您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 旅游 >> 正文

为什么人在飞机上爱发飙

更新时间:2014-12-18 12:48:14 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Recipe for Air Rage
为什么人在飞机上爱发飙

Why do some travelers squabble about overhead bin space? Or feud over an armrest? Why, when a passenger reclines his seat, does another respond with rage befitting the pages of “Lord of the Flies”?

为什么有些旅客会为舱顶行李箱或扶手发生口角?为什么前排乘客把椅背向后调,后排乘客会用简直可以写进《蝇王》(Lord of the Flies)式的狂怒去回应?

What makes rational travelers like you and me suddenly explode?

为什么你我这样理智的旅客会突然之间勃然大怒?

Some factors are environmental (packed planes, teeming gates); others are internal (stress, fatigue). Together, they can make a perfect storm. Last month at least three flights were diverted because passengers got into fights about reclining seats (and that’s to say nothing of the other unruly passenger incidents that regularly transpire). While the percentage of flights diverted each year is low — it’s been well under 0.40 percent since at least 2004, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics — even a handful of diversions due to passengers who can’t play nice is too many. We may be animals, but need we prove it on a flight to West Palm Beach?

有环境方面的原因(拥挤的机舱和入口处的排队等候);也有旅客自身的原因(压力、疲惫)。这些因素结合在一起很容易让人发怒。上个月,至少有三个航班因为有乘客向后调节椅背导致打架而改变航线(更不必说其他难以约束的的乘客事件也经常发生)。虽然每年航班改道的比率很低——据美国运输统计局称,至少从2004年起,远低于0.40%)——但就算只有几起改道航班事件是由不友好的乘客引起的,也还是显得太多了。我们也许真的是动物,但我们需要在飞往西棕榈滩的航班上证明这一点吗?

One of the most obvious catalysts is, of course, a crowded cabin. Many seats are thinner and narrower than in the past, and planes like some 777s, which used to have only nine seats across in coach, now cram 10 across.

当然,一个最明显的催化剂是拥挤的机舱。很多飞机的座位比过去更窄,比如,波音777的某些飞机过去一排有九个座位,现在却挤了十个。

“When you crowd people together, there is a point at which they are no longer able to function appropriately,” said Leon James, a professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii who has studied road and air rage. Crowding breeds feelings of alienation, cynicism and anonymity. It leads, as Dr. James put it, to “a breakdown of ordinary social inhibitions” — such as controlling one’s explosive emotions.

“如果你让人们挤在一起,到了一定程度,他们就不再能做出适当的行为,”夏威夷大学研究路上和机上愤怒的心理学教授利昂·詹姆斯(Leon James)说。拥挤会滋生异化、利己和匿名的感觉。就像詹姆斯博士说的,它会导致“普通社交控制力的崩溃”——诸如控制情绪爆发等能力。

Planes today are, in a word, antisocial, he said. Little wonder that people recline their seats without a friendly warning. “They just do it,” said Dr. James, adding that it’s a sign of “impersonal hostility among passengers,” an atmosphere “created by the airlines by the way they manage the passengers.” Most airlines don’t encourage social cabin environments (more on how to do that later). Rather, he said, their service changes have reinforced the hostile climate. By increasing fees for checked bags, passengers on a budget have had to compete for overhead bin space. By eliminating hot meals in coach, travelers have resorted to carrying on their own sometimes odoriferous food at the expense of their seatmates’ noses.

他总结说,如今的飞机是反社交的。难怪人们调节座椅时不会友好地提醒后座的人。“他们就这么做了,”詹姆斯说。他补充说,这是“乘客间冷漠敌意”的一个表现,这种气氛是“航空公司对待乘客的方式造成的”。大部分航空公司不去营造彼此交流的机舱氛围(我后面再具体谈谈如何改善这一点)。他说,相反,航空公司服务的改变强化了这种敌意气氛。由于托运行李费用增加,节省的乘客们不得不争夺舱顶行李箱。由于取消机上热餐,乘客们就自带食物,有时食物的味道不太好闻,邻座的鼻子就会遭罪。

I find myself thinking of John B. Calhoun’s seminal overpopulation research, published in Scientific American in the 1960s, which found that as rats were increasingly crowded together they became ever more aggressive and exhibited “behavior disturbances” from “frenetic overactivity” to “pathological withdrawal.”

