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双语:U形幸福曲线解释为何人到中年最郁闷

2011-07-23  storeroom

U形幸福曲线解释为何人到中年最郁闷

http://www.sina.com.cn   2011年04月19日 11:30   中国日报网-英语点津


  Happiness follows a U-shaped curve during a person's lifetime, according to research showing that middle-aged people are the unhappiest。

  Satisfaction with life starts to drop as early as a person's late 20s and does not begin to recover until well past 50, says Bert van Landeghem, an economist at Maastricht University in Belgium。

  While young adults are carefree and full of hope for the future and the over-50s have come to terms with the trials of life, the research indicates that those in the middle feel weighed down by the demands on them。

  The study found "a substantial dip in happiness during the middle of people's lives is the equivalent to becoming unemployed or losing a family member"。

  The conclusions come in a study of how people perceive their wellbeing。

  Mr van Landeghem, who is 29, will present his research at the Royal Economic Society annual conference at Royal Holloway, the University of London, this week。

  While he said happiness did return with age, he warned that older people did not actually recapture the spirit of their youth. They simply learnt to be satisfied with their lot。

  "A U-shaped happiness curve does not necessarily imply that a 65 year-old prefers his own life to the life of a 25 year-old," he said. "Both the 25 year-old and 65 year-old might agree that it is nicer to be 25 than to be 65. But the 65 year-old might nevertheless be more satisfied, as he has learned to be satisfied with what he has."

  Studies around the world have shown that happiness tends to dip in midlife, he said, and that this was not just a phenomenon confined to the Western world。

  Last month, Lewis Wolpert, emeritus professor of biology at University College London, said happiness could peak as late as 80. In a book called You're Looking Very Well, Prof Wolpert said most people were "averagely happy" in their teens and 20s, but this declined until early middle age as they attempted to support a family and career。

  He added: "From the mid-40s, people tend to become ever more cheerful and optimistic, perhaps reaching a maximum in their late 70s or 80s."

  An easing of the responsibilities of middle age, maturity and an increased focus on the things we enjoy contributed to the trend, he said。

  研究显示,人一生中的快乐感是条U曲线,中年人是最不快乐的。

  比利时马斯特里赫特大学的经济学家伯特?凡?兰德亨说,一个人对生活的满意度在接近三十岁时会开始不断下降,一直到五十好几才会有所回升。

  研究表明,青年人无忧无虑,对未来充满希望,五十多岁的人已经适应了生活的种种考验,而中年人则被众多烦恼困扰。

  研究发现,“人到中年,快乐感明显降低,这种心态转变相当于失业或痛失家人。”

  该研究调查了人们对自身幸福的感知状况,从而得出了这一结论。

  现年29岁的凡?兰德亨先生本周将在伦敦大学皇家霍洛威学院举行的皇家经济学会年会上提交他的研究报告。

  尽管凡?兰德亨说快乐感随着年龄增长还会回升,但他警告说老年人并不会重获年轻时的朝气。他们只是懂得知足常乐罢了。

  他说:“快乐U型曲线并不意味着65岁的老人喜欢自己的生活胜过25岁年轻人的生活。不论是25岁的年轻人,还是65岁的老人,都会认为25岁比65岁要好。但是65岁的人会更满足,因为他已经学会知足常乐。

  他说,世界范围内的研究都显示,快乐感在中年时会下降,这并不是只有西方国家才出现的现象。

  伦敦大学学院生物学的名誉教授路易斯?沃尔伯特上个月称,快乐感会在80岁高龄时达到顶峰。在一本题为《你看起来很棒》的书中,沃尔伯特教授 说,大部分人在青少年和20多岁时都觉得“还算快乐”,但是当他们开始为家庭和事业奋斗时,快乐感就不断下降,直到进入中年后才有所回升。

  他还说:“从四十五岁左右开始,人们会变得快乐、乐观起来,这种乐观心态可能会在七八十岁时达到顶峰。”

  他说,人到中年,肩上的责任减轻了,人更成熟,而且会把注意力更多地放在让自己心情愉悦的事物上,这些都有助于快乐感的提升。

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