People-actually are about as bad as social psychologists say, or worse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experimental studies are not representative of how badly people function. We study people under relatively innocuous conditions, where their self-interests are very low. In the real world, where people's self-interests are much higher, people are much worse a good deal of the time (some illustrations are cited). This is often "adaptive" for the perpetrators, but that doesn't make it "good" behavior. That people function so badly in our experiments, where self-interest is relatively minimal, is what is really terrifying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-352
Number of pages2
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004


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