John Ifcher : Does Studying Economics Make You Selfish? : NPR
John Ifcher, assistant professor of economics, had his research, co-authored with Homa Zarghamee, featured prominently in a recent segment on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. The discussion was focused on the lessons of selfishness taught to students of economics and how they might affect the way students behave in their own lives.
An excerpt from the transcript:
Zarghamee and Ifcher find that students asked to share $20 with a partner tend to divide it close to 50-50. In fact, studies all over the world show that people do this, even when they are playing with strangers, not just among friends. They tend to prioritize fairness over selfishness. But Zarghamee says that when students are taught how rational self-interested economic actors ought to behave, something happens to the way they behave.
“On average, before the lesson, they were offering approximately $8.50,” says Zarghamee. “But for people who received the standard economic lesson, it goes from about $8.50 down to about $4.50.”
Learn more about professor John Ifcher here»