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中国四六级考试网 >> 英语世界
英语四级美文:压力之下表现优异的秘密
http://www.china-cet.com        来源:沪江英语        发布时间:2012-10-29 20:22:54
2天记住4000单词的秘密... 点击进入!!
    

The best way to psych yourself up for a test or presentation is to make it seem insignificant. Here's how:

  How do you gear yourself up for a big test, an important presentation, or any other high-pressure situation? Maybe your internal monologue goes something like this: “OK, this is really important. A lot is riding on this. Don’t screw this up. How well I do on this really matters.” Reminding yourself of the high stakes makes intuitive sense as a motivational strategy—but it will actually impede your performance. Instead of spurring you to new heights, it’s likely to increase anxiety and undermine your confidence. Research shows that reminding yourself how unimportant the event is in the big scheme of things is a better tactic, and psychologists have come up with a variety of ingeniousways to help us do so.

  Geoffrey Cohen, a professor at the Stanford University School of Education, conducted a series of experiments designed to reduce test-taking pressures felt by minorities but which wound up revealing a great strategy for everyone. In a 2006 study published in the journal Science, Cohen and his co-authors gave a group of seventh-graders an in-class assignment in which they were presented with a list of values and asked to choose which one was most important to them. The list included phrases like “relationships with friends and family,” “religious values,” “athletic ability,” and “being good at art.” The students then wrote a paragraph about why their value was important to them. (The control group in the study chose a value that was not important to them, and wrote a paragraph about why the value might matter to someone else.)

  This brief writing assignment significantly improved the grades of African-American students, and reduced the racial achievement gap by 40 percent. Why? The exercise affirmed students’ “self-integrity,” Cohen explains, buttressingtheir self-worth and alleviatingthe stress they felt about being evaluated. Cohen and another group of co-authors investigated whether a similar approach would help female college students taking an introductoryphysics course who might be feeling vulnerableto negative messages about women in science. Once again, students chose their most cherished values from a list and then wrote about why these values were important to them. Conducted just twice during the 15-week course, this interventionhad a big impact, “substantially” reducing the difference between men and women in learning and performance and lifting women’s grades from the C range to the B range. These results, reported in the journal Science in 2010, were especially pronounced for women who say they believe the stereotype that men do better than women in physics.

  Perhaps the most inventiveway to get students to focus on the bigger picture of what matters to them was introduced by a group of researchers from Germany and Austria in an article published in the European Journal of Social Psychology last year. They asked university students to think about their ancestors by drawing a family tree or by writing an essay imagining how their forebearslived and what advice they would give them. The students who thought and wrote about their ancestors did better on subsequentintelligence tests than members of the control group (who were asked to think instead about their most recent trip to the supermarket).

  Why would reflecting on our great-great-grandparents help us perform better? The authors of the study note that such musings “mostly remind us about eventful and successful lives. Normally, our ancestors managed to overcome a multitude of personal and societal problems, such as severe illnesses, wars, loss of loved ones or severe economic declines. So, when we think about them, we are reminded that humans who are geneticallysimilar to us can successfully overcome a multitude of problems and adversities.” So the next time you have to prepare for a high-pressure event, remember that compared to world wars and great depressions, a test or a presentation should be a snap.

  【重点单词及短语】

  psych up 使兴奋;做好精神准备

  gear up 准备好;促进;增加;使换快档

  internal monologue内心独白

  ride on 依靠;取决于

  screw up 搞砸;弄糟

  impede v. 阻碍;妨碍;阻止

  spur v. 刺激;鼓舞

  achievement gap 成绩落差;学术落差

  affirm v. 确认;断言;肯定

  buttress v. 支持;以扶壁支撑

  alleviate v. 减轻;缓和

  intervention n. 介入;干预;调停

  intelligence test 智力测试

  a multitude of 大批的;众多的

  Question time:

  1. Why did the African-American students improved their grades in the research?

  2. What could we do in order to get good grades according to the study?

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