知道了情感在思维领域里起着十分重要的作用。

Rather than seeing emotions as opposed to rationality, psychologists frequently describe them as vital components of reason. Contrary to centuries of prejudice, an emotional thought isn’t necessarily an irrational one.

心理学家们经常把感情因素描述为为动机的组成部分,而不是理性的对立面。与几世纪以来的偏见正相反,一个感情激荡的念头并不一定是不理智的。

 

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

发表评论

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / 更改 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / 更改 )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / 更改 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / 更改 )

Connecting to %s

%d 博主赞过: