Normal people are dumb as hell

by Caleb Reading

Bitter. Twisted. So consumed with envy and malice that they would be prepared to pay to destroy their neighbour’s wealth if they could avoid being found out.

Recognise the description? That’s you, according to researchers from Oxford and Warwick Universities.

In an experiment, two economists found that anonymous participants in a computerised betting game, played with real money, were prepared to spend their winnings in order to burn cash won by other players.

“Human beings are incredibly envious,” said Andrew Oswald, one of the researchers. “They are willing to hand over large sums of money to bring other people down.

[…] Out of 116 players taking part in four-player sessions, two-thirds chose to burn other players’ winnings.

Those who had done well in the game burned indiscriminately, but those who had lost out targeted the big winners.

[…] The participants were fairly evenly spread between the sexes. Men and women appeared to act in similar ways.

“Mostly they would have walked away with £10 even if they had done nothing,” said Prof Oswald. “Most of them deliberately gave up £10 or £12 to hurt the other students in the room.”