Psychological scientists Chen-Bo Zhong, Vanessa K. Bohns (both of University of Torontoís Rotman School of Management), and Francesca Gino (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) conducted three experiments to test whether darkness can license dishonest and self-interested behaviors. In the first experiment, participants were placed in a dimly or well-lit room and received a brown envelope that contained $10 along with one empty white envelope. They were then asked to complete a worksheet with 20 matrices, each consisting of 12 three-digit numbers. The participants had five minutes to find two numbers in each matrix that added up to 10. The researchers left it up to the participants to score their own work and for each pair of numbers correctly indentified they could keep $0.50 from their supply of money. At the end of the experiment, the participants were asked to place the remainder of their money into the white envelope on their way out. While there was no difference in actual performance, participants in the slightly dim room cheated more and thus earned more undeserved money than those in a well-lit room.
People who wear sunglasses are more selfish.
In the second experiment, some participants wore a pair of sunglasses and others wore clear glasses while interacting with an ostensible stranger in a different room (in actuality participants interacted with the experimenter). Each person had $6 to allocate between him-or herself and the recipient and could keep what he or she didnít offer. Participants wearing sunglasses behaved more selfishly by giving significantly less than those wearing clear glasses.
People who wear sunglasses feel more anonymous.
In the third experiment, the scientists replicated the previous experiment and then measured the extent to which participants felt anonymous during the experiment. Once again, those wearing sunglasses gave significantly less money and furthermore, those wearing sunglasses reported feeling more anonymous during the study.
One can see this as an argument against shopping for used cars in the evening. Oh, and don't trust the sales guy wearing sunglasses.
But what about ethical selfishness? If you find it hard to say no to a manipulative person then put on some shades.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2010 March 02 09:59 PM Brain Economics|