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."
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.
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.
本文收錄於英語島English Island 2017年12月號