Study: Brains of Selfish People Immediately Seek to Exploit Others
The science behind selfish behavior has been revealed, and it's pretty disturbing.
Everyone wants to get ahead, but how we do that and to what extent says a lot about us. A recent study by the University of Pécs in Hungary shows the neuroscience behind people who are opportunistic, exploitative, and suspicious. Called “Machiavellians” by psychologists and “politicians” by most, this personality type is naturally bad at playing with others. Like Reese Witherspoon in the movie Election, these people will do anything to get ahead and have a callous disregard for other people’s feelings. The study shows in startling detail the inner workings of Machiavellians brains.
[W]hen you show calculating people what they expect — that you are ready to exploit their vulnerabilities for self-gain — there is no sign of surprise.
In the study, a group of people both low and high on the Machiavellian scale played a game with, unbeknownst to them, a computer. The computer sometimes played fairly and sometimes did not, but when it was playing fairly, the Machiavellian brain lit up in key areas. Researchers say as soon as someone demonstrates fairness — in this case, a confederate computer — Machiavellians start finding ways to exploit it.
Andrew Cohen says narcissism is a culturally conditioned epidemic. How is it harmful and how can we break out of it?
Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!
Finalist: Greater Commons - Todd McLeod
Finalist: PeerFoward - Keith Frome
Finalist: Cogniss - Leon Young
Finalist: Practera - Nikki James
Thank you to our judges!
Our expert judges are Lorna Davis, Dan Rosensweig, and Stuart Yasgur.
Again, thank you to our incredible expert judges.
- Beethovan and Picasso are the perfect examples for mastering the creative process.
- Behind each of their works are countless studies and sketches.
- The lesson? Never erase anything, keep iterating, and find new paths to familiar destinations.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.