Have you ever wondered why people readily help accident victims but hesitate to give loose change in exchange for Rs 500? Researchers have found the reason behind this strange human behaviour.
Turns out you are more likely to get help from others in a crisis situation rather than in a harmless everyday problem, say researchers, adding that extreme conditions bring out the best in people, especially those who are altruistic and pro-social.
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“Emergency situations seem to amplify people’s natural tendency to cooperate,” said one of the researchers Mehdi Moussaid from Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany.
In the study published in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers showed that readiness to help depends heavily on personality.
The experiments showed that pro-social and altruistic people in particular often helped others even more in an emergency situation than in a relaxed and non-threatening situation, whereas selfish participants became less cooperative.
The researchers invited 104 individuals to participate in a computer game that was developed specifically for the experiment.