Are YOU wired for fairness?

Before you answer or mull it over, take 2.75 minutes and watch the video below (audio needed). If 2.75 minutes is too much, watch 1 minute starting 1:19 minutes into it. It is well worth that minute of watching!

After looking at the wide spectrum of human behavior, and the great discussion that ended up with how we naturally lean towards the “dark” side, this experiment came to mind. THAT’s how monkeys are wired for unfairness, and as the researchers say, this is true of other species they have tried that with.

"Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not." by Oscar Wilde with his image in the background

Could the desire for fairness be innate for humans, too? Is it (best left as) an unattainable goal as Oscar Wilde says? What do you think?

Interesting Trivia: what is the one letter that (fairly or unfairly 🙂 ) does not appear in the periodic table?

Answer to last post’s trivia: A group of at least 6 ravens due to the superstition that “if the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it.” Gold stars go to ⭐ Beth ⭐ and to ⭐ Ally Bean ⭐ for knowing this bit of trivia I just recently learned 🙂

16 thoughts on “Are YOU wired for fairness?

  1. Oh that video is hilarious. I am so much with that monkey who protests. I like to believe that fairness is hardwired into human beings, but I dunno. Maybe it’s a skill that some of us learn along the way while other people do their best to avoid the concept.

    I’m guessing that the letter ‘K’ is the one that doesn’t appear in the periodic chart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my favorite moments in the video is when the monkey that’s getting the cucumber reward checks the rock before handing it over, to make sure it’s not “his fault” for handing over a “substandard rock.” That’s doubly impressive to me, assuming first that the fault might be his? How many of us are likely to blame “outside” circumstances first?

      Which brings me to one of my favorite quotes “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” What does it say about us? 🙂

      K is close, and a tricky one: for reasons that I don’t know, it’s the symbol for potassium, so it does get to appear on the periodic table.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. we just got home yesterday. Since we were coming from Asia, we just decided to self-quarantine when we got back home so that people weren’t worried about hanging around us. But it seems like many people are self-quarantining anyway!


  2. Great video. After seeing that clip, I searched out the complete TedTalk… very interesting. I may be a cynic, but I think that the desire for fairness is strong when we are the ones being screwed, Unfortunately, when we are the ones getting the goodies, our concern for fairness often disappears.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is an ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICENT observation! the “grape monkey” does not seem distressed or even concerned about the inequity. Or, for that matter, inclined to share any of the grape bounty. I wonder what would happen over a long period of time, if this experiment were to continue?

      Love that astute observation!


  3. I say Q is not in the periodic table. I love that video. I have always felt that we underestimate emotions in animals and that they do feel the same as us. Especially animals that live in communal societies. It just makes sense. I also am a Schnauzer Mum so I definitely know when my dog has got the sooks with something I have or have not done.
    The ‘grape’ Monkey does not seem perturbed because whilst they may sense inequity because that may affect their ability to survive, empathy and sympathy is unnecessary for survival. The Grape monkey is also the have, so perhaps guilt is harder to observe without a direct accompanying action.


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