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2015考研英语阅读题源(科技类):Who's the Smart Sibing?

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2014-06-06 10:19:31

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  时间进入6月份,2014年上半年的假期已经结束,还没有开始复习的考生要收收心,抓紧时间复习了。随着第一阶段的基础复习接近尾声,马上就要进入复习强化阶段,跨考考研网小编为大家整理考研英语阅读题源,希望大家能把握这一分值较大的题型。  

  13. Who's the Smart Sibling?

  Ten weeks ago, Bo Cleveland and his wife embarked on a highly unscientific experiment-they gave birth to their first child. For now, Cleveland is too exhausted to even consider having another baby, but eventually, he will. In fact, hes already planned an egalitarian strategy for raising the rest of his family. Little Arthur won't get any extra attention just because he's the firstborn, and, says his father, he probably won't be much smarter than his future .siblings; either.It's the sort of thing many parents would say, but it's a bit surprising coming from Cleveland,who studies birth order and IQ at Pennsylvania State University. As he knows too well, a study published recently in the journal Science suggests that firstborns do turn out sharper than their brothers and sisters, no matter how parents try to compensate. Is Cleveland wrong? Is Arthur destined to be the smart sibling just because he had the good luck to be born first?

  For decades, scientists have been squabbling over birth order like siblings fighting over a toy. Some of them say being a first-, middle- or lastborn has significant effects on intelligence. Others say that's nonsense, The spat goes back at least as far as Alfred Adler, a Freud-era psychologist who argued that firstborns had an edge. Other psychologists found his theory easy to believe—middle and youngest kids already had a bad rap, thanks to everything from primogeniture laws to the Prodigal Son. When they set out to confirm the birth-order effects Adler had predicted, they found some evidence. Dozens of studies over the next several decades showed small differences in IQ; scholastic-aptitude tests and other measures of achievement So did "anecdata” suggesting that firstborns were more likely to win Nobel Prizes or become (ahem) prominent psychologists.

  But even though the scientists were turning up birth-order patterns easily, they couldn't pin down a cause. Perhaps, one theory went, the mother's body was somehow attacking the later offspring in uterus. Maternal antibody levels do increase with each successive pregnancy. But there's no evidence that this leads to differences in intelligence, and the new study in Silence,based on records from nearly a quarter of a million young Norwegian men, strikes down the antibody hypothesis. It looks at kids who are the eldest by accident-those whose older siblings die in infancy--as well as those who are true firstborns. Both groups rack up the same high scores on IQ tests. Whatever is lowering the latterborns' scores, it isn't prenatal biology, since being raised as the firstborn, not actually being the firstborn, is what counts.

  The obvious culprits on the nurture side are parents. But it's hard to think that favoritism toward firstborns exists in modem society. Most of us no longer view secondborn as second best, and few parents will admit to treating their kids differently. In surveys, they generally say they give their children equal attention. Kids concur, reporting that they feel they're treated fairly.

  Maybe, then, the problem with latterborns isn't nature or nurture-maybe there simply isn't a problem. Not all the research shows a difference in intelligence. A pivotal 2000 study by Joe Rodgers ,now a professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma, found no link between birth order and smarts. And an earlier study of American families found that the youngest kids, not the oldest, did best in school. From that work, say psychologist Judith Rich Harris, a prominent critic of birth-order patterns, it's clear that “the impression that the firstborn is more often the academic achiever is false."

  Meanwhile, many of the studies showing a birth-order pattern in IQ have a big, fat,methodological flaw. The Norwegian Science study is an example, says Cleveland: "It's comparing Bill, the first child in one family; to Bob, the second child in another family." That would be fine if all families were identical, but of course they aren't. The study controls for variables such as parental education and family size. But Rodgers, the Oklahoma professor,notes that there are "hundreds" of other factors in play; and because it's so hard to discount all of them, he's "not sure whether the patterns in the Science article are real."

  No one is more sensitive to that criticism than the Norwegian scientists. In fact, they already have an answer ready in the form of a second paper. Soon to be published in the journal Intelligence, it's, similar to the Science study except for one big thing: instead of comparing Bill to Bob, it compares Bill to younger brothers Barry and Barney. The same birth- order pattern shows up: the firstborns, on average, score about two points higher than their secondborn brothers, and hapless thirdborns do even worse. "The purpose of the two papers was exactly the same," says Petter Kristensen of Norway's National Institute of Occupational Health, who led both new studies. "But this second one is much more comprehensive, and in a sense it's better than the Science paper." The data are there--within families, birth order really does seem linked to brain power. Even the critics have to soften their positions a little. The Intelligence study "must be taken very" seriously" says Rodgers.

  No one, not even Kristensen, thinks the debate is over For one thing, there's still that argument about what's causing birth-order effects. It's possible, says UC Berkeley researcher Frank Sulloway, that trying .to treat kids in an evenhanded way in fact results in inequity. Well-meaning parents may end up shortchanging middleborns because there's one thing they can't equalize: at no point in the middle child's life does he get to be the only kid in the house. Alternatively, says Sulloway; there's the theory he has his money on, the "family-niche hypothesis Older kids, whether out of desire or necessity axe often called on to be "assistant parents," he notes. Getting that early- taste of responsibility may prime them for achievement later on. "If they think Oh, I'm supposed to be more intelligent so I'd better do my homework,' it doesn't matter if they actually are more-intelligent," says Sulloway,"It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy." If the firstborns' homework involves reading Science and Intelligence, there'll be no stopping them now.

