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劣势者(underdog)与劣势者效应(underdog effect)

已有 10398 次阅读 2011-11-21 20:48 |个人分类:科学感想|系统分类:人文社科

 

周星驰,underdog, 与美国精神

也谈underdog精神

科研&困惑&underdog is me

underdog的意思不是黑马,而是unexceptional

underdog(贱狗):奥巴马自称是一条贱狗

 

科学网上对underdog讨论了一阵子,我也没注意。直到刘立兄的一篇博文才引起我的注意。作为非专业文字工作者,我也考证了一番,献丑如下,希望不是叠床之论。

 

一、underdog的理解与翻译

 

Underdog的英文辞义有两个:1. a person who is expected to lose in a contest or conflict. 2. a victim of social or political injustice.

但第二个不常用。第一个义项最为常用,现在已经由“the competitor least likely to win a fight or contest”,扩展到“a person in adversity or in a position of inferiority”。也就是说由竞选、竞赛、赌博到日常生活更广的领域扩展使用。

 

Underdog如果按照英汉词典翻译为“输家、处于劣势的一方;牺牲者、受害者”,在多数语境中要么是不恰当,要么不具体,或者太冗长。虽然从词源学上来说,由under + dog组成(原义为“败犬”"the beaten dog in a fight," 1887),其意义与top dogfavorite dog相对,鉴于西方国家对dog的感情和语言中的使用与我国截然不同,所以硬用“狗”来译英语Underdog似乎无法准确表达其涵义。

 

我个人认为underdog翻译为“劣势者”较为合适,尽管也可按其原始含义译为“败犬”。在不同的语境中,还可译为“劣势者、弱势者、不占优势者、不被看好的人/选手/队伍/团体/党派、弱小者;输家、失败者、失势者;草根、白手起家者;新入(行)者、新进者、后来者(newcomer and beginner)”。

 

上述含义可从下面的英文原文中看出:

 

If you are a favorite, it means that you will win the hand more than 50% of the time. If you are an underdog, it means that you will win the hand less than half the time.

 

From politics to sports to business, people are quick to categorize those at a considerable competitive disadvantage as "underdogs."

 

Being the underdog implies that you have little to no chance of winning.

 

To be an underdog in any field means being small, being under somebody who came in first, and who is more popular and loved by many.

 

二、劣势者(underdog)与黑马(dark horse)的区别

 

这两个词最为接近。因为Not all underdogs or dark horses go on finally to win. Either term implies that a victory is unexpected, not that a victory has occurred.

 

但是它们还是有区别的。dark horse的词典义项有:

1. a competitor in a race or contest about whom little is known; an unknown 2.a person who reveals little about himself or his activities, esp one who has unexpected talents or abilities 3. ( US ) politics  a candidate who is unexpectedly nominated or elected

汉语则为“赛马中实力和获胜的机会不太清楚的马;比喻竞赛或竞选中的意外获胜者,或者料想到能取胜或作出优异表现的不知名的竞争者”。

 

如果最后获胜,虽然两个词都有“意外”之意,但后者更强调“(赛前或事前)不为人所知”。

 

这两个词即使是英语为母语者也不那么容易区分。在英语论坛上,有人这样来区别:

 

What the difference between a dark horse and an underdog?

 

In regard to politics, where these terms are most often used:

A DARK HORSE, sometimes a person late to get his/her name of the ballot, is a candidate who is projected to have virtually NO CHANCE of winning an election. This doesn't mean they won't win. Several presidential candidates were 'dark horses' who went on to win election.

An UNDERDOG is a candidate who is not favored to win nor projected to win, but, like a dark horse candidate, sometimes does win.

 

Dark horse = a potential winner who you wouldn't expect. Underdog = A person/thing you'd expect not to win.

 

I thought they were the same thing to be honest. Dark horse is really someone coming out of nowhere and taking the winnings. Underdog is someone that was never gonna win but managed it somehow.

 

三、劣势者效应(underdog effect)与美国人为什么喜欢劣势者(underdog)?

 

对于“劣势者效应(underdog effect)与美国人为什么喜欢劣势者(underdog)”,在没有美国相应的选举文化、体育文化和更广泛深入的平等观念,我们国人是很难理解的。从某种角度讲,劣势者效应(underdog effect)与美国精神也不无联系。详细见本文附录。

 

对于“劣势者效应(underdog effect),International Encyclopedia of Communication Online有这样的解释:The underdog effect is a phenomenon of →  public opinion impinging upon itself: when at an election voters perceive a particular party or candidate to be the likely winner, they tend to support a competitor who is expected to lose – an “underdog” in the race. This implies that apparent success may undermine itself. The origin of the term is unclear, although it is sometimes claimed that it was first used at the 1948 US presidential election. Simon (1954) was the first to use it in a scientific analysis. The underdog effect is one of several hypothesized manifestations of “impersonal influence” – effects on individuals’ attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors that derive from these persons’ impressions about the attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors of collectives of anonymous others outside the realm of their personal contacts ( Mutz 1998 ; →  Social Perception: Impersonal Impact ). Other examples are the → “ bandwagon effect ,” complementing the underdog effect by assuming a positive impact of perceived majority opinion, and the notion of “strategic” or “tactical” voting, which expects electors to refrain from choosing their candidate or party of first preference if they perceive it to be only weakly supported by others, in order not to waste their vote (→  Perceived Reality as a Communication Process ).

