臺大外語教學暨資源中心英語學習報第 288 期 發行日期 2015-12-21

  Among elephant herds, the matriarchs – older and experienced – provide leadership. See more on VOA.

Animals Offer Leadership Lessons to Humans


What makes a good leader? A team of psychologists, mathematicians, anthropologists and biologists came together over the past two years to find an answer to this question – by looking at animals.





最新消息   104-1 English Corner on the way!!


  最新一期自學包裹,中級主題:Cats;中高級主題:Fighting Diseases。
觸類旁通學英文   Feature of the Week: Travel Channel

  Interactive Learning Resources: Capstone Interactive Library--Food Technology

  English Learning Video: Learn: plant, broke new ground, to renovate with news

館藏介紹   Diary of a Wimpy Kid (遜咖日記)
英語宅急便   Animals Offer Leadership Lessons to Humans (跟動物學習領導力)


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本單元介紹常見又可愛的動物:貓咪。若要飼養寵物,貓咪應該是與狗不相上下的選擇之一,人類飼養貓咪的歷史悠久,因此衍生出與貓有關的慣用語自然也不少,這裡會介紹其中一個「not enough room to swing a cat」,當然這個慣用語跟虐待動物無關,但想知道真正的意思是什麼,那麼就趕快點進來看吧!

中高級:104期--Fighting Diseases


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Feature of the Week

Travel Channel

Travel Channel 是美國一個居於領導地位的旅遊專門頻道,在台灣雖然無法直接收看,但是可以透過它的網站瀏覽豐富的旅遊資訊、文章、影片等,熱愛旅遊的你一定要來看看!
Interactive Learning Resources

Capstone Interactive Library--Food Technology

近年來食安問題層出不窮,我們應該多多了解食物科技的相關知識,才能更明智的選擇我們的食物。Capstone Interactive Library 裡的Food Technology一書,帶你從食物安全、製造過程出發,再進一步了解食物如何影響我們的生活,快來一探究竟吧!請看 Interactive Learning Resources --> English for Academic Purpose --> Capstone Interactive Library。 。 Register | Login
English Learning Video

Learn: plant, broke new ground, to renovate with news

這則影片將帶你藉由最近的新聞事件學習重點單字(plant, broke new ground, to renovate)及其句型,這些單字你都認識嗎?趕快收看影片學習吧!


Diary of a Wimpy Kid (遜咖日記)



Animals Offer Leadership Lessons to Humans
VOA News
Last updated on: December 11, 2015 1:25 PM (source

Animals Offer Leadership Lessons to Humans


Faiza Elmasry
Last updated on: December 11, 2015 1:25 PM

What makes a good leader? A team of psychologists, mathematicians, anthropologists and biologists came together over the past two years to find an answer to this question – by looking at animals.

The researchers first had to define leadership. They determined that a leader is an individual that, through action, prompts others to follow a certain set of rules. So they influence other individuals within a society.

Researchers studied leadership in several mammalian and human societies. They looked at elephant herds, hyena clans, monkey troops and small-scale human societies.

Specifically, they studied hunter-gatherer societies, groups that "are fairly remote and don’t have as many interactions with the broader technology-based societies that many of us are experiencing," said Jennifer Smith, an assistant professor of biology at Mills College in California and a co-author of the group’s report, published last month in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution. "… We wanted to understand the origins of cooperation, to look back in time so we can look at how leadership roles may have evolved."

Across multiple species

Researchers reviewed evidence of leadership across multiple species and within four domains: movement, food acquisition, within-group conflict mediation and between-group interactions or fights.

Similarities emerged between human and animal societies in leadership and resource sharing, Smith said.

Lions, for example, are among the more equitable species, she said. "They tend to breed cooperatively. Individuals will help each other in rearing offspring. And when it comes to feeding, they also are more equitable in sharing. Even though they have particular leadership roles during hunting, the food is often shared in a broader way. We see similarities to that in human societies."

But researchers also found differences, when compared to other mammalian species.

"If you look at a chimpanzee or a hyena in the way they dictate power, a leader might be socially dominant and control all of the resources, whereas in human societies oftentimes it’s more equitable," she pointed out. "There are more sharing of the benefits that leaders might help to obtain."

Common trait

Experience was a common trait of most successful leaders.

"It’s not how charismatic you are or who your mom was, necessarily. Things like that are less important than the amount of experience individuals have on the ground," Smith reported, pointing to elephants as an example. "We noticed that older matriarchs in the societies – females that have been in these groups for many years, that are very long lived and have this knowledge – are the ones that are calling the shots."

The researchers did find some exceptions where rank was inherited.

