来源: 时间:2009-05-19 17:11:27

   Altruism, according to the text books, has two forms. One is known technically as kin selection, and familiarly as nepotism. This spreads an individual's genes collaterally, rather than directly, but is otherwise similar to his helping his own offspring. The second form is reciprocal altruism, or “you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours”. It relies on trust, and a good memory for favours given and received, but is otherwise not much different from simultaneous collaboration (such as a wolf pack hunting) in that the benefit exceeds the cost for all parties involved. Humans, however, show a third sort of altruism—one that has no obvious pay-off. This is altruism towards strangers, for example, charity. That may enhance reputation. But how does an enhanced reputation weigh in the Darwinian balance?

   To investigate this question, the researchers made an interesting link. At first sight, helping charities looks to be at the opposite end of the selfishness spectrum from conspicuous consumption. Yet they have something in common: both involve the profligate deployment of resources. That is characteristic of the consequences of sexual selection. An individual shows he (or she) has resources to burn—whether those are biochemical reserves, time or, in the human instance, money—by using them to make costly signals. That demonstrates underlying fitness of the sort favoured by evolution. Viewed this way, both conspicuous consumption and what the researchers call “blatant benevolence” are costly signals. And since they are behaviours rather than structures, and thus controlled by the brain, they may be part of the mating mind.

   Researchers divided a bunch of volunteers into two groups. Those in one were put into what the researchers hoped would be a “romantic mindset” by being shown pictures of attractive members of the opposite sex. They were each asked to write a description of a perfect date with one of these people. The unlucky members of the other group were shown pictures of buildings and told to write about the weather. The participants were then asked two things. The first was to imagine they had $5,000 in the bank. They could spend part or all of it on various luxury items such as a new car, a dinner party at a restaurant or a holiday in Europe. They were also asked what fraction of a hypothetical 60 hours of leisure time during the course of a month they would devote to volunteer work.

   The results were just what the researchers hoped for. In the romantically primed group, the men went wild with the Monopoly money. Conversely, the women volunteered their lives away. Those women continued, however, to be skinflints, and the men remained callously indifferent to those less fortunate than themselves. Meanwhile, in the other group there was little inclination either to profligate spending or to good works. Based on this result, it looks as though the sexes do, indeed, have different strategies for showing off. Moreover, they do not waste their resources by behaving like that all the time. Only when it counts sexually are men profligate and women helpful.

   注(1):本文选自Economist, 08/02/2007

   注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2005年真题Text 1。


   1. In the opening paragraph, the author introduces his topic by _______.

    [A] stating an incident

    [B] justifying an assumption

    [C] explaining the forms of a phenomenon

    [D] making a comparison


   2. The statement “helping charities looks to be at the opposite end of the selfishness spectrum from conspicuous consumption” (Line 1-3, Paragraph 2) means _______.

    [A] helping charities shows selfishness while conspicuous consumption shows selflessness

    [B] helping charities shows selflessness while conspicuous consumption shows selfishness

    [C] both helping charities and conspicuous consumption shows selfishness

    [D] both helping charities and conspicuous consumption shows selflessness


   3. The main reasons for involving in charities being regarded as “blatant benevolence” are as following, EXCEPT that_______.

    [A] it helps donators become famous and admired by the public

    [B] it includes a large amount of deployable resrouces

    [C] it provides rich people with a way of showing off their wealth

    [D] it might be related to mating minds as conspicuous consumption


   4.The results of the study found that _______.

    [A] the reactions of the two groups of volunteers are similar

    [B] female volunteers of the two groups behave exactly the same

    [C] men tend to show off their wealth when courting women

    [D] men and women always show different inclinations of showing off


   5. What we can infer from the last two paragraph?

    [A] The results of the study go against researchers’ hypothesis.

    [B] The researchers divided vonlunteers into two groups for comparison.

    [C] The second group of vonluteers did not cooperate well in the study.

    [D]`The study fails to explain the disuccsed term of “blatant benevolence”.





   altruism [`AltruizEm] n. 利他主义, 利他      spectrum [`spektrEm] n. 范围, 领域

   kin [kin] n. 家属(集合称), 亲戚, 同族        conspicuous consumption 炫耀性消费

   nepotism [`nepEtizEm] n. 偏袒, 裙带关系     profligate [`prCfligit] adj. 放荡, 挥霍

   collateral [kE`lAtErEl] adj.间接的             blatant [`bleitEnt] adj. 吵闹的, 炫耀

   offspring [`CfspriN] n. 儿女, 子孙, 后代       benevolence [bi`nevElEns] n. 仁爱心, 善行

   reciprocal [ri`siprEkEl] adj. 互惠的, 相应的    prime [praim] v. 灌注, 填装

   simultaneous [9simEl`teinjEs] adj. 同时的      skinflint [`skinflint] n. 吝啬鬼

   pay-off n. 赢利                           callous [`kAlEs] adj. 无情的, 冷淡的




   It relies on trust, and a good memory for favours given and received, but is otherwise not much different from simultaneous collaboration (such as a wolf pack hunting) in that the benefit exceeds the cost for all parties involved.


   主体句式  It relies on trust, and a good memory, but is otherwise not much different from…

   结构分析  这个句子由三个并列结构构成,分别由and 和but 来连接。in that 是用于解释说明的连接词,其后面的内容是对前面的补充。

   句子译文  这种利他主义的基础在于信任,并对自己得到和付出过的帮助保持较好的记忆,但是除此以外,这种利他主义和物种天然的合作关系(比如狼群共同寻找猎物)没有什么大的区别,因为对于所有的参与者来说,他们合作的所得远远超过其付出。



   1.C. 细节题。文章开头作者以介绍利他主义这一现象为例引出论题。


   2.B. 语义题。这句话的字面意思是,慈善和炫耀性消费是在自私程度上来看是处于两个极端,结合我们平时的尝试可以理解句子的意思是,慈善是无私的表现,而炫耀性消费是自私的表现。


   3.A. 细节题。本题的B,C,D选项都能在文章第二段中找到对应信息,而本文并没有提到慈善捐助人想通过捐赠成名、并受人崇拜这一点。


   4.C. 推理题。文章比较后一段中指出,当人们在择偶的时候,男人们总是倾向于炫耀他们的金钱和财富,因此C选项正确。D选项错误的原因是,比较后一段提到男人们和女人们并不是总会表现不同的炫耀行为,而仅仅是在吸引异性的时候。


   5.B. 推理题。在文章第三段中,研究人员将参与实验的志愿者们分为了两组,其一为主实验组,另一个为参照组,主要为了比较实验结果,以使得结论更加有力。




















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