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美国人正处于50年来幸福感最低的时期

美国人正处于50年来幸福感最低的时期

美联社 2020年06月17日
这项调查的大多数采访都发生在乔治·弗洛伊德事件之前。

2020年对美国人产生了很大的心理影响,可以说,这是近50年来美国人感到最不幸福的一年。

这个大胆却令人并不意外的结论来自芝加哥大学公共事务研究中心(NORC)所做的新冠病毒应对追踪研究。结果显示,仅14%的美国成年人表示他们非常幸福,这一比例远低于2018年。在2018年,仅23%的受访者表示近几周内经常或偶尔感到孤独,如今这一比例为50%。

该调查于5月下旬进行,借鉴了社会总调查(General Social Survey)近半个世纪的研究成果。自1972年起,社会总调查至少每隔一年就会收集人们态度和行为方面的数据。在当年的调查中,不低于29%的人表示自己非常幸福。

这项调查的大多数采访都发生在乔治·弗洛伊德去世之前,这一事件引发了全国性的抗议活动以及全球各地关于种族主义与警察暴行的讨论。这些事件可能会增加美国人的压力和孤独感,尤其是美国黑人。

47岁的莱克西·沃克住在南卡罗来纳州格林维尔附近,今年一直感到焦虑和沮丧。她在2019年年底搬回南卡罗来纳州,随后她的猫死了。她的父亲于2月去世。就在她想要出门参加社交活动以缓解悲痛时,新冠疫情爆发了。

“这是一个接一个的磨难。”沃克说。“这太难了。对我来说最糟糕的是,我不知道以后还会发生什么。”

这项调查还展示了在新冠疫情期间的其他发现:

—与过去25年相比,如今公众对下一代生活水平的提高并不乐观。只有42%的受访者认为,当孩子长大后,他们的生活水平将会提高。在2018年,有57%的人持这种观点。此前,关于这个问题最低的答案是1994年的45%。

—与1963年约翰·肯尼迪总统遇刺后以及“9·11”恐怖袭击之后进行的调查相比,美国人在新冠疫情期间不太倾向于报告心理压力反应。与前两次悲剧相比,如今关于吸烟、哭泣或感到头昏眼花的报告均有所减少。

—与2018年相比,如今大约有两倍的美国人称自己孤独,对社交活动和人际关系的满意度也有所下降。调查数据显示,过去四周有45%的美国人有时或经常感到缺乏同伴情谊,37%的人感到被冷落,而在2018年分别只有27%与18%。

对于这些调查结果,芝加哥大学公共事务研究中心的高级研究员路易丝·霍克利得出了一个令人意外的结论——现阶段美国民众的孤独感没有达到应有的峰值水平。“事实上,现在的情况比我们预估的要好一些,这些数值本来应该更高一些。”她说,“人们已经开始寻找社交的新方式,虽然还是有很多不尽如人意的地方,但起码大家正在努力。”

此外,在家庭财务状况方面,美国民众并没有显现出过多的担忧。调查发现,自2018年以来,美国民众对于自己家庭财务状况的评级没有发生明显的变化,同时,美国民众对家庭财务状况的满意度达到了近50年来的最高水平。

乔纳森·伯尼原来是迈阿密一家律师事务所的数字营销经理,疫情让他丢了这份工作,他不得不重新审视起自己的未来。如今,他来到了奥斯汀谋生。伯尼承认自己现在真的不能算得上“幸福”,但有时也会想:难道在疫情爆发前,他就是“幸福”的么?

“心灵深处的怯弱与不安其实一直都在那里,2020年只能说是加速催化了这种情绪。当生活安然无恙时,我们就不会去审视自己的内心。”伯尼说道。在前几年,他一直都生活在迈阿密,突然间,疫情席卷了当地,女友也在这个时候和他分手,于是他选择逃往奥斯汀。“我不是一个能承受住压力和焦虑的好男人,我突然觉得连‘存在’这件事都成了一场危机。”

伯尼现在还是没有找到工作,但他说:“疫情刚爆发的那段最黑暗的日子已经过去了。”他还有一点积蓄,还是会继续努力求职。他说,现在的生活就像是在划独木舟,他必须要集中精力,如此才能应对往后一个又一个的峡谷。

“鼓起勇气重寻幸福是每个美国人的天性,就好像已经刻在了自己的DNA里。”加州大学河滨分校的心理学教授索尼亚·柳博米尔斯基说道。

“人类有着惊人的韧性,无数证据表明,我们是坚韧不屈的,我们永不停止向前。”自从疫情爆发后,这位教授就开始研究幸福学。她发现,比起去年,有些人在今年似乎还要稍微“更幸福”一点。

梅琳达·哈特兰是坦帕市的一位市民,今年3月,她被自己就职的公关公司解雇了。她承认,在头几周里的确陷入了一种难以言喻的抑郁状态,但后来她开始骑行、打网球,一切都慢慢好了起来,她还给自己报名了成人大学里的“危机下的领导学”一课。

