penmillion: (newpenny)
[personal profile] penmillion
Do the math.

In this study, subjects were put in a position to act selfishly and then questioned about their actions. Some were also assigned a task of memorizing a list of numbers.

"That little bit of extra mental exertion was enough to eliminate hypocrisy. These people judged their own actions just as harshly as others did. Their brains were apparently too busy to rationalize their selfishness, so they fell back on their intuitive feelings about fairness."

Does this mean people who have learned to quiet their "monkey mind" are more honest and trustworthy?

Does this only work if the person has not already come up with their rationalizations?

Can this be used to stop the selfish act in the first place? I think so, if you are trying to decide what to do and ask yourself whether or not it is really fair while doing some sort of mental distraction.

The article also has some interesting stuff about how we are hypocritical about members of our group (even if that only means people wearing the same color wristband) and how that relates to current politics.

NYT article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/science/01tier.html?ex=1372651200&en=8fd9a5970b26ffa2&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Found in Stever Robbins' blog:
http://blog.steverrobbins.com/bizblog/the-key-to-ethical-sane-behavior-the-little-voice-174
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