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## 最小努力原則 Principle of Least Effort

「最小努力原則」假定，人會採取可能耗費最少勞動的行為，來完成特定任務：即，將必要之努力最小化。
And yet what is this Principle? In simple terms, the Principle of Least Effort means, for example, that a person in solving his immediate problems will view these against the background of his probable future problems, as estimated by himself. Moreover he will strive to solve his problems in such a way as to minimize the total work that he must expend in solving both his immediate problems and his probable future problems. That in turn means that the person will strive to minimize the probable average rate of his workexpenditure (over time). And in so doing he will be minimizing his effort, by our definition of effort. Least effort, therefore, is a variant of least work. (Zipf, 1949) 1)
The PLE's premise is that, in performing tasks (e.g., writing or speaking) individuals adopt a course of action that will expend the probable least average of their work-the least effort. (Case, 2005)2)

### 起源

• 1935年，哈佛大學的語言學家齊夫(George K. Zipf)提出的詞彙使用理論Zipf's law, 齊夫定律）。其一是單詞的音素越少，被使用的頻率越高；其二是頻率分布理論（Zipf Distribution, 齊夫分佈）：在人類的自然語言運用中，一個單詞的出現頻率與其在頻率表裡的排名成反比。即，排名第一的單詞出現的頻率，是第二名單詞的兩倍；而第二名單詞出現的頻率會是第四名單詞的兩倍。《語言的精神生物學(The psycho-biology of language)》3)
• 1949年，齊夫根據其語言學的發現，推論出人類具有選擇耗費最小工作而達成最大效益的傾向。《人類行為與最小努力原則：人類生態學導論(Human behavior and the principle of least effort: An introduction to human ecology)》4)

## Note

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1) , 4)
Zipf, G. K. (1949). Human behavior and the principle of least effort. Cambridge MA: Addison-Wesley.
2)
Case, D. O. (2005). Principle of Least Effort. In K. E. Fisher, S. Erdelez & L. McKechnie (Eds.), Theories of information behavior. Medford, N.J. : Information Today.
3)
Zipf, G. K. (1935). The psycho-biology of language. Houghton, England: Oxford.