 

这个定义太长,简单地说,这是一种对劣势者(underdog)全力支持(Root, root, root for the losing team—no matter what)的效应,或者毫不迟疑地跟劣势者(underdog)结盟的效应(From politics to sports to business, people are quick to categorize those at a considerable competitive disadvantage as "underdogs." Moreover, there is ample support that most unattached observers do not hesitate to align themselves with underdogs, a phenomenon termed "the underdog effect." While most dictionary definitions state that underdogs are "especially expected to lose," the present investigation argues that people often attribute optimistic qualities to underdogs and the exceeding of expectations.)。人们相信劣势者(underdog)能够历尽艰难后成功(Make it through the rough and tumble world)或推翻强势者和主宰者(Being a underdog implies that there is a hope they will overcome the Goliaths that rule the world.),或相信那些由贫至富、白手起家、白手起家或从草根到精英(rags-to-riches)的奋斗故事。这种效应与从众效应(bandwagon effect)相反。有意思的是,有人将Underdog Effect译为“败犬效应”,与“同情弱者”相近,但又不相同。

 

关于劣势者效应(underdog effect),网上有严肃的学位论文可以下载:

[PDF] The underdog effect: Definition, limitations, and motivations. why do ...

 

为了更通俗地理解劣势者效应(underdog effect),请阅读以下节选文章,请注意黑体字标出的原因分析:

 

The Underdog Effect - Why do we love a loser?

By Daniel Engber| Posted Friday, April 30, 2010, at 6:27 PM ET

 

Reason tells us this run will soon be over—underdogs are underdogs because they usually lose.

Frazier and Snyder posed a simple hypothetical scenario to more than 100 college students: Two teams, A and B, were meeting in a best-of-seven playoff series for some unidentified sport, and Team A was "highly favored" to win. Which team would the students root for?

Eighty-one percent chose the underdog.

Then the students were asked to imagine that Team B had somehow managed to win the first three games of the series. Would the subjects root for the sweep or switch allegiance to the favorite? Half of those who first picked the underdog now said they'd support Team A. It was the same, cockamamie approach I'd taken to Butler and Michigan State: Root, root, root for the losing team—no matter what.

 

Why is an underdog so attractive? It may have something do with how hard he tries. Vandello showed subjects a video clip of a basketball game between two international teams said to be playing for a championship. One side was described as the 9-to-1 favorite, having won each of 15 previous playoff matches. After viewing the footage, which showed a close game, students were asked to rate the players according to their ability and effort.

As a rule, the underdogs were characterized as having less "talent" and "intelligence" than the favorites but more "hustle" and "heart." That was true even when subjects viewed the same video clip with the labels reversed. It didn't matter what was actually on the screen—which players jumped higher or who dived for the loose balls. The test subjects attributed more effort to whichever team had the underdog label.

So here's another theory of the underdog effect: We like it when people try as hard as they can. A mediocre team with a lot of "heart" is more appealing—and thus more deserving of our fandom—than a lineup of distractible superstars.

The Hoosiers study showed that we're more confident when our team succeeds—that victory gives us hope. Maybe that's what we like about the long shot: I'm more like Butler than Duke; if they can win, so can I.

The same idea may explain why Americans in particular love an underdog. When you're living in an unequal society, the long shot offers something precious—the belief that anyone can overcome his misfortune. (Here's the Marxist critique of college basketball: It blunts the anger of the working class.) The average American roots for the underdog in sports because he's an underdog in life.

来源:http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2010/04/the_underdog_effect.single.html

 

 

America's Enduring Love for Underdogs

 

By Michael Prell

 

Front-runners have had a rough time, lately.  The unbeaten Tom Brady.  The shoo-in Rudolph Giuliani.  The inevitable Hillary Clinton.  It seems the most dangerous place to be, nowadays, is at the front of the pack.

On the flipside, it's been a heck of a year for underdogs.  The Giants over the Patriots.  Mike Huckabee coming out of nowhere -- with no money or name recognition-- to trounce his opponents in the Iowa caucuses.  John McCain, down-and-out and hemorrhaging staff mere months ago, now with the Big Mo coming out of Super Tuesday.

 

Underdogs.  It seems we can't get enough of them.

