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Re: volunteering baseball55

Posted by alexandra_k on August 31, 2017, at 1:39:42

In reply to Re: volunteering, posted by baseball55 on August 30, 2017, at 20:35:19

I have never studied economics. I wonder, though, whether economists are trained that:

- Every one acts to further their own self interest
- Every one is rational

Then when people do things that don't seem to further their self interest the conclusion is that people are irrational. So then... To prove yourself to be particularly smart or clever... Involves your getting your leg up over someone else and pissing on them (furthering your self interest at the expense of their self interest).

I have never studied economics so perhaps that is unfair. I have been to a lot of talks where economists seemed to think that they were so very clever for screwing other people over, however... And I thought that they seemed to be playing a very different game indeed, from the rest of us. Maybe... Because the rest of us weren't playing that game...

I don't know.

> Humans are naturally cooperative and always have lived in groups. We are too weak physically and our children require too long a period of care to have survived outside of groups. Free-riding is a problem that increases with the size and level of interaction of the group. In small groups or groups where everyone's actions are eventually widely known, free-riding is much less of a problem.

Yes. I have heard of these things...

> Economists and psychologists have done a lot of experiments on whether people will cooperate or free-ride under various circumstances. Findings: people who are made to feel that they are "special" or "powerful" in some way are more likely to free-ride.

That is interesting to me. I didn't know that. I have, of course, heard of 'power corrupts'. I like to think it wouldn't corrupt me. But of course... What would I know?


> People are more likely to free-ride when they are anonymous and won't participate in future experiments with those with whom they are interacting.

Yeah. I have heard of that. Why tip when you are travelling? And yet... People do...

> An interesting factoid (I am an economist): subjects for these experimental games are usually college students. Economics students who take classes with right-wing, free-market ideologues (and there are a lot of those in economics) are more likely to free-ride.

Yeah. I think there is something about 'you know the system - now beat it!' sort of an appeal to students who like to study such things.

But I don't know... I know students coming more from a philosophy, politics, economics perspective. Which is different from a management / economics perspective...

I have never studied economics. I have read Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments... Not his stuff on the free market so much. Maybe his free market presupposed that people had moral sentiment / lack of sociopathy... I don't know...


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