我想起了20世纪60年代约翰·B·卡尔霍恩(John B. Calhoun)在《科学美国人》(Scientific American)上发表的一项关于人口过剩的重要研究。他发现,老鼠所在的空间越拥挤,它们就越好斗,表现出“疯狂的过度活跃”或“病态退缩”等“行为障碍”。

In a congested plane, it’s not just other passengers from whom we feel estranged, though.

不过,在拥挤的飞机上,我们不只是对其他乘客感到疏远。

“You feel a distance from your sense of self,” said Emma Seppala, the associate director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University School of Medicine. “You lose self-awareness,” she continued, referring to one interpretation of a psychological theory known as deindividuation, “and it’s been shown to lessen rationality.”

“你对自己的自我意识感到疏远,”斯坦福大学医学院同情与利他研究教育中心的副所长艾玛·斯帕拉(Emma Seppala)说。她继续说道,“你失去自我意识”——这是对“去个体化”(deindividuation)心理学理论的一种解释——“有证据表明,这会降低理性”。

The cabin is perhaps the most glaring environmental factor contributing to air rage, but there’s also the theater of getting to the airport and checking in: stop-and-go traffic, the obstacle course of suitcases on the curb, noise bouncing off the terminal walls, snail-like security lines, endless pings from your smartphone as work emails continue to land even as you remove your shoes and shove them into an X-ray machine.

机舱可能是最明显的导致机上愤怒的环境因素,但是去机场、办理登机手续也让人烦躁:交通状况不好,路边的行李箱带来障碍,航站楼中回荡的噪音,安检队伍像蜗牛爬行一样缓慢,智能手机的提示音不停作响——因为工作邮件还是会不断到来,就算你脱掉鞋子,把它们塞进安检机后,手机还是响个不停。

“Evolutionarily we’re currently experiencing more stimulation than we ever have before,” Dr. Seppala said. Many people feel overtaxed and depleted, especially when traveling, and “that really impacts our self-control and willpower,” she said.

“从进化角度看,我们现在感受到的刺激超过之前任何时候,”斯帕拉博士说。很多人感到负担过重,筋疲力尽,特别在旅行时,她说,“那真的会影响我们的自控力和意志力。”

Self-control, however, is not a neat, unitary concept. It’s not as if some people have it and some people don’t.

不过,自控不是个简单、单一的概念。不是说有些人有,有些人没有。

“There are multiple ways to fail at self-control, and each of these are supported by different brain circuits,” said Joshua W. Buckholtz, an assistant professor in the department of psychology and center for brain science at Harvard. “As it turns out self-control is this heterogeneous construct, and we’re only now beginning to parse it and understand what these distinct faculties are.”

“很多因素会让我们失控,每个因素由大脑的不同回路控制,”哈佛大学心理系和脑科学中心副教授约书亚·W·巴克霍茨(Joshua W. Buckholtz)说,“结果发现,自控是个包含很多因素的复杂机制,我们现在刚开始分析它,想弄清它由哪些不同的机能组成。”

What we do know is that certain things can affect our capacity for self-control, particularly stress and sleep deprivation — which tend to be as much a part of travel as luggage.

我们确切知道的是,某些因素会影响我们的自控力,特别是压力和睡眠不足——它们和行李一样,是旅行的一部分。

A study by neuroscientists at New York University, published last year in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that “even mild stress can make it difficult to control your emotions.” Other studies have shown that stress can make you more self-focused, said Dr. Seppala, resulting in tunnel vision for whatever it is you want, and woe be to anyone who gets in the way.

