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很多人喜歡帶著筆電到咖啡館工作,這樣做真的更有生產力嗎?或者只是錯覺?研究證實,到咖啡館工作,真的會提高創造力。

進入本文前請想一想,這些單字英文怎麼說: (A) 分貝 (B) 分心 (C) 不順暢

Many think that there is a productive energy when working at coffee shops. Some even think that they are more creative there, and science is (1) backing them up on that. But it's not the atmosphere, but the sound waves, that make you more productive.

很多人覺得在咖啡廳工作有幹勁,有些人還覺得在咖 啡廳工作時更有創意,這樣的感受其實有科學根 據,不過讓你有生產力的不是氣氛,而是聲波。

 

According to Readers' Digest, this conclusion resulted from a study in which researchers increased the volume of background noise in a room, while students in the room engaged in word-association tests and product brainstorms, both of which demanded focus and creativity. "Students performed best and generated the most creative solutions when working under moderate noise conditions - 70 (A) decibels of ambient sound. They performed worse in low noise (50 db, the volume of a quiet room) and poorest in high noise (85db, the volume of a garbage disposal). Incidentally, 70 db is about the same volume of background noise that you'd find in a crowded cafe."

讀者文摘報導,在一項研究中,研究人員讓學生進行字彙聯想測試和產品的腦力激盪,兩項活動皆需要注意力和創造力。同時,研究人員逐漸調高背景噪音音量。他們發現,「當背景音量中等時—即70分 貝的環境音,學生的表現最好,產出最多創意方案。低噪音時(50分貝,相當於安靜的房間),學生表現較差。而噪音極大時(85分貝,相當於垃圾處理廠的音量),表現最差。附帶一提,一間擠滿人的咖啡廳,產生的聲量正好就是70分貝。」

 

The reason why is that a little (B) distraction can be good. It is called "processing (C) disfluency," or in simple words, "the ease or speed in which you can process information."

會這樣的原因是,稍微分心有時是好的,這是所謂 的「處理不順暢」,簡單來說指「大腦處理資訊時的 放鬆程度和運轉速度」。

 

"While a 'fluid' mental processing speed is most helpful for highly-focused tasks like, say, filing your taxes, this laser-focus can be detrimental to abstract thinking - you are mentally too close to the problem to be able to think abstractly, too (2) caught up in the particulars. This is why if you're too focused on a problem and you're not able to solve it, you leave it for some time and then come back to it and you get the solution." said one of the research conductor.

「『流暢』的思維處理,最有助於報稅這種需要高度 集中的工作,但全神貫注並不利於抽象思考—你會糾結在細節,過度聚焦於問題,無法進行抽象思考。研究人員說,『這就是為什麼太專注在問題時無法解決它,把問題先擱著,再回頭來看,反而容易找到解答。』」

 

Just like turning away from the problem at hand, a moderate amount of bustle in a coffee shop can interrupt your processing fluency just enough so that you can approach ideas from a more abstract position. In other words, your creativity is boosted. But, "meaningless" noise works the best, according to another study in Japan. That explains why your focus goes veering off track when an annoying song starts playing, or the talk at the next table is absurd or interesting, regardless of their volume.

就像將注意力從眼前問題暫時轉移,咖啡館裡適中 的喧鬧聲剛好足夠干擾大腦處理流暢度,讓你進行抽象思考,換言之,這提升了創造力。但根據另一項日本的研究,「無意義」的噪音最有效。這就是為什麼如果一首惱人的歌響起,或是隔壁桌的荒謬或有趣談話,不管聲音是大是小,都會讓你的思緒完全脫軌。


 

本文收錄於英語島English Island 2017年12月號
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