“无论发生什么,你都必须做好准备。”哈特兰说道,“不管是你的身体,还是你的财务状况,或者是整个世界,不管是哪里出了问题,你都必须做好准备。永远保持一个积极的、向上的人生态度,你便可以度过一切难关。”

注:本次调查开始于5月21日,终止于5月29日,共计9天。调查由美国科学家资金会资助,一共收取了2279个成年人样本,误差范围为±2.9个百分点。抽样模型采取了芝加哥大学公共事务研究中心提供的AmeriSpeak Panel,能够有效地代表美国全体民众。(财富中文网)

编译:于佳鑫、陈怡轩

2020年对美国人产生了很大的心理影响,可以说,这是近50年来美国人感到最不幸福的一年。

这个大胆却令人并不意外的结论来自芝加哥大学公共事务研究中心(NORC)所做的新冠病毒应对追踪研究。结果显示,仅14%的美国成年人表示他们非常幸福,这一比例远低于2018年。在2018年,仅23%的受访者表示近几周内经常或偶尔感到孤独,如今这一比例为50%。

该调查于5月下旬进行,借鉴了社会总调查(General Social Survey)近半个世纪的研究成果。自1972年起,社会总调查至少每隔一年就会收集人们态度和行为方面的数据。在当年的调查中,不低于29%的人表示自己非常幸福。

这项调查的大多数采访都发生在乔治·弗洛伊德去世之前,这一事件引发了全国性的抗议活动以及全球各地关于种族主义与警察暴行的讨论。这些事件可能会增加美国人的压力和孤独感,尤其是美国黑人。

47岁的莱克西·沃克住在南卡罗来纳州格林维尔附近,今年一直感到焦虑和沮丧。她在2019年年底搬回南卡罗来纳州,随后她的猫死了。她的父亲于2月去世。就在她想要出门参加社交活动以缓解悲痛时,新冠疫情爆发了。

“这是一个接一个的磨难。”沃克说。“这太难了。对我来说最糟糕的是,我不知道以后还会发生什么。”

这项调查还展示了在新冠疫情期间的其他发现:

—与过去25年相比,如今公众对下一代生活水平的提高并不乐观。只有42%的受访者认为,当孩子长大后,他们的生活水平将会提高。在2018年,有57%的人持这种观点。此前,关于这个问题最低的答案是1994年的45%。

—与1963年约翰·肯尼迪总统遇刺后以及“9·11”恐怖袭击之后进行的调查相比,美国人在新冠疫情期间不太倾向于报告心理压力反应。与前两次悲剧相比,如今关于吸烟、哭泣或感到头昏眼花的报告均有所减少。

—与2018年相比,如今大约有两倍的美国人称自己孤独,对社交活动和人际关系的满意度也有所下降。调查数据显示,过去四周有45%的美国人有时或经常感到缺乏同伴情谊,37%的人感到被冷落,而在2018年分别只有27%与18%。

对于这些调查结果,芝加哥大学公共事务研究中心的高级研究员路易丝·霍克利得出了一个令人意外的结论——现阶段美国民众的孤独感没有达到应有的峰值水平。“事实上,现在的情况比我们预估的要好一些,这些数值本来应该更高一些。”她说,“人们已经开始寻找社交的新方式,虽然还是有很多不尽如人意的地方,但起码大家正在努力。”

此外,在家庭财务状况方面,美国民众并没有显现出过多的担忧。调查发现,自2018年以来,美国民众对于自己家庭财务状况的评级没有发生明显的变化,同时,美国民众对家庭财务状况的满意度达到了近50年来的最高水平。

乔纳森·伯尼原来是迈阿密一家律师事务所的数字营销经理,疫情让他丢了这份工作,他不得不重新审视起自己的未来。如今,他来到了奥斯汀谋生。伯尼承认自己现在真的不能算得上“幸福”,但有时也会想:难道在疫情爆发前,他就是“幸福”的么?

“心灵深处的怯弱与不安其实一直都在那里,2020年只能说是加速催化了这种情绪。当生活安然无恙时,我们就不会去审视自己的内心。”伯尼说道。在前几年,他一直都生活在迈阿密,突然间,疫情席卷了当地,女友也在这个时候和他分手,于是他选择逃往奥斯汀。“我不是一个能承受住压力和焦虑的好男人,我突然觉得连‘存在’这件事都成了一场危机。”

伯尼现在还是没有找到工作,但他说:“疫情刚爆发的那段最黑暗的日子已经过去了。”他还有一点积蓄,还是会继续努力求职。他说,现在的生活就像是在划独木舟,他必须要集中精力,如此才能应对往后一个又一个的峡谷。

“鼓起勇气重寻幸福是每个美国人的天性,就好像已经刻在了自己的DNA里。”加州大学河滨分校的心理学教授索尼亚·柳博米尔斯基说道。

“人类有着惊人的韧性,无数证据表明,我们是坚韧不屈的,我们永不停止向前。”自从疫情爆发后,这位教授就开始研究幸福学。她发现,比起去年,有些人在今年似乎还要稍微“更幸福”一点。

