from the world's big
Researchers at Cornell found through new experiments that people will overlook dishonesty if it benefits them and the group they identify with.
- New studies suggest that in competitive settings, group loyalty leads to group members displaying more dishonest tendencies.
- Research at Cornell found that there is a fundamental link between dishonesty and loyalty when it comes to group think.
- Dishonesty in politics which is an ever-present and timeless aspect is most likely due to this phenomenon.
Merits of the dishonesty study<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODcxMDA1Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDAyOTYxMX0.iUKYLdiXZfjMp6SH1rbijZUN0sIMR5HkrrELUZYVsKk/img.jpg?width=980" id="8bdb8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa351b01d44b1379aa7636db0b6e8705" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Getty Images<p>Angus Hildreth, Cornell's management professor, set up an experiment to explore the <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2016-00795-003" target="_blank">tumultuous relationship between truthfulness or lackthereof and loyalty. </a>Hildreth and his team selected groups of random students, fraternity brothers and other volunteers then asked them to solve a number of puzzles and word games. </p><p>The rules of the game were simple. If the team performed well on these tasks, then the whole team would make more money.</p><p>The subjects were able to self report and then lie about puzzles they didn't complete. Though they didn't know that the researchers were able to tell if they were lying. Some failed or incomplete worksheets were dug out of the trash or the researchers intentionally gave them impossible puzzles. </p><p>Throughout the study, the team was encouraged and often felt righteous about their lying in the event that it benefitted themselves and their group. <br></p><p>Later on when these subjects pledged loyalty to a group to face off against other teams, it was found that more than 60 percent of people lied. Those who pledged loyalty but weren't inspired by competition against other groups lied less at 15 to 20 percent.</p>
Political takeaways from the study<p>Researchers felt that loyalty was the cause of a lot of political corruption. They stated that: </p><blockquote>Loyalty often drives corruption. Corporate scandals, political machinations, and sports cheating highlight how loyalty's pernicious nature manifests in collusion, conspiracy, cronyism, nepotism, and other forms of cheating.</blockquote><p>But at the same time loyalty is a fundamental and ethical principle, which drives a lot of our behavior. Even so, the results and hypotheses proved that it was an implicit factor when it came to lying. </p><blockquote>Across nine studies, we found that individuals primed with loyalty cheated less than those not primed (Study 1A and 1B). Members more loyal to their fraternities (Study 2A) and students more loyal to their study groups (Study 2B) also cheated less than their less loyal counterparts due to greater ethical salience when they pledged their loyalty (Studies 3A and 3B). Importantly, competition moderated these effects: when competition was high, members more loyal to their fraternities (Study 4) or individuals primed with loyalty (Studies 5A and 5B) cheated more.</blockquote><p>Competition, which is the name of the game in the political realm, will always breed lying discontent between factions.</p>
The truth is a messy business, but an information revolution is coming. Danny Hillis and Peter Hopkins discuss knowledge, fake news and disruption at NeueHouse in Manhattan.
- In 2005, Danny Hillis co-founded Freebase, an open-source knowledge database that was acquired by Google in 2010. Freebase formed the foundation of Google's famous Knowledge Graph, which enhances its search engine results and powers Google Assistant and Google Home.
- Hillis is now building The Underlay, a new knowledge database and future search engine app that is meant to serve the common good rather than private enterprise. He calls it his "penance for having sold the other one to Google."
- Powerful collections of machine-readable knowledge are becoming exceedingly important, but most are privatized and serve commercial goals.
- Decentralizing knowledge and making information provenance transparent will be a revolution in the so-called "post-truth age". The Underlay is being developed at MIT by Danny Hillis, SJ Klein, Travis Rich.
Do we really believe everything we say? Are you always trying to establish the truth when you argue? This thought experiment will help answer these questions.
Most of us have views on politics, current events, religion, society, morality and sport, and we spend a lot of time expressing these views, whether in conversation or on social media. We argue for our positions, and get annoyed if they are challenged. Why do we do this? The obvious answer is that we believe the views we express (ie, we think they are true), and we want to get others to believe them too, because they are true. We want the truth to prevail. That's how it seems. But do we really believe everything we say? Are you always trying to establish the truth when you argue, or might there be other motives at work?
Middle America is tired of those latte-sipping liberals and their "elite media" hanging out in New York City, but Ariel Levy makes the case that Americans aren't as different from one another as they'd like to think.
Middle America is tired of those latte-sipping liberals and their "elite media" hanging out in New York City, but author and New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy makes the case that Americans aren't as different from one another as they'd like to think—and in fact they are all bound by one thing: truth. "No little falsehood is okay, ever, and we take that very seriously," says Levy, speaking of the allegiance to truth and extreme fact-checking that happens at The New Yorker. Journalists are human, and therein lies inevitable errors, but to claim that fake news is coming from the liberal media or that climate science is liberal propaganda is very much off base, she says. Here she delves into what the journalist's mandate is, and why there's no point making up facts: reality gets you in the end. Ariel Levy's memoir The Rules Do Not Apply, is out now.
Capitalism has hijacked our emotions and rewired us for instant gratification—but we can reclaim our lives by practicing deep hope.
There are two kinds of hope, and between them is a world of difference, says Andre C. Willis. The one we use and speak about most often is what he calls trivial hope, which has superficial aims like, "I hope that my Domino’s pizza will arrive on time," or, "I hope that my career is successful." What makes these superficial is that they relate to probable futures, and are underpinned by the heavy hand of market capitalism, which increasingly tells us what we desire and what our ambitions are. How can we overcome that emotional hijacking? Willis contends that the second kind of hope, 'deep hope', is the antidote to the shallow living Western culture is up against. Deep hope is not based on measurable rewards or future desires, but is a way to face the true facts of life. What are those? Willis explains above, and fills us in on why we need a special toolkit to relate to the present without delusions. This video was filmed at the Los Angeles Hope Festival, a collaboration between Big Think and Hope & Optimism.