People’s ability to recognise abducted children is impaired when they view a photo of a smiling, clean child, but come into contact with the same child whose appearance is very different because he or she is upset, crying, dishevelled or unkempt. This is the key finding of a study published today in Applied Cognitive Psychology.
What a strange new burden for parents. Taking pictures every eight months or so that include your child in turns being angry, dirty, tired and crying. Almost like compiling a negligent parent file against themselves. Though in the rare chance that one’s child is lost o kidnapped, certainly worth the trouble.
“Once we’re angry, irritated, we become prosecutors, and our reasoning gets hijacked by our need to build our own case,” he says. So he suggests we can stop the prosecution by making even a small gesture of conciliation. We don’t have to acknowledge we are wholly in the wrong, but changing our tone, conceding we shouldn’t have said something, or said it in such a way, can trigger the reciprocity impulse in our opponent.
If you ever have any authority over someone as a teacher or manager, guaranteed this will happen to you. Except for those times in theaters, sporting events and celebrations at the pub. So, OK everyone eventually will, ever so politely of course, point out an error or boorish behavior and suddenly find they have found someone who’s ego is so fragile that you must suffer the worse of rhetorical tongue lashings, if not an invitation to the parking lot. They’re the one that cut in line, took a phone call during the lecture or made a math error that could cost the company thousands, but you’re the bad guy. The conciliation method can work in a more formal situation, but outside of those its a judgment call.
You could say our lives as social beings are ruled by the three R’s: respect—the sense that proper deference has been paid to our status, reputation—the carefully maintained perception of our qualities, and reciprocity—the belief that our actions are responded to fairly. In other words, high school may be the most perfect recapitulation of the evolutionary pressures that shaped us as a species.
I have pretty much accepted that life is like high school, except with crows feet and an aching back, but I don’t think I’ll ever get over the disappointment at finding that it is.
This behavior is right out of junior high, Ooooooh, Barracuda!
But that said, all I can tell you is that some McCain allies are now quite suspect of Palin and worried that Sen. McCain is going to become just the latest Palin ally whom she uses – and then discards — in her rapid ascendance to power.
The “used” list are all fellow travelers in la-la land, and I mean that ideologically, not geographically.