梅琳达·哈特兰是坦帕市的一位市民,今年3月,她被自己就职的公关公司解雇了。她承认,在头几周里的确陷入了一种难以言喻的抑郁状态,但后来她开始骑行、打网球,一切都慢慢好了起来,她还给自己报名了成人大学里的“危机下的领导学”一课。

“无论发生什么,你都必须做好准备。”哈特兰说道,“不管是你的身体,还是你的财务状况,或者是整个世界,不管是哪里出了问题,你都必须做好准备。永远保持一个积极的、向上的人生态度,你便可以度过一切难关。”

注:本次调查开始于5月21日,终止于5月29日,共计9天。调查由美国科学家资金会资助,一共收取了2279个成年人样本,误差范围为±2.9个百分点。抽样模型采取了芝加哥大学公共事务研究中心提供的AmeriSpeak Panel,能够有效地代表美国全体民众。(财富中文网)

编译:于佳鑫、陈怡轩

Spoiler alert: 2020 has been rough on the American psyche. Folks in the U.S. are more unhappy today than they've been in nearly 50 years.

This bold—yet unsurprising—conclusion comes from the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. It finds that just 14% of American adults say they're very happy, down from 31% who said the same in 2018. That year, 23% said they'd often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now, 50% say that.

The survey, conducted in late May, draws on nearly a half-century of research from the General Social Survey, which has collected data on American attitudes and behaviors at least every other year since 1972. No less than 29% of Americans have ever called themselves very happy in that survey.

Most of the new survey’s interviews were completed before the death of George Floyd touched off nationwide protests and a global conversation about race and police brutality, adding to the feelings of stress and loneliness Americans were already facing from the coronavirus outbreak — especially for black Americans.

Lexi Walker, a 47-year-old professional fiduciary who lives near Greenville, South Carolina, has felt anxious and depressed for long stretches of this year. She moved back to South Carolina late in 2019, then her cat died. Her father passed away in February. Just when she thought she’d get out and socialize in an attempt to heal from her grief, the pandemic hit.

“It’s been one thing after another,” Walker said. “This is very hard. The worst thing about this for me, after so much, I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Among other finding from the new poll about life in the pandemic:

— The public is less optimistic today about the standard of living improving for the next generation than it has been in the past 25 years. Only 42% of Americans believe that when their children reach their age, their standard of living will be better. A solid 57% said that in 2018. Since the question was asked in 1994, the previous low was 45% in 1994.

— Compared with surveys conducted after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Americans are less likely to report some types of emotional and psychological stress reactions following the COVID-19 outbreak. Fewer report smoking more than usual, crying or feeling dazed now than after those two previous tragedies, though more report having lost their temper or wanting to get drunk.

— About twice as many Americans report being lonely today as in 2018, and not surprisingly given the lockdowns that tried to contain the spread of the coronavirus, there’s also been a drop in satisfaction with social activities and relationships. Compared with 2018, Americans also are about twice as likely to say they sometimes or often have felt a lack of companionship (45% vs. 27%) and felt left out (37% vs. 18%) in the past four weeks.

What is surprising, said Louise Hawkley, a senior research scientist with NORC at the University of Chicago, was that loneliness was not even more prevalent. “It isn’t as high as it could be," she said. “People have figured out a way to connect with others. It’s not satisfactory, but people are managing to some extent.”

The new poll found that there haven't been significant changes in Americans’ assessment of their families' finances since 2018 and that Americans' satisfaction with their families’ ability to get along financially was as high as it's been over nearly five decades.

Jonathan Berney, of Austin, Texas, said that the pandemic — and his resulting layoff as a digital marketing manager for a law firm— caused him to reevaluate everything in his life. While he admits that he’s not exactly happy now, that’s led to another uncomfortable question: Was he truly happy before the pandemic?

“2020 just fast forwarded a spiritual decay. When things are good, you don’t tend to look inwards,” he said, adding that he was living and working in the Miami area before the pandemic hit. As Florida dealt with the virus, his girlfriend left him and he decided to leave for Austin. “I probably just wasn’t a nice guy to be around from all the stress and anxiety. But this forced an existential crisis.”

Berney, who is looking for work, said things have improved from those early, dark days of the pandemic. He’s still job hunting but has a little savings to live on. He said he's trying to kayak more and center himself so he’s better prepared to deal with any future downturn in events.

Reimagining happiness is almost hard-wired into Americans’ DNA, said Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside.

“Human beings are remarkably resilient. There’s lots and lots of evidence that we adapt to everything. We move forward,” she said, adding that she’s done happiness studies since the pandemic started and found that some people are slightly happier than last year.

Melinda Hartline, of Tampa, who was laid off from her job in public relations in March, said she was in a depressed daze those first few weeks of unemployment. Then she started to bike and play tennis and enrolled in a college course on post-crisis leadership.

“Anything can happen. And you have to be prepared,” she said. “Whether it’s your health, your finances, whether it’s the world. You have to be prepared. And always maintain that positive mental attitude. It’s going to get you through it.”

The survey of 2,279 adults was conducted May 21-29 with funding from the National Science Foundation. It uses a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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