 

Why is that?


The short answer?  It appears we are biologically wired to root for the underdog.

 

Each of us begins life tiny and helpless.  Among our first, formative experiences are visceral feelings of powerlessness (can't walk, eat or go to the bathroom on our own) and it seems almost everyone around us holds greater power (parents, grownups, bigger children).

 

It doesn't stop there.  We go to school and find ourselves at the mercy of teachers, professors and perhaps even a few bullies.  We graduate and it starts all over again; with bosses who hold our very livelihoods in their hands.  And, as we move into our later years, many of us will find ourselves once again at the mercy of others: nurses, family and caregivers who keep us fed, mobile and alive.

 

The reason we all seem to love underdogs is because each of us knows what it feels like to be an underdog, to be a David in a world full of Goliaths.

 

But Underdogma is somewhat different.  The first part of Underdogma is the reflexive belief that those who have less power are automatically deemed virtuous and noble.  From Christ's blessed meek to Eli Manning to rock-throwing Palestinians; people tend to side with the little guy.

 

The second part of Underdogma is the equally reflexive belief that those who have more power are to be scorned - simply because they have more power.  That's why millions of people rooted for Tom Brady to lose, why Mitt Romney and his perfect hair, teeth and bank accounts get slammed, and it's why so many people around the world hate America.

 

Underdogma.  If it were any more obvious, this dog would bite you.

 

Hold up Underdogma to the issues of the day.  It's startling how many of them tilt on this "axis of power."   Those who have less power are deemed virtuous and noble, and those who have more power are scorned.

 

Just ask Exxon, Wal-Mart and Tom Brady.  Don't you just hate them?  Somebody should really knock them down a peg.  Who do they think they are?

 

Well, for starters, they're Americans.  One might even say they embody the American spirit. 

 

Exxon literally feeds the engine of America.  And they do it without calling for the 12th Imam to come up from his well and bring about the end of the world.  Exxon offers a product that people want - heck, we couldn't live without it - and they offer it conveniently, where we need it, and when we need it.  "But they're just so...filthy rich" an Underdogmatist might say.  "The world's largest company.  It's just so...unseemly."  Or, you could look at Exxon with a sense of pride.  The home-town boys done good.  Better than some of the other oil options this world currently offers us. 

 

Perhaps if Exxon had stayed with its original name - Humble Oil - people would look upon them more kindly.

 

Wal-Mart.  As Barack Obama famously spat at Hillary in their January 21 debate: "...while I was working on those streets watching those folks (underdogs) see their jobs shift overseas, you (Hillary) were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart (big bad overdog)."  Ooh, that's gotta sting. 

 

If logic had been present at the Democratic debate - or even a cursory understanding of the American character - Hillary might have shot back with praise for a company that employs more Americans than any other while saving the average family $2,500 each year by (gasp) offering things people want at lower prices.

 

It's enough to make an Underdogmatist's blood boil: a big company helping out the little guy.  Can't have that.  Must attack.

 

And then there's Tom Brady.  People sure loved to hate him.  His good looks, his perfect season, his supermodel girlfriend.  Didn't you just want him to lose? 

 

But this is America.  Shouldn't we all aim for the top?  Shouldn't we all strive to have Brazilian supermodel girlfriends with umlauts on their last names?  Apparently not.  Less than an hour after his perfect season ended, Tom Brady was being taunted by Underdogmatists on talk shows, in chat rooms and in living rooms around the world.

 

So, what is to be learned from all this? 

 

The short answer is: Underdogma is the polar opposite of the American spirit that made this country great.  And, until we return to what made us so great, the most dangerous place to be right now is at the front of the pack.

on "America's Enduring Love for Underdogs"

来源:http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/02/americas_enduring_love_for_und.html

 

参考链接:

Underdog (competition) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://www.routesetter.com/2007/07/30/the-underdog-rock-candy-review/

Bandwagon effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://www.communicationencyclopedia.com/public/tocnode?query=impinging&widen=1&result_number=2&topics=bbo15_Instance_30056&from=search&id=g9781405131995_yr2011_chunk_g978140513199526_ss5-1&type=std&fuzzy=0&slop=1

http://www.communicationencyclopedia.com/public/tocnode?query=impinging&widen=1&result_number=1&topics=bbo15_Instance_30056&from=search&fuzzy=0&type=std&id=g9781405131995_yr2011_chunk_g97814051319957_ss7-1&slop=1

http://gradworks.umi.com/32/92/3292552.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2010/04/the_underdog_effect.single.html

http://baike.baidu.com/view/245.htm

http://ph.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100317101838AAjOBo9

http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/02/americas_enduring_love_for_und.html

Bandwagon and underdog effects in minimal-information elections

http://dailyseotip.com/the-power-of-being-small-underdog-branding-and-seo-reselling/1757/

 

 



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