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面相告诉我们什么?存在了一万年的偏见 – 译学馆
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Your Face Makes the First Impression—What Does It Say? Bias, Evolution, Trust | Alexander Todorov

在过去 从亚里士多德时期到后来的16 17世纪
So in the early days, including from the time of Aristotle and later in the 16th and 17th
century most of physiognomy consisted of this whimsical comparisons between the physiognomy
of humans and animals.
例如 你有一副长得像牛的人的画像
So for example, you would have a drawing of a human who presumably looks like a cow, and
便由此做出各种各样的推论 比如认为这个人的性格和牛很像
from there you will make all kinds of inferences that perhaps the character of the person matches
不管像什么动物 我们都以此类推
the character of the cow—whatever that might be.
事实上 如果你去看欧洲史 大多数19世纪小说
In fact if you look at the history of European history, most of the 19th century’s novels,
a standard feature of these novels is that you have physiognomic descriptions of the characters.
所以面相学非常受欢迎且有影响性 不仅限于不知名作家 还包括知名作家
So it was very, very popular and influenced not only marginal writers but big names like
比如巴尔扎克 司汤达和其他许多作家
Balzac, Stendhal, and many others.
而 非常有趣的是 在20世纪早期 人们不再谈论面相学
Now, interestingly enough, in the early 20th century people no longer talk about physiognomy
they talk about character analysis.
而且 人们不再参考拉瓦特异想天开的想法
And in fact a lot of the references are no longer to Lavater’s whimsical ideas, but they’re
to evolutionary ideas.
所谓的性格分析 很有影响力
And the so-called character analysis, they were quite influential and they were involved
且在商业和人才招聘中广泛使用 这时 新的心理科学出现了
heavily in business and recruitment of employees, but this is exactly the time when the new
science of psychology arises and then psychologists are kind of skeptical about the claims of
也可以说是新式面相师 的理论
the character analysts, or really the new physiognomists.
实际上 人们对第一印象的认同是在100年前心理学领域发现的
The fact that we agree on this impression was discovered over 100 years ago in psychology,
but psychologists at the time were really focused on the accuracy of the impressions
and paid very little attention to the extremely interesting psychological fact that we actually
即 我们是相信这些第一印象的
agree on these impressions.
在心理学 以及近来的社会科学领域上
Very often in psychology, and generally in the social sciences lately, if you observe
that there’s a pervasive bias that is: it’s something that feels fairly automatic and
we can all do it.
人们立即提出假说 认为这是与生俱来的
There is kind of almost immediate assumption that this might be actually wired, that it’s
something that would be are born to be able to do.
当然 你可以很快举出反例 比如开车 开车也会变成自动反应
Of course you can easily think of counterexamples like driving, which essentially becomes automatic
但人从没有进化出开车的功能 再比如阅读
and there’s nothing evolutionary about driving—or reading.
然而 脸是时时展现在我们所处的环境中的
But nevertheless things that seem to have been present always in our environment like
所以 这看起来像是自然而然的进化推演
faces, that seems like natural assumptions.
有趣的是 我们的研究表明——有很多因素会影响印象的形成
It’s interesting actually, we’ve done some studies—there are many, many different inputs to impressions.
情绪的表现 性别的特征 年龄的特点 面容的成熟度
One is emotional expressions, there’s stereotypes about gender, there’s cues about age and facial
maturity, all of this go into our impressions.
Another one that is very interesting is typicality.
研究显示我们倾向于喜欢典型的脸 具体指
So as it turns out we tend to like faces that are typical, that means faces that are closer
to what we perceive as typical in our social environment.
有趣的是 典型脸会因文化的不同而不同
Now there’s an interesting wrinkle because typicality is also culturally specific, especially
如果文化不同 种族不同 并且审美相去甚远
if the different cultures are linked to different ethnicities and there’s distinctive physiognomies,
and that makes it worse.
我们做了一个研究 用电脑做出日本典型脸和以色列典型脸
We’ve done a study where we created morphs of a typical Japanese face and a typical Israeli
face, and then we can interpolate the morph.
So we can imagine like a typical Japanese face gradually turning into a typical Israeli
Now, if you ask Israeli and Japanese participants to evaluate the faces, what happens is as
在图逐渐倾向以色列典型脸时 以色列人会认为那脸更值得信赖
the face become more Israeli-looking the Israelis believe the face is becoming more trustworthy,
and the other way around for the Japanese.
所以在很大的程度上 我们认为典型的东西是由我们所处的环境决定的
So in a sense to a large extent what we perceive as typical is shaped by our natural environment.
And it’s something that we very rapidly extract, we are incredibly good learners about faces.
