For Money, People Sooner Inflict Pain on Themselves than Others
When it comes to making financial gain, people would sooner inflict a moderate amount of pain on themselves than on others.
When it comes to making financial gain, people would sooner inflict a moderate amount of pain on themselves than on others, according to a study just completed at the University of College, London. The result is a welcome one given other studies that have hinted at the undue influence of our primal urges in day to day behavior.
For the experiment, eighty study participants played the role of decision maker and were prepared to receive higher electric shocks in exchange for moderate financial gain. When they were asked to shock another participant they believed was connected to the same electrode machine, they declined the financial reward. The decision makers also took more time to make their decision when given the option to shock another person, suggesting that moral deliberation does in fact result in more salutary behavior.
"By contrast with the selfishness seen in economic trading games, this research shines a light on how the direct physical suffering of others triggers empathic responses that are altogether different from responses to other people's purely financial disadvantage - even though lack of money may result in suffering too."
In his interview with Big Think, Duke University behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains how our moral reasoning is translated into daily behavior. He theorizes that the more finances are abstracted—for example, in the plethora of financial products now available to investors—the more likely we are to act against our own idea of how people should behave:
Read more at BPS Research
Photo credit: Shutterstock
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.