  词汇注解

  重点单词 

  embark / im’ba:k/

  【文中释义】v.着手,从事

  【大纲全义】v. (使)上船(或飞机,汽车等):着手,从事

  extra /'ekstrθ/

  【文中释义】 adj.额外的

  【大纲全义】adj额外的,附加的 n.附加物,额外的东西adv.特别地

  compensate /'kɔmpənseit/

  【文中释义】v.补偿,弥补

  【大纲全义】v.(for)补偿,赔偿,抵消

  nonsense /'nɔnsəns/

  【文中释义】n.荒谬的言行,胡话

  【大纲全义】n.胡说,废话;冒失(或轻浮)的行为

  rap / ræp/

  【文中释义】n.不公正的判决,苛评

  【大纲全义】n.叩击,轻拍,斤责,急敲(声);不公正的判决,苛评,v. 敲,拍,打,斤责,使着迷

  predict / pri’dikt/

  【文中释义】v.预言

  【大纲全义】v.预言,预测,预告

  prominent /'prɔminənt/

  【文中释义】adj杰出的

  【大纲全义】adj.突起的,凸出的;突出的,杰出的

  offspring /ɔfspriŋ; (us)'ɔ:f-/

  【文中释义】n..子孙,后代

  【大纲全义】n. 子孙,后代,结果,产物;(动物的)崽

  successive /sək'sesiv/

  【文中释义】adj.连续的

  【大纲全义】adj.接连的,连续的

  pregnancy /'Pregnənsi/

  【文中释义】n.怀孕

  【大纲全义】n.妊振;怀孕(期);(事件等的)酝酿;(内容)充实,富有意义

  nurture /'nə: tʃə/

  【文中释义】n.养育,教育

  【大纲全义】n.营养品;养育,培养,滋养v. 给予营养物,养育,培养,滋养

  超纲单词

  egalitarian n. 平等主义 sibling n. 兄弟妞妹

  squabble v. 为……争吵 spat n. 争吵

  primogeniture n. 长子身份 aptitude n. 才能,资质

  anecdata n. 二逸事证据 prenatal adj. 产前的,出生前的

  重点段落译文

  两周前,伯·克利夫兰和他的妻子进行了一项非常不科学的实验——他们生下了他们的第一个孩子。现在,克利夫兰太疲惫了,甚至于不考虑再生一个孩子,但是最终他还是会选择再生一个的。事实上,他已经计划了一项平等主义策略来养活家里的其他孩子。小亚瑟的父亲说,他不会仅仅因为小亚瑟是头一个孩子而得到任何额外的关注,并且他也不可能比他将来的兄弟姐妹更聪明。这是很多家长都会说的一件事,但是从在宾夕法尼亚州立大学研究出生次序和智力的克利夫兰嘴里说出来就有点令人惊讶了。如他所知.最近在《科学》期刊上发表的一项研究表明,无论父母怎样尝试弥补,头一个孩子都显得比他们的兄弟姐妹要聪明一些。克利夫兰错了吗?难道仅仅因为幸运的亚瑟是第一个出生的孩子,所以他命中注定是个聪明的哥哥?

  几十年来,科学家们一直像兄弟姐妹为一个玩具打架一样在出生次序问题上争吵不休。他们中有些人说作为第一个、中间所生或者是最后一个出生会对智力产生重大的影响。有的人则说那是无稽之谈。这种争论至少可以追溯到阿尔弗莱德·阿德勒——那个弗洛伊德年代的心理生物学家。他认为头生的孩子具有优势。其他的心理学家发现他的理论很容易使人相信——由于长子继承法的规定以及所谓的“浪子回头”,中间和最小的孩子们已经受到了很多批评。当他们着手证实阿德勒所预言的出生次序的影响时,他们找到了一些证据。之后几十年的研究显示不同出生次序的孩子在智力、学习能力和其他成就的量度上有微小的不同。一些名人逸事也表明:第一个孩子更可能赢得诺贝尔奖,或者成为杰出的心理生物学家。

  但是即使科学家很容易就找到了出生次序模型,他们也不能确认原因.一种理论认为,可能母亲的身体会在某种程度上对子宫里后出生的子女进行攻击。母亲的抗体水平随着不断的怀孕而提高。但是,说这样导致了智力上的不同是没有证据的。《科学》期刊上一项新的研究击垮了这个“抗体假设”论,这项研究以挪威近25万年轻人的记录为基础。这项研究观察了两组孩子,其中一组是那些因他们的哥哥或姐姐在幼年夭折而意外地成为头生子女的孩子,另外一组是那些本身就是真正的头生子女。两组孩子在智力测试中获得了同样的高分。不管是什么降低了后出生孩子的分数,总之不是产前生物学上的原因,因为事实上最重要的是:不是头生子女却被当作头生子女来养。

  家长在孩子的抚养方面存在明显的误区。但是很难想象现代社会会存在偏爱头生子女的现象。我们大多数人不再认为第二胎出生的孩子就是第二优秀的,也很少有家长会承认他们会区别对待孩子。在调查中,他们一般会说他们给予孩子同等的关注。孩子们也意见一致,说他们感觉自己受到了公平的对待。

  From The New York Times

  By John Markoff

  Nov.11,2006

  以上就是跨考考研网为大家整理的考研英语阅读题源,2015年考研真题不一定从这些材料里出题,但是还是提醒大家平时多积累,练好基本功才能在2015年的考场上笑到最后。

  2015年考研英语阅读技巧汇总(超详细)

  2015考研英语阅读暑期复习一点通

  2015年考研备考资料及复习指导汇总(5-7月)

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