纽约大学的神经系统科学家们去年在美国国家科学院学报上发表了一项研究。他们发现“甚至连轻微的压力都会让人很难控制情绪”。斯帕拉博士说,其他一些研究表明,压力会让你更专注自我,视野狭隘,只关注自己想要的东西,厌烦任何妨碍你的人。

Being jet-lagged, or simply not having had a good night’s rest, also makes you vulnerable.

时差或睡眠不足也会让你变得脆弱。

“Sleep deprivation can play a really important role in making people act much more emotional,” said Iris Mauss, an associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. A study by her colleague Matthew Walker, director of the university’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory, found that “without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more primitive patterns of activity,” he said in a news release, “in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses.”

“睡眠不足真的会让人变得更情绪化,”加州大学伯克利分校心理系副教授艾丽斯·莫斯(Iris Mauss)说。她的同事、该校睡眠与神经影像研究室主管马修·沃克(Matthew Walker)做过一项研究,他在新闻发布会上说,“大脑在缺乏睡眠的情况下回到更原始的运行模式,无法把情绪体验放在具体环境中思考,无法做出克制的适当反应。”

Stress and sleep deprivation also hurt our ability to interpret other people’s intentions and mental states. For instance, you might jump to the conclusion that the person who reclined his seat onto your lap is a jerk, when in fact maybe he’s a tired soldier returning from duty, or someone with a disability. “The very rich representations of other people’s minds become degraded and impoverished when we are stressed and sleep deprived,” said Dr. Buckholtz of Harvard. “Your predictions about other people are wrong.”

压力和睡眠不足还会影响我们对他人意图和精神状态的理解。例如,前排的人把椅背向后调,压到你的手提电脑,你可能会马上认定他是个蠢货,而实际上他可能是个疲惫的退伍士兵或者残疾人士。“在有压力、缺乏睡眠的情况下,你会简单粗暴地理解他人头脑的丰富表现,”哈佛大学的巴克霍茨博士说,“那时你对他人的理解是错误的。”

Even those who pick fights at 35,000 feet?

甚至包括那些在3.5万英尺的高空寻衅滋事的人?

“They may be really nice people, but in that situation they got really deindividuated,” said Dr. Seppala of Stanford, referring to a loss of self-awareness. When we see another person act badly, we conclude, often incorrectly, that he or she is a bad person. Psychologists call this “fundamental attribution error.” After all, when we ourselves act badly, we simply say, “I had a bad day,” or “I wasn’t myself.” We don’t define ourselves as bad.

“他们可能是很好的人,但是在那种情况下,他们真的失去了自我,”斯坦福大学的斯帕拉博士说。她指的是自我意识的丧失。当我们看到有人行为恶劣时,经常会错误地认定他/她是个坏人。心理学家们称之为“基本归因错误”。毕竟,我们自己表现恶劣时会说,“我今天心情不好”或者“我平常不是这样的”。我们不认为自己是坏人。

In a heated exchange, it can help to view the other person as someone who is fundamentally good, yet going through something stressful. Some people are obviously better at doing that — and at regulating their emotions — than others. They’re resilient, able to distance themselves from a stressful situation while others in the same situation fall apart. Are these stoics just born that way? Scholars like Dr. Mauss of the University of California, Berkeley, are still trying to find out. But she said being good at regulating emotion seems to be something that’s learned either early in life from, say, your parents, or later in life through conscious reflection on yourself as well as analysis of situations in which you learn to think, “this will pass,” or “it’s not relevant in the grand scheme of things.”

