Sie haben Javascript deaktiviert!
Sie haben versucht eine Funktion zu nutzen, die nur mit Javascript möglich ist. Um sämtliche Funktionalitäten unserer Internetseite zu nutzen, aktivieren Sie bitte Javascript in Ihrem Browser.

Do people act more unkindly because they are frustrated?

If we want to prevent unkindness from spreading in groups, firms, and political parties, we need to know why it spreads. Are badly treated people getting angry and then act unkind toward anyone coming their way? Then, an emotional regulation technique, like anger management, might be the right remedy. On the other hand, people may just try to imitate what appears to be a socially acceptable behavior. Then, jointly establishing what is acceptable may be the way forward.

In an experimental study, Wendelin Schnedler finds that „chains of unkindness“ in the laboratory seem to be driven by imitation. Subjects who are assigned a frustrating job get angry but do not donate less money to an uninvolved third person. If anything, they donate more.

Details on the study can be found here.

The slogan 'take back control' allegedly inspired many Britons to vote for leaving the EU in the 2016 referendum although they are likely to suffer economically from the departure. The most important reason given in an exit poll was not the desire to change a specific policy but “the principle that decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK.” This suggests that the leave-vote was not necessarily about what gets decided but who decides or 'authors' a certain outcome.

If humans do not only want control to affect the outcome but because they prefer to be the author of a decision, this has…

Sometimes people vote with little to go on. Sometimes people talk without knowing much. Since they do, it makes sense for others to also vote or talk. Bringing forward all this information, however, can be harmful. It dilutes the voices and votes of those who better understand the issue at hand. Are such groups doomed? Is there hope that they might learn from each other to restrain themselves? Can they achieve this even though they clearly cannot figure it out in a group conversation?

Rewarding someone for desirable behavior is not always a good idea. For example, small children are often inclined to help adults. After having been rewarded, however, they are less willing to help - unless a reward is forthcoming. This phenomenon also occurs with adults and has been observed in various psychological and economical experiments...

It is typically argued that paying large bonuses will induce people to exert more effort. This argument is, for example, evoked to justify the large bonuses of managers. Wendelin Schnedler puts forward a theory in which success bonuses actually reduce effort. This may happen even if more effort increases the likelihood of getting the bonus...

The University for the Information Society