結合數學和社交技能

Combining Math and Social Skills
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新的研究顯示,在過去數十年間,同時擁有數學和社交技能的回報率攀升速度,勝過只擁有其中一項技能。改編自〈熱愛數學的人最賺錢的時代〉。

父母若常接送小孩往返於足球練習場或話劇社,可能會欣慰地得知,這麼做不會白費,只要他們的孩子也擅長數學。新的研究顯示,在過去幾十年裡,同時擁有數學和社交技能的回報率攀升速度,勝過只擁有其中一項技能。這和足球練習有什麼關係?研究人員檢視了兩組美國高中畢業生,1972年的班級和1992年的班級,以觀察社交和數學技能和收入的關聯,如何隨時間變化。

這項研究專門針對白人男性,因為唯有這個群體並未因其他原因,而出現重大的工作變化。數學成績、運動、領導角色、大學教育,雖然都與較高的收入有關聯,但最明顯的長期趨勢,出現在那些既擅長數學、又從事高中體育或領導活動的人。

更仔細地觀察同一時期的美國經濟,數據顯示,從1980年到2012年間,運用社交技能的工作增加24%,而數學密集型工作僅成長約11%。其實自2000年以來,分析工作已經減少,以例行性工作為主的職位也持續減少,而社交技能的重要性卻不斷提高。換句話說,現在成為善於交際的數學神童會有好處,而且遠比三十年前好處更多。

(劉純佑譯)


New research shows that over the last few decades the return on having both math and social skills together is rising faster than just one or the other. Based on the article, "It's Never Been More Lucrative to Be a Math-Loving People Person."

Parents who are constantly shuttling kids to and from soccer practice or drama club might be comforted to learn that it's not in vain -- as long as their kids are good at math, too. New research shows that over the last few decades the return on having both math and social skills together is rising faster than just one or the other. What does that have to do with soccer practice? The researchers looked at two groups of U.S. high school seniors -- the class of 1972 and the class of 1992 -- to see how earnings associated with social and math skills have changed over time.

They focused specifically on white males, because this was the only group that wasn't already seeing significant job changes for other reasons. While math scores, sports, leadership roles, and college education were all associated with higher earnings, the trend over time was strongest amongst those who are both good at math and engaged in high school sports or leadership activities.

Looking more closely at the U.S. economy during the same timeframe, the data show that social skill jobs grew by 24% from 1980 to 2012, compared to only about 11% for math-intensive tasks. In fact, analytical jobs have declined since 2000, and jobs characterized by routine work have continued to decline -- all while the importance of social skills has grown. In other words, it pays to be a sociable math whiz, more so today than 30 years ago.



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