Altruism, Yes!

Interesting study at University College London picked up by Amina Kahn of the Los Angeles Times.

The experiment set up a scenario in which “deciders” were paid increasing amounts to increasingly shock either themselves, or a randomly assigned “receiver.

The researchers found that people were “hyperaltruistic” — that is, the deciders were less likely to harm the receivers for a little more cash than they were to harm themselves. While they were willing to take a few more shocks themselves to earn a higher payoff, they were less likely to raise the number of shocks for those extra bucks if it was the receiver getting zapped instead.


Matches my own experience decades ago when I put up with months of college hazing myself but got ulcers when I saw it happening to others.

Now if we could just get the feeling shared by trigger-pullers, knife wielders around the world.

Or, in the interim, learn what it is that enhances altruism and what diminishes it.