文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2011-06-14 02:58 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

Many economists1 and sociologists have warned of the social dangers of a wide gap between the richest and everyone else. Now, a new study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, adds a psychological reason to narrow the disparity(不同,不一致) – it makes people unhappy. Over the last 40 years, "we've seen that people seem to be happier when there is more equality," says University of Virginia psychologist Shigehiro Oishi, who conducted the study with Virginia colleague Selin Kesebir and Ed Diener of the University of Illinois. "Income disparity has grown a lot in the U.S., especially since the 1980s. With that, we've seen a marked drop in life satisfaction and happiness." The findings hold true for about 60 percent of Americans—people in the lower and moderate income brackets.

But why? To find out, the researchers looked at a portion of the data gathered by the General Social Survey from 1972 to 2008, a poll of 1,500 to 2,000 people randomly2 selected from the U.S. population every other year (it used to be every year). In all, the study sample included more than 48,000 respondents over 37 years.

The psychologists examined the relationships among the answers to one question rating happiness on a three-point scale and two indicating the respondents' sense of how fair and trustworthy(可靠的) their fellow Americans were. These answers were analyzed3 alongside the individual's income and a globally recognized instrument measuring national income equality in each survey year.

The conclusions: That grim mood cannot be attributed to thinner pocketbooks during periods of greater inequality—though those pocketbooks were thinner. Rather, the gap between people's own fortunes and those of people who are better off is correlated with feelings that other people are less fair and less trustworthy, and this results in a diminished sense of well-being4 in general.

Interestingly, the psychologists found, the inequality blues5 did not afflict6 Americans at the top.. For instance, for the richest 20 percent, income disparity or its absence did not affect their feelings about fairness and trust—or their happiness—one way or the other(总要有一个办法) .

Before this analysis, says Oishi, most studies measuring life satisfaction and income disparity have looked at the differences between nations or states. The results have been mixed; some studies found equal nations and states are happier than unequal ones, while other studies did not find any relation. "People were puzzled." "In addition, it was hard to interpret the previous findings as Brazil is different from Sweden, and Mississippi is different from Minnesota not only in income inequality but in many other factors" he notes.

But this study eliminates the variables of geographic7 and cultural difference by looking at the same nation over a long period of time. For the first time, psychologists can see a link between a major socio-economic factor and the quality of people's individual lives.

The researchers caution that they show only correlations8 and not causation; and that other dynamics9 may be been at play in the respondents' changing well-being.

Still, says Oishi, "the implications are clear: If we care about the happiness of most people, we need to do something about income inequality." One way to accomplish that end, he says, is with more progressive taxation10.


1 economists 2ba0a36f92d9c37ef31cc751bca1a748     
n.经济学家,经济专家( economist的名词复数 )
  • The sudden rise in share prices has confounded economists. 股价的突然上涨使经济学家大惑不解。
  • Foreign bankers and economists cautiously welcomed the minister's initiative. 外国银行家和经济学家对部长的倡议反应谨慎。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 randomly cktzBM     
  • Within the hot gas chamber, molecules are moving randomly in all directions. 在灼热的气体燃烧室内,分子在各个方向上作无规运动。 来自辞典例句
  • Transformed cells are loosely attached, rounded and randomly oriented. 转化细胞则不大贴壁、圆缩并呈杂乱分布。 来自辞典例句
3 analyzed 483f1acae53789fbee273a644fdcda80     
v.分析( analyze的过去式和过去分词 );分解;解释;对…进行心理分析
  • The doctors analyzed the blood sample for anemia. 医生们分析了贫血的血样。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The young man did not analyze the process of his captivation and enrapturement, for love to him was a mystery and could not be analyzed. 这年轻人没有分析自己蛊惑著迷的过程,因为对他来说,爱是个不可分析的迷。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 well-being Fe3zbn     
  • He always has the well-being of the masses at heart.他总是把群众的疾苦挂在心上。
  • My concern for their well-being was misunderstood as interference.我关心他们的幸福,却被误解为多管闲事。
5 blues blues     
  • She was in the back of a smoky bar singing the blues.她在烟雾弥漫的酒吧深处唱着布鲁斯歌曲。
  • He was in the blues on account of his failure in business.他因事业失败而意志消沉。
6 afflict px3zg     
  • I wish you wouldn't afflict me with your constant complains.我希望你不要总是抱怨而使我苦恼。
  • There are many illnesses,which afflict old people.有许多疾病困扰着老年人。
7 geographic tgsxb     
  • The city's success owes much to its geographic position. 这座城市的成功很大程度上归功于它的地理位置。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Environmental problems pay no heed to these geographic lines. 环境问题并不理会这些地理界限。 来自英汉非文学 - 环境法 - 环境法
8 correlations 4a9b6fe1ddc2671881c9aa3d6cc07e8e     
相互的关系( correlation的名词复数 )
  • One would expect strong and positive correlations between both complexes. 人们往往以为这两个综合体之间有紧密的正相关。
  • The correlations are of unequal value. 这些对应联系的价值并不相同。
9 dynamics NuSzQq     
  • In order to succeed,you must master complicated knowledge of dynamics.要取得胜利,你必须掌握很复杂的动力学知识。
  • Dynamics is a discipline that cannot be mastered without extensive practice.动力学是一门不做大量习题就不能掌握的学科。
10 taxation tqVwP     
  • He made a number of simplifications in the taxation system.他在税制上作了一些简化。
  • The increase of taxation is an important fiscal policy.增税是一项重要的财政政策。
TAG标签: social unhappy disparity