Change Your Bad Habits to Good
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-06-15 06:52:43  【打印
Change Your Bad Habits to Good



To get yourself started in a new direction, try the Three M's.



[1]At the University of California, my students and I surveyed more than 2,000 years of self-change techniques--perhaps most of the major self-change methods that have ever been proposed by religious leaders, philosophers, psychologists and psychiatrists. We also reviewed the scientific research literature on self-change, a topic that behavioral scientists began to explore in earnest in the 1960s.



[2] Here is what we found: Of the hundreds of self-change techniques that have been suggested over the centuries, perhaps only a dozen are distinctly different. Many have now been subjected to scientific study, meaning that researchers have tried to see which ones work best.



[3] Three deserve special mention: they're powerful, simple and easy to learn. What's more , individuals who have made successful changes in their lives--changes in eating habits, exercise regimens, career paths, coping strategies, and so on--often relied on one or more of these methods.



[4] To get yourself started in a new direction, try the Three M's:



Modify Your Environment



[5] People who have never tried this are astounded by the enormous effect it often has. One of my students got herself bicycling every day simply by putting her bicycle in her doorway before she left for school. When she returned home, that was the first thing she saw, and that's all she needed to start pedaling away. I've known several people who have overcome nail-biting simply by buying 50 nail files and distributing them everywhere: in their pockets, their desks and their bedrooms. With a nail file always within reach, they tended to groom rather than bite.



[6] My children have used this simple technique many times. Justin, my 17-year-old, often places small fluorescent reminder notes at eye level on the inside of the frame of his bedroom door. A recent one read "Remember to shampoo the dog on Saturday or Dad will kill you". (Here he was using exaggeration to good effect.)



[7] The power of rearranging one's space has been well demonstrated in studies since it was first reported in the 1960s. Psychologist Israel Goldiamond of the University of Chicago taught this technique to patients with a variety of personal problems. For example, a young woman who had difficulty studying made dramatic strides when she got a better desk lamp and moved her desk away from her bed.



[8] Psychologist Richard Stuart, who ultimately became a director at Weight Watchers International, showed in the 1960s that overweight women could lose pounds by modifying both their eating behavior and "stimulus environment"--for example, eating from smaller plates and confining all food to the kitchen. To change yourself, change your world.



Monitor Your Behavior



[9] I've been reading research studies on self-monitoring for 20 years, and I've conducted some myself. To be honest, I still don't fully understand why this technique works, but it does, and remarkably well for most people. The fact is, if you monitor what you do, you'll probably do better.



[10] Weigh yourself regularly and you may well start to lose weight. Keep a record of what you eat and you'll probably start eating more wisely.



[11] Use gizmos. If you say "you know" too much, wear a golf counter on your wrist, and press the button whenever you catch yourself saying "you know". I'll bet you say it less frequently in just a few days. If a wrist counter is embarrassing, then make a small tear in a piece of paper in your pocket each time you say "you know". The result is the same : you become more aware of what you're doing, and that makes you perform better.



[12] If techniques like this sound silly, keep in mind that the power of self-monitoring has been demonstrated by a variety of research conducted over the last four decades. In a study I published in 1978 with Claire Goss, for example, we taught a disruptive fifth-grade boy to rate his own class-room behavior twice a day. He simply checked off a score for himself, indicating how well-behaved he had been in the morning or afternoon. With his awareness increased, he stayed in his seat more than usual, completed more assignments and rarely got in trouble.



[13] A similar study by Canadian researchers Thomas McKenzie and Brent Rushall showed that teenagers arrived more promptly at a swim practice when they were given an attendance sheet to record their arrival times. Working with emotionally disturbed children, Sonya Carr of Southeastern Louisiana University and Rebecca Punzo, a New Orleans teacher reported that self-monitoring improves academic performance in reading, mathematics and spelling. Recent research even demonstrated that students will compose better stories given a simple checklist that includes elements of good writing. Dozens of studies have similar results, all spurred by height-ening our awareness of our behavior.



Make Commitments



[14] When you make a commitment to another person, you establish what psychologists call a contingency of reinforcement; you've automatically arranged for a reward if you comply and a punishment if you don't. It puts some pressure on you, and that's often just what you need.



[15] For instance, if you want to exercise more, arrange to do it with a friend. If you don't show up, your friend will get angry, and that may be just the ticket to keeping you punctual. Decades of research have demonstrated the power of this strategy. For example, in 1994 Dana Putnam and other researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University showed that patients who made written commitments were far more likely to take prescribed medicine than patients who hadn't. Mary Lou Kau and Joel Fischer of the University of Hawaii reported a case of a woman who got herself to jog regularly by setting up a simple arrangement with her husband: he paid her quarters and took her out on weekends whenever she met her jogging goals.



[16] There's good news here for all of us. We can meet many of the demands and overcome many of the challenges of life with simple skills--straightforward practices that anyone can master and that don't require willpower--in other words, with skill, not will.





