秀色可餐

英格兰普利茅斯郊外的一个小型发电站,灰褐色的单调栅栏将电线和塔楼团团围住,这里是英国最丑的地方之一。我知道这里丑并不是因为我去过,而是因为有张该地的照片在一款在线游戏中只得了一分,这款游戏叫景点美不美,游戏玩家对英国各地风景照片按优美程度进行评分,满分十分。

对超过二十万张照片进行一百五十万次评分之后,该游戏网站给英国超过百分之九十三的地区划分了等级:风景秀丽的、景致欠佳的、介于两者之间的。而现在,科学报告期刊上一项研究利用这些数据得出结论:看到的风景越美,幸福指数越高。这种关联似乎有些理所当然。

可是华威商学院和阿兰图灵研究所的数据科学家恰努奇塞雷西尼还有意外发现:即使是在高楼林立的城市里,这种关联依然存在。不只自然景观会提升我们的幸福感,城市美景也会。塞雷西尼团队研究了一款名叫幸福地图的应用数据,该程序对一万五千名参与者的身心状况进行调查,频率为每天多次,为期三年。这款应用程序还提取了全球定位系统数据,让塞雷西尼团队能够将幸福感评分和参与者所在地的景色秀丽评分相关联,他们发现,景致越优美,参与者的幸福感也越强烈。这一关联同样适用于人造的优美景观,例如桥梁和外形奇趣的建筑。

虽然目前二者只存在相关性,但有意思的地方在于,这项研究表明,哪怕只向城市注入一小处美,或许就能为成千上万的路人带来幸福感。

这项研究迟早会派上用场。本世纪末,全球人口预计多达一百一十亿,而人的主要居住地又是城市,如果城市能建得更引人入胜,人也会过得更加舒心惬意。

Scenic Wellbeing

One of the ugliest sights in Great Britain is a small power station outside Plymouth, England, its electrical lines and towers surrounded by a drab-colored fence. I know this not because I've been there - but because a photo of it has scored a measly 1 out of 10 on an online game called Scenic or Not. The game has viewers rate photos from all over the U.K. on their scenic beauty.

After a million and a half ratings of more than 200,000 photos, the site has classified more than 93 percent of Great Britain as scenic, or not, or somewhere in between. And now, a study in the journal Scientific Reports has used that data to show that our happiness increases in line with the scenic beauty around us. Which might sound kind of obvious.

"But what was I think surprising is we find that connection when they're in more built-up areas as well. So it's not just a natural area that might have an impact on happiness, but we might also feel happier in more beautiful areas in our cities."

Chanuki Seresinhe is a data scientist at the Warwick Business School and the Alan Turing Institute. Seresinhe and her team used data from the "Mappiness" iPhone app - which polled some 15,000 participants about their wellbeing a few times a day, over a three-year period. The app also pulled GPS data, which allowed Seresinhe and her team to correlate happiness ratings with the Scenic-or-Not rating of where a participant happened to be. The team found that as scenic beauty goes up, so does self-reported wellbeing. And that held true for areas featuring picturesque human-built structures, such as bridges and interesting architecture.

And though it's just a correlation for now, "I think what's interesting about this research is it shows that just a small injection of beauty into an area of a city can create happiness for possibly thousands of people that are being exposed to that."

Which could come in handy. Because the global population is forecast to grow to 11 billion by the end of the century - living mostly in cities. Which should be built to be as appealing as possible.

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