from the status-quo dept.
Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:
Human beings largely object to income inequality and are willing to correct injustice—unless, of course, it rattles their status quo.
That's the conclusion of a recent study looking at how far people would go to redistribute resources between the haves and have nots. Participants fiercely objected to "when winners become losers and losers become winners," researchers note in the paper, published in the latest issue of Nature Human Behaviour.
Researchers initially recruited Indian, American, and Chinese participants take part in an experimental game they called "the redistribution game." The gist of the game was simple: Participants were given a number of scenarios that would redistribute a fixed sum from a richer person to someone poorer. Participants were told the original standing of wealth was assigned randomly.
In the first scenario, participants had to decide if they wanted to transfer two coins from person A (who already had four coins) to person B (who had one). Researchers note the "transfer would reduce inequality," (as there's less of a gap between them), but person B would end up one coin richer than person A, reversing their status.
In the second version of game, participants were asked whether they'd transfer one coin to person B (where person A ended up with three coins and person B with two coins). Researchers ran a third and fourth scenario that allowed participants to transfer coins from person A to B, where the outcome still left person A with significantly more coins.
-- submitted from IRC