domenica 21 maggio 2017

Why people prefer unequal societies Christina Starmans,

Notebook per
Why people prefer unequal societies
Christina Starmans, Mark Sheskin & Paul Bloom
Citation (APA): Christina Starmans, M. S. &. P. B. (2017). Why people prefer unequal societies [Kindle Android version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com

Parte introduttiva
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Why people prefer unequal societies By Christina Starmans, Mark Sheskin & Paul Bloom
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Abstract
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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.
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LA GRABDE PREOCCUPAZ
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However, when people are asked about the ideal distribution of wealth in their country, they actually prefer unequal societies.
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EPPRURE LE PREFERENZE DELLA GENTE
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there is no evidence that people are bothered by economic inequality
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they are bothered by something that is often confounded with inequality: economic unfairness.
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SCORRETTEZZA E DISEG
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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,
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FONTI DEOLLA TESI
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Pope Francis remarked that “inequality is the root of social evil”, while President Obama called economic inequality “the defining challenge of our time”. A recent Pew report found that Europeans and Americans judged inequality as posing the greatest threat to the world, beating religious and ethnic hatred, pollution, nuclear weapons, and diseases like AIDS.
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FALSI ALLARMI
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This interest is reflected in the extent of attention to Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century,, and is grounded in a growing public and scholarly appreciation of the startling extent of economic inequality.
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desire for equal distributions
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Frans de Waal nicely summarizes a broad consensus across many fields when he writes: “Robin Hood had it right. Humanity's deepest wish is to spread the wealth.”
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ROBIN COGLIE NEL SEGNO: TUTTI APPARENTEMENTE SENSIBILI ALL EG
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A puzzle arises,
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MA
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when people are asked about the ideal distribution of wealth in their country, they actually prefer unequal societies.
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TUTTAVIA... COME RICONCILIARE
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bothered by something that is often confounded with inequality: economic unfairness.
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NON È LA DISEGUAGLIANZA È LA CORETTEZZA
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‘inequality aversion’
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We suggest that the perception that there is a preference for equality arises through an undue focus on special circumstances, often studied in the laboratory, where inequality and unfairness coincide.
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SPERIMENTAZIONE FALLACE DELLA AVERSION
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An equality bias in the lab
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indeed, when subjects in laboratory studies are asked to divide resources among unrelated individuals, they tend to divide them equally,. If a previous situation has led to a pre-existing inequality, people will divide future resources unequally in order to correct or minimize the inequality between others,.
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CLASSICA SIT DA LABORATORIO
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people object to medical interventions that would save more lives overall by reducing cure rates for a small group of people and increasing cure rates for a larger group of people.
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CURE MEDICHE PER SALVARE PIÙ VITE? NO SE SONO DISEGUALI
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Three-year-olds divide resources equally among third parties,, and, although they are typically selfish when they themselves are involved in the interaction, even three-year-olds report that they should share equally. Six-year-olds show an even stronger commitment
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BAMBINI
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Even more tellingly, children are just as likely to reject unequal distributions when they reflect generosity (the distributor gave up all her candies to the receiver) as when they reflect selfishness (the distributor kept all the candies for herself).
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When twelve-month-old infants saw a puppet distribute two items to two other puppets, they looked at the scene longer when the distributor gave both toys to one puppet than when she gave the puppets one toy each, suggesting that they were surprised by the unequal distribution,​,​.
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An inequality bias in the real world
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Given these findings, one might expect that when people are asked to distribute resources across a real-world group of people, they would choose an equal distribution of resources across all segments of society. But they do not.
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MA FUORI DAL LAB. NEL MONDO REALE LE COSE SONO DIVERSE
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the data suggest that when it comes to real-world distributions of wealth, people have a preference for a certain amount of inequality.
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DISEG TOLLERATE NEL MONDO REALE
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This preference for inequality materializes in 16 other countries,, across people on both the left and right of the political spectrum, and in teenagers.
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CROS CULTURAL
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One follow-up study contrasted Norton and Ariely's question about the percentage of wealth that should correspond to each quintile of the American population with a question about what the average wealth should be in each quintile. The former question resulted in an ideal ratio of poorest to wealthiest of about 1/ 4, but for the latter question the ratio jumped to 1/ 50.
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SE PASSIAMO DAL RAPPORTO TRDA CLASSI AL REDDITO MEDIO DELLE CLASSI LE DISEG TOLLERATE SONO MAGGIORI
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Fairness in the lab
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How can this preference for inequality in the real world be reconciled with the strong preference for equality found in laboratory studies? We suggest that this discrepancy arises because the laboratory findings reviewed above— which
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COME RICONCILIARE LAB E REALTÁ?
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do not in fact provide evidence that an aversion to inequality is driving the preference for equal distribution. Instead, these findings are all consistent with both a preference for equality and with a preference for fairness, because the studies are designed so that the equal outcome is also the fair one.
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PREFERENZA X LA CORRETTEZZA E NN X L EGUAFL
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For example, in the study in which children had to award erasers to two boys who had cleaned up their room and chose to throw out the extra eraser, both boys were described as having done a good job. But when children were told that one boy did more work than the other, they awarded the extra eraser to the hard worker,.
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ESPERIMENTI... EG UGUALE CORRETTEZZA
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This preference for inequality is not restricted to situations where one person has done more work, but also extends to rewarding people who previously acted helpfully or unhelpfully.
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PREMIATO IL LAVORATOREB MA ANCHE IL DISPONIB
