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【大西洋月刊】跟着兴趣找工作,这鸡汤谁喝谁知道

【大西洋月刊】跟着兴趣找工作,这鸡汤谁喝谁知道

有多少人还在等着发现自己的激情?我们听过太多的毒鸡汤,告诉我们工作可以死板枯燥,只要找到自己的兴趣所在,工作时就会变得动力无穷。但这项研究却对这一颇受认同的择业之道提出了质疑:兴趣一定是天生的吗?非得做与兴趣相符的工作才算完美吗?这篇文章送给即将步入职场的你,希望能为你提供一些思考……

跟着兴趣找工作,这鸡汤谁喝谁知道

 

【大西洋月刊】跟着兴趣找工作,这鸡汤谁喝谁知道

 

译者:邹世昌 & 邵海灵

校对:朱明艾

策划:邹世昌&赵萌萌

A major new study questions the common wisdom about how we should choose our careers.

一项重要的新研究对历来公认的择业之道提出了质疑。

本文选自 The Atlantic | 取经号原创翻译

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Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, remembers asking an undergraduate seminar recently, “How many of you are waiting to find your passion?”

斯坦福大学心理学教授卡罗尔·德维克回忆起自己不久前在一场本科生的研讨会中提出的问题:你们当中有多少人在等着发现自己的激情?

 

“Almost all of them raised their hand and got dreamy looks in their eyes,” she told me. They talked about it “like a tidal wave would sweep over them,” he said. Sploosh. Huzzah! It’s accounting!

她告诉我:“几乎所有人都举起手,眼中闪烁着梦幻般的憧憬。”谈到“激情”,他们“简直心潮澎湃,不能自已”。各种欢呼雀跃…… 

 

Would they have unlimited motivation for their passion? They nodded solemnly.

有了激情就会有无穷的动力吗?他们郑重其事地点了点头。

 

“I hate to burst your balloon,” she said, “but it doesn’t usually happen that way.”

“我不想戳破你们的幻想,”她说,“可惜往往事与愿违。”

 

What Dweck asked her students is a common refrain in American society. The term “Follow your passion” has increased ninefold in English books since 1990. “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is another college-counseling standby of unknown provenance.

德维克问她学生的问题在美国社会也常被问到。自20世纪90年代以来,“追随你的激情”在英语书籍中出现的数量增加了9倍。“找到你热爱的事情,那你的人生将不再有‘工作’”,则是另一条不知出处的大学职业辅导常备“箴言”。

provenance  /ˈprɔvənəns/ n.  (place of) origin 起源,出处

But according to Dweck and others, that advice is steering people wrong.

然而,根据德维克和其他人的说法,这条建议正把人们带入歧途。

 

“What are the consequences of that?” asked Paul O’Keefe, an assistant professor of psychology at Yale—NUS College. “That means that if you do something that feels like work, it means you don’t love it.” He gave me the example of a student who jumps from lab to lab, trying to find one whose research topic feels like her passion. “It’s this idea that if I’m not completely overwhelmed by emotion when I walk into a lab, then it won’t be my passion or my interest.”

“这会造成什么后果?”耶鲁—新加坡国立大学学院心理学助理教授保罗·奥基夫问道。“这意味着,如果你做的事情感觉像是在工作,那就说明你不喜欢它。”他给我举了一个例子:一名学生从一个实验室换到另一个实验室,试图找到一个感觉符合自己激情的研究主题。“他们的想法就是:如果我在走进实验室的那一刻没有感觉激情澎湃,那它就肯定不是我的志趣或者说真爱。”

 

That’s why he and two co-authors—Dweck and Greg Walton of Stanford—recently performed a study that suggests it might be time to change the way we think about our interests. Passions aren’t “found,” they argue. They’re developed.

因此奥塞夫和其他两位合著者——斯坦福大学的德维克和格雷戈·沃尔顿最近进行了一项研究,表示或许是时候改变我们思考兴趣的方式了。他们认为,激情不是被“发现”的,而是培养出来的。

 

In a paper that is forthcoming in Psychological Science, the authors delineate the difference between the two mind-sets. One is a “fixed theory of interests”—the idea that core interests are there from birth, just waiting to be discovered—and the other is a “growth theory,” the idea that interests are something anyone can cultivate over time.

