Flying and emotion 高空飛行對情緒的影響

The place where men love to cry…

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你知道在哪里能看到成年男人抱頭痛哭嗎?答案是:在2400米的高空中。飛機客艙有什麼獨特的力量能使男人們變得那麼容易動情呢?在飛行過程中看電影為什麼會讓我們那麼大喜大悲呢?本集《隨身英語》討論飛行對人們情緒的影響。

課文內容

Vocabulary: Emotions 詞匯: 情緒

I’ll let you into a secret. There’s a place that gets me every time: whenever I’m there, I can’t help but well up. Where is this tear-inducing location? It’s thousands of metres high in the sky, in the cabin of an aeroplane. Especially when there’s a trashy romantic comedy on. 

Why am I admitting this now? Because apparently, I’m not alone. English crooner Ed Sheeran confesses to getting all emotional when flying too. And get this: a survey carried out by Gatwick Airport in London found that 15% of men confess they’re more likely to cry during films in planes than watching at home. And 41% of men owned up to burying themselves in the blankets to hide their tears in a separate survey by Virgin Atlantic. In all, 55% of air travellers in the Virgin study claimed they experience heightened emotions when flying. 

So, what’s going on? How does air travel tap into our hidden emotions? A study from the Netherlands has shown adults cry due to feelings of separation, loneliness or powerlessness. All of these are easily experienced when flying: you’re far from family, often alone, and have no control over the aircraft’s flight. 

Another theory relates to the lack of distraction. When you’re strapped into your seat in a sealed cabin in the sky, there’s not a lot you can do. So we are able to invest ourselves more fully into the movies we watch. 

Then there’s the physical space. Air pressure and oxygen levels are lower, and this can affect our mental state. Conditions in an aeroplane resemble those at an altitude of 2,400m. The reduced oxygen at this height can affect the brain. According to a study by the US Institute of Medicine: “the initial mood experienced at altitude is euphoria, followed by depression.” 

And what about the movies themselves? Virgin say top culprits include tearjerkers such as Billy Elliot, Eat Pray Love and, at number one position, Toy Story 3. Their emotional firepower even caused the aeroplane to slap tongue-in-cheek “emotional health warnings” on select movies back in 2011. 

Virgin Atlantic film critic Jason Solomons said at the time, “On a flight, we’re isolated, leaving loved ones or aching to be reunited with them. We’re nervous, we’re tired, we might have had a drink at a time we usually wouldn’t, and if we see an image, a scene that reflects our emotional state, frankly we’re suckers. Flying and films is a heady cocktail.

詞匯表

I can’t help but 我情不自禁地,我忍不住
well up (眼淚)湧出
cabin 客艙
trashy 質量低劣的
crooner 情歌歌手(通常指男歌手)
get this (固定搭配)聽聽這個
bury 埋藏
heightened emotions 高亢的情緒
tap into 進入,深入了解
invest 投入
altitude 海拔高度
euphoria 亢奮,異常興奮
culprit 罪魁禍首
tearjerker 催人淚下的電影(書、戲劇等)
firepower 火力
tongue-in-cheek 開玩笑地
isolated 隔離的,孤獨的
emotional state 情緒狀態
sucker 容易上當受騙的人
cocktail 混合物,雞尾酒

測驗與練習 

1.
閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Where does the author always cry? 

2. True or false: men cry 41% more often when in planes.    

3. Why does the brain behave differently when flying thousands of metres high in a plane?

4. Which word means ‘wishing for something so much it hurts’?    

5. True or false: Virgin Atlantic were genuinely worried for the emotional wellbeing of their passengers.

2.
請你在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處

1. Sue felt ______ after she finished the marathon. She was so happy.

heightened       euphoric       isolated       tongue-in-cheek

2. Steve never deals with problems. He prefers to ______ his head in the sand.

heady       well up       croon       bury          

3. That book was a real ______. I cried all the way through.

sucker       tear-inducer       tearjerker       weller upper

4. I don’t feel very ______ in this project. I think if I left it, no one would notice.

invested       buried       trashy       isolated

5. The experiment was designed to ______ our deepest, darkest fears.

tap into       invest       get       tap out of

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。 

1. Where does the author always cry? 
The author always cries when in an aeroplane, especially when watching trashy movies.

2. True or false: men cry 41% more often when in planes.
False. The 41% figure refers to the number of men who hide their crying. We don’t know the percentage who cry more often in general, but those who cry more often when watching films is 15%.

3. Why does the brain behave differently when flying thousands of metres high in a plane?
The cabin has lower air pressure and oxygen levels than the outside world, which can make the brain feel greater extremes such as euphoria and depression.

4.Which word means ‘wishing for something so much it hurts’?
‘Aching’. If you are ‘aching’ for loved ones, you really want to see them.

5. True or false: Virgin Atlantic were genuinely worried for the emotional wellbeing of their passengers.
False. Their ‘emotional health warning’ campaign was tongue-in-cheek. In other words, it was just for fun.

2. 請你在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處 

1. Sue felt euphoric after she finished the marathon. She was so happy. 

2. Steve never deals with problems. He prefers to bury his head in the sand. 

3. That book was a real tearjerker. I cried all the way through. 

4. I don’t feel very invested in this project. I think if I left it, no one would notice.

5. The experiment was designed to tap into our deepest, darkest fears.

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