在激烈争吵时,想想对方本质上是个好人,只是现在有些压力,会对情况有所帮助。有些人明显更擅长于此,能控制住自己的情绪。他们更有弹性,能让自己从紧张情况中脱离出来,而其他人在同样的情况下可能已经崩溃了。这些镇定的人是天生如此吗?加州大学伯克利分校的莫斯博士等学者仍在努力弄清这个问题。不过她说,善于控制情绪似乎是早年从父母那里学来的,或者是后来在生活中通过有意识的自我反省或者通过分析情况养成的——在这个过程中你学会这样想:“这会过去的”或者“从更广阔的角度看,这无关紧要”。

When our emotions are high and we’re physiologically aroused, however, it’s difficult to reason with ourselves. Thankfully, there are other ways to control the mind. Take breathing, for instance. Dr. Seppala cited a study that showed that different emotions such as joy, anger, fear and sadness, each have distinct patterns of breathing (like faster and shallow when afraid, she said). What’s revolutionary, she added, is that the study also showed that by breathing in different ways, people were actually able to generate different emotions.

不过,当我们在情绪上和生理上很激动时,我们很难理智思考。幸好还有其他方法来控制大脑。比如,深呼吸。斯帕拉博士说,一项研究表明,处于高兴、生气、恐惧和悲伤等不同的情绪之下,会有不同的呼吸方式(她说,比如恐惧时呼吸会更快、更浅)。她补充说,具有革命意义的是,这项研究还发现,用不同的方式呼吸真的能产生不同的情绪。

“It’s the only autonomic process that can be controlled,” said Dr. Seppala, who is also the lead author of a study published last month in The Journal of Traumatic Stress that found that a breathing-based meditation was able to decrease post-traumatic stress in American military veterans. “We can learn to have an impact on our nervous system,” she said.

“它是唯一可控的自发过程,”斯帕拉博士说。她也是上月发表在《创伤压力杂志》(The Journal of Traumatic Stress)上的一项研究的主要作者。那项研究发现,以呼吸为基础的冥想能减轻美国退伍军人的创伤后压力。“我们能学会对自己的神经系统施加影响,”她说。

The breathing-based meditation that was used by the researchers is known as Sudarshan Kriya Yoga, and it has also been shown to increase self-reported “optimism and well-being” in college students, and to decrease self-reported anxiety in people with general anxiety disorder. Don’t have time for meditation or yoga? Experts say to make time, because the better you are, the better your fellow travelers will be.

研究者们所使用的呼吸冥想被称为净化呼吸法,大学生练习后自称变得“更乐观、健康”,有焦虑障碍的人练习后自称焦虑减轻。没时间冥想或做瑜伽?专家们说,那就腾出时间来,因为你变得更好,跟你同行的旅客们也会变得更好。

“Taking care of yourself,” Dr. Seppala said, “is the most unselfish thing you can do.”

斯帕拉博士说,“照顾好自己是你能做的最无私的事情。”

There’s plenty the airlines could be doing, too (aside from configuring planes with seats that actually fit their ticket holders). For example: Improve the cabin atmosphere.

航空公司也有很多方面需要提高(除了把机舱座位设计得可以真正容纳购票者之外)。比如,改善机舱气氛。

“They have to think of the crowd as a potential community,” said Dr. James of the University of Hawaii, and enact certain community-building principles. One simple tactic is what he refers to as live demography: a flight attendant standing in front of the cabin asking questions like “How many of you are going home?” or “Raise your hand if you’ve never been on an airplane before.” It may sound like a kindergarten exercise, but it encourages passengers to relax, be friendly and communicate with one another. “It breaks the anonymity and the hostility,” Dr. James said.

夏威夷大学的詹姆斯博士说,“他们必须把机上乘客当成一个潜在团体”,并且采取某些团体建设的方法。一个简单的方法是他所谓的现场人口统计:一位空乘人员站在机舱前问一些问题,比如“你们中间有多少人是返乡?”或者“以前从未坐过飞机的请举手”。这可能听起来像幼儿园活动,但它能帮助乘客放松,让他们更友好,愿意相互交流。“它能打破隔膜和敌意,”詹姆斯博士说。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表