Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (3):351-352 (2004)

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.
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DOI 10.1017/s0140525x04460087
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