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As a final twist, consider a situation with two individuals, identical in all relevant regards, where one gets 10 dollars and the other gets nothing. This is plainly unequal, but is it fair? It can be, if the allocation was random. Adults consider it fair to use impartial procedures such as coin flips and lotteries when distributing many different kinds of resources.
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RANDOM ALLOCATION
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TOLLERATA
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Fairness in the real world
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variation in effort, ability, moral deservingness, and so on,
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Americans regard the American market system to be a fair procedure for wealth allocation, and, accordingly, believe strongly in the possibility of social mobility (see ).
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IL MERCATO VISTO OME EQUO
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Obviously people have selfish motivations, but what is interesting here is that these desires are not always for increasing one's absolute amount, but are often for increasing one's standing relative to others,​,​.
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IL CONFRONTO RELATIVO COME GIUSTIFICAZIONE DELLA DISEG
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This motivation for relative advantage can motivate a desire for unequal distributions.
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Motivation and mobility
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A further motivation for inequality may come from the idea that inequality is necessary to motivate industriousness and allow for social mobility.
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ADISEGUAGL MOTIVATA DALL INCENTIVO CHE FORNISCE
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Not surprisingly, then, a belief in meritocratic mobility is associated with more tolerance for inequality,
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For example, Americans might have an unreasonable tolerance for inequality in part because they tend to overestimate the extent of mobility in the United States,
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CHI VEDE MOBILITÀ TOLLERA DI PIÙ
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One reason for this lack of mobility is that the income distribution in the United States— the distance between the poorest and richest citizens— is much greater than in rival countries.
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AMOBILITÀ INF IN USA X LA DISTANZA DEI DECILI. MOB ASSOLUTA PIÙ ELEVATA
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Norton and Ariely found that women, Democrats, and the poor desired relatively more equal distributions than men, Republicans, and the wealthy, and were also more accurate in estimating the extent of current inequality.
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PREFERENZE. CONTA LA PSICOLOGIA
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a strict meritocracy, where everyone's income was strictly proportional to their productivity, would result in an extremely unequal society, with the top 10% earning more than 50% of the nation's wealth.
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IN BBASE ALLA PRODUTTIVITÀ LE DISEG SAREBBERO ANCORA MAGGIORI
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Why fairness is central
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For cooperation and prosociality to evolve, there has to be some solution to the problem of free-riders, cheaters, and bad actors. The usual explanation for this is that we have evolved a propensity to make bad behaviour costly and good behaviour beneficial, through punishment and reward,. That is, we respond differently to individuals based on what one can see as their ‘deservingness’— responses that are present even in infants.
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FONDAZIONE MORALE DELLA CORRETTEZZA
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To treat everyone equally would entail penalization of more productive individuals when they collaborate with less productive individuals relative to highly productive individuals. In contrast with equality, fairness allows individuals with different levels of productivity to share the benefits of their collaboration proportionately.
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L EGALITARISMO NN ASSOLVE A QS FUNZIONE
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LA CORRETTEZZA FACILITÀ LA COLLAB TRA DIVERSI
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Conclusions and future directions
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While concerns about fairness, along with other considerations, may motivate a preference for inequality, there are, of course, various countervailing psychological forces that lead to an equality preference.
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MA FORSE LA DISEG ANCHE SE TOLLERABILE HA EFFETTI NEGATIVI
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For one thing, as inequality increases, self-reported happiness diminishes, especially among the bottom 40% of income earners.
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DISEG E INFELICIT
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those on the lower end of the scale report less job satisfaction, but those on the higher end of the scale do not report any greater
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C SODDISFAZ ASIMMETRICHE
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This has negative effects for productivity too: workers who know they are on the low side of the distribution decrease their effort,
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Still, as Tyler points out, it is not clear whether the corrosive effects of inequality on happiness are due to inequality per se, or due to the perception of unfair inequality. That is, it is an open question
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SIVURI CHE LA SCORRETTEZZA NN CONTI? QUESTIONE APERTA
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Nevertheless, inequality in a society also predicts a greater degree of violence, obesity, teenage pregnancy, and interpersonal distrust.
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ALTRI POSS INCONV DELLA DISEG
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A related case against a focus on equality has been made recently by Frankfurt, who argues on normative grounds that people shouldn't care about reducing inequality. What really matters, he argues, is that everyone has a sufficient amount to live a decent life. Frankfurt acknowledges that a focus on improving the situation of the most needy may reduce inequality as a side effect, but argues that this reduction is not, in itself, a moral good.
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MEGLIO UN MINIMO CHE L EG
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the idea that people's discontent with the current distribution of wealth has to do with fairness, rather than inequality itself, opens up a wealth of new questions about which factors (for example, hard work, skill, need, morality) are psychologically relevant for fair distributions.
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ALTRA QUESTIONE: QUALI FATTORO RENDONO TOLLERAB LA DISEG?
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They are wrong about how much inequality there is, believing the current situation to be much more equal than it actually is,,,
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DUE ERRORI DI PERCEZ. CREDIAMO LA NS SOCIEYÀ PIÙ EGALITARIA
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Furthermore, Americans have exaggerated views about the extent of social mobility
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MOBOLITÀ SOCIALE ESAGERATA
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Second,
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Worries about inequality are conflated with worries about poverty, an erosion of basic rights, and— as we have focused on here— unfairness.
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LE CONFUSIONI DISONEZSTE DELLA POLITICA
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If it's true that inequality in itself isn't really what is bothering people, then we might be better off by more carefully pulling apart these concerns, and shifting the focus to the problems that matter to us more.
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SPOSTIAMO IL FUOCO DEL DIBATTITO EVITANDO LA DESEG
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Additional information
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