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Lesson 25 Non-auditory effects of noise噪音的非听觉效应

2008-09-26    来源:http://www.putclub.com    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

First listen and then answer the following question.

What conclusion does the author draw about noise and health in this piece?


    May people in industry and the Services, who have practical experience of noise, regard any investigation of this question as a waste of time; they are not prepared even to admit the possibility that noise affects people. On the other hand, those who dislike noise will sometimes use most inadequate evidence to support their pleas for a quieter society. This is a pity, because noise abatement really is a good cause, and it is likely to be discredited if it gets to be associated with had science.
    One allegation often made is that noise produces mental illness. A recent article in a weekly newspaper, for instance, was headed with a striking illustration of a lady in a state of considerable distress, with the caption 'She was yet another victim, reduced to a screaming wreck'. On turning eagerly to the text, one learns that the lady was a typist who found the sound of office typewriters worried her more and more until eventually she had to go into a mental hospital. Now the snag in this sort of anecdote is of course that one merely a symptom? Another patient might equally well complain that her neighbours were combining to slander her and persecute her, and yet one might be cautious about believing this statement.
    What is needed in case of noise is a study of large numbers of people living under noisy conditions, to discover whether they are mentally ill more often than other people are. Some time ago the United States Navy, for instance, examined a very large number of men working on aircraft carriers: the study was known as Project Anehin. It can be unpleasant to live even several miles from an aerodrome; if you think what it must be like to share the deck of a ship with several squadrons of jet aircraft, you will realize that a modern navy is a good place to study noise. But neither psychiatric interviews nor objective tests were able to show any effects upon these American sailors. This result merely confirms earlier American and British studies: if there is any effect of noise upon mental health, it must be so small that present methods of psychiatric diagnosis cannot find it. That does not prove that it does exist: but it does mean that noise is less dangerous than, say, being brought up in an orphanage -- which really is mental health hazard.

New words and expressions

  auditory adj. 听觉的
inadequate adj. 不适当的
plea n.  要求
abatement n.  减少
discredit v.  怀疑

allegation n.  断言
caption n.  插图说明
wreck n.  残废人
snag n.  疑难之处,障碍
anecdote n.  轶闻

slander v.  诽谤
persecute v.  迫害
squadron n.  中队
psychiatric adj. 精神病学的
diagnosis n.  诊所
orphanage n.  孤儿院

    对于噪音问题,需要对大量生活在噪音中的人进行研究,看一看他们是否比其他人更易患精神病。例如,美国海军前些时候调查了许多在航空母航上工作的人,这次调查被称之为:“安内英工程”。即使住在离机场几英里以外的地方,机场的噪音也会使人难受。因此,如果你能想像出和几个中队的喷气机同在一个甲板上是什么滋味儿的话,你就会认识到现代海军是研究噪音的好地方。但是,不管进行精神病学的调查访问,还是进行客观的测试,都不能显示噪音对这些美国水兵有任何影响。这个结果只不过证实了美国和英国早些时候的研究结论:如果噪音对精神健康有影响的话,那也一定是微乎其微,以致现代的精神病诊断方法还发现不了。这并不是证实不存在噪音对健康的影响。但它确实说明,噪音的危险性 -- 比如说 -- 比在孤儿院长大所受的危害要小一些,孤儿院才是真正危害精神健康的地方。

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