在一篇即将出版于美国《心理科学》期刊的论文中,作者们描述了两种思维方式的差异。一种是“兴趣天生论”,该理论认为核心兴趣与生俱来,只需要等待被发现;而另一种则是“兴趣后天论”,该理论主张任何人都可以后天培养兴趣。

delineate  /dɪˈlɪnɪeɪt/ v.  show (sth) by drawing or describing; portray 描绘,描写

To examine how these different mind-sets affect our pursuit of different topics, the authors performed a series of studies on college students—a group that’s frequently advised to find their passion in the form of a major or career path.

为了详细了解这些不同的思维方式如何影响我们对不同事业方向的追求,作者们对一群大学生进行了一系列研究。大学生是最常听到此类建议的一群人:在确定专业或职业道路的过程中,一定要发现自己的激情之所在。

 

First, students answered a survey that would categorize them as either “techy”—slang for interested in math and science—or “fuzzy,” meaning interested in the arts or humanities. They also filled out a survey determining how much they agreed with the idea that people’s core interests don’t change over time. They then read an article that mismatched their interests—a piece on the future of algorithms for the fuzzies, and a piece on Derrida for the techies. The more the participants endorsed a “fixed” theory of interests, the less interested they were in the article that mismatched their aforementioned identity as a techy or fuzzy.

首先,学生们完成了一份调查问卷。根据问卷结果,他们被分为两类人,一类是“技术型”,就是对数学和科学感兴趣的人;另一类是“模糊型”,钟情于艺术或人文学科。此外,他们还填写另一份调查,用以测量他们对“人们的核心兴趣不会随时间变化”这一观点的认可度。然后,他们各自阅读了一篇与他们的兴趣错配的文章:“模糊型”的人读的是一篇关于算法的未来的文章,而“技术型”的人则读了一篇关于雅克·德里达(译者注:雅克·德里达是法国哲学家,西方结构主义的代表人物)的文章。在这些参与者中,越是支持兴趣先天论的人,对不符合他们先前的自我认同(“技术型”或“模糊型”)的文章越不感兴趣。

 

The authors then repeated a similar procedure, but they had students read first about either the fixed theory of interests or the growth theory. Again, those who learned that interests are fixed throughout a person’s life were less captivated by an article that mismatched their interests.

作者随后重复了一个类似的过程,但他们让学生先阅读有关“兴趣先天论”或“兴趣后天论”的内容。同样,那些认为人的兴趣是固定不变、贯穿一生的人也更少喜欢与他们兴趣不符的文章。

 

The authors believe this could mean that students who have fixed theories of interest might forgo interesting lectures or opportunities because they don’t align with their previously stated passions. Or that they might overlook ways that other disciplines can intersect with their own.

作者认为,这可能意味着认同兴趣先天论的学生可能放弃有趣的讲座或机会,因为这些东西不符合他们先前声明的兴趣。又或者他们可能忽略其他学科与他们兴趣可以交汇的方式。

 

“If passions are things found fully formed, and your job is to look around the world for your passion—it’s a crazy thought,” Walton told me. “It doesn’t reflect the way I or my students experience school, where you go to a class and have a lecture or a conversation, and you think, That’s interesting. It’s through a process of investment and development that you develop an abiding passion in a field.”

“如果激情本就已完全成形,你的任务就是满世界寻找你的激情之所在——这种想法挺疯狂的。”沃尔顿告诉我。“它不能反映出我或我的学生在学校的经历。学生在学校里上课、听讲座、对话和思考,这是非常有趣的。对一个领域持久的激情正是在投入时间和精力的过程中逐渐形成的。”

 

Another reason not to buy into the fixed theory is that it can cause people to give up too easily. If something becomes difficult, it’s easy to assume that it simply must not have been your passion, after all. In one portion of this study, the students who thought interests were fixed were also less likely to think that pursuing a passion would be difficult at times. Instead, they thought it would provide “endless motivation.”

