On the flight over I watched an interesting program about how we make decisions. More like how we “behave” in certain situations, and what our actions are based on when making a specific decision.
One example was of a woman dressed in business attire who falls on the street. Do people stop to help her? This was filmed with hidden cameras. Yes, people stopped and helped her up, but then the same woman was dressed in trashy and dirty clothes and fell. No one stopped and helped her. These situations always make me think about what I would’ve done in a situation like that? I obviously want to think I would’ve helped both, well dressed or not, but I guess I can’t give an honest answer until I’ve been in that situation.
Another made up example. A train is rushing on the tracks without brakes. If it continues straight it will run-over 4 people, but if you pull a switch, the tracks will divert the running train to a sidetrack and only one person on the tracks is killed. Obviously everyone thought it’s better to pull the switch and divert the train so it “only” kills one person, but what happens if that one person is a relative of yours? Then people sacrificed the 4 people. It had to do with how we want to “save” our lineage, and obviously the fact that we know the person. Same situation, but you stand up on a bridge. You can push a stranger to fall in front of the train. That person dies, but you save the 4 people + 1 person on the tracks. No one wanted to push a person to their death because that was considered murder, but they could pull a switch that diverted the train and killed 1 person instead of 4.
Last example with a hidden camera showed people getting too much change back from a cashier. Do you tell the cashier and give the money back? Or keep it? There were 2 different situations. One where the cashier was nice, and the other one where she was rude. When she was nice, all the people told her she gave them too much change and returned it to her. When she was rude and unprofessional, all of the customers kept the extra change. This one I think most of us have experienced, and I have to admit that I haven’t always been honest. Like if they forgot to add say a appetizer on my check, I haven’t said anything. After being out partying in Stockholm, (when I was younger and poorer I have to add), and wanting to eat McDonald’s after, I would just walk up in front of the long lines at 5am and said that I’m still waiting for my Big Mac. I obviously hadn’t ordered or paid for it and it always worked. I “accidentally” rolled out with some free shelves from IKEA too once because they were in the bottom of the stroller-thingy and the cashier didn’t see them. Sorry Mickey D’s & IKEA 🙁 Have you done anything similar or are you an honest citizen?