Rich and Co.

Good Guys and Bad Guys

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“I’ll help you not because you’ll help me, but because somebody else might help me in the future if he knows I’m a nice guy.”

Some scholars have surmised that humans developed language to find out who’s helpful and who’s not, he says, adding that we use language to pass judgment on each other and maintain social norms. In other words, Smead says, people talk about each other to find out who’s a good guy and who’s a bad guy.

“We gossip about each other and hear rumors,” he says. “We’re nice to people who we think are nice and we’re not nice to people who aren’t.”

“Two-faced” cooperators — people who are always nice to other people, but say bad things behind their backs — end up distorting the picture by making bad guys out of otherwise good guys.”

“If I consider helping you, but heard something bad about you that’s not true, then I won’t help you.  But now somebody knows I’m not nice, so we’re hurting each other because somebody lied.”


Written by Rich and Co.

June 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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