原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.com 翻译:yzy86 转载请注明出处
论坛地址:http://www.ltaaa.com/bbs/thread-488332-1-1.html



本文作者为华威大学华威商学院行为科学教授Nick Chater

Ask any of the few remaining World War IIveterans what they did during the war and you’re likely to get a humble answer.But ask the person on the street how important their country’s contribution tothe war effort was and you’ll probably hear something far less modest. A newstudy suggests people from Germany, Russia, the UK and the US on average allthink their own country shouldered more than half the burden of fighting WorldWar II.

二战老兵是所剩不多了,去问问他们中的任何一个他们在二战期间干过什么,你可能会得到一个谦虚的答案。但问问大街上的人,他们的国家对于打赢战争的努力作出了多重要的贡献,那你可能就会听到一些不那么谦虚的回答了。一项新的研究表明,来自德国、俄罗斯、英国和美国的人通常都会觉得他们自己的国家在打二战中扛起了一半以上的重任。

Our national collective memories seem to bedeceiving us, and this is part of a far more general pattern. Aside from thoseveterans who have no desire to revel in the horrors of war, we may have ageneral psychological tendency to believe our contributions are moresignificant than they really are.

我们的国家集体记忆似乎在欺骗我们,而这和一种更普遍的模式是吻合的。除去那些完全不想沉湎于战争恐怖的老兵们,也许我们身上存在着一种心理倾向,会去相信我们作出的贡献要比实际的情况更为重大。



A sceptic might note that “contributing toworld history” is a rather nebulous idea, which each nation can interpret toits advantage. (The Italians, at 40%, might focus on the Romans and theRenaissance, for example.) But what about our responsibility for specific worldevents? The latest study from Roediger’s lab addresses the question of nationalcontributions to World War II.

多疑的人可能会留意到,“对世界历史的贡献”是一个相当模糊的概念,每个国家都可以把它诠释成自身的优势。(比如说意大利人,自评的平均值为40%,可能会聚焦于罗马人和文艺复兴。)到那时,我们对于特定全球事件的贡献又如何呢?这项罗迪格实验室开展的最新研究解决了这个问题,即各国在第二次世界大战中作出的贡献。

The researchers surveyed people from eightformer Allied countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, New Zealand,Russia/USSR, the UK and the US) and three former Axis powers (Germany, Italyand Japan). As might be expected, people from the winning Allied side rankedtheir own countries highly, and the average percentage responses added up to309%. Citizens of the UK, US and Russia all believed their countries hadcontributed more than 50% of the war effort and were more than 50% responsiblefor victory.

这些研究者们调查了八个前同盟国的民众(澳大利亚、加拿大、中国、法国、新西兰、俄罗斯/苏联、英国和美国)以及三个前轴心国的民众(德国、意大利和日本)。正如预料的那样,来自战胜的同盟国一边的民众把他们自己的国家排得很高,而且答出的比率经过平均,加总起来为309%。英国、美国和俄罗斯的公民都相信他们的国家在作战中出力超过一半,而且取得胜利有一半以上的功劳要归于他们的国家。



World War II deaths by country. How wouldyou work out which country contributed the most?

(图解:各国在二战中的死亡人数。你能从中看出哪个国家的贡献最大吗?)

You might suspect that the losing Axispowers, whose historical record is inextricably tied to the immeasurable humansuffering of the war, might not be so proud. As former US president John FKennedy said (echoing the Roman historian Tacitus): “Victory has a hundredfathers and defeat is an orphan.” Perhaps the results for the Allied countriesjust reflect a general human tendency to claim credit for positiveachievements. Yet citizens of the three Axis powers also over-claim shares ofthe war effort (totalling 140%). Rather than minimising their own contribution,even defeated nations seem to overstate their role.

你可能会猜想,打输了的轴心国可能不会那么自傲,毕竟它们的历史记录与人类所遭受的不可估量的战争苦难紧紧绑定在了一起。正如前美国总统肯尼迪所说的(呼应了古罗马历史学家塔西佗):“得胜百人争功,败绩避之不及”(此处的直译为“胜利有一百个父亲,失败则是一个孤儿”)。也许这些同盟国的调查结果反映出的不过是一种很普遍的人类倾向,即在达成正面的成就后争抢功劳。然而,三个轴心国的公民也夸大了他们在战争中的出力份额(加总为140%)。他们没有把自己的贡献压到最低,看起来连战败国都在夸大自己的作用。

Why? The simplest explanation is that wepiece together answers to questions, of whatever kind, by weaving togetherwhatever relevant snippets of information we can bring to mind. And thesnippets of information that come to mind will depend on the information we’vebeen exposed to through our education and cultural environment. Citizens ofeach nation learn a lot more about their country’s own war effort than those ofother countries. These “home nation” memories spring to mind, and a biaseduation is the inevitable result.

这是为什么呢?最简单的解释是:无论是什么类型的问题,我们都是通过编排任何我们能想到的扯得上关系的零星信息,来拼凑出答案的。而这些我们想到的零星信息,取决于我们通过教育和文化环境一直能接触到的信息。每个国家的公民对于本国在战争中出的力,了解程度要比其他国家的公民多得多。这些有关“祖国”的记忆浮现在了脑海中,然后,不可避免的结果就是出现了一种片面的评估。



Still, the tendency to overplay our own andour nation’s role in just about anything seems all too plausible. We seehistory through a magnifying glass that is pointing directly at ourselves. Welearn the most about the story of our own nation. So our home nation’s effortsand contributions inevitably spring readily to mind (military and civiliandeaths, key battles, advances in technology and so on). The efforts andcontributions of other nations are sensed more dimly, and often not at all.

尽管如此,这种夸大我们自身和我们国家在几乎任何事件中作用的倾向,似乎实在是太可信了。我们是用放大镜来看那些直接指向我们自身的历史的。我们了解最多的就是我们自己国家的故事。所以我们祖国的出力和贡献不可避免地会很容易跃入脑海(军人和平民的死亡、关键战役、技术上的领先等等)。其他国家的出力和贡献在感觉上是很模糊的,而且往往会完全意识不到。

And the magnifying glass over our effortsis pervasive in daily life. I can find myself thinking irritably, as I unloadthe dishwasher, “Well, I don’t even remember the last time you did this!” Butof course not. Not because you didn’t do it, but because I wasn’t there.

而且,这个放大我们努力的放大镜在日常生活中是无处不在的。我在往外卸碗盘勺筷的时候,会发现自己很火大,“好吧,我甚至都不记得你上一次干这活是什么时候!”不过,当然是记不得的。不是因为你没有做过,而是因为我不在场。