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Anorak | For the unlucky not the few: Michael Lewis narrates the parable of the lucky man and the fought cookie

For the unlucky not the few: Michael Lewis narrates the parable of the lucky man and the fought cookie

by | 11th, June 2017

cookie michael lewis

 

In 2012 Moneyball author Michael Lewis gave addressed Princeton University.  He tells the gilded youth arranged before him that they “owe a debt to the unlucky”.

I now live in Berkeley, California. A few years ago, just a few blocks from my home, a pair of researchers in the Cal psychology department staged an experiment. They began by grabbing students, as lab rats. Then they broke the students into teams, segregated by sex. Three men, or three women, per team. Then they put these teams of three into a room, and arbitrarily assigned one of the three to act as leader. Then they gave them some complicated moral problem to solve: say what should be done about academic cheating, or how to regulate drinking on campus.

Exactly 30 minutes into the problem-solving the researchers interrupted each group. They entered the room bearing a plate of cookies. Four cookies. The team consisted of three people, but there were these four cookies. Every team member obviously got one cookie, but that left a fourth cookie, just sitting there. It should have been awkward. But it wasn’t. With incredible consistency the person arbitrarily appointed leader of the group grabbed the fourth cookie, and ate it. Not only ate it, but ate it with gusto: lips smacking, mouth open, drool at the corners of their mouths. In the end all that

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Posted: 11th, June 2017 | In: Money, News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink