This is Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Lucy Huang.
Have you ever left the theaters after watching a Batman or Superman movie feeling like you wanted to be a better person? If so, you're not alone. Research finds that superheroes may be more than just entertaining — they can also influence people to do good deeds.
"So there has been research that looked at, the motivational function of heroes. And we were thinking that they're supposed to help set guidelines or be exemplars for moral or virtuous behaviors that people should emulate."
Daryl Van Tongeren, an associate profession of psychology at Hope College in Michigan. To see if superheroes could inspire people to be more altruistic or act pro-socially the researchers asked participants to enter a room with either a superman poster or a poster of a bicycle on the wall. The volunteers were then asked to describe items in the room and then fill out a questionnaire.
"And really what we wanted them to think was that was the end of the study." But it wasn't.
"They hand in their survey and the research assistant, you know, the experimenter said, 'Great, thank you for your time. You know, you know, this only took 10 minutes, but you did sign up for a 30-minute time slot. You've got 20 additional minutes. We're pilot testing this new study that's in development, so you wouldn't be getting any credit, but it would really help the research, you know, it really helped the professor if you volunteered."
The researchers even emphasized that the task was tedious and boring. And yet: "participants who were in the room with the superhero poster, they were more likely to help than those who were in the room with the bicycle poster. So they're more likely to say yes, 'I'll help.'"
The study is in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
Part of the reason why Van Tongeren thinks that fictional superheroes elicit prosocial behavior is because their altruism feels safe to us.
"Now, most people want to be moral, most people want to be altruistic. And so where heroes come in is they're not close to us. They're kind of this abstract ideal. And so in that way we were thinking they probably wouldn't be threatening because they don't actually represent somebody we could actually live up to. So they can be a goal toward which we try to orient our behavior and live up to without being threatening because they're not real."
So next time you exit the theater after a superhero movie, don't be surprised if you're just a little bit more heroic yourself.
Thanks for listening for Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Lucy Huang.
你在看完电影《蝙蝠侠》或《超人》离开影院时，是否有过自己想成为更好的人的想法？如果有过，那你并不是特例 。研究发现，超级英雄可能不仅仅是娱乐产物，他们还能影响人们去做善事 。
“已经有研究着眼于英雄的激励功能 。我们认为英雄应该有助于为人们应该效仿的品行端正或品德高尚行为制定指导方针或成为这方面的榜样 。”
密歇根州霍普学院的心理学副教授达里尔·范·唐格伦说到 。为了了解超级英雄是否能激励人们变得更无私或表现得更亲近社会，研究人员让实验参与者进入一个房间，房间的墙上贴有超人海报或自行车海报 。随后，研究人员让志愿者描述房间里的物品并填写调查问卷 。
“我们想让他们以为研究到此就结束了 。”但事实并非如此 。
“他们把调查问卷交上来，研究助理，也就是主试者会说：‘太好了，谢谢你抽出时间参与实验 。目前你只花了10分钟，但你报名的确实是30分钟的实验 。现在还剩下20分钟 。我们正在对开发中的这项研究进行先导性试验，参与测试没有任何报酬，但如果你自愿参与，真的会为教授的研究提供极大的帮助 。'”
研究人员甚至强调，这项任务乏味又无聊 。然而：“与进入贴着自行车海报房间的参与者相比，进入贴有超级英雄海报房间的参与者更愿意提供帮助 。他们更可能会同意，说‘我会帮忙’ 。”
“如今，大多数人都想成为品行端正、有利他精神的人 。而英雄的世界离我们的生活很远 。他们就像是抽象的理想 。这样一来，我们会认为他们大概不会对我们构成威胁，因为他们代表的不是我们真正能成为的那种人 。所以，他们可以成为我们的目标，一个引导我们调整自身行为方式、努力完善自己又不必担心达不到他们那种境界的目标，因为他们并不是真实存在的 。”
谢谢大家收听科学美国人——60秒科学 。我是露西·黄 。
1. be supposed to do sth. (按计划或期望)应当，应该，须；
Don't try to tell me what I'm supposed to be feeling.
2. fill out 填，填写(表格等)；
Fill out the application carefully, and keep copies of it.
3. hand in 上交（作业、拾到的失物等）；
I'm supposed to have handed in a first draft of my dissertation.
4. live up to 遵守（诺言）；符合，不辜负（期望）；
I tried to live up to my ideal of myself.