Technology, the Faux Equalizer Just over a century ago, an electric company in Minnesota took out a full-page newspaper advertisement and listed 1,000 uses for electricity. Bakers could get ice-cream freezers and waffle irons! Hat makers could put up electric … Continue reading Is technological innovation unfair?
Most Americans Aren’t Ready to Give Up Tipping Last year, the New York restaurateur Danny Meyer announced he’d be eliminating tipping at 14 of his restaurants by the end of 2016, affecting most of his 1,800 employees’ compensation. That, plus … Continue reading Is tipping unfair?
How We Learn Fairness A pair of brown capuchin monkeys is sitting in a cage. From time to time, their caretakers give them tokens, which they can then exchange for food. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that capuchin monkeys prefer … Continue reading Are you a loyalist or a ruthless competitor?
What Would You Pay for This Meal? How often have you bought something you felt wasn’t worth the money? What if you could set the price? What factors would influence your number? For years, behavioral scientists have studied such questions. … Continue reading Menu with no prices
The Good, The Bad, The Economy Environmentalism has made major strides in capturing many people’s imaginations over the last few decades. From the concern of just a few activists, agreement that the natural environment is worth preserving extends at least to a willingness to recycle containers and unwanted paper, awareness of the dangers posed by global warming, and worry about melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and more violent storms. But when it comes to significant trade-offs between our convenience (the door to door luxury of the private automobile) or livelihoods (running industries on cheap fossil fuels), on the … Continue reading Institutions can harness the “better angels of our nature”
The Neuroscience of Fairness and Injustice Humans are inherently social beings. We care not only about material and financial rewards, but also about social status, belonging, and respect. Research studies show that our brains automatically evaluate the fairness of how financial rewards are distributed. We seem to have a happiness response to fair treatment and a disgust or protest response to unfairness. This brain wiring has implications for life happiness, relationship satisfaction, raising kids, and organizational leadership. This article will examine how we define fairness, how your brain processes experiences of fairness and unfairness, and how to cope with life’s … Continue reading Fairness rewards your brain
Attractive Students Get Higher Grades A new study finds that students who are rated as more attractive get better grades and are more likely to go to college. The study followed about 9,000 US adolescents from high school in the 1990s, through until they were in their 30s (Gordon et al., 2014). They found that students who were rated as more attractive were also given higher grades by their teachers. But students only needed to be somewhat above average to see the advantage. The super-good-looking had no advantage over those who were above average. This may be because being more … Continue reading The halo effect matters