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  • Imagine you're on a game show, and you can choose between two prizes:

    想像一下你正參加一個電視遊戲節目,而你可以從這兩個獎品中選一個:

  • a diamond

    一顆鑽石

  • or a bottle of water.

    或一瓶水

  • It's an easy choice.

    這很容易選擇

  • The diamonds are clearly more valuable.

    鑽石顯然比較有價值

  • Now imagine being given the same choice again,

    再想像一下,你現在面臨了同樣的選擇

  • only this time, you're not on a game show,

    只是這次你不是在節目上

  • but dehydrated in the desert after wandering for days.

    而是在沙漠裡遊蕩了幾天之後身體開始脫水

  • Do you choose differently?

    你會做出不一樣的選擇嗎?

  • Why? Aren't diamonds still more valuable?

    為什麼會不一樣?鑽石不是一樣比較有價值嗎?

  • This is the paradox of value,

    這就是價值的悖論

  • famously described by pioneering economist Adam Smith.

    著名的經濟學家先驅亞當‧斯密曾描述過此悖論

  • And what it tells us is that defining value is not as simple as it seems.

    此悖論告訴我們的是,定義價值並不像表面上看起來那麼容易

  • On the game show, you were thinking about each item's exchange value,

    在遊戲節目上,你想的是每個物品的交換價值

  • what you could obtain for them at a later time,

    也就是過後你能用該物品換得其他物品的價值

  • but in an emergency, like the desert scenario,

    但如同在沙漠中缺水等等的緊急狀況

  • what matters far more is their use value,

    更為重要的是物品的使用價值

  • how helpful they are in your current situation.

    也就是當前情況中物品對你有沒有幫助

  • And because we only get to choose one of the options,

    而因為我們只能從兩樣東西中選出其中一樣

  • we also have to consider its opportunity cost,

    我們還必須考慮到機會成本

  • or what we lose by giving up the other choice.

    也就是放棄其他選擇的同時我們所失去的東西

  • After all, it doesn't matter how much you could get from selling the diamond

    不管你能靠賣鑽石賺了多少錢,如果你沒辦法離開沙漠

  • if you never make it out of the desert.

    那麼一切都不重要了

  • Most modern economists deal with the paradox of value

    大部分現代經濟學家根據效用這個概念

  • by attempting to unify these considerations

    試著統一各種考量

  • under the concept of utility,

    來解決價值的悖論這個議題

  • how well something satisfies a person's wants or needs.

    而效用即某物能滿足某人慾望或需求的程度

  • Utility can apply to anything from the basic need for food

    效用可以應用在任何事物上,從最基本對食物的需求

  • to the pleasure of hearing a favorite song,

    到聽最愛的歌時獲得的愉悅感

  • and will naturally vary for different people and circumstances.

    而效用也會因不同人、不同情況而隨之改變

  • A market economy provides us with an easy way to track utility.

    市場經濟提供了一個容易觀察效用的方法

  • Put simply, the utility something has to you

    簡單來說,你能獲得多少效用

  • is reflected by how much you'd be willing to pay for it.

    反映在你願意為了效用付出多少代價

  • Now, imagine yourself back in the desert,

    現在想像一下你回到了沙漠中

  • only this time, you get offered a new diamond or a fresh bottle of water

    只是這次,你每五分鐘會得到新的鑽石

  • every five minutes.

    或新的一瓶水

  • If you're like most people, you'll first choose enough water to last the trip,

    如果你跟大多數人一樣,你會選擇先獲得足夠的水來繼續旅程

  • and then as many diamonds as you can carry.

    接著再依你能帶的量,把鑽石帶走

  • This is because of something called marginal utility,

    會做這樣的抉擇是因為邊際效用的緣故

  • and it means that when you choose between diamonds and water,

    邊際效用是指,在鑽石和水之間做選擇時

  • you compare utility obtained from every additional bottle of water

    你會把每增加一瓶水所獲得的效用

  • to every additional diamond.

    與每增加一顆鑽石所獲得的效用相互比較

  • And you do this each time an offer is made.

    每當做選擇時你都會做一次比較

  • The first bottle of water is worth more to you than any amount of diamonds,

    對你來說,再多的鑽石都不比第一瓶水來的有價值

  • but eventually, you have all the water you need.

    但到了最後你有了足夠的水

  • After a while, every additional bottle becomes a burden.

    再過一陣子,每多一瓶水都是負擔

  • That's when you begin to choose diamonds over water.

    這時你就會開始捨棄水而選擇鑽石

  • And it's not just necessities like water.

    不只是像水這樣的必需品

  • When it comes to most things, the more of it you acquire,

    大部分的東西,你獲得愈多

  • the less useful or enjoyable every additional bit becomes.

    東西就會變得愈不實用、不有趣

  • This is the law of diminishing marginal utility.

    這就是邊際效用遞減法則

  • You might gladly buy two or three helpings of your favorite food,

    你買兩三份最愛的食物應該會很開心

  • but the fourth would make you nauseated,

    但第四份就會讓你覺得噁心

  • and the hundredth would spoil before you could even get to it.

    到了第一百個時你還沒吃到食物就會腐壞了

  • Or you could pay to see the same movie over and over until you got bored of it

    你也可以一再地看同一部電影,看到你覺得無聊

  • or spent all of your money.

    或看到花光你的錢為止

  • Either way, you'd eventually reach a point

    不管怎樣,最後都會達到一個點

  • where the marginal utility for buying another movie ticket became zero.

    在這個點上,買電影票的邊際效用變成零

  • Utility applies not just to buying things, but to all our decisions.

    效用不只應用在買東西上,也適用在我們做的所有決定

  • And the intuitive way to maximize it and avoid diminishing returns

    最直接能最大化效用,並避免產生報酬遞減的方法

  • is to vary the way we spend our time and resources.

    就是改變我們花費時間、資源的方式

  • After our basic needs are met,

    我們的基本需求滿足了之後

  • we'd theoretically decide to invest in choices

    理論上會決定投資在

  • only to the point they're useful or enjoyable.

    所選擇的事物是有用的、有趣的那一點上

  • Of course, how effectively any of us manage to maximize utility in real life

    當然,現實生活中我們如何有效地最大化效用

  • is another matter.

    又是另外一回事了

  • But it helps to remember that the ultimate source of value comes from us,

    但這件事能提醒我們,價值最根本的源頭來自於我們

  • the needs we share,

    來自我們共享的需求

  • the things we enjoy,

    我們享受的事物

  • and the choices we make.

    以及我們所做的選擇

Imagine you're on a game show, and you can choose between two prizes:

想像一下你正參加一個電視遊戲節目,而你可以從這兩個獎品中選一個:

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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 鑽石 價值 悖論 選擇 沙漠

TED-Ed】價值的悖論--Akshita Agarwal (【TED-Ed】The paradox of value - Akshita Agarwal)

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    吳D 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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