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Thread: A study about envy I just saw on History Channel

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    Shadowlander Arilithill's Avatar
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    Default A study about envy I just saw on History Channel

    They gave a group of people two scenarios to choose from:

    Scenario A:
    You are a salaried business person who makes $50,000 dollars a year, and everyone else that works around you only makes $25,000.

    Scenario B:
    You are a salaried business person makes $100,000 dollars a year, but everyone else that works around makes $200,000.

    Almost every "test subject" chooses Scenario A because they are the highest paid employee, even though they are making $50,000 less than Scenario B.

    Thoughts on this?

    Trying to bring a little philosophy (if you could call it that?)

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    Ascendant Anasazi's Avatar
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    Well if the statements were true for say the world then I would go with"A" too becasue it is just simple math. You would have twice as much buying power as everyone else and your money would be worth more than 100k or 200k. In "B" you would have half the buying power as everyone else.
    Last edited by Anasazi; 08-12-2010 at 01:06 PM.

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    Shadowlander Arilithill's Avatar
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    True, but in just your job setting, it doesn't make sense.

    To me, I see being at $50,000 and top paid, I have little room for salary increase. However, if I make half as much as everyone else, there is room for salary increaes.

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    Ascendant Slyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arilithill View Post
    True, but in just your job setting, it doesn't make sense.

    To me, I see being at $50,000 and top paid, I have little room for salary increase. However, if I make half as much as everyone else, there is room for salary increaes.
    That's how I see it too, and I would choose option #2.

    When I first started work as a programmer I was the lowest paid member of the staff, yet did the same or more work than some who were paid twice as much as me. Eventually they quit or were fired and I got promotions and raises.
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    Shield of Telara Caracarn's Avatar
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    Hehe, Anasazi, good idea, but I think this example is about psychology and not social economics.

    I will go for B, because, I absolutely don't mind how much other people earn as long as I am off very well. But in real life I am a CFO and I am crunching numbers for a living.
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    Shadowlander Arilithill's Avatar
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    Just to keep this going, here's another experiment that I read about in Super Freakonomics.

    Scientists took a group of Capuchin Monkeys, about 6 or 7. Every day, at a certain time, they would give each monkey a grape from a platter of grapes. They kept doing this for about two weeks, until one day.

    On this day, one of the monkeys went in to get his grape, but this time he grabbed the platter and flipped it, spilling all the grapes. Naturally, the majority of the monkeys ran in and did a "snatch and grab," which was the first recorded incident of monkey "bank robbing." One male monkey, though, took a grape and went over to a female who was in the corner of the cage, away from the grape frenzy. The male monkey gave the grape to the female. The scientists, upon seeing this, think that monkey was being altruistic, which would be the first recorded case of that as well. Shortly after finishing the grape, the two monkeys began to have sex. This naturally stunned the scientists because Capuchin Monkeys are the only primate species (besides ourselves) to have sex for pleasure. So, this became the first recorded case of monkey prostitution as well.

    A little weird, but I thought it was crazy when I read that.

    Anyone else have any interesting studies?

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    Shield of Telara Osho's Avatar
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    Nice topic, love such stuff

    Here is one of my favourites:


    Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

    4 minutes later:

    the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk..

    6 minutes:


    A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

    10 minutes:


    A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.


    45 minutes:


    The
    musician played conti nuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

    1 hour:


    He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.


    No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

    This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

    One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made....
    How many other things are we missing?


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    Sword of Telara Cutter's Avatar
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    In scenario A you're obviously worth more than the rest of the peons at that company so when the downsizing starts - and it always does - you're pretty secure because the company needs you. In scenario B...ehhh not so much. You're the peon in that scenario and will be first on the chopping block when the layoffs begin.

    Plus in scenario A it's easier to impress the chicks you work with.
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    Champion of Telara Ancient's Avatar
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    As long as Kitty gives me an allowance greater than our daughters I'm okay

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    Shadowlander Arilithill's Avatar
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    Wow Osho, that one is cool. Ive never heard it before.

    It's interesting to note all the kids stopped. I wonder if it's because kids have no priority other than enjoying life.

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    Rift Master DarkoneNeo's Avatar
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    Two things I think of.. Scenario A could mean you are important in the company and may have some job security...
    It also mean you could be let go soon because you are overpaid, they might fire you and hire someone else at 25k...

    Scenario B almost the same situation... You could be at the bottom of the food chain in that company, lower importance if layoffs happen...

    Too many things... I'd rather know something about the companies first.. haha...



    But I get what you mean... I know all that extra mess is irrelevant to what you trying to say...

    Honestly though, I've never been too envious of material things... But I might be if I miss out on beta.. ROFL..
    I think actually it would be more sadness though simply cause I'm bored with current games and I've never felt so excited for a release ever before such as this one... Feel like I'm coming home.. Seems like it's bringing back the MMO I've known before but was lost...

    Most Likely to be: Defiant - Cleric Calling (PvP Server)

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    Shadowlander Arilithill's Avatar
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    Here's another one to keep this one going:

    Player 1 (Annika) and Player 2 (Zelda). The Annika's are given $20 and Zelda's are given none. In order to keep some money, the Annika's had to offer the Zelda's something. Thinking logically, scientists figured that the Annika's would offer .01 cent and that the Zelda's would take it because .01 cent is more than nothing. If the Zelda's refused the offer no one got money. They found, though, that the Zelda's would refuse an offer lower than $3. The Annika's, however, offered and average of $6, even though that was a 1000 times more than the minimum.



    There is more to this story from Super Freakinomics I just have to find it.

    Oh the Human Condition..

  13. #13
    Shield of Telara Osho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arilithill View Post
    Wow Osho, that one is cool. Ive never heard it before.

    It's interesting to note all the kids stopped. I wonder if it's because kids have no priority other than enjoying life.
    Yes, most of them have actually a good amount of free attention or to be more precise they still explore the world in it's everyday freshness and express it naturally and directly with their body.

    Here is also another very simply test:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qcgoay4
    Last edited by Osho; 08-13-2010 at 01:50 AM.

  14. #14
    Ascendant Anasazi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arilithill View Post
    True, but in just your job setting, it doesn't make sense.

    To me, I see being at $50,000 and top paid, I have little room for salary increase. However, if I make half as much as everyone else, there is room for salary increaes.
    I just changed the premise to applying to the world. But if it is just for this one job then you are correct.

  15. #15
    Telaran Mistdal's Avatar
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    ow love this thread, really shows alot about social status and its effect in the world.

    a rather well known test I believe that I saw presented. that had 2 persons ask for money on a Metro for a ticket, both using the exact same story, they had lost their wallet and couldnt afford a ticket home.

    person A were a young man dressed like an average guy, not well dressed but not like a guy who have problems like a drug habit or alcohohlic. it took him 1 hour and 24 min in this test to get someone to give him the money for a train ticket

    person B were very well dressed looked like a bigshot, the first person he asked gave him the money...they kept the show going to be sure it werent just a fluke, he had to ask 3 more persons and one gave him the money once again...took 10 minutes total

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