Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Evidence Against Evolution?


  • The Wall Street Journal


Week in Ideas: Daniel Akst



Ethics


Honesty Begins at Home

Studies in lab settings have found that people are quite willing to lie when it's to their advantage. But a paper finds that, at home, they're remarkably honest.
In one experiment, researchers phoned people at home and asked them to flip a coin, promising about $20 or an Amazon.com gift code if the coin landed tails. Heads? They'd get nothing. The researchers had no way to know which of the 658 participants might be lying, but a result of around 50-50 would indicate honesty. In fact, 56% reported heads.
In a second experiment, 94 people were asked by phone to flip a coin four times (and promised about $6.60 for every throw of tails). The results were almost exactly what would be expected statistically, suggesting that not much lying was going on. The data weren't correlated to gender; in previous studies, women were found to be more honest.
"Truth-Telling: A Representative Assessment," Johannes Abeler, Anke Becker and Armin Falk, Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn, Discussion Paper 6919 (October)

5 comments:

  1. This is probably just another "misfire" :)

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  2. Why do you think this is evidence against evolution?

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  3. Survival of the fittest logically would have one cheat whenever it could not be detected.

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  4. Ahh, but all the callers are thinking about the survival of the entire species, and that probability is maximized if they tell the truth.
    Not.

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  5. (I meant to write "respondents", not "callers"

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