天生论不可轻信的另一个原因是:它可能会让人太过轻易地放弃。一旦遇到困难,我们就容易忽略其他的因素,而将其归因于“这肯定不是我的激情所在”。在这项研究的其中一个环节里,那些认为兴趣天注定的学生也不太可能会觉得追求毕生之所爱有时会遇到困难。相反,他们认为如果一件事情是自己的激情所在,就会让人产生“无穷的动力”。

 

Dweck, one of the paper’s authors, has previously studied different types of mind-sets as they relate to intelligence. People who have a growth mind-set about their own intelligence tend to be less afraid of failure, according to her research, because they believe smarts are cultivated, not inherent. Interests are related to, but distinct from, abilities, the study authors told me: You can be interested in something but not very good at it. “I’ve been playing guitar for 25 years, but I can’t say that my abilities have gotten that much better in the past 10 years,” O’Keefe said.

作为该论文的作者之一,德维克之前曾研究过人们对智商的不同看法。根据她的研究,那些推崇兴趣后天论的人更加不畏惧失败,因为他们相信聪明并非先天遗传的结果,而是靠后天养成的。兴趣与能力有一定关联,但与能力是两回事。研究人员告诉我:你可能对一件事情感兴趣,但并不十分擅长它。“我弹吉他已经25年了,但在过去十年里,我的水平说不上有多大的进步。”奥基夫说。

 

Dweck told me that “find your passion” has a laudable history. “Before that, people were saying, ‘Find your genius,’ and that was so intimidating. It implied that only people who were really brilliant at something could succeed,” she said. “‘Find your passion’ felt more democratic. Everybody can have an interest.” But this study suggests that even the idea of finding your “true” interest can intimidate people and keep them from digging further into a field.

德维克告诉我,“发现你的激情”这一说法的初衷本是值得称道的。“在此之前,人们惯用的说法是‘发现你的天分’,但那太令人望而生畏了。言下之意就是说,只有那些在某个方面真正聪明绝顶的人才有可能会成功。但‘发现你的激情’就让人感觉民主得多,因为每个人都有他感兴趣的事。”可这项研究表明,即便是发现你“真正”的兴趣也可能会把人吓跑,而且让人无法在某个领域挖得更深、走得更远。

laudable  /ˈlɔːdəbl/ adj.  deserving praise; praiseworthy 应受称赞的,值得夸奖的

The authors also had students learn about either fixed or growth theory and then exposed them to a new interest: Astronomy. First, they had them watch a video made by The Guardian for a general audience about Stephen Hawking’s ideas. It was easy to understand and entertaining. Then the authors had the students read a highly technical, challenging article in the academic journal Science about black holes. Despite saying just moments ago, after viewing the video, that they were fascinated by black holes, the students who were exposed to the fixed theory of interests said they were no longer interested in black holes after reading the difficult Science article. In other words, when you’re told that your interests are somehow ingrained, you give up on new interests as soon as the going gets tough.

研究者们也让参与的学生事先了解了什么是“天生论”或“后天论”,然后让他们接触一种新兴趣:天文学。他们先让学生观看了一段《卫报》为大众读者制作的视频,该视频说的是史蒂芬·霍金的一些天文学理论。这则视频很容易理解,而且风格很搞笑。研究者们随后让学生阅读了《科学》杂志上一篇非常专业、难度很高的关于黑洞的文章。尽管几分钟前他们还说视频里的黑洞理论非常吸引人,但读了这篇很难的学术文章后,了解过“兴趣天生论”的学生都表示他们对黑洞失去兴趣了。换而言之,如果有人事先给你灌输了“兴趣是天生不变的”,那一旦你发现一件事情有难度,就会立刻放弃对它的兴趣。

 

This study was a preregistered replication, meaning the authors stated at the outset what their hypothesis and methods would be. This process is meant to prevent p-hacking, a shady data practice that has cast a shadow over many psychology studies in recent years.

