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Ch. 3 - Reciprocity with a Vengeance

#129: Mar. - May 2014 (Non-Fiction)
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geo
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George Costanza gets caught with his hand in the tip jar . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svWjtDhGQFg
-Geo
Question everything
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ant
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geo wrote:from Haidt's book . . .
What would you do if you received a Christmas card from a complete stranger? This actually happened in a study in which a psychologist sent Christmas cards to people at random. The great majority sent him a card in return.8 In his insightful book Influence,9 Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University cites this and other studies as evidence that people have a mindless, automatic reciprocity reflex. Like other animals, we will perform certain behaviors when the world presents us with certain patterns of input. A baby herring gull, seeing a red spot on its mother’s beak, pecks at it automatically, and out comes regurgitated food. The baby gull will peck just as vigorously at a red spot painted on the end of a pencil. A cat stalks a mouse using the same low-down, wiggle-close-then-pounce technique used by cats around the world. The cat uses the same technique to attack a string trailing a ball of yarn because the string accidentally activates the cat’s mouse-tail-detector module. Cialdini sees human reciprocity as a similar ethological reflex: a person receives a favor from an acquaintance and wants to repay the favor. The person will even repay an empty favor from a stranger, such as the receipt of a worthless Christmas card.

This goes in hand with my "mirror neuron" strategy I use from time to time.

Sometimes I'll pick out a mean, don't bother me looking face at random before walking by the subject.
I'll put on a near exaggerated, happy look on my face for the person to see.
Almost always, the second the person sees my facial expression, they mirror it.

One time I was tracking a coworker on the freeway who hadn't seen me in the lane beside him.
I noticed he had a very happy expression on his face. Before I drove up along side him (at the nornal, LA traffic speed - very slow) I made a very long, serious looking face.
The moment he saw me looking at him, I saw his expression change immediately to a mirror image of mine. When he had time to process who it was looking at him, he smiled.

It was really funny :P

I'm clever, huh? :bananadance:
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ant
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geo wrote:
ant wrote:My intention was to spread some good will around a bunch of Monday morning sourpusses :razz2: :P
Aha! Ant, you hypocrite! You're just trying to make your Monday work environment more pleasant!

Seriously though the next chapter in Haidt's book deals with hypocrisy.

I wouldn't say that.
All I'd have to do is close my office door, which I normally do.

Really, it seems to me people are much more on guard now, in a paranoid, anti social kind of way.

If making my environment more pleasant makes me a hypocrite, then so be it. :slap:
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ant
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This seems like a book I'd be interested in reading.

Who was it that said if you want to make an friend out of an enemy, ask him to loan you something.
It establishes some connection of trust (I think) and breaks the barrier down.
You become more likable to him/her.

I read that but forgot where
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DWill
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Ant's example is interesting. He's doing what so many bumper stickers have told us to do--practice random acts of kindness (I don't know if he also covers the senseless beauty part). Could a piece of the reaction he gets be based on our culture in this particular moment in history? Sometimes we assume universality when the phenomenon is culture-based.

What he does definitely places a seeming burden on the recipient to reciprocate, so that could be why the reaction isn't joyful. If he told his coworkers, "Hey, I just found a bunch of these gift cards on the street! Have one", the sense of obligation would be less.

With family and friends, the rules are more relaxed, fortunately. We don't tend to worry so much about the running score.
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ant
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DWill wrote:Ant's example is interesting. He's doing what so many bumper stickers have told us to do--practice random acts of kindness (I don't know if he also covers the senseless beauty part). Could a piece of the reaction he gets be based on our culture in this particular moment in history? Sometimes we assume universality when the phenomenon is culture-based.

What he does definitely places a seeming burden on the recipient to reciprocate, so that could be why the reaction isn't joyful. If he told his coworkers, "Hey, I just found a bunch of these gift cards on the street! Have one", the sense of obligation would be less.

With family and friends, the rules are more relaxed, fortunately. We don't tend to worry so much about the running score.
What's the "senseless beauty part'?

The burden of reciprocity. Wow!

Maybe I should have said "Hey, I just found this Kuerig Coffee maker out by the dumpster. It's ours now!" :P :slap:
Last edited by ant on Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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