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People are selfish to the masses and generous to the individual

Zurich [Switzerland], August 3 (ANI): In recent years, the general public has steadily lost trust in economic authorities, financial institutions, and especially business owners. They believe that economic agents will spend all their length on profit, including harming fellow humans and large groups.

Still, modern behavioral economics and psychology tell a completely different story. Laboratory data show that people are willing to share financial interests with others, hate inequality, and very often are generous. Recent evidence shows that the fraud levels measured for certain laboratory tasks are surprisingly low. The message is that people are prosocial and, when given the opportunity, cheat a little.

The results of these surveys are published in the journal “Nature Human Behavior”.

How can both observations be true at the same time? Are high-level agents simply different? To investigate, Carlos Alos-Ferrer, a NOMIS professor of decision and neuroeconomic theory at the University of Zurich, and his team set up a Big Robber Game, an experimental setting with 640 participants in a standard student sample. I designed it. The students were divided into groups of 32 and all subjects engaged in some rewarding activity and earned the same amount.

The robbers, half of the participants, were given the opportunity to anonymously steal half of the proceeds of the other 16 members of the group (and one of the 16 robbery decisions was actually carried out). .. This is more or less equivalent to 100 euros. However, it is unlikely to steal, for example one-third, one-tenth, or even never. So what did they do? More than half of all robbers went to the extreme and took the maximum possible, half of all other income. More than 80% spent more than one-third, and few refused to take it. Students have shown an overwhelming willingness to do serious financial harm to a large number of others. Moreover, the decision to maximize was made on average faster than the decision to refrain from it, revealing a weaker moral struggle in the former case.

However, the exact same study participants showed predominantly prosocial behavior in standard bilateral games. When asked how to split 10 euros by just one other participant, they voluntarily remit some money, even if the other person has no power to retaliate if the money does not come Did. In general, their actions revealed that they hated inequality.

“Therefore, the exact same people have shown selfishness in large, influential decisions that affect large groups, and generosity in small bilateral, low stakes interactions.” And Alos-Ferrer will resume. “This behavior occurs spontaneously within our student population and is not significantly different by gender or field of study, so there is no need to discuss the different high-level agents. The roots of the corporate scandal are all. “The discovery that people behave selfishly towards large groups and are generous to individuals is the existing that people are more willing to help one individual than many. Consistent with the evidence, it suggests that hurting many individuals may be easier than hurting just one.

According to the author, this study also reflects the trade-off between personal interests and other concerns. When facing individuals in bilateral games, allocating a certain amount of money can make a big difference between individuals.

When allocating income from large numbers of people, the same personal interests carry a smaller percentage difference and are therefore more likely to offset inequality avoidance. Alos-Ferrer: “In economically appropriate circumstances, many human decision makers do serious harm to a relatively large number of people for personal gain, as long as their interests are large enough. You may be willing to add, and even more surprisingly, in Western society, 100 euros may already be enough. “(ANI)

People are selfish to the masses and generous to the individual

Source link People are selfish to the masses and generous to the individual

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