这项研究用的是预先注册复制法,意思就是作者在研究伊始就声明他们的假说和研究方法是什么。这样做是为了避免论文被抄袭。近年来,这种不正当的数据剽窃手段已经给很多心理学研究蒙上了一层阴影。

 

K. Ann Renninger, a professor at Swarthmore College who was not involved with the study, has researched the development of interests and said that “neuroscience has confirmed that interests can be supported to develop.” In other words, with the right help, most people can get interested in almost anything. Before the age of 8, she said, kids will try anything. Between the ages of 8 and 12, they start to compare themselves with others and become insecure if they’re not as good as their peers at something. That’s when educators have to start to find new ways to keep them interested in certain subjects.

K·安妮·伦宁格是斯沃斯莫尔大学的一名教授,虽然没有参与此项研究,但她研究了兴趣的发展过程,并称“神经科学已经证明,兴趣是可以在外部环境的支持下发展形成的”。也就是说,在正确的帮助下,大部分人都能对几乎任何东西产生兴趣。她表示,孩子在8岁前会愿意尝试任何新事物。在8到12岁之间,他们开始把自己跟他人做比较,如果自己做得没有别人那么好就会没有安全感。也正是在这个年龄段,教育者必须开始寻找新的方法来保持孩子对某些学科的兴趣。

 

Though the authors didn’t examine adults, they told me their findings could apply to an older population as well. For example, people’s interest in parenthood tends to escalate rapidly once they have a real, crying baby in their house. “You could not know the first thing about cancer, but if your mother gets cancer, you’re going to be an expert in it pretty darn quick,” O’Keefe said.

尽管该研究并未涉及成年人,但研究者们告诉我,他们的发现同样适用于年纪较长的人群。比如说,如果人们家里有了一个大哭不止的婴儿,那他们对为人父母的兴趣就会迅速增加。“你可能对癌症一无所知,可一旦你母亲得了癌症,那不出几天你就会成为这方面的专家了。”奥基夫说。

 

A different study done on adults’ views toward passions suggests that people who think passions are found tend to pick jobs that fit them well from the outset. They prioritize enjoyment over good pay. People who think passions are developed, meanwhile, prioritize other goals over immediate enjoyment at work, and they “grow to fit their vocations better over time,” the authors of that study write. “In conclusion,” they add, “people who have not found their perfect fit in a career can take heart—there is more than one way to attain passion for work.”

另一项关于成人如何看待激情的调查显示,如果人们认为激情需要去寻找和发现,那他们就更倾向于挑选那些从一开始就很适合自己的工作。他们把乐趣看得比薪酬重要。而那些认为激情和爱好可以后天养成的人们,则会把其他目标放在工作带来的即时乐趣之上,也会“随着时间的推移而更加适应自己的职业”。这项研究的工作者们还补充说:“总而言之,如果你尚未在一份工作中找到完美的契合点,别担心——培养对工作的激情,方法不止一个。”

 

How to cultivate a “growth” mind-set in the young, future-psychology-experiment subjects of America? If you’re a parent, you can avoid dropping new hobbies as soon as they become difficult. (Your kids might take note if you do, O’Keefe said.)

对于美国的年轻人——也是未来心理学研究的对象——我们要如何让他们形成“兴趣后天论”的观念呢?如果你是一名家长,你可以以身作则,不要一遇到困难就放弃新的爱好。(奥基夫说,上梁不正下梁歪,你的孩子肯定会有样学样的。)

 

Beyond that, there’s not a clear way to develop a growth mind-set about interests, other than knowing that it’s a valid way to think, and that your passion might still be around the corner.

除此之外,还没有一种明确的方法可以让人形成“兴趣后天论”的观念。唯一能做的就是让人知道这是一种合理的思路,或许在下一个转角,你就会发现人生的激情之所在。

 

“We’re just trying to pull the veil back on the hidden implications of things like, ‘find your passion,'” Walton said. “Is that really how things work? A little bit of knowledge is power.”

“我们只是在试图揭开‘发现你的激情’这种说法的面纱,”沃尔顿说,“事实果真如此吗?哪怕一点点知识,也是一种力量。”

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【大西洋月刊】跟着兴趣找工作,这鸡汤谁喝谁知道

<原文链接:https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/07/find-your-passion-is-terrible-advice/564932/>

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