参考译文:

改掉坏毛病 养成好习惯

要想开辟人生新道路,试试过三个“M”。



[1]在加利福尼亚大学,我和我的学生调查了两千多年来人们用来改变自我的技巧——也许主要方法中的大部分都是由宗教领袖、哲学家、心理学家和精神病专家提出的。我们还回顾了有关改变自我的科学研究文献。早在20世纪60年代,改变自我就是行为科学家开始认真探索的课题。



[2]我们的发现结果如下:在几个世纪以来人们提出的几百种改变自我的方法中,也许仅有十来种与其他方法截然不同。许多方法至今一直是科学研究的对象,这意味着研究人员一直试图探明其中最有效的方法。



[3]有三种方法值得特别提及:它们效力强大而又简单易学。此外,那些已成功改变了其人生道路的人们,也常常是依靠这些方法中的一种或多种来改变其饮食习惯、养生之道、事业方向和处世策略,等等。



[4]要想开辟人生道路,试试这三个“M”:



改善周边环境



[5]从未尝试改善环境的人通常会对所产生的显著效果感到惊奇不已。我的一个学生为了促使自己每天骑车锻炼,采取了离家上学前将自行车放在门道里的简单方法。这样一回家,她首先看见的就是那辆车,而所需做的就是骑上自行车锻炼去。我认识几个人,他们为了改掉咬指甲的坏习惯而买了50把指甲挫并把它们分放到各处:口袋里,书桌上,卧室内。由于指甲挫总能伸手可及,他们就会去修指甲,而不啃指甲了。



[6]我的孩子们多次运用过这样的简单技巧。我17岁的儿子贾斯廷经常把小小的荧光纸记事便条放在他卧室门框内侧齐眼高的位置。前不久的一张上写道:“记着星期六给狗洗澡,否则爸爸会杀了你的。”(为了达到良好效果,他这里用的是夸张手法。)



[7]重新布置自己的空间具有很大的影响力,该观点首次提出于20世纪6O年代,在诸多研究中已得到充分证明。当时,芝加哥大学的心理学家伊斯雷尔·戈戴蒙德将这一技巧传授给那些为形形色色的私人问题所困扰的病人。就拿一位年轻女士来说吧,她在学习上困难重重,自从换了一个好点儿的台灯并把书桌搬离开床边后,她在学习上就取得了长足进步。



[8]心理学家理查德·斯图尔特最终当上了国际体重观察员组织的总监,他在20世纪60年代曾指出:体重过重的妇女可以通过纠正饮食习惯和改变“刺激食欲的环境”的方法来减肥——例如,用小一点的盘子吃饭和把食物全都集中放在厨房里。要改变自我就必须改变你周围的世界。



监督自身行为



[9]20年来我一直在阅读有关自我监督的研究报告,而且自己也做过一些研究。老实说,我仍未完全弄懂,为何自我监督这种方法行之有效,但它确实有效,而且对多数人都效果显著。实际上,只要你常留意自己的所作所为,很可能就会表现得更完美。



[10]经常称一称体重,你或许就会真的开始减肥。记录下自己每天的饮食,你可能就会更为明智地选择用餐。



[11]试着用一些小把戏吧。如果你总是把“you know”挂在嘴边,就在手腕上戴个高尔夫计数器,每当意识到自己说一次“youknow”时就按一下计数键。我敢打赌,过不了几天,你就不会那么频繁地说起它了。倘若嫌戴腕部计数器令人难堪,那么就在每说一次“you know”时把口袋里的一张纸弄破一个小洞。其结果是一样的:你会变得更留意自己的行为,因而也就表现更佳。



[12]如果说这样的方法听起来颇为荒唐,请记住:自我监督的力量已在40年来所进行的各种研究中得到了证实。我和克莱尔·戈斯于1978年发表的一篇研究报告中就有一个实例。我们教一个爱捣乱的五年级小男孩每天对自己的课堂表现做两次等级评定。他只是简单地给自己打个分数,以表明自己上午或下午表现得如何好。随着自我监测意识的增强,他比平常更能待在座位上,完成的作业也更多了,而且很少再惹麻烦了。



[13]加拿大研究人员托马斯·麦肯齐和布伦特·拉希尔所做的一项类似研究表明,在青少年拿到出勤单以纪录出勤时间后,他们会更加及时地赶到,参加游泳训练。东南路易斯安那大学的索尼亚·卡尔和新奥尔良教师丽贝卡·庞佐在研究过情绪失常儿童后发表报告称,自我监督能改善这些孩子在阅读、数学和拼写方面的学习表现。最近的研究甚至表明,学生只要得到一张含有优秀写作要素的简要清单,就能写出更好的故事来。大量研究都取得了类似的结果,而且都是通过加强自我行为意识而得出的。



许下诺言



[14]当你向别人许诺时,你就形成了心理学家所说的“后效强化”这么一种情况。一旦实现承诺,你自然早已准备好得到嘉奖;如果食言,面临的就是惩罚。这将给你带来压力,而通常这也正是你所需要的。



[15]比方说,如果你想加强锻炼,那么就安排和朋友一起锻炼吧。假如你到时没露面,你的朋友就会生气,这或许正是督促你守时的一种手段。几十年的研究已证实了这一措施的效力。例如在1994年,弗吉尼亚理工学院和州立大学的达纳·帕特南等研究人员证明,作出书面承诺的病人远比未作书面保证的病人更能按医嘱服药。夏威夷大学玛莉·卢·考和乔尔·费希尔报告过一位妇女的案例,这位女士使自己坚持慢跑锻炼的方法就是和丈夫达成了一项简短的协议----无论何时,只要她实现了慢跑目标,丈夫都给她一些零钱,并在周末陪她出去玩。



[16]对我们大家来说这都是好消息。要满足生命中这诸多要求并克服众多挑战,我们只需运用简单技巧——而这些技巧是任何人都能掌握并且无需意志力的实践操作——换句话说,只用技巧,而非意志。

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