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为什么人类倾向不平等社会?
2017-04-25
韩晓

 

    平等(equality)和公平(fairness)是两个不同的概念,但是在有些情况下,这两个概念又有一定的相同之处。比如,在实验室实验中,如果两个人付出了同样的“努力”,得到了同样的收益,此时就既是公平也是平等的;如果两个付出的“努力”不相同,而得到了相同的收益,此时就是平等而不公平的;如果两人付出的“努力”不相同,并到了跟“努力”程度对应的收益,那么此时就是不平等而公平的。我们的社会从财富分配来讲是不平等的,20%的人占据了80%的财富,但是没有证据表明人们有很强的不平等厌恶(aversion to inequality)。但是却有证据表明人们存在不公平厌恶(aversion to unfairness),例如:同时参与劳动,并付出相同劳动的两个孩子分配奇数块橡皮,那么两个孩子很可能会平均分配,而把多出来的那块橡皮给扔掉,但是如果那块橡皮通过摇色子的方式决定给谁,两人就会欣然接受。在最后通牒博弈中,大多数回应者(responder)会拒绝掉30%以下的报价,一个合理的解释就是不公平厌恶,当拒绝掉之后,提议者(proposer)和回应者的收益虽然都为0,但确是一个公平的结果。Starmans等人于201747日在《Nature Human Behaviour》上发表了题目为《Why people prefer unequal societies》的论文,从社会、经济、心理等多个角度对于平等和公平问题进行了综述和解释。作者认为,相对于平等,人们更加关注公平,而目前实验室中进行的很多研究平等的行为学实验实际上是研究的公平,或者说无法区分研究的是平等还是公平。作者分别从实验室实验(in the lab)和现实生活(in the real world)两个角度对平等和公平问题进行了分析,并进一步解读了人们为什么更加关注公平而不是平等。作者提出了两个解释,第一是自私(selfishness),简单来说,理性人有想要占便宜的心理,想要得到的比其他人多;第二是流动性(mobility),就是在不平等的情况下,人们有动力去奋斗,去提升自己的阶级,去努力得到更多。当然,如果社会过于不平等,那么可能会带来一系列的问题,而人人平等可能是理想的乌托邦,也会带来一系列的问题。平等和公平需要进一步的研究和讨论。

 

 

Christina Starmans, Mark Sheskin and Paul Bloom. Why people prefer unequal societies [J]. Nature Human Behaviour, 2017, 1: 0082.

 

 

Abstract: There is immense concern about economic inequality, both among the scholarly community and in the general public, and many insist that equality is an important social goal. However, when people are asked about the ideal distribution of wealth in their country, they actually prefer unequal societies. We suggest that these two phenomena can be reconciled by noticing that, despite appearances to the contrary, there is no evidence that people are bothered by economic inequality itself. Rather, they are bothered by something that is often confounded with inequality: economic unfairness. Drawing upon laboratory studies, cross-cultural research, and experiments with babies and young children, we argue that humans naturally favour fair distributions, not equal ones, and that when fairness and equality clash, people prefer fair inequality over unfair equality. Both psychological research and decisions by policymakers would benefit from more clearly distinguishing inequality from unfairness.

 

 

 

 

 

原文链接:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0082

 

 

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