Posts Tagged ‘paying forward’

Is greed really more likely to be ‘paid forward’ than equality or generousity?

December 29, 2012

According to a survey carried out by researchers at Harvard University, greed, not generousity, is more likely to be “paid forward”, contrary to a common belief.

Researchers involved individuals in a series of 5 experiments including money, and on others dealing with work, as described in a Medical News Today article. The result was the same: people having been exposed to greed were more likely to “pay forward” than those exposed to generousity or mere equality.

Still, 2 biases are patent in the described experiments. First, individuals are asked to accomplish a task exactly similar to the greed/equality/generousity they have just experienced ; second, they are asked to accomplish it immediately after they experienced greed/equality/generousity. So the study does not provide any hint on the mid-to long-term impact of greed/equality/generousity, nor on the impact on the general psychology of people, in situations that are not strictly similar.