Among spotted hyenas, individuals basically inherit ranks right below their mothers, Smith said. "In those societies, the distribution of resources seems to be less equitable."

Leadership lessons

After looking closely at these species, researchers said humans could learn a thing or two from the interactions of elephants and other mammals.

The naïve creatures "don’t necessarily know to negotiate or navigate through their worlds, but through the leadership of the more experienced individuals, they can [learn] new insights," Smith said. "They can benefit from the leadership and experience that these knowledgeable elephants and other kinds of animals have.

"What we found here is that, time and again, the most successful leaders are actually those that take all of the demands from the society into account," she added. "And the most equitable leaders that have experience are those that are providing the most benefits to their groups."

A leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way, it is said. The validity of that idea, Smith and her fellow researchers say, is on display in many parts of the animal world. Successful, experienced leaders can pave the way for a successful society.

Perhaps that can help reinforce the importance of experience in a world that seems to be constantly looking for the next new thing.



具體來說,他們研究的是狩獵與採集型社會。這些群體多半「地處偏遠,也少與我們現在所處運用大量科技的社會有所互動」,加州米爾斯學院的生物學助理教授珍妮弗‧史密斯如此表示。她是本研究的共同作者(co-author),上個月在其研究團隊發表於期刊《生態學和演化趨勢》(Trends in Ecology & Evolution)的報告中寫到:「我們想要了解生物互助的起源,藉著回顧歷史(look back in time),我們可以看到領袖角色如何演變(evolve)。」




舉例來說,獅子是比較注重公平的(equitable)物種之一。她(史密斯)表示:「獅子會合作養育後代(breed),個體會彼此幫助撫育(rear)後代(offspring)。在進食的時候也比較會公平分享。即使在狩獵過程中有明確的領導角色,但食物大致上還是共享的。我們在人類社會也觀察到與此類似的情形(similarity to . . .)。」





「不管你多具個人魅力(charismatic)或你的母親是誰,那些事的重要性未必比得上個體實地的總經驗值」,研究人員史密斯述說著。她以大象為例,「我們注意到,大象社會是由群體中生活多年、長壽的(long-lived)並具此知識的女族長(matriarch)發號司令(call the shots)。」






「我們一再(time and again)發現,最成功的領導者實際上會把社會中所有的需求都考量進去(take . . . into account)」,她補充說,「具有經驗且最公正的領導者會供給團體最大的利益。」

領導者知道方法,會照著方法走,也會展現這個方法。史密斯和共同研究的人員表示,此看法在動物界很多地方都展現(on display)有效性(validity)。 成功的、經驗豐富的領導者會鋪設通往成功社會的道路(pave the way for . . .)


Language Notes

prompt (v) 促使;激勵

mammalian [mæˋmeljən] (a) 哺乳類的   *名詞是mammal [ˋmæml̩] 哺乳類動物;兩者的發音都要注意

hyena [haɪˋinə] (n) 鬣狗,土狼

clan (n) 氏族;部落

troop (n) 軍隊,部隊

mediation (n) 調解,斡旋   *動詞是mediate。要注意不要跟meditate (v) 和meditation (n) 搞混了,是「沉思」或「冥想」的意思,拼字上多一個 “t”

equitable [ˋɛkwɪtəbl̩] (a) 公平的;公正的

rear [rɪr] (v) 撫養,培養   *這個字也常作名詞,指「後部、後方」,常用詞有rear mirror (後照鏡)

dominant (a) 支配的,統治的

trait (n) 特徵,特點

charismatic [͵kærɪzˋmætɪk] (a) 有個人魅力的;有領袖魅力的   *charisma [kəˋrɪzmə] (n) 魅力

matriarch [ˋmetrɪ͵ɑrk]  (a) 女族長;女家長   *matriarchal [͵metrɪˋɑrkl̩] (a) 母系社會的;跟這個字相對的是patriarch / patriarchal,意思是「(父權的)族長」/「父權的」

call the shots (v phr) 控制局面,發號施令

take . . . into account (v phr) 斟酌,考慮

validity (n) 正確;確實

on display (prep phr) 展覽;展出

pave the way for . . . (v phr) 為 . . . . . . 鋪路

reinforce (v) 增援,加強

Check your vocabulary!

Fill in the blanks with a word or phrase from the list above. Make necessary changes. After you finish, select the text above to reveal the hidden answers.

1. We should question the validity of those figures.

2. The dominant male gorilla is the largest in the group.

3. A collection of photographs was on display in the hall.

4. I am the boss at work, but my wife calls the shots at home.

5. Martin Luther King was a very charismatic speaker.

6. What prompted you to buy that suit?

7. The film reinforces the idea that women should be pretty and dumb.

8. This is an equitable solution to the dispute.

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