Did you know…
That people are more inclined to let something bad happen, than cause something bad to happen?
Recently, researchers proved this.
For instance, did you ever get too much money, say $10, in return at a register? What did you do? Did you return the money?
Most people don’t return the money because they think it’s okay (I admit, I’ve done this myself). However, you probably wouldn’t even consider swiping the $10 if the cashier wasn’t looking.
Psychologists always considered this to be a mistake of the brain – an error in moral calculations.
The researchers, DeScioli and colleagues, thought differently. Their hypothesis was that people were actually (unconsciously) making a strategic plan about how to act based on how others might judge them.
Their experiment looked as following:
They set up an experiment that used people recruited through Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk website, which pays people small amounts of money to do tasks. Two or three people were involved in each test. Each time, a “taker” had the option to take part of a dollar away from an “owner”-or to let a 15-second timer run out, in which case the whole dollar was automatically transferred from the owner to the taker, but with a 15 cent penalty leaving the owner with nothing and the taker with 85 cents. Sometimes a third person was involved, to judge the taker’s actions and take money away from them for acting badly; sometimes they weren’t.
When the takers knew that someone was judging them, 51 percent of participants let the timer run out, even though this was worse for everyone than taking 90 cents; the owner got nothing (instead of keeping 10 cents) and the taker only got 85 cents (instead of 90). This percentage was significantly greater than the 28 percent who let the timer run out when there was no third person judging them.
And it turned out they were right to do that; the third person judged them more harshly if they outright took the 90 cents than if they let the timer run out and deprived the owner of the whole dollar. So people were more likely to do a bad thing by omission if they knew they could be punished for it. (-Medicalnewstoday.com)
Interesting, don’t you think?