Do people worry more about others than themselves

Previous studies show that we often act out of self-interest to the detriment of others. However, scientists from University College London and Oxford University have found that sometimes people are more concerned about the well-being of others than their own.

160 people participated in the survey.

Participants were required to make their decisions anonymously. The volunteerswere subjected to mild electric shocksthat were matched to their pain sensitivity thresholds.

Participants were asked to choose between different amounts of money corresponding to different numbers of electric shocks. The maximum was 20 shocks and 20 pounds.

For example, participants were offered 7 electric shocks for 10 pounds or 10 electric shocks for 15 pounds. Part of the decisions the participants made for themselves, and another part – for someone else.

All decisions were anonymous, and the money was subsequently received by whoever made them /the decisions/. The volunteers were aware that the electric shocks that the other participant would receive would not be very painful for him.

During the study – most participants were willing to sacrifice more for others than for themselves. For example, volunteers were given 8 pounds so that another participant could avoid 20 electric shocks andonly 4 pounds were given to themselves.

At the end of the study, the volunteers were offered to donate part of their earnings to charity.

Although all participants showed altruism to harm others, they sacrificed an average of 20% of what they earned.

The study helps to better understand the nature of disorders characterized by a lack of empathy, such as psychopathy. People suffering from this psychological disorder are often ready to harm themselves and others.

From this research, it can be concluded that the antisocial behavior of people suffering from psychopathy is probably related to insensitivity to pain.

In addition, the researchers noted that participants who were altruistic thought more before making a decision that involved other people. While selfish people decided the fate of others faster.

Scientists have concluded that altruists tend to consider their decision from a moral point of view, while egoists do not.

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