Hello, and welcome to 6 Minute English, I’m Neil and joining me today is Rob.
So Rob, what’s the most dangerous thing you’ve ever chosen to do?
Mmm. Tricky question. I’ve done many risky things, but probably the most risky thing is bungee jumping in New Zealand.
Oh, wow, bungee jumping. You’d never catch me doing that. Did you enjoy it?
Not really, no. I won’t do it again!
OK, well today our topic is risk and how different people react to different levels of risk in different ways. For example, would you be happy to be in a driverless car?
Absolutely not! No, I don’t trust anybody’s driving, even a computer. So no, I wouldn’t go in a driverless car.
OK, I won’t offer you a lift! Driverless cars are the topic of today’s quiz. The question is: When was the first driverless car demonstrated on a public road? Was it: a) 1970s b) 1950s or c) 1920s ?
好的，我不会捎你一程的。无人驾驶汽车是今天测试的主题。问题是：第一辆无人驾驶汽车是什么时候上公路的？是a) 20世纪70年代 b) 20世纪50年代 还是 c) 20世纪20年代 ？
Well, I think they are quite modern, so I’m going to say 1970s.
OK, well. We’ll find out if you’re right at the end of the programme. Joe Kable is an associate professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. In a recent BBC science programme, All in the Mind, he talked about the psychology of risk and whether there was anything physically in our brains that could predict how much risk we are prepared to accept. Here he is, first talking about a number of different ways people see risk. How many different types does he describe?
好的，我们将在节目最后揭晓你是否回答正确。乔•凯布尔是宾夕法尼亚大学心理学副教授。在最近的BBC科学节目All in the mind中，他谈到了风险心理学以及我们大脑内是否有能够推断出我们能够接受多大风险的东西。在这里他首先谈到人们看待风险有许多方式。他描述了几种类型呢？
Some people are quite risk-averse and really don’t want to take any decisions where there’s risk involved at all.Whereas others are fairly risk-tolerant and in some cases even risk-seeking, so they seek out decisions that have an aspect of risk to them.
How many different types of people did he mention when it comes to attitudes to risk?
Well, there were three. The first group was those who are risk-averse.If you are averse to something, you are against it, you don’t like it. So risk-averse people don’t like to take risks.
The second group are those who are risk-tolerant.If you are tolerant of something, you accept it, you don’t mind it, it’s not a problem for you. So someone who is risk-tolerant is not worried by an element of risk in what they choose to do.
The third group he mentioned are those who are risk-seeking. If you seek something, you actively look for it, you try to find it. So risk seekers are those who enjoy risk and want to take risks in their life.
Associate professor Kable carried out research on risk-taking and discovered that there were differences in brain structure and the way parts of the brain worked together between those who are risk-averse and those who are risk-tolerant or risk seekers.
So it seems as if this is something that could be measured. You could put someone in a brain scanner and tell if they like risk or not. I wonder how useful that would be though.Is there any practical application for this knowledge?
Good question and one that was put to Kable. What area does he say this could be applied to?
Definitely something that I can see coming out of this is using these associations to help develop better assessments of who’s likely to take risks versus not. This is exactly the thing that financial advisors want to assess when you come to them and say ’I want to put my money away for retirement’. Exactly the aspect of your personality that they want to know is what’s your tolerance for taking risk.
In which area does he say knowledge of someone’s attitude to risk might be useful?
Financial planning. He says that financial advisors, who are people that give advice on what to do with our money, would find this information very useful. It would help them to assess what to do with your money, which means it would help them to decide, to make an intelligent decision about your money in certain situations.
For example if you are planning for your retirement. Retirement is the time when are able to or you have to stop working.
He also used an interesting expression there, to put your money away, which means ’save your money’, ’put it somewhere where you can’t spend it and where it can grow’. You know I think my financial planner could just ask me about how I feel about risk rather than giving me a brain scan.I heard brain scans can be risky!
Mmm, not sure that’s true. But anyway, what is true is the answer to this week’s quiz question. I asked you when the first driverless car was demonstrated on a public road. The options were a) the 1970s, b) the1950s and c) the 1920s. What did you say, Rob?
额，不确定那是否正确。但是不管怎么说，今天没错误的是测试问题的答案。我问你第一辆无人驾驶汽车什么时候上公路的。选项是a)20世纪70年代，b) 20世纪50年代 以及 c) 20世纪20年代。你说是什么，罗伯？
I said the 1970s.
And you were wrong, I’m afraid. Apparently it was the 1920s, so a long time ago. Well done if you got that right. Now before we drive off into the sunset, let’s recap today’s vocabulary.
Yes, right, first we had three words describing different attitudes to risk. There was risk-averse, for people who don’t like risk.
People who don’t mind risk are risk-tolerant.
And people who like risk and want risk are risk seekers.
Next we had the verb ’to assess’. This means ’to make a judgement or a decision based on information’.
A phrase meaning ’to save money’ is ’to put money away’.
意思是“存钱”的一个词组是"to put money away"。
And finally we had ’retirement’. That time of life when you are too old to work anymore or you have enough money that you don’t need to work anymore. Are you looking forward to your retirement, Rob?
Oh, cheeky. I’m neither old enough nor rich enough to even think about that, Neil.
Same here. Well, that’s all from us today.And you don’t have to be a risk seeker to find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and of course on our website bbclearningenglish.com! Thank you for joining us and goodbye.