而 住在纽约这样人种多样的城市的人所认知的典型脸
And most likely people who live in New York City, with a hugely diverse face, will have
与住在乡村 人种较为单一的地方的人认知的典型脸
a different notion of typicality if you live in a small rural town where there’s not so
much diversity.
And in this case this can lead to different kind of suboptimal outcomes because naturally
因为在没有其他信息的情况下 我们天生不信任那些长得跟我们不一样的人
we wouldn’t trust people that do not look like us, not having any other information.
The reason why we will never be able to get rid of first impressions is because they serve
important psychological functions.
即 在缺少其他信息的情况下 我们尽己可能地
That is in the absence of any other information we’re trying the best we could to figure out
what the other people are thinking.
这并不意味着我们无法改变我们的看法 恰恰相反
That doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t change our minds, on the contrary when you have good
当我们有其他的必要证据 或了解他过去的行为
diagnostic evidence about the person or when you know about past behavior, that would change
inferences based on appearance.
但多数时候 如果你没有其他的信息 人们还是会依赖第一印象
But most of the time if you don’t have any other information people will act on this,
and that may not to be in their best interest.
Starting back to Cesare Lombroso who wrote books like The Criminal Man and The Criminal
Woman, and he claimed that he can identify these “inferior types” based on their
到弗朗西斯·高尔顿拼凑肖像 事实上
facial features, to Francis Galton who invented composite photography, and in fact all of
today’s morphing methods are based on this method of composite photography.
And the first application of the method was to identify the criminal type, so it has a
very long history.
我认为一个合理的论点是 我们天生具有
I think a very reasonable argument could be that we are kind of hardwired to figure out
弄清他人或我们身边的人想法的本能 因为
the intentions of other people, of the people around us, because what is the most important
thing in our social life?
It’s other people!
当与陌生人交流时 你总是想要知道
And in interactions with strangers you’re always trying to figure out what are their
Are they good?
Are they bad?
What are they going to do?
会伤害到我吗 是肉体还是精神上的?
Can they hurt me, whether that’s physical or in a non-physical way?
So these are things that have always been a concern for us.
然而 当我们从进化史的角度来考虑
But let’s think in terms of evolutionary history.
在很长的时间里 我们是以大家庭的形式生存的
Well, for most of our evolutionary history we’ve basically lived in extended families,
typically between five to eight individuals.
而这都在五万年前变了 甚至更短 大概在两万年前
All of these changes in the last 50,000—in fact even less—maybe in the last 20,000
如果从大型人类社会的形成开始算起的话 如果
years, when you have large societies—that is, if you imagine the human evolution compressed
把人类进化史压缩到24小时中 我们只在最后五分钟才开始
within 24 hours, we have been living with strangers surrounded by strangers in the last
five minutes.
所以 我们天生会解读他人面部表情这一点
So it’s not obvious at all that we are kind of endowed with reading the characters of
other from faces.
有一个非常好的对比证据是 我们非常擅长
I think there’s good comparative evidence that in fact we are very good at picking up
on social cues in the immediate situations.
比如 在对比研究中 如果你对比所有的灵长类动物
So if you look, for example, at comparative studies, you look across all primates, it
turns out that we are the only primate which has whites of the eyes.
即 深色的虹膜外是白色的巩膜 在外面是
That is our iris is dark and then you have the white sclera, and then you have darker
There are no other primates with this kind of coloration.
那么 这一点为什么有趣或重要呢
So why is that interesting or important?
是这样 白色的巩膜使得捕捉眼神
Well, the fact that you have the white of the sclera makes it super easy to detect eye
而眼神对于社交非常重要 我们可以
And eye gaze is very important for sharing social attention, we can communicate from
远距离交流 同样的 情感交流也很重要
a long distance, similar emotional expressions are very important, the fact that we are kind
我们作为“裸猿” 毛发不完全遮盖面部
of the “naked ape” and the fact that our faces are not completely covered by hair makes
it very easy to detect changes in skin colorations, which is often an indication of different
kinds of emotional or mental states.
所以 我们对观察到瞬时变化很敏感
So we are very sensitive to changes, momentary changes in what we are observing, because
these momentary changes are indicative of what is important in this situation, what
is happening right now.
但是 很难论证我们又是怎样天生具备阅读他人面部特征的
But it’s hard to make the argument that somehow we are endowed to also to read into faces the
character of others.
我认为 我们天生具有弄清他人
I think we have the natural propensity trying to figure out what these other people are
thinking or feeling right now.
但是 我觉得现代面相学对于这一观点存在的问题是
And I think the problem with physiognomy in the modern version is this assumption that
because you can make these rapid inferences that’s also informative about these people
across time and situations.